Meet the Team

We know that our office is only as effective and as welcoming as the people who work in it, which is why we take pride in our friendly and well-trained team members! We put your needs first to achieve efficient and comprehensive treatment in a supportive and nurturing environment. We promise to speak candidly with you about possible treatments as well as any risks and associated costs of treatment, and how treatment can address your individual needs.

Our staff is uniquely trained and highly skilled, and we strive to provide unparalleled service to each patient. Our staff consists of team members with specialized training and certifications, and years of experience in treating patients with the highest level of care. We strive to stay abreast of the very latest in technology and advances by regularly attending continuing education courses and seminars.

Kayla Kayla Bowman

My name is Kayla Bowman. I am one of our front desk coordinators and I joined The Braces Place family in 2014. I am originally from Orange County, California. I enjoy kayaking and baking sweet treats in my spare time. One of the many things I love about my job is how our staff is like one huge family. Fun Fact: I was a patient here when I was 13 and I enjoyed the atmosphere so much, I wanted to work here! I’m the first person you will see when you walk in our practice. I can’t wait to meet you!

LauraS Laura Strickland

Hi, I am Laura Strickland and I am an orthodontic assistant for Dr. Pennella. I have worked at The Braces Place since 1998. I love working in the field of orthodontics because it’s fun getting to know the patients. I think it’s also rewarding to see the final result of their beautiful new smile.

Jenn Jenn Strickland

Hi, my name is Jenn and I’m the marketing coordinator here at The Braces Place. I started working here in April 2018. You will see me at community events, local schools, and dental offices all over Lexington and the surrounding area. I have been in marketing for 8 years and in the orthodontic field for 25 years. My wonderful husband Brian works for AT&T, that’s why we have lived so many amazing places. We are both from the Columbia area and we are very happy to be back in our hometown. Our amazing daughter Pippa Mae goes to Meadow Glenn Middle school. I love meeting new people, listening to live music, and traveling the world. I love to get feedback, so please reach out to us on any of the social media channels. I’m excited about being a part of this fantastic team and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Sandra Sandra Backman

I’m Sandra Backman and I have worked for the Braces Place as a treatment coordinator since 1997. I’m a local Redbank resident along with my husband, Alvin, of 29 years. Both of us are Lexington High School graduates. I also serve as a Lexington District One Trustee. Alvin and I have a son who is a graduate of WKHS, he is a college student, a daughter that is a varsity cheerleader and rising freshman at WKHS. We are so proud to be a part of this growing community. Omg, I just forgot our dogs! We have two sweet Yorkie’s who truly are my “baby dogs”. I am so happy to be a part of this Braces Place team!

Ida Ida Stewart

Hello, I am Ida Stewart and I’m an orthodontic assistant. I started at The Braces Place in August 2017 right after graduating from the dental assisting program at Midlands Tech. My hobbies are watching TONS of movies and binge watching TV shows and fixing broken items for my family. I enjoy meeting all of the sweet patients and their families and working in such a loving environment with people who I like to call my extended family.

Michele Michele Sheppard

Hello, I am Michele and have been working in dentistry for over 25 years. I have extensive experience in orthodontics, as well as cosmetic and general dentistry. I have been an orthodontic assistant and a financial coordinator since 2006 for Dr. Pennella. I enjoy building relationships with our patients and their families to help create beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. My husband and I have one son. In my leisure time, I enjoy bee keeping, horseback riding, camping, and hanging out with family and friends.

Miguel Miguel A. Morales, Sr.

Hello, I am Miguel and I am a certified orthodontic technician. I came to Columbia when my father was stationed at Fort Jackson Army Base 54 years ago. I received my dental training while serving in the Navy (1971- 1977). After an honorable discharge, I moved back to Columbia to continue my career in dentistry as a technician. I started with The Braces Place in 1994. As a technician, I manage the Lab. I have three adult children, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. My hobby is photography and has been for 52 years. My photos of our patients are visible throughout the office. I’m a volunteer with the Special Olympics of SC as an event photographer. I love music and have a funny sense of humor. I speak Spanish fluently.

Brittney Brittney Miles

I’m Brittney and I have been an orthodontic assistant for Dr. Dan Pennella since 2014. I worked for 5 years in general dentistry prior to joining The Braces Place. I really love traveling and spending time with my friends and family. I love working with Dr. Pennella and the most rewarding thing about my job is helping create beautiful smiles!

Cher Cher Sheldon

Hello, I am Cher and I’m one of the front desk coordinators here at The Braces Place. I joined our team in April of 2015. I’m one of the friendly voices you will hear on the phone when calling to make your appointment! I enjoy spending my free time being outdoors with family and friends. I love working at The Braces Place because of the upbeat and fun environment!

Emily Emily Spires

Hello, I am Emily and I am an orthodontic assistant for Dr. Pennella. I joined the team in 2015. I have extensive experience in the dental field and have worked as a dental assistant for years before joining The Braces Place family! When I am not at the Braces Place, you can catch me by our pool or the beach with my husband and friends. I love helping people with their dental needs and I believe a bright smile is the best look on someone and it never goes out of style!

LauraC Laura Conrad

I’m Laura Conrad and I am a treatment coordinator at the Braces Place. I have worked in orthodontics for 29 years. I started out as a clinical assistant and have worked in every position possible in an orthodontic office. I spent 10 years working with a computer software company that specialized in orthodontic software. During those 10 years I traveled to different offices each week teaching the office staff how to use their new software. My favorite thing about working in orthodontics is getting to meet all the new patients on their first visit. I am from Chapin and I have two children Molly-Grace and Jed. I love the specialty of orthodontics and I enjoy traveling in my free time.

Susan Susan Smith

Hi, I am Susan and I have worked as an orthodontic assistant with the Braces Place since 1995. I am married to a wonderful man and have a great son. I have one handsome grandson named Elijah that is two years old and he keeps me very busy. I have always enjoyed my job and getting to know so many new people, making beautiful smiles, and meeting new friends.

Dallas Dallas Boulware Hawley

I’m Dallas Boulware Hawley and I am an orthodontic assistant at the Braces Place. I joined our team in 2018. This is my first job in the dental field but I rotated through other offices during my school externships in our community. I am one of 5 siblings and I love being apart of a big family. I enjoy spending my free time with my newly wed- husband and we love to binge watch TV shows on Netflix.  I enjoy watching the process of every patient gaining their beautiful smile and was even a patient of Dr. Pennella’s years ago.