When Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics launched in 2009, partners Dr. Raffy Kouyoumdjian, Dr. Saam Zarrabi, Dr. Yahya Mansour, Dr. Brian Dugoni, and Dr. William Dunklin aimed to disprove the idea that access to high-end dental care for underserved communities was an impossibility.
“When my partners and I began practicing dental medicine, we witnessed how incredibly vast the issue of tooth decay was in children,” Zarrabi said. “We experienced the scale of this problem, both in urban and rural communities, and had an intention to correct it.”
As a group, they set out to create a dental practice that not only primarily provided access to high-quality, affordable care for every child and family — regardless of means, status or location — but to build an organizational foundation that allowed for the betterment of their communities.
From its humble beginnings in the Fort Worth Stockyards and the Rio Grande Valley to now having locations across Texas and Colorado, the multidisciplinary dental practice has made it a priority to use their business as a force for social good to create value for their patients, team members, and communities.
Over the past decade, Rodeo Dental has largely contributed to and advocated for a number of foundations and organizations across the country that align directly with its vision. One of those efforts is Dentists Who Care, a nonprofit organization providing charitable dental care to children and families in the Rio Grande Valley.
“We’re an organization that relies completely on volunteerism. Without great volunteers like Rodeo Dental, we wouldn’t be able to continue to impact and make a difference in our community,” said Jacqueline Flores, executive director of Dentists Who Care.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dentists Who Care team had to shut down the operation of their mobile unit — their only source of treating patients. With a community in need and nowhere to go, Rodeo Dental, along with Dentists Who Care board members Dr. Adam Lalonde, Dr. Miguel Castillo III, and Dr. Gary Schwartz, pledged their time, expertise, and clinics to offer access to care for those patients.
“Their organization’s culture of giving back is like nothing I have ever seen before — they are truly making a difference and changing lives,” Flores said. “We’re so blessed to have them in our community.”
In collaboration with Dentists Who Care, Rodeo Dental has also been able to offer career development and growth opportunities for their doctors and dental assistants with specialized mini-residencies. This year so far, they have collectively been able to host three mini-residencies and provide services to a combined 64 patients across the Valley.
“It’s a plus that they offer events like these where we can really give back to those patients who don’t have the resources to get their own dental care,” said Dr. Madeline Rodriguez, a general dentist at Rodeo’s Ruben Torres location. “It’s also an incredible learning experience for us and an opportunity to advance our skills.”
Rodeo Dental has also been a significant contributor to the renowned Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program (LEAP) Foundation’s LEAP Week — an annual leadership program hosted for young adults across the globe at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where they’re able to learn lessons from world-class mentors for higher life, personal, and academic achievements.
“About 60% of the students who attend LEAP Week come from underserved families that could not afford the tuition and are sponsored,” said Dr. Bill Dorfman, America’s leading general and cosmetic dentist and founder of The LEAP Foundation. “Dr. Zarrabi and Rodeo Dental sponsor more students than any other organization, donating up to 60+ scholarships a year and making a life-changing positive impact on the lives of many of their dental patients.”
Over the past 12 years, the company has been able to send hundreds of local students — virtually and in-person — to participate in the leadership program. More than 30 of those students are IDEA Frontier Brownsville scholars. Rodeo Dental has since made a commitment going forward that every established practice will send at least one student each year to attend.
“As we grow the Rodeo brand throughout Texas and beyond, we will continue to honor that commitment in order to give more and more students each year the opportunity to experience this renowned and transformative program,” Zarrabi said.
A true testament to the social good a business demonstrates is achieving a certified B Corporation status. The B Corporation status, certified by B Lab, is a badge of honor for brands who are thoroughly committed to using their business as a force for good and go beyond standard business practice to achieve it. This certification proves that a business meets the highest standards for positive social and environmental impact.
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) measures an organization’s impact and its sustainability beyond commercial metrics. It illuminates not just the product or service being offered but the overall positive impact of the company behind it. This score is weighted by five impact areas, including governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.
The scoring process is intentionally rigorous and is precisely what gives the certification its value and credibility. To qualify for a B Corporation certification, a minimum score of 80 points is required with the average B Impact score of a standard business being 51. While most companies work to do great things for the communities they serve, many of them are still unable to meet the 80-point bar upon the first attempt.With the combination of their mission and core values in action, this year, Rodeo Dental became the first in the dental service industry to hold a certified B Corporation status with an overall B Impact Score of 108.6.
Additionally, each year B Lab recognizes and honors the top-performing Certified B Corporations within each impact area, an initiative they call the Best For The World program. These are companies recognized for operating at the very top of their class in their designated size group.
Scoring in the top 5% of all B Corps across the world, Rodeo Dental was also awarded 2021 Best For The World within the governance impact area for their best practices regarding mission, ethics, accountability, and transparency. Of the more than 4,000 elite B Corp-certified companies across the globe, 12 won this recognition in the largest size company category of 250+ employees. Only four of those were in the United States.
With this recognition, Rodeo Dental is representing the entire healthcare industry in governance impact. Additionally, they’re the only dental company in the world to ever achieve an honor of this caliber.
“Our deep-seated core values are steadfast in promoting a culture of inclusion, accountability, and impact,” said Ben Rouse, president of Rodeo Dental. “We are proud to be recognized as ‘Best For The World’ in regards to how we conduct business and know that this award raises the bar in terms of continued performance and community expectation. The Rodeo Team is always ready to level up.”
The Rodeo Dental team has incorporated their mission and core values into the DNA of their company structure over the past decade, which has resulted in a staff that aligns directly with their vision of doing the right thing, an assemblage of more than 100 consistently award-winning doctors, and a community of patients who have provided them with more than 50,000 five-star reviews.
“These accomplishments are bigger than us as the founders,” Zarrabi said. “This is all thanks to the dedication of our team members, doctors, specialists, and the community of patients who have trusted us to provide them with access to high-end dental care.”