14 to Watch in 2014: Mark Strandburg

January 5, 2014 

FourteenFor14

Mark Strandburg

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

  • Mark Strandburg
    Age: 37
    City of residence: Kathleen
    Occupation: General dentist
    Hobby: Community theater but has no time for it now
    Favorite thing about Houston County: “I love the size. I went to Georgia Tech and lived in the big city. It wasn’t for me. I like how Houston County is growing but is still midsize -- a great place to raise a family.”

A year and a half ago when Mark Strandburg bought the practice of retiring Warner Robins dentist Dr. Bruce Shaver, it was his dream come true.

Getting there took a risk not all would-be dentists face. A 1994 Perry High School graduate, Strandburg was already settled in a six-year career with a defense contractor after graduating from Georgia Tech.

“I had a good life,” he said. “I was comfortable, had married my wife, Haley, and could have continued. I just didn’t like being in front of a computer all day.”

Changing careers meant becoming a student again at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. After that came a year providing dental care in nursing homes then another year’s study through a residency at Augusta’s Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

Then he returned to Middle Georgia and his own practice,

“I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Strandburg said. “I guess I’m optimistic about the future because I did change careers and realize it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.”

Family friend Jo Ann Aaron, of Perry, said Strandburg’s determination and strong work ethic will serve his patients well and see his practice grow. That, she said, and his kindness and good “chair-side manner.”

Strandburg is growing the practice in size and new technologies and services. He hopes to move to newer, more spacious facilities sometime this year.

“I’m a conservative dentist and don’t like pushing procedures on patients,” he said. “I like to let them know all the options and help them decide what’s right for them. I know people aren’t fond of going to the dentist, but I try to keep things light and fun while still being serious and meticulous about my work.”

-- Michael W. Pannell

Click on the links below to read of 14 to Watch in 2014 stories:

Rorie Bradley, 30, Warner Robins, athletics director of Central Georgia Technical College

Stacy Campbell, 33, Perry, president and CEO of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce until April 30; will become director of communications of the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter on May 1

Jay Flesher, 45, Warner Robins, director of economic development at Flint Energies

Carmen Foskey, 17, Warner Robins, student at Warner Robins High School

Bill Goggin, 49, Bonaire, manager of Houston County Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore

Heather Hall, 39, Warner Robins, marketing manager for Cox Communications

Mark Ivory, 44, Warner Robins, athletics director at Thomson Middle School

Sonya P. Jenkins, 44, Warner Robins, CEO of Vision Inscribed, a business solutions company

Kelly Miller, 31, Centerville, family nurse practitioner

Joe Molyson, 66, Bonaire, retired colonel and assistant director of operations for intelligence, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base; also retired Houston County High School astronomy teacher

Kellye C. Moore, 45, Warner Robins, attorney

Melissa Phagan, 36, Warner Robins, director of administrative and volunteer services, and executive administrative assistant to CEO Cary Martin at Houston Healthcare

Larry Walker III, 48, Kathleen, insurance agent

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