Pride Team

Pride’s greatest asset is our team of professional experts.

Amy Morgan, CEO

“My passion, my inspiration comes from knowing that every day at Pride Institute - with training and coaching solutions, we truly make a difference in the lives of dentists, team members and their patients! I love what I do and I am so proud of our Pride team, who genuinely care about the process and the results!”

Since 1993, I have had the privilege of serving our dental community as part of the team at Pride Institute.  I count myself lucky to have been hired and mentored by Dr. Jim Pride as I moved up from a consultant/trainer to CEO in 1999. Since 2004, when Dr. Pride passed his legacy to me and the ownership team, it has been my goal to honor his contributions and his core values while implementing new models and methods for modern solutions for a modern world!  

As a well-known consultant/trainer, I have worked diligently to enhance our time-proven management systems and strategies in order to revitalize thousands of dental practices. My goal is to make sure all who seek our advice and support become more secure, efficient, profitable and happy. I continue to enjoy “spreading the word” as a speaker throughout North America and Europe and have been featured at every major dental meeting, including NESO, ADA, AGD, GNYDM, Yankee and CDA meetings, as well as presenting customized programs to various study groups and dental companies. I also continue to publish articles, columns and whitepapers in all the major dental publications.

Some of the unique books and training manuals I have created are designed to address the true issues that doctors and team face every day in their practice with real solutions. Some examples include: Take Pride in What You Pay, How to Hire "Simply the Best," Meetings with Pride, and the popular Building Blox series of self-guided training tutorials.

Every day, the team here at Pride and I are here and ready to help dentists and their team achieve the success they desire and deserve.

Lou Shuman, President Emeritus

Lou Shuman

Dr. Shuman served as President of Pride Institute for six years and Vice President of Clinical Education and Strategic Relations at Align Technology for seven years.  Due to the demand of Dr. Shuman corporate consulting, Pride Institute has partnered with his firm, Cellerant, creating added value for Dr. Shuman’s corporate clients.

Dr. Shuman is known for his expertise in internet strategy, strategic relations, emerging technologies, digital marketing methods, and operational practice management. Highly respected in the dental corporate and education community, he is currently an executive consultant to multiple dental corporations as well as an active member on many advisory boards in dentistry.

Dr. Shuman is the creator of the prestigious Pride “Best of Class” Technology Awards, an unbiased nonprofit initiative that in conjunction with the leading technology experts in the field, selects annually the most important technologies in the industry culminating at the ADA Pride Institute Technology Expo, every year at the ADA Annual Session.

Dr. Shuman is recognized as an outstanding speaker and educator and has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan, including every major meeting in the US. Dr. Shuman has written articles and whitepapers in every major dental publication, including Dentistry Today, Dental Economics, The Progressive Orthodontist, Orthodontic Practice US, Dental Products Report, and Inside Dentistry, to name a few.

He is the past owner of a 10-doctor private group practice where he specialized in Adult Orthodontics. He received his DMD degree and his Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Orthodontics from the Henry M. Goldman Boston University School of Dental Medicine with Dr. Anthony Gianelly as Chairman.

Liz Armato - Director of Client Services

I’m proud to be part of a team that helps dentists realize their dreams.

As corny as it sounds, my fulfillment of riches comes from helping our clients become incredible business people.  I’ve had the opportunity to work in other professions, for other organizations and never have I found a company other than Pride Institute with such high standards of integrity and commitment to the success of our clients.

Starting out in college, I was intrigued with the science of Paleontology, the art of design, and business as an entrepreneur.  I began down multiple paths recognizing that I had a natural inclination towards business and its creative side.

That drive towards business awarded me a position at the Institute in 1989.  I began by managing our 120 annual events; from our sales and marketing system, our participant’s experience, to Pride’s revenues.  I was fortunate to be taken under the tutelage of Dr. Jim Pride, who personally mentored my growth as a leader.  In my current position I help dentists create a roadmap towards their professional success, while overseeing our client’s experiences, from inception to exit.  I thoroughly believe that no job is too small or too challenging if the result enhances our client’s experience.

Personally I enjoy world travel, fascinating food and unique wines – all passions I share with my husband Robert Price.  Life wouldn’t be the same without Rebecca and Wesley Price, my amazing young adult step-children.

Naomi Cooper, Chief Marketing Consultant

As Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute, I not only have the distinct pleasure and unique opportunity to get the word out to the dental community about the amazing work that Pride does, I also get to work one-on-one with Pride clients to understand their marketing needs and help them achieve their goals. Together, we create a personalized marketing and social media strategy using the Pride's marketing diagnostic tools as well as our marketing planning and integration track.

With nearly 20 years of marketing experience, most of that time in the dental industry, I use my expertise in building brand recognition and stimulating consumer response to help clients achieve their marketing goals. I have been asked to share my approach with many audiences and do so by speaking at dental meetings and events around the country and also by regularly publishing articles in well-respected industry publications.

In addition to my work at Pride Institute, I am also the Founder and President of Minoa Marketing and CEO of Doctor Distillery, which both serve the dental trade in helping them connect with dentists interested in their products and services. These roles seamlessly and readily complement my work at Pride and vice-versa, providing me with the networks and resources necessary to offer my clients the best the dental industry has to offer.

From 2000-2009, I served as Vice President of Marketing for 1-800-DENTIST, one of the dental industry's most highly respected sources for patient lead generation and dental practice marketing. I received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and earned a Certificate in Business Management from Loyola Marymount University.

Kristine Hodsdon, RDH, MSEC - Consultant and Trainer

"Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in your heart." ~ Rumi

I realized early in my dental hygiene career that I felt pushy or manipulative trying to convince my patients to say YES to the clinically essential treatment diagnosed. Yet, once I understood the practice’s “why” or “vision” I was better positioned to stand for my patient’s oral health and learn the business side of dentistry.

After receiving a Master’s degree in Executive Coaching (the only licensed dental provider with this designation) I knew I needed to align with a company that shared my passion for dentistry and of being of service to others.

I am an award-winning international speaker, and love reading feedback from participants, such as, "I will try to find you next year to give you a BIG grateful hug for all the help you have given me" or "your presentation had a number of cogent points that applied directly to my office. We immediately implemented, with continued success." 

Before joining Pride Institute, I was a Director of Dental Services within a healthcare organization managing a $2M operational budget and a team of 30 dental providers. In order to stay on the pulse of new products and industry news, I am the Director of the RDH eVillage, a PennWell publication an online newsletter reaching over 57,000 subscribers.

I am committed to professional growth and development, serving on some not-for-profit associations in volunteer and leaderships roles. I believe when leadership, collaboration, and profitability are authentically balanced, happiness and success result.

Dr. Marsha Mullett - Consultant and Trainer

After graduating in 1983 from the University of Florida College of Dentistry, my husband and I joined Pride Institute in 1985 as Master Track clients. For twenty years, I LIVED the Pride Institute's Management Systems. Our patients, our team and even our children were the ultimate beneficiaries of all our Pride Leadership Training.

After five successful years as Pride Institute clients, Dr. Pride asked me to teach the Pride Institute public seminars, “Dentist as Entrepreneur ” and “The New Patient Exam”.  I also taught Practice Management for the UF College of Dentistry GPR program.  I am an Alumnus of the Pete Dawson Courses and the Pankey Institute.

After an accident that injured my neck and back, I sold my dental practice. Although I was unable to practice dentistry, I still found an avenue to utilize my talents for organizing, leading, and serving others. For five years I served as Director of Missions for my church, developing a church-wide mission program and led many mission trips locally, throughout our nation, and internationally.

Dr. Wayne Pernell - Director of Organizational Development /Senior Consultant

To be a great leader, you have to be great in relationships.  To be great in relationships, you have to be solid in yourself. Over the past three and a half decades, I’ve blended my background in psychology with business and, working across all industries, have helped leaders and their teams to become more clear about their direction and to work better with each other and those whom they serve.  

Having been with Pride Institute for over a decade, my clients develop a relationship with me that they know they can rely on long-term.  

Every day I seek to better myself so that I can better others.  I want people around me who want to be better, whether clients, teammates, friends, or family.  My goal is to take you from being pretty darn good, to becoming pretty darn great. 

Ready?  Let’s make some magic happen! 

Mitch Sigler - Senior Client Service Specialist

My vision is to help dentists find peace of mind while achieving economic freedom.

I have 25 years’ experience helping thousands of dentists realize their dreams.  I have a unique skill set to dig deep and uncover doctor’s true practice desires and determine a road map towards their goals. My ability to truly listen and understand the life of a doctor gives me the skills to offer solutions to improve their lives in and out of the business.

I’m here to be a resource to new and existing clients supporting them with any needs they may have. I have always, over my 25 years of enjoying my career, delivered the finest professional advice with the highest level of integrity.

Hy Smith, MBA - Transitions Specialist

Hy Smith

“Success is simple.  Do what is right, the right way at the right time!  Integrity has no need for rules.”

Though I started in the dental consulting business without any basic knowledge of dentistry,  I observed very early on that dentists lacked basic business training. Despite this and because of the innate nature of the profession, I knew they could survive. With a little guidance and direction, the profession could and did become the best in all of the medical fields. From basic practice management consulting, I evolved into helping dentists sell their practices and retire and to assist buyers in achieving their dreams.  

In 1995, I met with Dr. Jim Pride and, because our philosophies were so compatible, he asked that I assist the Pride dentists in making transitions decisions. I have always maintained that the only good transition is a win-win transition and being honest with buyers and sellers has been the foundation of our success.

Presently, my focus is on the more complex transitions – buy-ins/buy-outs, partnerships, associateships and the importance of the parties to a transaction understanding the economics and dynamics of a transition and how it will affect them.

Clients can expect to be told what I think, not necessarily what they want to hear.  The important thing for a client to have is the information that will allow him/her to make an informed decision.

Sharyn Weiss, MA - Curriculum Developer, Consultant and Trainer

I’ve always wondered why some organizations and individuals succeed and others fail. When I got my degree in English, from Queens College, I learned about human nature from studying fictional people. Because I, then, wanted to translate this passion for humanity into making the workplace more humane, I got my Master's degree in Training and Development from Ohio State University.  I moved to San Francisco and honed these skills in non-profit and corporate arenas where I trained and supervised others in communication skills, customer service and leadership. Because I believe that learning should be fun and active, I also wrote and published two books on experiential training.

I was working as a consultant in organizational development when I found Pride Institute. I was immediately excited by the opportunity to work with the CEO of a small business, as well as the front line employees. This has been the perfect job for me. After a couple of years as a consultant, I was asked to also write and develop our curriculum where I am able to infuse all our workshops with the principles of active learning. Some of my most proud accomplishments have been the books we’ve published, including Take Pride in What You Pay and the Building Blox™ series, which enables dental practices to learn two years of Pride Institute's principles in their own office, during team meetings.

As a consultant, I use my sense of humor, compassion and organizational skills to help dentists bridge their roles as technicians and entrepreneurs. Because I still love detective stories, I teach my clients to look at their statistics as clues about their systems and culture.  I believe that it is possible that any dentist can learn how to be a stronger, more emotionally intelligent leader and it is my joy to help dentists with that process.

MaryLynn Wheaton, RDH, MA - Director of Consulting

It has been an honor to have been consulting for Pride Institute, since 1998.   This affiliation has allowed me to bring together my years of experience in the dental field, in both clinical and teaching settings, to affect significant change in the lives of my clients.  I love engaging with doctors and teams to teach the best approaches to practice systems that allow them, in turn, to aspire to their own vision.

As Director of Consulting, I am proud of our consulting corps who have diverse talents enabling us to assist in a wide range of client needs, not the least of which is leadership.  As a training institute, we are second to none in our combination of curriculum and consulting.

I hold a Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene from West Virginia University and a Master's in Education from University of the Pacific.  I have had the honor of being on the faculties of both of these Universities.  I have lectured across the United States and Scandinavia, and have published numerous articles in dental publications.

I reside in beautiful Naples, FL with my husband, Peter and our sweet dachshund.  Hobbies include tennis, swimming, cooking, and, thank heavens, travel.

Ross Vera - Consultant and Trainer

I have been a dental practice management consultant for 10 years, but had the pleasure of working for the Pride Institute since 2011!  I can think of no better use of my career work in psychology, marketing, sales and 20 years in the dental industry.  Every day, we, as Pride Consultants, enjoy the privilege of supporting our clients to make a real difference in their lives and those around them.

One thing we are certain of at Pride Institute is that our systems are tried and true.  They represent a series of recipes that lead to greater productivity, profitability, team cohesion, and personal fulfillment.  But the systems alone are not enough.  I often say that there is just one thing standing between a well-crafted plan and lasting change – Human Nature! It is this patient and persistent navigation from crystal clear vision to the rewards of a productive, meaningful and evenly flowing day that truly gives us our sense of purpose.  In the end, it’s not about systems and business. It’s about people!

And at home, it’s also about the people!  I live in Westlake Village California with my wonderful wife Erin, amazing 6 and 4 year-olds Emily and Hannah, and our au pair Carolina from Brazil.  Rounding out the Vera men are Sam and Snowy, two very large cats!  In our free time, we enjoy parks, farmers markets, the beach, gatherings with neighborhood friends, and yes…..trips to Trader Joe’s and Target!