Wednesday, November 30, 2022
I left my position as Vice President of a Fortune 500 insurance brokerage firm in 1989 to join my husband, Dr. Nelson Krum, in the dental profession. It was, undeniably, the best career decision I have ever made. I was immediately hooked, and my passion for this career choice continues to this day.
In 1993, Nelson had the opportunity to work in a dental office in Grand Cayman, a British territory just south of Cuba and a very small island, just like Saipan. We were both captivated by the island lifestyle, and when that contract ended, we were always hoping that we would have another such opportunity to live and work in a small island community.
In 2013, an opportunity advertised on Craigslist to practice “Dentistry in Paradise,” presented itself and included a beautiful picture of the Saipan lagoon. It was a no brainer decision! Our children were all grown, and we were off like a flash. We fell in love with Saipan instantly when we arrived in February 2013 and immediately began to get involved in the local community.
We were blessed to be able to start our own dental practice in 2015, and Paradise Dental Spa opened for business on November 9, 2015. We are a full service, state-of-the-art General & Cosmetic dental clinic with the most experienced dentists in the CNMI. We wanted to bring the best of the best that dentistry had to offer in the States to the CNMI, and every detail of the new clinic reflected that desire.
When we opened our clinic, we had the goal of becoming the CNMI's dental “Provider of Choice'' and a community-minded business. We designed the dental office's reception area to look like a living room instead of a cold, sterile waiting room so our patients would be more comfortable. Coffee, tea, big screen television and the best aircon on the island are always on hand.
Our commitment to community outreach and the professional and personal development of our dental team sets us apart. We believe that "givers get" and give our team members paid vacation, sick leave and six major holidays with pay. No one in our clinic has ever started their employment at minimum wage. They also receive monthly bonuses for meeting team goals. We hang vision boards in prominent places to help our team set their own annual personal and professional goals. In addition, we regularly use the services of Island Training Solutions to train our team in the best customer service practices. Our belief system is that when we get better, we do better with ourselves, our family memes and our patients!
Commitment to helping the CNMI economy
When we were building our team, Dr. Krum and I were committed to contributing to our economy, and the first step was providing employment. We started with four employees in 2015 and expanded our practice to fifteen team members in 2022. We believe in using local vendors whenever we can and frequent locally owned restaurants with our team for our quarterly fun events together. We have a strong belief that teams that “play together stay together.” We also hold a two-hour team meeting every other Wednesday to help with our growth as a team.
One of our missions is to improve our CNMI residents' dental health as good dental health makes a person more energetic and productive. Helping our patients avoid bad toothaches means that they can feel their best and avoid missing work as a result.
As part of our commitment to Community Outreach, Paradise Dental Spa is bringing Pickleball to the CNMI. Paradise Dental brought Pickleball, the nation's fastest-growing sport, to Saipan in June 2020! We have invested more than $20,000 in Pickleball equipment, including nets, balls, paddles, court striping, and more, so we can properly grow the sport. We have more than 135 members, ranging in age from 8 to 80 years old, who play seven days a week. We love seeing members interacting with each other– laughing and making friends on the court. It is truly the best part of this sport.
Our proudest achievement is our Pickleball Club, which meets at the American Memorial Park tennis courts every day at 5:30 p.m. We started in the parking lot of our dental clinic in June 2020, and just recently we hosted the first-ever Marianas Cup Pickleball Tournament against Guam on Nov. 5th. The Pickleball Federation of the Northern Mariana Islands won 11 of the 12 matches, securing the Marianas Cup for the next year!
At Paradise Dental Spa, we care about your dental hygiene and everything else that helps to keep a person healthy. We are a team of skilled dental professionals who are focused on bettering the health of our community. Good dental health is the number one factor in overall health, and the benefits of a healthy smile are life-changing!
We do everything possible to keep our prices affordable and welcome everyone to consider our clinic to find the right plan that suits their dental needs. We are also the Provider dental office for the Island Smiles Discount Dental Plan, which is the cheapest dental plan in the CNMI. You can learn more about this dental plan on our website: www.paradisedentalspa.com. We’re here to help!
For more information visit the GCEA website at cnmieconomy.com. Engage with the Council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Donna Krum aka Dental Donna
Dr. Nelson Krum and Dental Donna Krum are both members of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, where Donna serves on the Board of Directors, as well as the Saipan Rotary Club and the Blue Ribbon Initiative. Donna is the Vice Chair of the Initiative, which brings together the private and public sectors to combat the CNMI's drug problem. She leads a weekly 12-Step support group for family members of those suffering from substance use disorder (SUD). Donna is a member of the Soroptimist Club of the Northern Mariana Islands and has been a member since 2014. She also serves on the board of Saipan Cares for Animals.