At the 17th annual Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Awards, NC graduate and owner of Dental Hygiene of Niagara, Lisa Carlomusto, was the recipient of the Emerging Business Award.
Each year the achievements of women in the Niagara Region are celebrated, highlighting their influence and leadership in the community.
“Winning the GNCC Women in Business award in this category was so phenomenal,” said Carlomusto. “It just isn’t an award for me, it’s recognition, acknowledgement and most of all, validation for what I am doing because starting Dental Hygiene of Niagara was a path that the average Dental Hygienist doesn’t take and I am so grateful that I was able to find a career path that is exactly who I am and has fulfilled me in my life purpose.”
Carlomusto graduated from Niagara College with her certificate in Level I & II Dental Assisting in 2004 before continuing her dental education at Canadore College, earning her diploma in Dental Hygiene in 2007.
“I met friends at NC that have been by my side since,” she recalls. “I had fantastic teachers that encouraged me to do what I love to do and who encouraged me to be the best that I could be. There are several teachers that I will never forget from that time in my life like Mrs. Sebastianelli, who motivated me to continue on with my education because she knew I would love dental hygiene.”
She opened Dental Hygiene of Niagara in 2014, running all aspects of the operation by herself within its first year from reception to bookkeeping and janitorial work. During this time she was also working at another dental clinic in Mississauga, balancing a seven day work week between the two businesses. She drew inspiration from her parents who taught her work ethic and perseverance, stating as life keeps going, you must too.
By 2017, she expanded her team and now looks to add more space for her practice in the upcoming year. Carlomusto has her team involved in every facet of the business as well, aiming to provide a working culture focused on empowerment.
“Being a woman business owner, mother and wife can become a little complicated at times but the experiences I’ve encountered over the years have shaped me into who I am today,” Carlomusto added. “I am a true believe in experiences and if one person walks away from an experience in a positive way- we have no idea what that person will do or accomplish.”
Dental Hygiene of Niagara is the first dental clinic in St. Catharines to be owned and operated by a dental hygienist. Her goals of making dental cleaning more accessible and affordable is strengthened by her accommodating hours and drive to provide the public with better access to healthcare.
“I saw a light at Niagara College in 2004 and I continued on my journey after I left there,” she said. Today, I’m the owner of a clinic that wants to bridge the gap in dental care in our growing aging population in the Niagara region. I partake in Gift from the Heart on an annual basis providing free dental cleanings for people in need who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
“I want to help people and I wouldn’t be here without the encouragement I received at Niagara College over 13 years ago.”