20 Under 40: Jill Ombrello
Education: UT Houston Dental Branch
A fourth-generation dentist, it’s no surprise where Jill Ombrello developed a passion for oral healthcare. However, her confident decision-making skills were developed at TCBY at Preston/Forest – her first job. “I would patiently wonder how in the world these people would function in their jobs and life when it would take them 15 minutes to choose between four flavors and six toppings,” she said. “I was always impressed with those customers that would walk right in with confidence and order their yogurt with a specific topping. I decided at that job that I would be one of the confident decision makers who walked in and knew what she wanted.” Today, the Preston Hollow mother of four has used her sharp instincts and heart for giving back to others in both her private dental practice and in her family-run mobile dental company that services those who cannot travel to a traditional dental office. Jill also is an international lecturer, trainer, and consultant for Healthy Start/Orthotrain and travels around the world to teach and train other dentists in how to evaluate a child’s growth and development to provide a holistic, comprehensive approach to their needs.
Q: If you could improve one thing about your community, what would it be?
A: The litter in our community. I live off Northaven and witness drivers throw trash out of their windows. I would also make Preston Hollow a smoke-free community.
Q: If we looked at your social media accounts, what would we learn about you?
A: You would see that I am not afraid to throw out a motivational Monday quote every now and then, I love physical comedy, I am an avid Bravo housewives fan, and that my little sister, also a dentist, loves to do a TBT that highlights the horrible bangs that I sported in 3rd grade. And, if you did a deep dig, you would see some photos from my bachelorette party and understand why I can no longer drink tequila.
Did You Know?
I have the most amazing 15-year-old Maltese named Notorious BIG, but we call him “Biggie” for short.
Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?
A: In 10 years, I see myself still trying to balance my time between so many things that are important to me including my children, my companies, my marriage, and my own self-care. I see myself helping people in a sincere way whether that is improving their oral health directly, improving their ability to help their own patients in their office or helping my four children grow into well adjusted, faithful, healthy kids who enjoy life and work hard.
Q: What was your “lightbulb moment” that lead you to your career?
A: I was beyond blessed to receive a Hockaday education and to be told so many times that I could do anything. I know that is something that people say, but I honestly believe that about myself. Growing up, I enjoyed helping others become a better version of themselves or help them unlock their potential. As a teenager, this manifested as sticking up for someone who can’t speak for themselves or helping someone with homework. I sincerely enjoyed helping others. I knew any career or life path that I chose would need to be centered around helping others and education. I enjoy helping my local community in both my private practice and in the mobile dental company. I enjoy traveling around the world to teach other dentists and medical doctors how they can help their community. Because I kept this core value-centric in my career, I love what I do and I do not feel like I really go to “work.” I feel like I am constantly trying to figure out more ways to help and expand my reach.
Q: Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
A: Micromanaging was always an issue. When I began to shift my focus to creating a great team around me who I trusted and shared core values, this tendency to “control” and “micromanage” went away. I trust my team and give them the freedom to work towards our common vision together. My team enjoys coming to work every day and I hear consistent feedback from them that they are grateful for my trust in their abilities. It creates a high trust, a motivated culture of people who act with gratitude and consideration, which our patients appreciate.
Q: What do you love about the Park Cities or Preston Hollow community and why?
A: I love that you can get anything you want or need in our community! I love the Cooper Clinic, the Gem, Vitaliv, Cryozone, Mi Cocina, Soar, Nordstroms. It has something for everybody.
Q: What is your favorite local store?
A: Lush. I love a good bath bomb.
Q: Where is the best place in the Park Cities or Preston Hollow for a power lunch – what do you order?
A: Southpaws- organic brown rice zaza bowl with chicken
Q: If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be?
A: Tony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within”
Q: If someone made a movie of your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
A: Amy Schumer in “OMG my mom was right about everything”
Q: If you could, what advice would you have for your teenage self and why?
A: I would tell my teenage self that every dream she has right now would come true because you will work for it. I would tell her that being socially awkward is totally ok and this awesome guy named Jim will actually learn to love it. I would tell her that being a mother is the hardest and best job in the whole world and to not fight about curfew with your mom so much right now. I would also tell her to take a nap because adulting is busy and tiring.
Q: What, to date, has been your most impressive or rewarding accomplishment in both your professional and personal life?
A: Personal: I have nice kids. They are polite and kind to their family, friends and even strangers. When I notice my son open the door for a stranger or when my daughter offers to help someone who is struggling, I am proud of myself for raising children who will be good people. There is nothing more important than how we treat other people in our community.
Professional: I have a Downs syndrome patient who was referred by UT Southwestern because his mom refused to have the 6 surgeries that they phased out for him. I was able to treat him successfully in my office using a series of oral appliances to avoid surgery. He is the sweetest kid and is thriving now. I can only imagine what all of those surgeries would have done to that boy and his family, both psychologically and financially. I am very proud to have helped Seth unlock his potential.