Meet us

Experienced Leadership

The Dental Education Partners (DEP) owners, consultants, and instructors are experienced dental professionals dedicated to improving the dental industry through consulting, customized training, and continuing education.

MARY K. HUGHES, R.D.H., B.S.

CEO, Founder, and Instructor - Dental Education Partners

Mary Hughes, RDH is Dental Education Partners CEO, Founder, and Instructor. Her passion for dentistry, sales training, and helping individuals achieve their full potential is a hallmark of her career and is the foundation of Dental Education Partners. With a proven track record of coaching dental teams to immediate success, Mary inspires owner dentists and their dental teams to achieve the highest standard of comprehensive patient care that translates in both the hygiene and the restorative sides of the practice.

She began her career as a Registered Dental Assistant. She fell in love with dentistry and continued her education as a clinical Dental Hygienist after graduating from the State University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science. Mary became an expert in team training and effective patient communication coaching methods, which tripled daily hygiene production for her office and all the operatories of the colleagues she coached.

Mary’s career transitioned from private practices to corporate dentistry, and she began to professionally consult with dental offices across North America. Since that time, Mary was promoted within the corporate dental industry to roles including International Training Manager, Senior Director of North American Sales, and Senior Director of Professional Relations. Most recently, Mary had the privilege of becoming the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for a large DSO.

Mary has the unique credential of being certified as a Professional Selling Skills Trainer by Achieve Global® – a prestigious and widely recognized leader in sales training, communication, and personnel development. This certification enabled Mary to train dental teams on using an influential solution-based approach for significantly increasing treatment acceptance. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association and has been published in peer reviewed dental journals. Mary is an internationally recognized lecturer and educator known for her fun and interactive teaching style.

MARY K. HUGHES, R.D.H., B.S.

CEO, Founder, and Instructor - Dental Education Partners

Mary Hughes, RDH is Dental Education Partners CEO, Founder, and Instructor. Her passion for dentistry, sales training, and helping individuals achieve their full potential is a hallmark of her career and is the foundation of Dental Education Partners. With a proven track record of coaching dental teams to immediate success, Mary inspires owner dentists and their dental teams to achieve the highest standard of comprehensive patient care that translates in both the hygiene and the restorative sides of the practice.

She began her career as a Registered Dental Assistant. She fell in love with dentistry and continued her education as a clinical Dental Hygienist after graduating from the State University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science. Mary became an expert in team training and effective patient communication coaching methods, which tripled daily hygiene production for her office and all the operatories of the colleagues she coached.

Mary’s career transitioned from private practices to corporate dentistry, and she began to professionally consult with dental offices across North America. Since that time, Mary was promoted within the corporate dental industry to roles including International Training Manager, Senior Director of North American Sales, and Senior Director of Professional Relations. Most recently, Mary had the privilege of becoming the Vice President of Clinical Affairs for a large DSO.

Mary has the unique credential of being certified as a Professional Selling Skills Trainer by Achieve Global® – a prestigious and widely recognized leader in sales training, communication, and personnel development. This certification enabled Mary to train dental teams on using an influential solution-based approach for significantly increasing treatment acceptance. She is a member of the American Dental Hygienist’s Association and has been published in peer reviewed dental journals. Mary is an internationally recognized lecturer and educator known for her fun and interactive teaching style.

Stephanie A. Palmer, BA, DA

COO and Instructor - Dental Education Partners

Stephanie Palmer is Dental Education Partners Chief Operating Officer and Instructor. Her passion for dentistry, training, and driving results-based growth is a trademark of her career and helped build the foundation for Dental Education Partners, an approved AGD PACE Program Provider. 

Stephanie had a unique pathway to dentistry. After skiing internationally for the United States Alpine Ski Team, she attended Whitman College earning her Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She began her professional career first as a financial advisor, followed by managing educational events in the technology sector overseeing as many as 300 events per year. As a natural leader, she continued her career managing operations for a PGA Tour tournament as well as managing events and marketing for a business startup accelerator. With a breadth of experience guiding successful businesses, Stephanie fell in love with dentistry while managing the continuing education department for a dental manufacturer. In that role she further developed her skills as a public speaker and dental educator.

With over a decade in dentistry, Stephanie went on to graduate from the South Florida Dental Assisting School and helped start, manage, and grow Dental Education Partners. She is experienced delivering lectures, webinars, and team trainings. Her first step when consulting with dental offices and professionals is to “start with the end in mind”. Understanding baseline performance metrics and goals, together with a “patients first” philosophy allows her to guide and provide customized training to help them achieve those goals. She prides herself on being a partner for growth for the practices and professionals with which she works.

Dr. Steven Wingfield

Advisory Board Member, Consultant, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Steven Wingfield is a practicing dentist and owner/operator of multiple dental practices. He is also the Chief Clinical Officer for a DSO.  He is an Advisory Board Member for multiple organizations, including Dental Education Partners. He is a recognized key opinion leader and lectures and consults regularly within the dental industry.

Dr. Steven Wingfield

Advisory Board Member, Consultant, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Steven Wingfield is a practicing dentist and owner/operator of multiple dental practices. He is also the Chief Clinical Officer for a DSO.  He is an Advisory Board Member for multiple organizations, including Dental Education Partners. He is a recognized key opinion leader and lectures and consults regularly within the dental industry.

Julie Hannan

Advisory Board Member, Success Coach, Trainer

Julie Hannan has been in the dental profession for over 35 years having worked in both clinical and non-clinical roles in the dental office.
She has worked in both private practice and DSO settings. She is renowned for her training in the areas of case acceptance and the patient experience. 
She is passionate about the dental industry and helping people be the BEST in their chosen field!