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Hero Practice Services Leadership Team

Joshua Gwinn, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Gwinn brings extensive operational experience in dental, orthodontics and vision care to his role as Hero Practice Services Chief Executive Officer. He is keenly focused on patient needs and driving a culture that always puts our patients above all else. After starting his career as an Operation Specialist in the United States Navy, Gwinn spent several years with National Vision Inc. affiliated brands building his skills in all aspects of the optical field including but not limited to: optical dispensing, lab operations, field training, leadership, and Denovo operations. He then shifted focus to the dental field becoming the Regional Director for Great Expressions Dental Centers throughout Michigan and Ohio. Most recently, Josh led operations as well as training and education for a large fleet of Gentle Dental practices in the Pacific Northwest, and California. Gwinn was born and raised in Arkansas in a large, blended family with seven children and feels a deep personal connection to Hero’s mission of expanding care access to underserved children.

Brad Wear, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Wear has been a Chief Financial Officer of multiple public and privately held organizations for the last 30 years.  He was an auditor with a national CPA firm in both their Boston and Denver offices focusing primarily on large financial institutions.  Throughout his career, he has led the finance and IT functions during  numerous domestic and international growth and turnaround situations. He has also led multiple organizations through buy and sell side M & A transactions valued at  over $2 billion in the aggregate.    Most recently, he was CFO at Compassus where he led the accounting, finance, revenue cycle  and IT functions of this multi-state hospice and home health provider.  He led the financial diligence that resulted in a successful  sale of the Company at the end of 2019.  Prior to that he was a member of the founding group of US Anesthesia Partners, where he led accounting and finance functions as well as performed as interim CIO.  In this capacity he led the financial integration of multiple large anesthesia practices across the nation.  He completed his BA degree at Western State College at Gunnison, Colorado.

Benjamin Mezer, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel

Mr. Mezer serves as Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel. He brings an extensive background in healthcare compliance. While serving as an Assistant General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Health, Mr. Mezer advised and/or litigated cases before the Boards of Dentistry, Medical Examiners, Pharmacy, Nursing, Veterinary Medical Examiners, Optometry, and the Board of Dispensing Opticians in matters regarding licensure discipline and general governance. In private practice, Mr. Mezer represented healthcare professionals and corporations who were facing government investigations/prosecutions or were faced with employee/employer disputes, and advised them on regulatory compliance issues. He has also served as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for a nationwide pharmacy and a pharmacy management company. Ben was raised in Greensboro, North Carolina and received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and his Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Ben is licensed to practice law in Colorado and Tennessee and is Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

Mark Musso, Chief Operating Officer

Mark Musso, Chief People Officer for Hero Practice Services, leads human resources, recruiting, and provider relations. Previously, Musso was Chief Operating Officer and Director of Human Resources for Hero Practice Services. Prior to joining, Musso spent 17 years with the Target Corporation, in the operations, human resources, mentorship and training functions. He served as an executive mentor, operations group leader and regional operations expert. Musso also served as Chief Operating Officer for AIM Integrated Medicine. He was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Paul Olson, Chief Information Officer

In his role as Chief Information Officer, Mr. Olson is responsible for information technology, facilities and call center operations. His IT career started while serving in the U.S. Army before transitioning into a contractor role working as a technician, Help Manager, and Exchange Administrator for NORAD/USSPACECOM and NORAD/USNORTHCOM. He then moved into healthcare serving as the Director and Vice President of IT for a federally qualified health center serving medical, dental, and behavioral health patients in the Pikes Peak region. He finished his bachelor’s and master’s programs at Colorado Technical University. He is also an alumni of Leadership Pikes Peak. Paul is passionate about serving patients and ensuring Hero’s mission accomplished each day.

Brian Bishop, DMD – Dental Clinical Director

Dr. Bishop serves as Dental Clinical Director for the Hero Practice Services affiliated dental practices. He works closely with executive management and our team of regional dentists to ensure that dental services rendered at all Hero affiliated practices are of the utmost quality. Dr. Bishop is committed to excellence in patient experiences and seeks to promote access to care for underserved children. Dr. Bishop provides continuing education to dentists in topics of pediatric dentistry. He coaches and mentors dental providers on clinical guidelines, leadership, patient/parent communication and clinical documentation. Dr. Bishop is a graduate of Temple University School of Dentistry and completed his residency in Pediatric Dentistry at Temple Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. He promotes a culture of evidence based dentistry and promotes the guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Michael Pharris, OD – Optometry Clinical Director

Dr. Pharris oversees optometric clinical quality for Hero Practice Service, leading the eye care program since 2007. Dr. Pharris has been practicing eye care for over 25 years and has specialized in pediatric eye care for more than 15 years. He is passionate about closing the gap of untreated childhood vision issues and making sure children’s eyes and their visual systems are functioning to help them learn and develop properly. Dr. Pharris is responsible for defining Hero’s clinical guidelines and training and coaching the optometric staff to deliver consistent, top quality vision care. Born in Southern California and raised in Colorado Springs, Michael Pharris graduated with a Biological Sciences degree from Colorado State University in 1985. He then went on to Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon, where he received his Doctorate of Optometry degree in 1989.

John DuRussel, DDS, MS – Orthodontic Clinical Director

Dr. John DuRussel was born and raised in Brighton, Colorado. He attended college at Michigan State University where he studied Human Physiology then went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Biomedical Science at the Wayne State School of Medicine. Dr. DuRussel earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, hailed as one of the top dental schools in the world. He then continued his training at the University of Michigan, where he earned a Masters of Science in Orthodontics and was fortunate to have some of the leading Orthodontists in the country as his mentors. Dr. DuRussel loves his work transforming his patients’ smiles while watching their self-confidence grow. In addition to his role as lead Orthodontist in our Longmont, Colorado practice, Dr. DuRussel is responsible for defining, training and auditing our orthodontic standards of care and acts as a resource to all Hero Practice Services orthodontists for procedural and individual patient consultation.

Rebecca Misner, DMD – Vice President of Clinical Operations

Dr. Rebecca Misner is Hero Practice Services’ Vice President of Clinical Operations for Dental. In this role, Dr. Misner directly leads and trains Hero’s regional dental leadership across seven states. She travels across the country supporting dentists with both mentorship and training. Additionally, Dr. Misner actively practices across the Front Range of Colorado and has vast experience in treating children in low-income, underserved communities, including children with special needs. Her clinical emphasis is on treating those children who have large treatment plans and may need full mouth reconstruction of the dentition (completed either while the child is awake or while they are placed under general anesthesia by a dental anesthesiologist).

Dr. Misner chairs the Hero Clinical Leadership Board, which sets clinical direction for providers in Hero’s network. She holds a doctorate of dental medicine from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and a bachelor of science degree from Montana State University. She also holds dental licenses from the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Washington, Oklahoma, Indiana, California and Maryland and in the District of Columbia.

“I love this job. I get to teach the newest members of the team while still being able to provide dental care for the patients. It is very rewarding to meet parents that are so grateful to have a welcoming dental home for their kids. Every day, I feel like I’m able to make a difference.”

Operations Leadership

Matt Shumaker, Senior Vice President of Operations

In his role as Senior Vice President of Operations, Mr. Shumaker oversees day to day operations for all practices in Dental, Vision and Orthodontics. Throughout his career, Shumaker has worked to increase access to high-quality children’s dental, vision and orthodontic care. Prior to joining Hero Practice Services, Shumaker worked in Human Resources and business development with a large dental service organization in 2001. In 2007, he joined Hero Practice Services and helped develop the road map for growth from a dental company to a multi-faceted healthcare company dedicated to improving the lives of children.

Paula Kastner, Director of Operations

In her role as Director of Operations, Ms. Kastner standardizes processes, creates best practices and works hard to ensure teams have what they need to give each child a first-class experience. Since joining Hero Practice Services in 2016, Kastner has been responsible for project management and dental operations, and served as a Regional Director of Operations. Prior to joining Hero Practice Services, she spent 10 years in operations, serving children and adults in the dental space and wearing many hats, including day-to-day practice management, training, billing and revenue cycle. When she isn’t finding ways to better serve our patients, she is with her family and friends most likely seeing live music. She and her husband have two children and live in the Denver metro area.


Michele Random, Regional Director of Operations

In her role as Regional Direct of Operations, Ms. Random is responsible for leading operations within her region, specialty services and dental operations at Hero Practice Services. Previously, Random has held positions in billing, new-practice growth, credentialing, EHR specialist, and practice leadership. With more than 25 years in the Dental field, she has worked in private practice and dental support organizations (DSOs) to support high-quality patient care. Random lives in Idaho with her husband and two children. She is an avid sports fan, including the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos, and Idaho Junior Steelheads Hockey AA team.

Stephanie Salvatore, Orthodontic Program Director and Acting Regional Director of Operations

In her role as Orthodontic Operations Director, Ms. Salvatore oversees Orthodontic operations for the entire company. As a seasoned leader in the pediatric dental and orthodontic specialty practice space, Ms. Salvatore also serves as our acting Regional Director of Operations for our Mid-Atlantic Region. Her greatest passion is empowerment. Empowering teams and individuals to reach their full potential in their roles and empowering the families we serve to pursue healthy smiles for a lifetime by building value around the excellent care our providers and team members deliver each day. She identifies herself as a serial hobbyist, with interests in jewelry making, confectionery art, graphic design, and tailoring.