It’s no exaggeration to say that Josh Fox does it all. While technically his role at Dental Depot’s Executive Leadership Office is “organizational communications specialist,” anyone who works with Josh knows he’s had a hand in just about everything. Between writing training modules, helping various departments around the Executive Leadership Office (ELO), running analytics and spreadsheets, and even editing videos, there’s not much Josh hasn’t tried. And, while he does anything that’s asked of him by Dental Depot directors and even Dr. Glenn Ashmore, he’s got his eyes set on a very specific career move – becoming a Dental Depot dentist.
But before we jump into how he’s progressed towards his goals, it’s worth understanding the why – because trust us – any change this dramatic in someone’s life takes a gigantic leap of faith.
It all started around three and a half years ago – Josh was going through the motions of what he thought he was supposed to do with his life. He had a Christian upbringing, served as a youth pastor intern, even got a dual-degree in biblical studies from a bible college, but something wasn’t quite right. Everything he did was a show for others and left him feeling aimless and unfulfilled.
“I really realized I had been living a life where I was afraid of what people thought of me and I didn’t actually love Jesus like I should. I remember breaking down in my bathroom at 7:00 AM before I was leaving for work one day. That’s when Jesus came into my heart,” Josh recalled. “From that moment, I would say my faith has defined me and has been a growing experience along the way.”
The shakeup didn’t stop there. His work life – a daily drudgery spent climbing a corporate ladder he realized he didn’t want anything to do with – needed a change, too.
“I had been working in an office environment, doing a kind of business and training for a corporate setting. I just didn’t like it and hated every day that I went to work,” Josh said. “It just seemed so meaningless to me to climb a ladder I didn’t want to be at the top of. I had no purpose.”
“I just remember walking into my dentist’s office and watching them do things and thinking, ‘I always wanted to do this,’ because I’d grown up around dentistry. My grandma had worked in pediatric dentistry and I was close friends with a few dentists growing up,” Josh recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘I’ve always wanted to do this but I’ve never actually tried.’”
Regardless of whether or not he was happy, Josh understood that his decision to leave his job wouldn’t just affect himself, but his wife as well.
“I went to my wife about a week later and I was just sweating because I was so afraid of her thinking I was crazy when I told her, ‘I want to be a dentist.’ But she just jumped on it and it just blew me away,” Josh said. “So I started looking at jobs and we found Dental Depot and it turned out to be way better than we expected.”
Josh joined the Dental Depot team in February 2017 and from that moment on, he was hooked. He began his time at the North OKC office as a patient care coordinator, and closely shadowed Dr. John Van Vu and Dr. Yousef Salous. Both dentists encouraged Josh to pursue his goals and gave him as much support as they could.
Dental Depot has always been a place where ambition and talent are encouraged and employees are able to grow out of their positions and into new ones. It didn’t take long for his manager to notice and soon enough he was made an assistant manager. Not long after that, he was swooped up by the ELO team.
“The funny story is that they brought me in and as I was talking to people about what the job would look like – because they wanted me to do a lot of different things – and we realized we didn’t know what to call the position. So they asked what my major had been in college,” Josh said. “So now I’m the organizational communications specialist. That’s been my job title ever since.”
These days, there is no such thing as a normal week in the office for Josh, but he says he wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s no risk of boredom and here, he knows his work means something. Plus, he has an entire network of dentists to work with and learn from.
“It just confirmed everything I felt, this welling up of excitement for dentistry and what you get to do for people…I started taking classes one at a time and that led to the DAT – dental admissions test – and now in less than a [week] I’ll be applying for dental school [for Fall 2021],” Josh said.
The University Of Oklahoma College Of Dentistry is Josh’s first choice, and it’s where many of Dental Depot’s dentists have graduated from – including Dr. Vu and Dr. Salous, Josh’s first mentors. Aside from being an incredible dental school, OU would allow Josh to stay here where he and wife Candace have a home and are raising their baby girl – Quinn. Plus, the opportunity to become a Dental Depot dentist and even a partner in the growing DSO.
“Being a [Dental Depot dentist] has been my plan from the get-go, ever since I saw the model. I’ve seen how the process works and I’ve seen the headaches other dentists go through when they’re on their own,” Josh said. “I just don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t want to. My wife and I are 100% in – we want to work with Dental Depot till the day we die.”
“I’m a passive recruiter – anytime I meet a dentist I’m like, ‘Look, here’s why you need to work at Dental Depot – we provide all of the frameworks for you. We do all of the hiring and the training so all you have to do is show up and practice dentistry.’ I love Dr. Glenn’s vision and the common sense approach that he demonstrates.”
Of course, Josh has plans to do a little more than just showing up to practice dentistry – he feels called to participate in medical missions with his wife, who is a paramedic. After learning that dentists are among the hardest healthcare professionals to secure for these missions, Josh realized he could fill that gap – much like he does at the ELO.
“I remember talking with someone in our church who led a bunch of medical mission trips and, unprovoked, he said to me, ‘the most difficult people to get on mission trips are dentists.’ And he said it like a throwaway fact, and it struck me that, ‘This is my calling.’ This is something that has been put on my heart and something I want to do. I talked to my wife that night,” Josh said.
“If I’m talking to anyone else who is struggling with deciding what to do, just take the first step. It can be super overwhelming when you look at everything you have to do to get where you want to be,” Josh said. “But if you can just take the first step and say, ‘If I need a class, I’m going to register for it,’ and then from there, that first step becomes a multitude of steps that get easier and easier.”
As for all of us here at Dental Depot, we have full faith and confidence that Josh will grow into more than just an excellent dentist, but a faithful steward of his community.
“[Dentistry] is something I can do to be valuable to people and a way for me to give back. The medical mission trips are something that are so important to me because I don’t think people realize how big a need dentistry is in countries that don’t have it,” Josh said. “This is absolutely 100% what God made me for and it’s funny because when I talk to other people, they’re like, ‘What? You want to stick your hands in peoples’ mouths?’ Strangely yes. I can’t wait to do it. God makes certain people for certain things, and he’s given me a passion for dentistry.”
Josh is set to apply for dental school in May 2020. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on how the process goes and hope you join us in wishing Josh the best!
Josh Fox was named our April 2020 Employee of the Month, nominated by both his peers and leadership for his outstanding work in bettering Dental Depot.
Here are some of their remarks:
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Josh at two different companies and about four different positions. I’ve seen him remain consistent and diligent in every role. He’s the type that will put his mind to it and succeed in whatever he does. It’s hard to believe he balances family, school classes, and a full-time job. It’s an honor to work with Josh Fox.” – Macie Anderson, manager of talent acquisition
“Josh has become such a key part to our executive team; from training him a few years back as a PCC, to seeing him flourish as a trainer and being The Go-To-Guy to fix anything has really been a joy to watch! In the past, as an office manager, to now….I can give Josh any problem or task and he will find a helpful solution. What can Josh not fix? Love seeing his growth and I know he has only just begun to shine.” Brandi Hatley, regional manager
“Josh has been amazing helping me with anything and everything since I started a few months ago with Dental Depot. He is always quick to respond and very helpful. He is the spreadsheet ninja! Thank you, Josh, for making me feel welcome and a part of the team!” Shara Lamb, payroll administrator
“Josh has been instrumental in creating, improving, and providing so many ad-hoc reporting, process improvements, employee training, billing improvements, on and on, that have greatly benefited both the individual locations and the ELO. We are not only proud of his individual accomplishments within our company, but also his personal pursuit to become a Dental Depot dentist in the future. He is an excellent team member and an extraordinarily valuable asset to the Dental Depot!” Ron Kokotan, comptroller
Dental Depot is a locally owned and operated family company. As such, we believe that the incredible group of doctors, hygienists, assistants and staff that make up Dental Depot are more than their job titles; they’re members of our extended family. In our family, we like to recognize when someone goes above and beyond, living the Dental Depot values. This April, we are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Josh Fox.