Meet the team
Dr. Brandon OwenOrthodontist, Owen Orthodontic Center
Founder | Chairman | CEO, KLOwen Braces
BRANDON OWEN, DDS, MS, is an internationally renowned lecturer on lingual and digital orthodontics and TMD. He is also an ortho-inventor with over 15 years hands-on practice experience.
As President and Founder of KLOwen Braces, Inc., he is the mastermind behind the KLOwen Custom Digital System; a feat that earned him the first-ever AAO OrthoInnovator Award (2019) and AAO investment funding.
He has dedicated his professional life to giving patients confident, custom smiles and to the enhancement and preservation of the profession he loves.
Evidence of his passion for improving the specialty includes the invention of the patented KLOwen custom brackets accompanying digital workflow system. Owen was the first orthodontist in North America to do in-office digital indirect bonding and to do a CAD/CAM 3D printed night guard. He is an advisor for various 3-D printing companies regarding the development of better resin formulation for IDB tray creation to meet appropriate flexible-firm balance.
Owen holds numerous other orthodontic patents including the Tripod Splint, Repositioning Software and Bracket Pad Extension.
He served as lead consultant for lingual braces and consultant for digital orthodontic systems (GAC Dentsply); on the clinical advisory board of SureSmile, Elemetrix and as Key Opinion Leader for EnvisionTEC 3D printers, Asiga 3D printers, SprintRay 3D printers, Keystone, Voxel Dental, OrthoSelect, Reliance Orthodontic Products.
During his career Owen has owned three orthodontic practices, including a new practice-of-the-future launch.
Owen was named Top Orthodontist, 5280 Magazine (’09-’20), earned the Colorado Dental Association Outstanding Leadership Award (’12) and the International College of Dentists Award (’16). During his master’s and doctoral degree programs, Owen earned the Englund Academic Excellence Award (’01-’02); Outstanding Research Award (’02); Fenske Memorial Scholarship (’03); Hinman Scholarship and Conference Award (’03);
Among his impressive professional memberships, the Angle Society (Midwest Component), the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (Vanguard member); College of Diplomats of the American Board of Orthodontics; Orthodontic Advisor to the Mountain West Dental Forum; Colorado Dental Association Board of Trustees; American Academy of Facial Esthetics; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society.
His current research (University of Alberta) includes space opening mechanics of mushroom shaped vs. straight wire for the use of lingual orthodontics using the OSIM (orthodontic simulator); space closing mechanics of mushroom shaped vs. straight wire for the use of lingual orthodontics using the OSIM; Class II elastic configurations (a comparison) using the OSIM); Transverse expansion comparison between labial arch wires, mushroom shaped lingual arch wires, and straight lingual arch wires using the OSIM.
KLOwen Braces is a legacy company, named and dedicated by Brandon and his wife Nicole to their son Keller Logan, who passed unexpectedly (2011). The couple, along with their two children and lovable, rambunctious pup-dog Barkley, make their home Lakeway, TX.
Kirsten MorbeckKLOwen Braces, Member of the Board
Spring Rock Ventures, Managing Director
KIRSTEN MORBECK is Managing Director of SpringRock Ventures. She has spent the past twenty years building and investing in early stage technology and healthcare companies. Her investment portfolio includes ten investments in companies that have gone public or been acquired.
She has made notable investments across four sectors: (i) healthcare (Vascular Solutions (VASC), Pet’s Choice (acq by VCAI)); (ii) mobile (Tegic Communications (acq by AOL), (iii) software (Sabrix, acq by Thomson), and (iv) internet services (InterNAP (INAP), aQuantive (acq by MSFT) and BlueBox (acq by IBM)). In addition to KLOwen Braces, Kirsten currently serves as a Board Director/Observer for six venture-backed companies including Opya Care, Saykara, Virtudent, InDemand Interpreting, Hint Health and Bright.md.
Her venture experience includes senior investment professional positions with Mohr Davidow Ventures, and two successful regional venture funds. Kirsten was a Board Director and Chair of the Strategic Committee for Wireless Matrix Corporation, a publicly-traded, leading fleet management SAAS company that was acquired by CalAmp Corporation (WRX/CAMP) in 2012.
Operationally, Kirsten co-founded a mobile security company in 2007 that was backed by Shasta Ventures, MDV & Bezos Expeditions, and was acquired by Visa in 2016. In addition, she has worked for Microsoft’s Seed venture group, Archon Capital, and Lehman Brothers.
Kirsten is married with a son. She was an All-American lacrosse player while earning her degree at Middlebury College.
Vijay DhakaCEO | Co-founder, CADflow.ai
KLOwen Braces, Member of the Board
“Great medical devices deliver value to both patient and the orthodontists – and KLOwen braces do just that: achieve the standard of care with fewer visits.” — Vijay Dhaka
VIJAY DHAKA believes in creating patient impact through innovation. Over his 20+ career in healthcare technology he has managed company strategy, fundraising, product development, intellectual property, QMS implementation, manufacturing and operations scale up. Vijay is currently CEO and co-founder of CADflow.ai, an automated workflow solution that use AI to dramatically reduce the time and complexity to design patient specific medical prosthetics.
Previously, Vijay co-led raise over $70 million in venture capital as a founding team member and Chief Business Officer of INBRACE, a personalized medical device company.
As a consultant at McKinsey & Co. he focused on medical device, pharma, and hospital systems driving innovation through strategy, organizational transformation, and private equity due diligence.
Vijay Dhaka began his career in product development and pre-commercial launch preparation at venture-backed Class II and Class III medical device companies, with combined exits over $1 billion including: VNUS Medical Technologies (IPO; acquired by Covidien), Adiana Inc. (acquired by Cytyc, currently Hologic), and Oratec Interventions (acquired by Smith+Nephew).
In addition to his current roles, Vijay is also a Board Member at the PHASE ONE Foundation, a non-profit focused on de-risking innovative cancer treatments, and is an Advisory Board members of University Lab Partners, a wet lab incubator supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Orange County, CA.
Vijay is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management with an MBA in Strategy, and holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.
John HarrisKLOwen Braces, Member of the Board
Jazz Venture Partners, Managing Director
JOHN HARRIS is a Managing Partner at JAZZ Venture Partners and is a seasoned investor, operating executive, and corporate director with significant experience founding, funding, and developing early-stage life sciences and technology companies.
Prior to JAZZ, John was the Founder, President and CEO of NeuroVista (acq. by Cyberonics), a Seattle-based medical device company pioneering new technologies for the management and treatment of epilepsy.
He was also a Founder and VP of Marketing and Business Development at Northstar Neuroscience (IPO 2006 and subsequently acq. By St. Jude Medical). Earlier in his career, John was a founder of Heartstream (IPO 1996 and subsequently acq. by Hewlett-Packard).
He is on the board of numerous JAZZ portfolio companies including Blue Note Therapeutics, Foresight Mental Health, and Nextstep.
John earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Dale HermanChief Commercial Officer
DALE HERMAN is Chief Commercial Officer for KLOwen. He has been in the commercial space for over 24 years, with 12 years of leadership and growth positions in the Orthodontics and Dental space. He served Ormco/Danaher for 15 years, beginning his career as a Sales Representative in North and South Carolina. He became a commercial leader on the East Coast and served that geography for 6 years before becoming the VP of North America Sales.
In 2017, he moved to Hu-Friedy as the VP of North America Sales, Education, and Corporate Accounts then returned to orthodontics (his passion) as VP of North America Sales at INBRACE in 2019
Dale was recruited to the position of Chief Commercial Officer for KLOwen. As CCO, Dale leads our effort to expand KLOwen’s brand in the marketplace through marketing and sales initiatives. He is responsible for building out a talented team to help orthodontists, clinical assistants, and patients unlock the power of custom digital orthodontics solutions.
Dale’s extensive experience in commercial leadership, Danaher’s DBS platform for operations and R&D, as well as his passion for orthodontics, is a tremendous asset to KLOwen as we bring our solution to Orthodontists throughout the world. His mission is ours, delivering top level clinical outcomes and patient experience, while empowering the practitioner to unlock elevated value from their practice.
Dale graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Business and Economics. He and his wife, Amy, have three wonderful children; Ivie, Macie, and Bryce who are the only thing he loves more than golf, UNC Athletics, and orthodontics.
Jerry MetzChief Operations Officer
JERRY METZ has more than 30 years’ experience in the medtech, healthcare, technology, and software-as-a-service sectors. He brings an extensive array of operations experience to KLOwen Braces, including business modeling, culture building, rapid scaling and lean six sigma practices. Jerry served as chief operations officer for OraMetrix, Inc. (2006-2021), a top provider of innovative 3-D orthodontic technology solutions eventually acquired by Dentsply Sirona Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY) in May 2018 ($150M US).
Jerry was part of the management team that built OraMetric’s SureSmile platform. In his role Jerry led, directed, constructed, and executed the SureSmile operations scaling plan.
Prior to OraMetrix, Jerry held various roles in advance engineering, and manufacturing supply chain management for various technology and semiconductor startups.
Jerry holds a Master of Business Administration degree (Southern Methodist University) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering (University of Texas).
Corey BlackhamVice President, Customer Experience
COREY BLACKHAM started with KLOwen Braces prior to product launch as Vice President of Operations in March 2019. In that post he worked diligently to train early adopters, created initial branding and messaging collateral, assisted in hiring and setting up the e-commerce platform on our first website as well as other outreach processes.
Now serving as Vice President of Customer Experience at KLOwen, Corey leads our customer success effort. His role includes welcoming, training and assisting new smile providers and their teams. He continues to play an integral role gathering and distilling valuable case data information for KLOwen’s messaging, research, and development efforts.
Corey does not believe in taking short cuts. His personal regard for KLOwen orthodontists is evident. He is passionate in his role to help with the successful implementation and training of the KLOwen system in orthodontic practices, working directly with orthodontists and their staff. Since Corey was young, he always wanted to work in the healthcare industry to help people.
Prior to working at KLOwen, Corey worked with dental laboratories (2008), and orthodontic laboratories since 2009. He implemented and directed new digital orthodontic products and systems that produced significant growth for the businesses for which he worked. Corey finds great satisfaction in problem solving, process improvement, and driving success for companies and customers.
Corey earned his business degree at Utah Valley University. He is married with 3 children.
Janelle CollinsVice President, Marketing
“Dr. Owen’s personal ethic, along with the significance of the KLOwen system to patients, practitioners and the profession, are what drives our team.” - Janelle Collins"
JANELLE COLLINS has over two decades marketing, communications and business development experience as President and Founder of Marketprose, Inc. (DBA AdCafé, then Strategic Advantage, Inc.) and High Ground Communications. A messaging strategist, she has executed many successful communications efforts for public policy and candidate campaigns.
Her teams are also known for choreographing effective branding programs and enhanced customer experience opportunities on behalf of corporate, healthcare, non-profit, education, legal and financial services and mortgage banking concerns.
Janelle is skilled at deciphering industry and demographic specific jargon and data points, to develop and deploy integrated, holistic strategies with impactful content to effectively reach B2B and B2C target audiences. Her skills set includes content development, art direction, and design to dovetail key modalities including web, digital, print, public relations with top-tier customer service.
Highly collaborative, Collins is responsible for KLOwen’s go-to-market voice to engineer consistent branding and message deployment that reaches orthodontists that seek clinical excellence and practice efficiency to create beautiful custom patient smiles and realize practice and personal success. Janelle and her team provide marketing assistance and collateral for our growing network of certified smile providers.
This Colorado native now calls Austin, Texas home. She enjoys time with her three adult children, daughter-in-law and son-in-law. She’s into yoga, sushi, hiking, fibre arts, snow-shoeing and dinner table conversation with friends and extended family. Among her heroes: Brené Brown, Jenny Doan, Abraham Lincoln, C.S. Lewis, Erwin McManus.
Aaron PauldingVice President, Lab Operations
Aaron Paulding joined the KLOwen team in November of 2019 as the third member of the company. Originally hired as a technician to help with product fulfilment, he is now the vice president of lab operations. Aaron has a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Colorado State University supported by dual engineering bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical and Chemical & Biological engineering, which have allowed him to add efficiency and technical expertise as KLOwen grew from a few scientific advisors to customers across the United States.
His previous experience in team management and production scale-up, along with time at 3D Systems working in the digital surgical planning department, made Aaron a versatile member in the early days at KLOwen, where he managed a lab team, produced custom orthodontic treatment plans, and researched & tested new materials, printers, and processes for the evolving workflow.
Aaron’s passion is in the quality of the product as well as the quality-of-life improvements the product brings to our customers and their patients. As Vice President of Lab Operations, Aaron works with lab partners to streamline processes, digitally and physically, to continue providing great product for our customers. His goal is to bring the same repeatable, predictable processes developed at KLOwen to orthodontists seeking even greater efficiencies by implementing digital technologies, our product and technique in-house. In addition, Aaron is responsible for scaling production to meet the growing demand for digital custom braces.
Aaron and his wife are excited about their new home in Austin, TX (especially the tacos).
Dean StevinsonSenior Business Advisor, Operations
DEAN STEVINSON is an operating executive, corporate director, and early-stage investor with experience in automotive, real estate, state and federal government, IP, and start-ups.
After a 25-year career as owner/operator of Stevinson Automotive Group, Inc., and Stevinson Realty, Inc., the developers of the 700-acre Denver West Office Park in Golden, Colorado, Dean became an early investor and board member of Advantage Clinical Laboratory, a blood panel testing laboratory that grew to become the second-largest in Colorado and subsequently acquired by Centura Health.
As Chairman of the intellectual property firm ThinkVillage, Dean collaborated with the department chair of the biology department at Colorado State University and the University’s tech transfer office to become Co-Founder of the biosensor company Optienz Sensors, Inc. Other early-stage investment and advisement roles include Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV), an electric truck conversion company based in Loveland, Colorado. Working with the Vice-Chairman of General Motors, Dean introduced and brokered a first-of-its-kind joint venture agreement between General Motors and KAMAZ Truck located in the autonomous republic of Tataristan, opening the investment door for the US automaker into the recently dissolved Soviet Union.
Dean also served as Special Assistant to former National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen and as client liaison at the Richard V. Allen Company, a Washington, DC-based economic and trade policy consulting firm. Dean also served at The White House as Advance Man to President Ronald Reagan on foreign and domestic travel. In Colorado, Governor Bill Owens appointed Dean to serve as Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology and liaison to 65 top executives from Colorado’s largest technology companies.
As a former ski instructor, Dean has a passion for outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, boating, and mountain towns that provide access to the great outdoors.
Tom RimmerSenior Director of Business Development
Tom Rimmer is a multi-faceted commercial professional offering a combined 19+ years of successful selling and relationship building within the dental industry. Most recently, Tom has spent the past 7 years in various leadership positions at Hu-Friedy, after a highly successful stint at Henry Schein Dental.
Tom joins KLOwen having led sales and marketing teams throughout the dental profession. His passion and talent for building strong relationships internally and externally have allowed him to create growth environments with doctors, strategic alliance partners, as well as the largest distributors in the Dental Space like Henry Schein, Patterson, and Benco. Tom will use this passionate leadership and communication skills to work closely with clients and partners to match specific needs with the KLOwen Digital Custom Solution.
As Sr. Director of Business development, Tom will be collaborating with KLOwen’s sales team, marketing team, strategic partners, AND the orthodontists on the creation of competitive concept proposals and new service offerings based on detailed insights of market and client needs.
Tom resides in Swansea, Massachusetts with his wife Sandy and two children Rhodes and Reide.