A big win for our very own Dr. Kristen Ritzau

Shoreline Dental Studio, a local San Clemente dental practice, won two Stevie Awards, including “Company of the Year” and a “Woman of the Year” accolade for Dr. Kristen Ritzau, at the 17th Annual American Business Awards on June 11th. The Stevies—a nod to the Greek “stéphanos,” meaning crown or reward—were presented at a gala ceremony at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Times Square, in New York City.

Each year the American Business Awards field nominations from over 3,800 businesses of all sizes and in all industries. The Stevies are distributed through seven different programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. All U.S.-based companies are eligible to submit nominations for the American Business Awards, which are then decided by multiple juries comprising more than 200 professionals.

It is from this crowded field that Shoreline was awarded a Gold Stevie in the Health Products and Services Category for Small Businesses, and a Silver Stevie for Consumer Products/Woman of the Year for Dr. Ritzau.

Dr. Ritzau’s Woman of the Year honor was accompanied by strong words of praise from the judges, recognizing her for going beyond her everyday patient care responsibilities and extending generosity back to the community. Dr. Ritzau and her colleague Dr. Colby Livingston frequently organize events for families in the community, offering free tickets to movies like Incredibles 2, and the practice hosts an annual day of free dental care for military veterans and active-duty military.

“Dentistry is such an important service and mainly neglected due to people’s fear and high costs,” the awards committee wrote. “Dr. Ritzau’s approach is admirable especially towards training her staff and giving back to the community.”

The Gold Stevie for Company of the Year recognized Shoreline Dental Studio’s growth strategy, which relies on top-notch customer service and positive word of mouth. “Shoreline Dental Studio has continued to grow with the goal in mind to treat patients like family,” the committee said. In this category, Shoreline received the highest marks among a competitive field.

“The nominations submitted to The 2019 American Business Awards were outstanding,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards. “They illustrate the continued vibrancy of innovation and high level of achievement across the American economic landscape.”

The runners-up in the Health Products and Services category were a medical staffing solutions company in Texas and a probiotics company in Nevada, but in the end, Shoreline Dental Studio’s many concessions to customer comfort gave them the win. Patients are offered headphones, blankets, a variety of sedation dentistry options, and welcome gifts; patients are asked about their communication preferences, and whether they would rather receive many details about their dental health or just the broad strokes. Shoreline Dental Studio prides itself on “over-delivering” to their patients, they say.

In addition to customer comforts, Shoreline offers a wide range of dental services, from regular checkups and fillings to implants, periodontal therapy, orthodontics, and whitening. Since Shoreline Dental Studio accepts patients beginning at 3 years of age, they aim to provide dental care for the whole family.

And though the Stevie Awards are the biggest stage on which Shoreline Dental Studio has been honored since their founding in 2011, it is not the first: they are the winners of the 2017 San Clemente Times People’s Choice Ole Awards in “Best Overall Customer Service” and 2017 San Clemente Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dentist.