Meet Our Orthodontic Team

Giving you a VIP experience to savor.
Our Smile Makers
Seven super moms and one special dog.
Our Front Desk Coordinator, Tawny Donnelly smiling head-on while wearing a green sweater
Tawny Donnelly

Front Desk Coordinator

I currently live in Manchester, CT with my boyfriend and my two cats, Lenny and Linus.

I was an ophthalmic technician for about six years, but then I decided I needed a change. I’ve always been interested in orthodontics, and I thought exploring that area was a great way to broaden my knowledge in the medical field.

I consider myself a problem solver. Every time I talk to a patient, my goal and focus are to resolve their issues as quickly as possible. I genuinely enjoy getting to know each of our patients and helping them feel completely relaxed at the office.

Outside of the office:

I love to cook, travel, and hang out with my two cats.

Interesting Fact:

I would love to visit the Cook Islands one day.

Wendy Krause, our insurance coordinator smiling on a gray background
Wendy Krause

Insurance Coordinator

I’ve lived in Connecticut for more than 40 years. I am married and have a wonderful son. He has blessed us with a beautiful and sassy granddaughter, and a recently born grandson. Life doesn’t get better than that!

I started as a dental assistant when I was in high school for my family dentist. It was such a fun environment, I knew it was where I wanted to be, and I was right! Meeting and helping people, working with a great team, and having fun along the way is always the right choice.

My goal is to make insurance claims and your visit a stress-free experience. When I’m able to guide patients through the process, and I hear a sigh of relief, I feel thrilled I was able to help someone.

Who’s your hero and why?

My father. He was a very patient man who could teach a child anything. He was always a loving husband, father, and person.

Interesting Fact:

I’m a competitive pool player. I shoot pool in two leagues with the goal to make it to Las Vegas. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will!

Tamera Green, one of our treatment coordinators and office manager
Tamera Green

Treatment Coordinator

I have lived in Connecticut for 20 years, currently in Broad Brook, and previously in South Windsor. I have two wonderful daughters and one granddaughter. I was born in Massachusetts and lived in Maine and Florida before relocating to Connecticut to be closer to my family.

Why did you choose dentistry?
My interest in this field started in high school with my senior questionnaire, indicating I should go into the dental field. I very much disliked the dentist so I did not listen. I actually started orthodontic treatment for myself as an adult because it was not affordable for my family growing up. During my treatment the office recruited me. I spent 12 amazing years at that office. Quickly after relocating to Connecticut I was happily welcomed to this practice (previously Dr. Gange, Ferrigno, & Kalafa), now owned by Dr. Griffin. I have remained with this practice over the past 19 years, leaving in 2010 to expand my horizons as an undergrad from Saint Joseph College with my BSN to work in the NICU at Saint Francis Hospital. Loving all of my jobs, I returned to this office in May 2020 and still resume a per diem position in the NICU.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the opportunity to improve an individual’s self-esteem. Watching that evolve and providing them with a powerful tool, “a confident smile”, will not only change their life but can change someone else’s when shared.

I also love working for someone who provides me with the trusted confidence that you receive for top-notch care, honesty, and integrity. I am so happy to be back in the orthodontic field as part of Dr. Griffin’s team.

What aspect of your personality adds the most value to the office?
Three top qualities of my personality that I feel add the most value to this practice are my optimism, care for others, and calm approach in everything that I do. The best compliment I have ever received came from Dr. Griffin, “You are like yoga for my practice”.

What do you do outside of the office?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love being outdoors, seeing the mountains and the beach. I enjoy all types of animals and traveling to new places in the U.S. and camping.

What’s one item on your bucket list?
My bucket list item is to tour the U.S. with my family, stopping at every zoo, national park, and children’s museum along the way!

Alyssa Hanna, a member of our assisting team smiling whilst wearing a sweater
Alyssa Hannan

Dental Assistant

I currently live in South Windsor, CT with my family and our rescue dog.

I’ve always loved working with people and I enjoy witnessing the progress of their treatment. Patients are the best part of my job, and I love seeing them interact with Brady (our comfort animal).

I have a very gentle character, which helps me put kids and parents at ease. With each patient, I seek to follow what my favorite quote says, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

Outside of the Office:

I like to spend time with my family, hiking, and baking.

Interesting fact:

My left elbow is held together with titanium!

Kelsey Sullivan, a member of our assisting team looking straight on
Kelsey Sullivan

Dental Assistant

I currently live in Vernon, CT, with my husband and two children.

I chose orthodontics because one of the first things most people notice about another person is their smile. I wanted to be a part of a team that helps people gain confidence through a perfect smile.

I attended Porter and Chester Institute and received the honor of being named the Student Ambassador in the dental program while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I hold certifications for CPR, Infection Control, and Radiation Health & Safety. I like to continually test my knowledge, guessing what Dr. Griffin’sLearn more about our dentist next step will be in each patient’s treatment.

Outside of the Office:

I enjoy visiting Cape Cod, spending time with family, and cake decorating.

Interesting fact:

I was a patient here before I became one of Dr. Griffin’s assistants.

Samantha Mendez, one of our dental assistants
Samantha Mendez

Dental Assistant

I graduated in 2013 from Manchester Community College with a certification in Dental Assisting. I live in a fixer-upper in Manchester with my husband and our dog, Linguini.

Why did you choose dentistry?
Dentistry has always fascinated me, and I have always wanted to work in a profession where I can provide patients with personalized care.

What is the best part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is being able to watch the transformations of new patients throughout their orthodontic treatment.

What do you do outside of the office?
In my spare time, I love doing projects on my home as well as baking and crafting!

What’s one item on your bucket list?
The number one item on my bucket list is to go to Santorini, Greece!

Annette Cover our Orthodontic Assistant smiling from the front on a blue background.
Annette Covert

Orthodontic Assistant

I currently live in Vernon, CT, with my husband, my two beautiful daughters, and my two dogs, Mia and Molly. My daughter, Alana, is graduating from nursing school in 2020, and my other daughter, Jordyn, is graduating from high school in 2021.

I chose orthodontics because I found the whole process utterly fascinating. I enjoy watching the progress of each patient and love seeing the results they achieve. When I’m in the office, I thrive when working with patients, their families, my coworkers, and, of course, Brady. I love it all!

I believe every day should be started with a positive attitude, after all, smiles are contagious!

Outside of the Office:

I spend a lot of hours cheering on the sidelines for Jordyn since she plays three different sports. I like to craft, play word games, and snuggle with my dogs.

Interesting Fact:

“Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw would be the theme song to my life!

Our team dog, Brady Griffin, looking up while wearing a colorful collar
Brady Griffin

Comforting Companion

I am a mini Australian Labradoodle who enjoys cuddling, long walks, and sneaking table food from my brothers.

I have a deep love for people. At the office, I like seeing old friends and meeting new ones every day. I love caring for others and making everyone around me happy.

Outside of the office:

I enjoy naps, hanging out with my family, and hatching schemes resulting in bacon consumption.

Bucket list item:

To eat bacon every day after being at my favorite place – my mom’s office.

Interesting Fact:

Did I mention my love of bacon?

The staff is always friendly and upbeat. Dr. Griffin really cares about her patients and has been wonderful. I love that she called the nights my kids got their braces to make sure they were ok and had no problems. Truly fantastic office staff and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

Melissa B. (Actual Parent)

Caring for Your Needs

Our team not only provides exquisite Vernon Orthodontics, but we genuinely want you to enjoy your visit.

A blue icon of a tooth with a green circle on top with a smile inside the circle
Comfortable Care

Our team takes time getting to know you in a warm and modern environment, with complimentary refreshments and a relaxing atmosphere. Plus, we have a furry friend to relieve you of any anxiety!

A blue icon of a tooth with two green stars above and below
Feel Like a VIP

As a team, we recognize each patient is different. We tailor treatment to each individual’s personal needs. We want everyone to feel special because you truly are. When you or your child comes to us for help and guidance, you become our priority as we carefully align your smile.

A blue icon of a tooth with a green circle above with a family in the middle
Part of our Family

We genuinely care for you, and we want to make you feel at home from the very moment you step into our office. You can be sure we will treat your family just as if you was our own. We even provide you with Dr. Griffin’s mobile number, so you can reach out when you need us.

Our team gathered around the front desk talking and laughing
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