Spencer J. Tasker, DMD is our Co-founder and the Chairman and Chief Technical Officer for Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics. A board certified New Mexico licensed pediatric dentist, Dr. Tasker received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and attended Case Western University’s School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his pediatric specialty training in 2006 at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, also in Cleveland, Ohio. Additionally, he has practiced in the Oral Emergency Care Unit at the University of New Mexico and has served in nonprofit oral health and volunteering initiatives abroad in the Dominican Republic and the Island of Samoa. In his free time, Dr. Tasker enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah and daughters Sydney and Ella, as well as golfing, watching sporting events of all kinds, and has completed over 25 full marathons.
Jim Tasker is our Co-founder and the Chief Human Resources and Business Development Officer for Smiles for Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics. After high school in Southwest Oklahoma, Jim received an undergraduate degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree in Business from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Prior to starting Smiles for Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics, Jim spent the first 12 years of his career holding leadership positions in the field of Human Resources for Fortune 500 organizations such as General Mills, Berkshire Hathaway, and Pulte Homes. The father of six children, he enjoys spending time with his family, enjoying the outdoors of New Mexico and Colorado, watching Professional English soccer, and has completed 15 full marathons, including the Boston Marathon three times (2009, 2010 & 2017).
R. Ganon Rowan, DMD is the Chief Operating Officer of Smiles for Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics. He grew up in Merced, California and earned an undergraduate degree in Spanish. He earned his Doctor of Medical Dentistry from Case Western University’s School of Dental Medicine. He is certified to perform oral conscious sedation. Dr. Rowan is a board member of the G3 Foundation, a humanitarian organization that provides year round humanitarian dental and health services to areas in the Dominican Republic. He has also traveled to Samoa to provide humanitarian dental services. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jennie and their 5 children, playing golf and traveling.
Cameron Hatch, DDS is a native of Albuquerque where he attended West Mesa High School. After spending two years abroad in Argentina doing volunteer service, Dr. Hatch received his B.A. in Spanish from Brigham Young University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Hatch speaks English, Spanish and is currently learning sign language. He loves spending time with his wife Melanie and their four children. He also enjoys fishing, golfing and most other sports.
Christina Chung, DDS (Dr. Tina) was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington. She graduated from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 2004. Dr. Tina received her D.D.S from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry graduating in 2008. She has served several voluntary mission trips abroad to Mexico, Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic, which has instilled the importance of giving back to the community. She enjoys spending time with her husband Jon and her two dogs and cat. Dr. Tina has truly fallen in love with the state of New Mexico and enjoys the outdoors. On her free time, she enjoys hiking the La Luz trail, snowboarding in New Mexico and Colorado, camping, playing tennis, bowling and cooking.
Christian Peck, DDS was born in Massachusetts and raised in Coalville, Utah. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Weber State University. He earned his D.D.S. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond VA. He was then fortunate to stay in Richmond to complete an additional 2 year pediatric dental residency at VCU and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond and receive a Masters degree in Science of Dentistry. Dr. Peck has volunteered several hours with the Mission of Mercy project providing free dental care in rural areas of Virginia. Dr. Peck enjoys spending time with his wife Amanda and three kids: Kayla, Mylee, Crue, and their dog Nacho. He is an avid snowboarder, speaks Spanish, enjoys building furniture, and playing many different sports.
Barney Carter, DMD is a native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque. After attending Eldorado High school he completed his baccalaureate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Carter then completed a Master of Science in Vascular physiology at UNM Health Sciences Center and made application to dental school at Oregon Health Sciences School of Dentistry. Upon graduation in 2006, Dr. Carter worked in private practice on the Oregon Coast and later returned to the Land of Enchantment. Dr. Carter is excited to work with the dental staff and excellent team at Smiles for Kids. Dr. Carter is married with two young children and is very active in church youth activities. He enjoys hiking in the foothills and riding bikes with his boys.
Matthew Bishop, DDS grew up in Albuquerque and attended Eldorado High School. After earning a degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico, he decided to pursue his interest in health care by attending the University of Colorado, where he earned his DDS in 2008. After graduation, Dr. Bishop returned to New Mexico to be close to his family, and has enjoyed practicing dentistry in Albuquerque ever since. He enjoys fishing, golf, spending time with his girlfriend, Bryn, and their two dogs, Lucas and Baxter.
Jennifer Lapsker, DDS, was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She graduated with a degree in Integrative Biology in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following in her father’s footsteps, she decided to pursue dentistry and earned her D.D.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry. It is here that she met her husband, Jonathan. Dr. Lapsker worked with her father before making the move to Albuquerque, and has been providing care to the great state of New Mexico since 2010. In her spare time, Dr. Lapsker likes to learn about different cultures, cook, do crafts, and spend time with her son and her Toy Poodle, Abbey.
Armando J. Chavez, DDS was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After attending The University of New Mexico for undergrad, Armando received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Creighton University School of Dentistry in Omaha, Nebraska. Upon returning to Albuquerque, Armando completed a one-year residency where he received a certificate for Advanced Education in General Dentistry. Armando enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, and snowboarding.
Mark Naisbitt, DDS, MS Orthodontist grew up in Southern Utah. He graduated with his BS in Biology/Zoology from Southern Utah University. Following his undergraduate studies he received his DDS degree from the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry. Following dental school he served for three years as a US Navy dentist in San Diego, California. After a one year Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD), he served for two years as the dentist onboard the US Navy ship, USS Pearl Harbor. He deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was the sole dental provider for over 400 US Navy personnel and 400 US Marines. After completion of his Navy service he attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a three year orthodontics residency, graduating with his Master of Science (MS) and certificate in Orthodontics. Dr. Naisbitt has had the privilege since then to have been creating beautiful smiles for children and adults from New Zealand to California and Utah. Finally, he and his family are excited to make their new home in New Mexico. He has a wide range of interests including snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing, reading and spending time with his family.
Lily Cha, DDS (Dr. Lily) was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She completed her undergraduate degree at Pacific Union College and received her D.D.S. degree from Loma Linda University in California. Dr. Lily enjoys working with kids of all ages and has been providing dental care for the state of New Mexico since 2011. When not at work, she enjoys travelling, hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Kaitlyn Darcy, DDS, MS Orthodontist, was born and raised in Holland, Michigan. Dr. Darcy earned her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She continued her education at Marquette University School of Dentistry. After receiving her Doctorate of Dental Surgery, she moved to Portland, Oregon to complete a specialty training residency program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Darcy is excited to join the talented team at Smiles for Kids in January 2016. She is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists and looks forward to meeting your family and providing quality orthodontic care for your child. In her free time, Dr. Darcy enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.
Leilani Tanaka, DDS was born and raised in northern California. She completed her undergraduate degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology at University of California at Berkeley, in 2001, which is where she also met her husband Ray. She received her DDS degree from the University of California at San Francisco in 2007. Following dental school Dr. Tanaka did a one-year General Practice Residency at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, treating veterans, and gaining advanced training in all areas of dentistry especially prosthodontics, oral surgery, and the treatment of medically complex patients. Since then Dr. Tanaka has worked for both non-profit organizations and private practice, and discovered along the way that her favorite part of dentistry is treating pediatric patients. Following career opportunities for her husband, she moved to Albuquerque in 2014, where she loves the beautiful sunsets, food, and friendly people. With three young children and a dog, she stays busy and enjoys crafts and games with the family, anything sci-fi, cooking, and travel.
Anne K. Harrison, DDS graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene with Honors from The Ohio State University in 2007. She practiced dental hygiene for a year before going back to Ohio State, where she obtained her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2012. During her years as a dental student, Dr. Harrison was involved in Community Dental Outreach programs, Special Olympics, and served on the Student Council for four years. Dr. Harrison has been practicing dentistry in the Albuquerque area for the past four years. During her free time she enjoys New Mexico’s beautiful outdoors, leisure reading, and spending time with her husband and son, Noah.
Vaughn Call, DMD was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended ASU for his undergraduate studies in Biology. He completed his dental education in Glendale, AZ, at Midwestern University. After dental school, he completed a pediatric dentistry residency with NYU Lutheran in Tucson, AZ. Vaughn is thrilled to be starting his dental career staying in the Southwest. He speaks Spanish fluently, and loves working with children. In his spare time, Vaughn loves being outdoors, gardening, building furniture, and enjoying time with his wife and four kids.
Erina Hung, DMD was born in Ontario, Canada and raised in Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology. She then earned her DMD degree from the UNLV School of Dental Medicine. After dental school, she completed a pediatric dental residency at University of Florida, Naples, and was the recipient of the Richard C. Pugh award for scoring in the top 3% of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry’s written exam. She is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist and is thrilled to be a part of the Smiles for Kids team. Dr. Hung has volunteered for international dental mission trips in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama, and is looking forward to serving in more in the future. She enjoys volunteering in animal rescue, traveling, reading, and eating great food with friends and family.
Jennifer Stevens, DDS grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended Eldorado High School. She received her BS degree in Biology from the University of Arizona and became interested in dentistry through college dental clubs and by shadowing her childhood dentist during summer vacations back in Albuquerque. She went on to earn her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado in Denver. In her spare time, Jenny likes to play soccer, paint, read, spend time with family and friends and hike in the beautiful Sandia Mountains!
Damon Duckworth, DDS was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. Duckworth graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He then graduated from the University of Southern California’s Ostrow School of Dentistry and subsequently completed a residency in Pediatric Dentistry at Cohen Children’s Hospital of Northwell Health, in Long Island, New York. During his residency, he received extensive training in Orthodontics and completed rotations in Emergency Medicine, Oral Pathology, Ambulatory Anesthesia, as well as Pediatric Medicine. Dr. Duckworth has volunteered with several local and international dental mission trips providing dental care to underserved areas in California, New York, and in multiple cities in Mexico.
Zarah Ahmed, DDS, was raised in the southwest and has lived in both Arizona and New Mexico. She earned a B.H.S in Physiology from the University of Arizona and after graduating she worked as a 6th grade middle school teacher at J.F.K. Middle School in Gallup. She obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry. She then completed her post-graduate pediatric dental residency program at University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Having started her path in dentistry 10 years ago volunteering at the El Rio Clinic in Tucson, Dr. Ahmed is committed to advocating access to oral healthcare both locally and internationally. She volunteers regularly at homeless shelters and is engaged in serving the community. She continues to keep up to date on the newest advancements in pediatric dentistry through continuing education to better serve her patients and their families. With a background in both teaching and health education, Dr. Ahmed has a gentle and caring touch. When she is not working, Dr. Ahmed likes to spend time with her family and travel. She also enjoys reading, hiking, painting, and listening to podcasts.
Keely J. Chavez, DDS grew up in upstate New York. Dr. Chavez received her undergraduate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and later attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where she earned a Master of Science in anatomy. She received her DDS from Creighton University where she met her husband, Armando. Dr. Chavez truly enjoys working with children of all ages and has worked in pediatrics since graduating. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son, Benito, as well as running, cooking and traveling.
Ashlee Aragón, DMD, MPH, MS was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she attended St. Pius X High School. She graduated from the University of New Mexico where she obtained a BS in Biology and a BA in Art History with a double minor in Chemistry and University Honors. She then pursued a dual degree at A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health and graduated with her DMD and MPH. Dr. Aragón completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Michigan where she graduated with her pediatric certificate and a MS from Rackham’s Graduate School. Dr. Aragón has a passion for helping the underserved and has volunteered on several international dental humanitarian trips to Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, as well as, providing free dental care with GKAS and Mission of Mercy. She is a board eligible pediatric dentist and will sit for her oral exam Fall 2018. Her favorite things to do are spend time with her husband, their dog, Goliath, and her family. She is passionate about reading, traveling, baking, yoga, running, and enjoying the beauty of New Mexico.
Shannon Billingsley, RDH, BSDH grew up in Belen, New Mexico and attended Belen High School. She first earned a certificate in Dental Assisting from Central New Mexico Community College and began her career working for Route 66 Children’s Dentistry. She then continued her college career and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. She is excited to be a part of the team at Smiles For Kids West location. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, hiking in various areas of New Mexico and spoiling her fur babies.
Starla Holguin RDH, BS was born in Tennessee, but moved to New Mexico when she was eight. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of New Mexico. She is a member of the Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society and was awarded the Irene Navarre Scholarship and the Outstanding Achievement Award In Dental Hygiene from UNM. Starla took her first opportunity as a dental hygienist working with the underserved in Lordsburg, NM for two years. She then moved back to Albuquerque to work in an adult private practice for the next 4 years. It was after that she started to work in pediatrics and realized her true passion of working with children! She has worked in pediatrics for 12 years and loves it! She has also spent time volunteering at the New Mexico Mission of Mercy. Starla has 2 children and enjoys hiking with her dogs, biking, reading and art work with her daughter.