Meet the Spark Team

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What is the Spark Dental Network?

Named for what it does, Spark is an invitation-only group specifically tailored to help you grow your small to mid-sized dental groups or DSOs by a factor of 10x.

The word spark conjures up images of a catalyst. A small fiery particle that can grow into a mighty inferno … a hint of some specific quality or intense feeling that produces something bigger. That’s exactly what Spark as an organization is. Our members describe it as the perfect mix of coaching, masterminding, instructional presentations, education, and peer support.

SPARK has been engineered to make a huge positive difference in both your personal and professional life.

How It Works

How Spark Increases the Value of Your Enterprise

The purpose of Spark is to help group dental practices improve the overall value of their dental enterprise.  That value may be measured in many ways: profitability, personal growth for themselves and their teams, serving their communities at a higher level, being able to take more time off, etc.

The unique thing about Spark is it creates an environment for owners and leaders of group dental practices to come together and share in a way that is safe, inspiring and humbling.

Here are a Few of the Most Common Complaints Pains and Problems That Spark Can Help You Solve:

Doctor Recruitment and Development
Acquiring New Patients
Leadership Development
Wanting More Revenue & Profitable Growth
How to Schedule & Create More Free Time
Struggles with Capital & Ownership Structures
Standardization of Key Operational Systems
Creating a Fun, Positive Office Culture

... and anything else you can think of!

You get to learn from those who have walked the path before you, to save yourself from years of guess work by following the steps of those who have already accomplished what you are trying to accomplish.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

What "Sparked" Spark?

The concept for Spark was discovered almost accidentally by Dr. John Meis.

Dr. John, like most dentists struggled and suffered through frustration and the misery of an under-preforming practice.

He bought into just about every consultant and gimmick for acquiring new patients, for getting referrals, for training his team, and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on seminars, marketing products, and coaching to move the needle in his practice.

And as a result, his practice grew, but that growth came at the expense of his health and his most valuable relationships. He had more stress, more anxiety, and more frustration.

Dr Meis was in over his head. He experienced what you may be experiencing now … a pace that couldn’t keep up with his success.

Going through this personal nightmare forced him to find answers. As a growth-minded person, Dr. Meis was never satisfied with the status-quo. He always sought to figure out what more could be done.

When he became aware of dentists who were doing a lot better than he was, he wanted to learn from them.

As fate would have it, he was invited by a dental consultant to go to a meeting with just their top clients, those running the biggest practices.

That entire meeting consisted of people getting up and sharing what they were doing in their business and Dr. Meis thought, “This is really cool. We could do this more frequently.” (That’s how the initial group that would become Spark began).

In a very short time Dr. Meis made a mental shift about how he saw his practice.

He then was able to create a new system for operating his business, based on 11 productive practice traits.

Within 3 years he was producing over $225,000 a month in personal production.

More importantly he discovered 5 key systems that tripled his own practice production, which allowed him to expand to 12 locations and eventually sell the practices.

He then started to teach dentists around the country the simple process that he came up with so that they could accomplish the same. This process was made up of tactics that were duplicate in any dental practice regardless of the talent or personality of the doctor or the team.

Seeing that there was a proven way for dentists to double their production, double their value, and double their freedom, Dr. Meis’ passion for elevating the industry was inspired to even greater levels.

Spark is a major force in accomplishing that mission.

"I grew from four to eleven practices, and went from $6 million in revenue to $17 million in annual revenue. I have a superb executive leadership team.

Each of my eleven practices are smooth-running with excellent management, no chaos, and happy patients."


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Meet the Spark Team

Dr. John Meis


Dr. Meis is a fourth-generation dentist, bestselling author, co-founder of the Team Training Institute, and trusted mentor to over 4439 dental practitioners.

Meis helps practices achieve a greater peace of mind and guides them to becoming more productive and more profitable. He’s an industry leader, serving large dental practices with revenues of $5M to $20M and has participated in nearly 100 dental practice M&A. He was also president of a DSO with 120 locations and 180 doctors.

His best-selling book, “The Ultimate Guide to Doubling and Tripling Your Dental Practice Production” reveals how to make a practice more productive and profitable.

Dr. Meis is uniquely qualified to help large practices with company culture, strategic planning, finance, dentist employment, partner acquisition, hygienist productivity and compensation, patient acquisition and retention, and other complications that arise while growing a group practice or preparing for a transaction.

Heather Driscoll

founder, director of consulting

Heather Driscoll is the Director of Consulting for Spark and has been a leader in the dental community since the early 2000’s.  At the end of 2017, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Smart Choice Dentistry with Dr. John Meis, a small Dental Service Organization (DSO).

Previously, she served as the Vice President of Operations for Mortenson Dental Partners. She was responsible for the daily operations and leadership development in 120+ practices throughout the United States and was responsible for over $175 M annual patient care revenue.

Heather has supported over 50 practices throughout the US and Canada with personalized business coaching, leadership and team development.

Heather is a graduate of Western Iowa Technical Community College, Sioux City, IA. Her personal executive development has been through the Darden School of Business along with dental leadership development through Whitehall Management. She is also a certified coach for The Leadership Circle.

Melissa B. Thomas, CPA

Melissa started her career in public accounting as a CPA, where she spent 5 years as an audit supervisor on various client audits in a multitude of industries. In early 2014, she joined Mortenson Dental Partners as the Assistant Controller, where she managed the Accounting Department for 4 years and became enamored with dentistry and the administrative side of patient care.

In early 2018, she transitioned to the Operations team as the Director of Business Operations, where her business and financial expertise coupled with her strong relationship skills, provided valuable insight into the business of dentistry. Melissa was instrumental in connecting the Regional Operations needs with the overall Mortenson Learning & Development vision, while directing the development and process improvement for the dental practice team members across 145 dental practices. While at Mortenson, Melissa also developed leadership training for the dental Practice Managers and helped to improve their coaching and communication skills while developing their understanding of the key drivers of dental practice success. Melissa is also a Development Dimensions International (DDI) Certified Facilitator.

Melissa joined Spark in early 2020, where her financial and operational expertise bring a well-rounded approach to dental consulting. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys browsing the aisles of T.J. Maxx and along with her husband, attempting to raise their toddler to be a civilized member of society.  

Dr. Jason Howell

Dr. Jason Howell graduated from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 2003. He joined the Navy and completed an AEGD in San Diego. While in the Navy he was the dentist for Top Gun Flight School for two years.

He has practiced in Nashville, TN and Louisville, Ky with large dental groups for the past 15 years. He has been and continues to be involved in developing doctor education and mentor programs within his dental groups focusing on both clinical and communication skills.

He currently practices in Louisville, KY preforming all aspects of general dentistry including endodontics, oral surgery, implant placement and restoration, orthodontics and cosmetic smile makeovers.

His wife is a general dentist as well and they have three children. In their spare time they are involved in their children’s sports and enjoy traveling.

Drew Schaefer, CPA

Drew graduated from the University of Dayton in 2005 with a B.S. in Accounting and MBA.  He began his professional career as a financial statement auditor for Ernst & Young. It was through this position that he was exposed to the very intricate financial systems and processes for companies of all sizes across a multitude of industries.  

The knowledge base accumulated were leveraged when Drew joined Mortenson Dental Partners, where he ascended to the position of Controller and worked for six years. Over this period, he helped ascend the financial competencies of the organization and put into place processes that the organization leveraged to grow from 45 locations in a single market with revenues of about $55m, to over 105 locations with revenues of over $170m across seven different regions before leaving for a different opportunity in 2016.  

After keeping in touch with Dr. John Meis and Heather Driscoll, Drew rejoined them in the summer of 2018 as the CFO of Smart Choice Dentistry and as the financial professional for Spark. He saw a great opportunity to leverage his knowledge of what to do (and what not to do) to help dental practices and DSOs reach their growth potential in a profitable way.

In his free time, Drew enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and three kids, traveling, or working on keeping his classical cars on the road.

The Strategic Thinker
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"We started working closely with Dr. Meis in 2012. At the time, our practice was small, occupying 2000 square feet with three treatment rooms… By 2015, we had expanded to occupy from 2000 to 7500 square feet.

Today, we have 60 employees, 17 operatories that stay booked weeks in advance and
generate $10 million in revenue from our single location."


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Spark Meetings

The Spark Dental Network meets four times a year on a quarterly basis. Our members describe it as the perfect mix of coaching, masterminding, instructional presentations, education, and peer support.

Spark has been engineered to make a huge positive difference in both your personal and professional life. Each Spark meeting spans two full days, and there is an option to stay for a third, bonus day.

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