- Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
Deidra Bird Kokel DDS, PC has grown tremendously over the past 20 years. To be honest, the story of how the practice got to be where it is today is so easy and common that anyone could reproduce it. It only requires a sincere and genuine heart to care for people. Dr. Kokel tries to treat people and staff well and always works to give quality care at a reasonable price. All staff at the practice follow the mission, which is to do exceptional dentistry using state of the art technology which manages the patients comfort time and health the way that we would manage it for our own family. The golden rule is often spoken and is expected to be followed by all. Our goal is to build lifelong trusting relationships. We have always invested in training staff, buying new state of the art equipment, purchasing only top quality materials, as well as, creating a welcoming environment for all who walk through our doors. The staff at Dr Kokel’s office want people to feel like they matter, because they really do matter to us. These simple, yet so very important ideas, has made the company what it is today.
- What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would be such an honor to receive a small business award. It would allow me to let the community know we not only know the art and science of dentistry, but we also run a ship-shape business. The practice has strong core values and goals and a vision to give forward to the community, after all it’s the least that I can do for all that Loudoun has done for us. I want the community to know my name and understand I am here to help.
- If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?
If I was not running my own business, I’d probably be working for another dentist as an associate. I have been given the ability to work and I feel it’s a gift that I take for granted sometimes. It would truly be a horrible thing not to be able to work. I guess I need to do it while I can!
- What book are you reading now? / What is your favorite book?
My favorite book hands down is The Purpose Driven Life. It changed my life and I try to reread it every year. Every day I read a page of The Maxwell Daily Reader (it’s meant to make me a better leader), but the book I’m currently reading each night is The Essence of Success.
- If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
If I had no family to spend my time with, I would first sleep in as long as possible. Then I’d go get a pedicure, eat Lindt chocolate, and sit out in the sun reading STAR magazine. I’d end my day watching a Criminal Minds marathon until I fell asleep (8:30 is my bewitching hour).
- What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The smallest thing that we do at the office that I feel has had the biggest impact on the patients is hand written care cards that the staff and I send out. The cards let the patient know that we are thinking of them. The cards go to any patient who may have mentioned that something exciting is happening in their life or if a patient has opened up about a life trial. The entire staff wants patients to know we are thinking about them and wants them to be encouraged.
- What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
As a child I always wanted to be like Clara Barton, the civil war nurse who founded the Red Cross. I did a report on her in the third grade and I would play in my yard taking care of the dogs like they were wounded soldiers. I just knew I would be caring for people or animals.
- Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
The person who influenced me the most was my father. He was one of three veterinarian’s in our town and he owned a small animal practice. He was a long standing member in the Rotary Club and showed me the importance of service, as well as the ins-and-outs of good business. He was honest, fair and kind, as well as transparent with his clients, and generous to a fault. He taught me the “secret sauce” (give the patient more than they expect and give them more than what they pay for….over deliver!). He encouraged me to live by the Golden Rule (which is written on the wall of my office as a daily reminder to me).
- What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
My favorite thing about having a business in Loudoun County is that it has allowed me to meet many people. Loudoun County is small and anywhere I go I bump into people I know. I feel like I’m never without a friend, people here are so nice.
- If you’re not in the office where can we find you?
This year, when I’ve been out of the office, I was probably taking a continuing education course in some far-flung city like Atlanta, Tucson or Dallas. If I had my way, in my spare time I would be at the river on a boat with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
- What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?
My favorite Loudoun County weekend fun is visiting all the breweries. My husband and I love craft beer.