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Our Team

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Mari Sawtelle | Founder

In 1983, Mari started her orthodontic career as a lab tech and orthodontic assistant. After several years and at the urging of her doctor, she entered the orthodontic sales arena. Her first sales position was with Johnson & Johnson / A Company, and over the course of the next decade, she was promoted through the ranks to the top level of sales as a company trainer. She continued with Ormco for several years after a merger.

 

Mari was offered an opportunity to be part of the founding team at Align Technology, handling the entire state of Texas and managing Align’s lead market for advertising in Austin, as well as acting as the company trainer. She then became a rep for GAC / Dentsply, where she set a company sales record her first year. 

 

As a sales representative for four of the largest orthodontic manufacturers, Mari saved time and money for the offices she called on by teaching them how to inventory, maintain appropriate stock levels, and put together ordering systems. She worked with ordering assistants and doctors, recommending products that balanced quality and value.

 

After more than 25 years in the field, mastering the orthodontic industry from the vendor side in support of her doctors, Mari was recruited to join a 12 doctor multi-practice company as Director of Business Development and Purchasing. Here she developed an expertise in the practice side of the business, creating the inventory formulary, negotiating pricing, establishing the inventory system and infrastructure, and building the new office template for a multi-million dollar ortho enterprise. During her tenure, she was responsible for three office openings and saved the company millions in overhead.

 

In 2012, Mari founded Sawtelle Consulting, and over the next two years analyzed 45 orthodontic practices, gathering valuable information, which lead to the creation of Mari’s List®. The buying group started out with six companies and over the years has grown to more than 150 companies and 2500 members.

 

Mari lives in the beautiful Texas hill country with her husband, Matthew, and their pack of dogs. She makes a mean pot roast, enjoys good wine, and loves what she does.

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Emily Sawtelle | Managing Partner

After several years in a supporting role, Emily officially joined Mari's List in 2017 to manage vendor outreach, member relations, business processes, systems upgrades and maintenance, marketing, event coordination – basically a little bit of everything. Emily loves helping offices track down hard-to-find products or recommending the perfect service you've been searching for.

 

Before wearing many hats for Mari's List, Emily began her career as a multidisciplinary graphic designer specializing in brand and identity design. Her first home was with Austin-based FÖDA Studio, providing market research and strategy, brand concept and identity development, interior design, and production oversight across a broad range of media including print, digital, and environmental graphics. 

 

In 2012, Emily transitioned to working in-house for an artificial intelligence startup. She served as the company's Creative Director for five years, leading the evolution of the company's brand development across all marketing.

In her free time, Emily enjoys rock climbing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her husband, Andy, and their dog, Joey, in Austin

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Edwina Wood | Director of Training

Edwina Wood, AA, RDA, has over 36 years of experience in the orthodontic industry. She began with hands-on clinical assisting with Dr. J. W. Barnett. While in Dr. Barnett’s office she managed all TMJ patients and ordered stock for his four offices. She spent 26 years working as office manager and treatment coordinator for Harwell Orthodontics in Amarillo, Texas. During her years with Dr. Harwell Sr. and Jr., she managed the lab for 2 years, trained new staff members both clinical and office, ordered all stock, and managed inventory for their 5 offices. Edwina brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience to Mari's List.

 

She has lectured for the past 15 years, discussing treatment coordinating, marketing, overhead control, and office management, and has authored several articles. She is actively involved in her family's commercial cow/calf cattle operation in Amarillo, Texas, all the while directing the management of the Wood Law Firm. Edwina holds a Liberal Arts degree and is a Registered Dental Assistant in the state of Texas and Oklahoma

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Cory Garrison | Trainer

Cory’s ortho career began in 2005 when he joined Sun Orthodontix, a multi-practice company with offices in Texas and New Mexico. Starting from the ground up, Cory worked as an Orthodontic Assistant in order to learn the instruments, products, and lingo through a hands-on approach. Under Mari’s guidance, he quickly moved up the ladder into the inventory and purchasing department.

 

He learned competitive pricing, negotiating skills and how to select high-quality, high-value, state-of-the-art products. As Mari’s Inventory Control Manager, Cory maintained a $1 million+ orthodontic inventory for seven practices. As Sun Orthodontix expanded, he and Mari opened several new offices together, handling the purchasing of nearly every aspect of the new office, from operatory chairs to equipment. Cory is a master of how to shop effectively!

 

Cory has the best sense of humor and keeps our team laughing. He lives in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is a super proud dad with two sons who were recently awarded college baseball scholarships.

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Leesa Avent | Trainer

Leesa Avent, RDA, began her ortho career in 1986 in Amarillo, Texas, then moved 8 years later to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

She started as an assistant and quickly learned all aspects of orthodontics, including lab, front desk, TC, ordering, marketing, and management.  She spent 16 years as Office Manager for Schroeder Orthodontics in Colleyville, Texas before moving to consulting where her last job had her enriching a quickly growing, multi office practice.

Leesa has since retired from offices and moved to southern Ecuador where she enjoys hiking with her 2 dogs, painting and visiting with friends at the local pueblo.

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Andy Erdmann | Operations Manager

Andy has called Austin his home for nearly thirty years, after arriving to attend the University of Texas. Professionally he has primarily spent his time in the restaurant / hospitality business with an emphasis on operational efficiency and management, personnel management and training, and implementing technology to modernize problem-solving. He won't tell you this, but Andy was the operational mind behind opening a Michelin star restaurant, many James Beard awards, and Bon Appétit recognitions among others.

 

The hospitality business also introduced him to Emily Sawtelle, leading to his most-excellent marriage and now a position with Mari's List. He's served as the Mari's List AAO Ringer since 2018 and now works on project management, helping to make things run more smoothly for doctors, office managers, vendors, and Mari's List itself. 

 

Andy spends his free time reading, traveling with Emily and Joey, and honing his skills on the pool table when possible.

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Joey | Emotional Support

Joey is an Aussie/Heeler/Border Collie mix who knows her toys by name. At Mari's List, we understand staying on top of inventory and trying new products can be stressful. Fortunately, we have Joey available to comfort and entertain our members 24/7.

 

Besides providing love, Joey serves as our Director of Squirrel Observation and performs New Vendor Background Checks using her impressive 300 million olfactory receptors. She almost graduated from Austin Dog Alliance with a certificate in Level I Obedience. 

 

In her free time (all the time), Joey enjoys yelling at cats, eating snacks, hiking, and lounging in the sunshine in her yard. She still lives with her parents rent-free in Austin, Texas.

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Bob | Culture

Bob doesn't have a lot of employment experience, so his chief responsibility is providing love and kisses, and occasionally venturing out to meetings and various modeling gigs. Yogi Bob was named after Bob Marley because of his relaxed demeanor as a puppy, only to discover he has an auditory impairment or as his doctor states, selective hearing loss.

 

Some of his talents include inventing and performing yoga poses, clearing a room with expert precision, and protecting his homestead from attack-deer. Bob, like his cousin Joey, still lives with his parents rent-free, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country outside of Boerne.

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