How time flies by fast. It was ten years ago when I saw my first patient at Founders Park Dentistry here in Springdale Arkansas. I remember that as both a time of excitement and high anxiety. This was my first venture out on my own and I was determined to succeed.
Originally being from Fort Smith, I had spent time in Northwest Arkansas going to college at the University of Arkansas in the 1990s. The plan had always been to move back to the area. It just took longer than we thought. My wife had wanted to stay to complete a residency after Pharmacy school and then had been offered a job as faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. In the meantime, we had bought a house and started a family.
It probably wasn’t the easiest way to do it, but I was opening a dental practice from scratch. I had been practicing as an associate in Oklahoma at that time for almost nine years. There were many trips back and forth as I worked full time and set up a practice almost two hundred miles away.
At that time, I tried not to watch the news as depressing stories about the economy made the headlines. I had started my venture a year before the financial crisis and by the time the crisis rolled around, it was too late. Construction had already started and my name was on the note.
At this point in time of reflection, I’m proud of where I am. And I know that I could not have done this without the support of my wife, my family, my staff, and of course my patients. For that I am grateful. Here is looking forward to another ten years!
Dr. Robert Stark