The Team

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Ryan Downing Headshot

Ryan Downing

President & Placement Director

"Finding the perfect job or long term employee can be a lot of work. You have to be in the right place at the right time, know key people, and be educated about the pros and cons associated with making such an important decision.  In other words, you need connections.  Even though I have been doing this a long time, I like the small things about my work.  Such as a sincere thank you from a new grad that landed her first career position or gratitude from a doctor that truly appreciates finding a temp on short notice, it still matters to me."

Ryan is a graduate of the UW Business School with over 15 years of experience in recruiting and business management. He still actively interviews dental professionals in the Seattle branch and directs our team in all facets of the placement process.


Cyndy Burki

Placement Consultant & Billing

"I know that each dental practice and its staff are very unique because of my long career in dentistry.  I love my role at Dental Connections because it allows me to get to know each practice and the personalities in them.  The opportunity to work with people and help them find that perfect fit is what makes my position so rewarding."

Cyndy started her career in dentistry in 1975 working at a pediatric dental office and was an office manager for several Pierce County dental practices before joining Dental Connections in 1998. Cyndy currently runs our dentist/hygienist department in the Tacoma branch and manages our financials.

Cyndi Burki Headshot

Shanan Salado Headshot

Shanan Salado

Placement Consultant

"I relish in my day to day tasks helping people. Dental Connections has brought me so much closer to people in ways that I never anticipated. Knowing that I helped someone get a job in an economical crunch is a gratifying experience. Building strong relationships with people and leaving an unforgettable impression is something that I value. Treating people like family is the key to my success."

Shanan was an insurance broker/agent for a large agency in California prior to her training in staffing and recruiting. Her people skills and customer service background made her a perfect fit for a placement consulting role at our company when we hired her in 2011. Shanan currently runs our assistant/business staff department in the Tacoma branch.


Tammy Smith

Placement Consultant

“I am grateful to be working at Dental Connections since 1995. I took a short, 2 year adventure to the east coast and am happy to be back on the best coast, the west coast. I love meeting new people and getting to know them personally so that I can help them find work. Our team at DC takes great pride in providing the best possible service to both our clients and applicants."

Tammy was formerly in corporate management/human resources for a major retail group in Alaska. She started with our company in 1995 and has held many different roles. Tammy currently works in our Seattle branch staffing and recruiting for all positions.

Tammy Smith Headshot

Karen Gunter Headshot

Karen Gunter

Placement Consultant

“I enjoy the challenge of finding the right applicants for any job, no matter if it is just for a day or for long term. It feels great to have an office appreciate your efforts helping them find the perfect fit. Building long term relationships is very important to me. I love celebrating a success with someone or helping them through a difficult time. I especially enjoy mentoring new graduates by helping them transition from the rigors of school life into the challenges of the real world. Seeing them blossom in their new careers is very exciting.”

Karen started her career with Dental Employment Services in 1997 as a placement consultant. In 2006 she purchased the business form Norma Dow and was the owner for 10 years. She is now part of the Dental Connections team as a placement consultant that runs our dentist/hygienist department in the Bellevue branch.


Alicia Jardine

Placement Consultant

“I love working with our applicants and learning what their career needs are. I get to help them find temporary jobs to support their family. If that temp job turns into a permanent position it really does feel great knowing the impact I am making. It is very rewarding to me.”

Alicia is new to the dental staffing industry and has been with our agency since 2015. Her prior management experience in retail made her a natural fit with our company culture. Alicia currently works in the Bellevue branch placing dental assistants and business staff.

Alicia Jardine Headshot

Jessica Greene Headshot

Jessica Greene

Administrative Assistant

"It is truly rewarding to work with our applicants and clients in finding the perfect job or the perfect employee. I love getting to know new people and even more so being a part of their journey in finding employment. It is an absolute joy to work for Dental Connections."

Jessica joined our company in 2016 as an administrative assistant. Her experience as a dental assistant helps her better understand applicant's qualifications and our client's needs. In her previous job she was the sole employee for a small floral shop. During her 7 years there she acquired the skill set to work with people and the drive to be a part of a successful company. Jessica supports the placement consultants with marketing, recruiting and scheduling.


Vannara Jimenez

Administrative Assistant

"I am very grateful to be part of a team that provides the best possible customer service. It is rewarding knowing that applicants can count on us for advice, support, and care during their job search."

Vannara is new to the dental industry and joined our team in 2016 as administrative assistant. Her prior experience in accounting and customer service had made her a natural at communicating with applicants and clients. Vannara supports the placement consultants with marketing, recruiting, and scheduling.

Vannara Jimenez Headshot
Dental Connections is a dental employment agency offering temporary and permanent placement services for dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, and business staff. We are more than just a temp agency because all of the dental professionals we represent are screened with a personal interview. Half our business is dedicated to permanent placement. Our service area is all of Western Washington, with most jobs in the following cities: Everett, Lynnwood, Seattle, Bothell, Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Renton, Kent, Federal Way, Auburn, Puyallup, Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Olympia, and Centralia.