Black Business Month Spotlight: Dr. Steve Yopa
Thank you to Dr. Steve Yopa, owner of Smiles of Loudoun Dentistry in Leesburg! Learn more about the Chamber’s DEIA Committee and get involved here.
Where were born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born and raised in Cameroon, Africa. My family left Cameroon and moved to Loudoun County when I was a teenager.
I went on to obtain my undergraduate degree at George Mason University. I obtained my dental degree and post graduate education out of state before moving back to Loudoun County with my wife and kids.
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
I opened my dental office June of 2022. I started as a volonteer at a dental office. After volunteering for a few months, I took the exam to become a certified dental assistant. I worked as a dental assistant for a few years before going to dental school.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
I was working at Home Depot in the early 2000 where I was fortunate to meet Dr. X. He devoted his time and effort to mentor me. I discovered during that time that dentists are detail-oriented and possess a great deal of manual dexterity. Those are the things that attracted me to become a dentist.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Giving someone a reason to smile again is very rewarding. Facial expression is key and the first thing people notice is a big nice smile. I create an open and positive environment for all of my patients. I want each of my patients to feel like my office is a safe place to talk without any judgement or fear.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
Running a business in general is very challenging. Practicing dentistry is one thing but owning an office is another thing. I am very familiar with the practice of dentistry but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the business aspect. I can definitely say that it is not easy and I am learning so much along the way.
What does Black Business Month mean to you?
Appreciate and recognize black-owned businesses across the nation, celebrate their successes and milestones.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
I love spending time with my family, traveling, and relaxing.
Be sure to check out Dr. Yopa’s dental practice here!