BTB Adhami

Among the many places Dr. Ghada Adhami has called home: Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Naperville, Chicago and now C-U.

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No one ever told DR. GHADA ADHAMI there’d be days, or weeks, or months, like this when she decided to open her own dental practice 19 months ago on North Market Street in Champaign.

On a 1-to-10 scale, the impact the coronavirus and stay-at-home order have had on All Smiles Family Dentistry is a no-doubt-about-it 10.

“My doors have been closed since March. There is a lot of stress in trying to reopen. I want to make sure that all my team members and patients are healthy and safe when getting their dental treatment. It’s a large responsibility on my shoulders,” she says.

While waiting out the pandemic, the United Arab Emirates-born mother of two took time out to answer a few questions from Editor Jeff D’Alessio in the 23rd installment of our weekly speed read spotlighting local leaders of organizations big and small.

The biggest business risk I ever took was ... building a business from scratch, with a newborn baby. The first year of business was one of the hardest years of my life. It was very difficult to juggle family and work. I am very grateful that I have a supportive family that helped me along the way. I am not quite sure if the risk has paid off. I am still very early in my business adventure. Only time will tell.

When it comes to my philosophy on meetings ... I like to have frequent meetings that are short and sweet. They address problems in a timely manner and maintain everyone’s interest.

As far as my exercise routine goes ... does picking up a 40-pound double stroller count as a workout? I like taking walks around my neighborhood and in local parks when the weather is nice.

The hardest thing about being a leader is ... having the courage within oneself to know that you are doing the right thing. Sometimes you will fail, but you have to have the strength to get back up and keep trying.

My single favorite moment of all-time in this job was ... when I first opened the doors to my business. It was a feeling of accomplishment. All the sleepless nights had finally paid off.

I can’t live without my ... yearly family vacation. It’s wonderful to just escape all the responsibilities as a business owner and allow myself to reset. I always come back well-rested and ready to get back to work.

I’m frugal in that ... I always use coupons. They are great. I also love shopping around and getting the best deal possible.

The most beneficial college class I took was ... pediatric dental clinic. I attended the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and graduated in 2010. At the time, I didn’t think it was that useful of a class, as I didn’t feel that comfortable working with kids. As the years passed, I have really learned to love working with children and seeing them grow up.

When it comes to the worst job I ever had ... there isn’t one. I only had one part-time job, and it was a dental assistant position while I was in college. It was a challenge to juggle work and school at the time, but I loved it. Being in the dental field for over 10 years, I know that I was definitely underpaid as a dental assistant.

I’m up and at ’em every day by ... 7 a.m. — not because I want to but because that’s when the kids get up.

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