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.

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.

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.

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! 

Dr. Maria Ashley - Consultant and Trainer

Sometimes one wonders why certain people come into their lives.  I know I do all the time!  In 2004, I met a group of people that I never thought would become such an integral part of my life:  The Team at Pride Institute!

Back then, I had been practicing solo for about 17 years and was looking for new skills in management, leadership and practice growth.  Pride came into my office and got into my head and heart.

As I developed into a “seasoned” Pride doctor, I felt the need to give back to my profession by becoming a consultant.  However, I didn’t want to be just any consultant; I wanted to be a Pride consultant. Luckily, they wanted me too.

Along with my practice in Chicago, I now have the privilege of working as a Pride Consultant.   I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and experience with other dentists on their professional journeys. When I say, “I know what you mean,” it’s because I’ve been there myself as practice leader, so I really mean it!

It is a thrill to see my clients develop new skills that will allow them to experience prosperity, balance and the true joys of dentistry.

Dr. Paul W. Callahan - Consultant and Trainer

I am a 1985 graduate of The Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry, served in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps and then started a practice from scratch in 1989. It was only a few years before I realized I could never meet my business and professional potential without the guidance of a dental practice management firm. My wife and I, also a dentist, joined Pride Institute’s Management Program in 1992.  We lived, breathed, and ate Pride’s systems of management and leadership training until we sold our practice, when we were in our mid-50’s, financially capable of walking away from dentistry.

Although my epitaph will one day say my career was a success and I achieved all my professional goals, I soon realized something was missing. I missed more than anything else the ongoing phone calls, being pulled aside at meetings, mentoring dental students, etc. I missed interacting with my colleagues and sharing with them the day to day intricacies of running a successful dental practice.

In my “second career” as a Pride Institute Consultant, I am excited to share their proven management and leadership strategies that made my wife and I so successful. I am honored to be part of a practice management company that has helped thousands of dentists achieve financial stability, balance in their lives, and reduce the stresses of owning a business. My goal is to help others exceed their goals, whatever they may be, and become great at their profession.

Rhonda Mueller - Client Service Specialist

“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact”

Helping dentist learn and understand their full potential is my expertise. My journey in the dental field has been extremely rewarding and enjoyable and I love to share my knowledge. Early in my career, I was privileged to work with some fabulous dentists. Through their mentorship, I gained a lot of knowledge on the day to day processes of a successful dental practice. I worked in almost every job function within various practices. I quickly discovered that I loved to sell. When a longtime employer of mine once said “you truly could sell ice to Eskimos,” I laughed.

I further gained industry experience working with some leading dental manufacturing companies in the Bay Area. I came across a position here at Pride Institute that would suit me well. My day-to-day interactions with offices providing them with our best practices to allow them to become their best. That is my specialty. I’m here to help practices learn systems that elevate their practice. Call me if you’re ready for a new approach.

When I’m away from the Institute I enjoy my twins, traveling, my four-legged pals and watching both of my kids play lots of club soccer.

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.

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.

Cindy Silvan - Coaching Support Specialist

To say that I am honored to a part of the team at Pride institute is an understatement! My 30 years in dentistry have been very fulfilling and I’m excited to work with our Doctors and Teams. Working in different capacities in practices early in my career allows me to assist teams and doctors in implementing the proven systems that Pride Institute teaches. I have coached practices around the country and internationally; bringing firsthand experience, relatability and humor in my approach to helping achieve success for everyone involved.

As Coaching Support Specialist, I will act as a liaison between our consultants, doctors and teams to provide “roll up your sleeves” team training, so that the doctor and team continue to make the ideal progress in their management program and services. It is very fulfilling to see practices realize both their professional and personal goals!


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!

Our Esteemed Strategic Partners

Laura J Nadler - Senior Marketing Specialist

I am thrilled to be bringing my 23 years of experience in the dental industry to The Pride Institute. I have built and led teams from early-stage startups through established brands like DenMat and JPMorgan Chase.  So much of my career has been about training and making my teams the best version of themselves, that joining Pride as a consultant and speaker made perfect sense. I have lectured throughout the US and Canada and for University at Sea in the Caribbean on team building, practice management, marketing and sales. I also spent time with a Google partner working with dentists and orthodontists to best promote their practices in our modern marketing landscape.

I hold a dual Bachelors from Boston University in English Literature and Educational Science, and a Masters from Stony Brook University in Linguistics and Language Acquisition, so education and effective communication are in my blood.

A native of NYC, I now live on the North Fork of Long Island with my husband, Jason, a Lieutenant in our Fire Department. We take any chance we get to hop on a plane to a different place to try new foods, great wine, and to meet the world's amazing variety of people.

Frederick Heppner - Senior Transitions Consultant


“The key to success is to start before you’re ready.”

Since 1983, I’ve had the privilege of consulting, coaching and advising dentists with the assurance that they will accomplish their goals and achieve the levels of success they desire.  It is my pleasure to be a long-term peer of Hy Smith and to partner with Pride Institute.

I specialize in assisting dental offices transition successfully by representing dentists who desire to sell their practice, secure a partnership among several dentists, or purchase a practice. I am highly knowledgeable in the business of dentistry, familiar with the issues and challenges that dentists face today, and dedicated to supporting our clients with the best information and counsel in order to achieve outstanding results.

My philosophy on transitions is that they must be a win for all parties involved. I will do whatever it takes to ensure a successful transition. Whether it’s an outright sale, partnership or associateship, there is no reason to have a failed transition.


Hy Smith, MBA - Transitions Specialist

“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.

Naomi Cooper - Marketing Consultant Emeritus

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.

Lou Shuman - President Emeritus

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.