Jessica Ford of Belfair, Wash., has made thousands of first and lasting impressions. She was the cheerful voice on the phone that patients often first spoke with, and the smile they were sure to walk out the door with. Now, after nine fine years, the familiar, friendly face – many have come to know – is greeting a new endeavor with the same vim and vigor she honed working for Dr. Lyle Beck and Dr. Steven Haws.
“It was hard to see her go,” said Haws, reflecting on the integral part of the team Ford has been from scheduling to presenting treatment plans/estimates to working with insurance companies. “She was with us in our former location, believed in us, helped us set up shop here in 2008, and expand our own enterprise. Now it’s time for her to build her own.”
As employers who provide and encourage professional growth, Beck concurred. “Jessica has been here a long time, so we’re feeling the loss, but we’re excited for her! This is a great opportunity.”
After working in a team that “felt like family,” Ford says she’s getting the best of both worlds trekking into a new venture with family. “I will miss seeing all of them each day, that’s for sure! The Clear Creek patients, the doctors, my wonderful co-workers have become my dearest friends,” she said wistfully. “But I’m leaving happy and ready for this next chapter.”
Joining forces with her husband, CPA Johnnie Hawkins, Ford is now managing the clientele and workflow in the front office of one of their two practices – Olympic Tax and Business Consulting in Belfair. “It puts me closer to home and able to really make a difference as we help guide small business owners, who in turn enrich the community we live in,” said Ford, a Washington native who grew up in Brownsville. “I love this tight-knit, rural area and feel excited to support the goals my husband and his partners have set to help advance it.”
Having worked for a progressive and compassionate dental office fed Ford’s own inner drive to do more. “I’ve gone from a dental assistant fresh out of college to a full-fledged career focused on providing optimal customer service,” she said.
Ford takes with her many fun and poignant memories from her time at Clear Creek Dentistry – the gag gifts, the flash mob, the things they did to “surprise” the doctors and to “treat” the patients to unexpected celebrations of personal milestones or successes. “We just enjoyed each other while we were all there getting things done,” she said. “It really is such a great atmosphere to work in when there is no separation between the front office and the back. You don’t find many professional settings without the hierarchy. And the patients at Clear Creek are better for it, being surrounded and cared for by a united team.”