Imagine working every day with your father, running a company with him, and reporting to him to earn your paycheck. Could you do it? Neither could I. Yet here at Dentistry of the Carolinas, several family members have opted to work with DOC’s owner and patriarch of the Walsh Family – Dr. John “Papa” Walsh.
Being relatively new to the company, I wanted to get a better understanding of what it’s like to work so closely with our CEO, commander in chief, fixer of all things, and most importantly, dentist.
I sent a series of questions to Dr. Walsh’s family: Tyler, daughter and chief operating officer; Dr. Clark Hammock, son-in-law and executive vice president; Jessica, daughter and vice president of operations; Jordan, daughter and human resource coordinator; and, Simone, daughter-in-law and vice president of accounts and billing.
Here were their funny, touching and real responses:
Jordan: As the youngest and most recent addition to the DOC family side of the staff, what are you the most surprised by working for your dad?
When I started working for DOC, I was surprised by the humility that my dad displays in his work. He jumps in wherever he is needed, taking care of tasks as menial as mopping floors or unclogging toilets to doing emergency dental work on patients in need, or driving 3 hours to fill in at an office on short notice. You don’t hear of many CEOs who are willing to unclog toilets. My dad always puts others first, whether they are part of his family, the DOC family, or his patients who have become like family.
Dr. Hammock: What’s it like being in business with your father-in-law?
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from Dr. Walsh. Some of it has been clinical learning, but more of it has been related to caring for patients. In a nutshell, I have learned from him that if you put the patient’s needs first and genuinely take care of the patient then everything else will fall in line. As for being in business with my father-in-law, our personalities are unique from one another enough that it pairs very well together. There is a lot of time spent talking shop during the holidays, however.
Tyler: From the business perspective, and in your role as COO, what have you learned from your father?
Working with my father has taught me the value in investing in people. He has always tried to show respect to patients and staff and he is extremely compassionate. He is genuine and that has facilitated the respect he has by patients and staff. He also has shown me the value in hard work and common sense.
Jessica: How has Dr. Walsh influenced your life?
My father has influenced my life in so many ways but dad’s ability to persevere has made the most impact.
He’s never said, “I can’t.” He gets a thrill from a challenge. He has shown me that through sheer will-power we are capable of accomplishing most anything if we choose to.
Simone: Being that you’ve worked with Dr. Walsh the longest, do you have a funny or a truly memorable story you can share of the earlier days of DOC working with Dr. Walsh?
One time a patient at our East Charlotte location – our first office – frantically came running back into the office after their appointment to tell us that someone’s pet parrot had flown into the their car and they couldn’t get it out. Dr. Walsh stopped what he was doing, went outside, retrieved the bird and then took him home to keep as a pet. He named him JT, after his grandson, John Thomas.
In addition to Dr. Walsh being an animal rescuer, he’s also known to be a car mechanic for patients too. If you can’t find him in our office, you may find him under the hood helping a patient with their car!
Happy Father’s Day to Dr. Walsh and all the dads out there!