In 2003, three dental centres in New South Wales decided to join forces in what would be the start of Australia's largest branded dental network. In just 12 years, those three centres have become 38 centres, spread across New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and Queensland.
CEO and Managing Director John Gibbs came on board early on as general manager. Pacific Smiles had only operated for a year when joined by John, who had previous extensive experience in the health industry. "Prior to Pacific Smiles, I was working in the private hospital industry," John says.
"I was working with Mayne Group here in Australia and also overseas. That involved developing and managing private hospitals for Mayne and their joint-venture partners in locations in Asia and the Pacific. Prior to that, I was involved in medical device importation and marketing in specialty medical areas. For most of my working life, I've been in the medical industry."
Pacific Smiles has had rapid expansion since John joined. The company was created by the coming together of three existing dental centres in the Hunter and Lake Macquarie region of New South Wales. When I joined, it was still the original three, but within a year we acquired two nib Dental Care Centres, rolled out a new centre in Salamander Bay, and acquired an established centre in Forster. So we went from three to seven fairly quickly.