Dr. Daniella Phillis (usually called Dani), a board certified orthodontist and owner of A Smile by Design, relocated to Durango from New Hampshire a little over a year ago. “My husband had always wanted to live in Colorado,” Dani says. “We were ready for a new adventure so we started looking all over the state. When we learned that this practice was for sale we came out for a visit.” They immediately set the wheels in motion for a move. Dani took over the practice on December 1, 2016.
“I currently have patients from seven to late seventies; there is really no age limit in orthodontics. It’s never too late to deal with an issue that may have bothered you your whole life - or to correct lapses that occurred because you didn’t wear your retainer after you got your braces off years ago! The most common story I hear from adults seeking re-treatment is ‘I had braces - but nobody told me how important it was to wear my retainer!’ There’s so much we can do now. My orthodontic practice focuses on comprehensive treatment correcting tooth alignment and orthopedic jaw function, and includes early intervention therapy, limited treatment, traditional braces, ceramic brackets, space management for implants/restorative work, retainers and night-guards. I also am an Invisalign Provider - which is a newer, clear aligner treatment, and a great alternative to braces.”
Smile By Design sees patients at four locations - Durango, Cortez, Bayfield, and Pagosa Springs. Everything from charts to radiographs (x-rays) is digital. Even impressions are digital - no more goopy trays! Dani offers new patients a complimentary appointment which includes photos and panoramic X-rays. Treatment options are provided at that appointment. Learn more about Dani’s practice at www.asmile-bydesign.com or call 970.247.5874.
“It is great to be in Durango!” Dani says. “We like skiing and have hiked a lot - and we want to get a mountain dog. I do participate in Chamber events. The ones I’ve attended this year have been great. It’s been a very busy first year and I’m hoping to get even more involved this next year.”
Daniella and her dad won’t be the only dental professionals in the family for long. Her younger sister is in her orthodontist residency, and her younger brother is in dental school.
Written by Sara Lynn Valentine
Ellen’s circuitous path to Durango began in 1984 at the prestigious Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina where she worked as a whitewater raft guide and instructor alongside world renowned C-1 and kayaker Kent Ford. Ellen also met Betsey Upchurch at Nantahala, where they developed a corporate team building and leadership program. Along the way, a personal plea from Kent to help coordinate local races led Ellen into twenty-plus years of organizing sporting events, including five Olympic Games.
“My job at the Olympics was to hire and train venue managers, and to coordinate stakeholders, all of whom had competing interests,” notes Ellen. “For example, in Greece our department (spectator services) hired 200 managers, who had to coordinate planning with 18 other departments. We also trained them to manage 3,000 supervisors who then led 10,000 volunteers. I became very good at managing lots of moving parts and diverse personalities!”
Kent moved to Durango in the early 1990s. In 2000 he invited Ellen to town to work on a whitewater instructional video. That summer she met the man who is now her husband, Michael Ellis. Michael joined her on the Olympic trail for the next few years. They returned to Durango in 2010 to live full-time.
In 2011, Betsey, who had become a successful leadership consultant for global companies, teamed up with Ellen to create P4 Consulting. Their mission is to support organizations that want to be a positive force in the world, that want to grow, innovate, care for people and create wealth. P4 focuses on developing effective leaders and building sustainable cultures.
“We train leaders to effectively manage people so that the work atmosphere is productive and encourages each person to do his or her best work” explains Ellen. “Clear communication, delegation, emotional intelligence, problem solving – these are foundational skills, but they are also the difference between a thriving team and one where people avoid each other in the hallway.”
“Durango is a great place to do business,” says Ellen. “The Chamber has been an excellent resource and support for us.”
Learn more about P4 and their local Professional Development Program for Managers at www.P4consult.com. You can speak with Ellen at 970.459.1160.