Follow in his father’s footsteps to become a dentist
CHILLICOTHE – Growing up, she dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps.
“I kind of always knew I would be a dentist like my dad,” said Ali Kennedy. “When my sisters and I were little, I was probably in kindergarten, we would go to his office and play pretend in the treatment rooms. I thought it was the coolest. I pretty much always knew dentistry was going to be in my future.
“She loved coming into the office,” confirmed her father, Dr. Paul Brown, DDS. “After hours, she and her sister would put on gloves and play dentist. So we thought maybe she was inclined towards the profession, but we weren’t really sure until she was in college.
Ali (Brown) Kennedy, now DDS, grew up in Chillicothe, went to Zane Trace K-12, and graduated in 2006. She went to the University of Wittenberg for a degree in Biology, then to the Ohio State College of Dentistry for her DDS degree.
“I had other ideas in high school and college,” Kennedy noted, “just to make sure I didn’t forget another passion, but dentistry always won out.”
“I still have my fifth year time capsule that said I was going to be a dentist,” she added. “I have always been very interested in creating and carrying out artistic projects. My dad would take home different cases (crowns, dentures, etc.) that he worked on just to show me off and always compared his work to an art project. He was definitely preparing me to become a dentist like him.
“I knew I wanted to run a small private practice,” she summed up, “where I could get to know all of my patients and grow with them and give the kind of personalized, detailed work that I wanted to do.”
Kennedy started working with Dr. David Upperman in 2019 and purchased his practice in January 2020.
“He had exactly the type of practice I was looking for,” Kennedy noted. “The staff were small and tight-knit and the patients even seemed happy to be there, believe it or not! Dr Upperman ran into the office as if he was at a meeting with all of his closest friends. It was just a great vibe, and I knew I wanted to continue that warm, fuzzy feeling in the office he had created.
“Dr. Kennedy is a very talented young dentist,” said Dr. David Upperman. “The past two years have been difficult for all of us, but Dr. Kennedy has shown excellent leadership during these times. Dr. Kennedy not only brings her skills to our dental practice, but also a feeling of warmth and gentleness that has the personal touch of a small practice.
“I absolutely love what I do,” Kennedy replied. “I have a staff that I consider to be my friends. I get to know a lot of people in my community. And I take care of people the way I really believe everyone should be treated. I can’t imagine doing anything else anywhere else.
“I teach at OSU College of Dentistry,” concluded his father, Dr. Brown, “and Ali was one of our best students, for real, so it was fun. Now I see her treating her patients with integrity and compassion in a great practice with amazing staff – and that makes me very proud. ”
Kennedy Upperman Family Dentistry and Orthodontics is located at 624 Central Center in Chillicothe. For more information, call 740-773-4166 or log on to www.upperman-kennedy.com.
About the series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focused on people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people taking regular jobs and making them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-349-1110.