Meet the Team: Alicia Owens, Thermoforming Department

Alicia Owens has spent more than 15 years working at Riverside Dental Ceramics, where she has acquired an array of technical and leadership skills during her time making products ranging from implant restorations to thermoformed oral appliances. Recently, she shared her experiences working at the dental lab, and described how the company inspires passion, career advancement, and a high standard of quality among its employees.

When did you start with the company?

I started with Riverside Dental Ceramics in 2006 right out of high school. My mom, Cynthia Monahan, was a quality control supervisor here, and she thought the lab would be a good fit for me. I love working with my hands, and making dental restorations came naturally to me. I started off in the Wax and Metal department, then spent some time in the Implant department, and now I am in the Thermoforming department. My duties mostly involve quality control and the training of new technicians, but it is still a hands-on position where I get to teach others how to make exceptional dental products. I do my best to inspire them to care as much about the job they are doing as I do, and I look forward to continuing to learn new skills and developing my career here at RDC.

What was your early career like with the company?

I wanted to learn a lot, and I was excited to see how restorations and our other dental solutions were made. I was eager as a technician to develop the capability to do my job at a fast pace while maintaining high quality standards. Early in my career, Justin Varieur, who is a supervisor in the Implant department, helped me develop the skills that I needed to create new, more challenging types of restorations. He taught me a lot about implants, how to make quality products, and why we should care about the work we produce.

How has RDC supported you in your career?

RDC has been supportive in my career by helping me learn how to thrive in multiple departments while encouraging me to grow and expand my skills. Currently Mark Anderson is my manager, and he has always been there to guide me in my career. More recently, he has been teaching me how to become the most effective leader possible for my team in the Thermoforming department.

Tell us what you’re most proud of so far in your career with RDC.

I am most proud of the quality of the work I produce and oversee here at RDC. I value the services that we provide for dentists, and I always strive to keep our remake rates very low and help our customers deliver excellent results for their patients. I also enjoy training new technicians and seeing them grow their skills and their confidence.

What do you enjoy most about working at RDC?

What I enjoy most about working at RDC is the ability to help people sleep better and have a better quality of life. The dental sleep appliances, bite splints and restorations we produce here make a real difference in the lives of our dentists’ patients. I take pride in the products that my team in the Thermoforming department produces. Every case is going to someone who is going to benefit from what we are making, and quality is my No. 1 goal. I enjoy the fact that even though we are making similar products all day, each one is different because we all have different teeth. I also enjoy that RDC is like a second home to me. After almost 16 years of working here, I have made a lot of great friendships.

What do you do for fun?

My No. 1 way of having fun would be my motorcycle. I have been riding for about four years now, and it’s one of the most freeing, calming things in my life. I have a black 2018 Harley-Davidson Sportster that I have put almost 40,000 miles on. Most people ask if it’s scary, and I believe it’s quite the opposite — I think of it as “wind therapy.” I ride to work and back, but I also go to a lot of events. One of my favorites is called “Babes Ride Out,” a women-only motorcycle campout where women from all over meet up and share their love of motorcycles. The longest ride I have been on so far is to Torrey, Utah, which is about 600 miles away. It took us around 10 hours to ride there.

I also enjoy going on hikes with my wife and our two dogs, Olive and Harley. The dogs join us on our local hikes, such as our favorite one in Oak Glen. We also like to travel to different states that have national parks. Our most recent travel brought us to Colorado, which has some really beautiful hikes. We went up to the Rocky Mountains as well as the Flatirons near Boulder. Another one of my favorite trips was to Utah, where we hiked at Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks. We really enjoy spending time in nature.

At her job at Riverside Dental Ceramics, Alicia Owens focuses on maintaining a high standard of quality for the dental products she produces and the meaningful impact they make on the lives of patients. In her personal life, she devotes much of her free time to her passion for motorcycles, traveling to other states and hiking in the country’s national parks.

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