Name: Zach Powell
Family: My wife Elizabeth (UGA 1995) of 28 years who is also my business partner, and our two children, Anna Jane (GCSU 2023) 23, an accountant and Zach, 21, a pre-dental junior at UGA. My younger brother Chad Powell, (UGA 1996) and my older brother Jeff, and my parents, Joe and Sandy Powell.
Hometown: Lilburn, Georgia
Current Town: Saint Simons Island since 2009. I also have a farm in Screven, Georgia
What Years at UGA: 1988-1993
School/Degree: BS in Zoology, Odum School of Ecology 1992
BS in Biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences 1993
DMD, Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University 1999
Profession: General Dentist at Dentistry in Redfern on SSI, entrepreneur, and CEO of The Georgia Smile Group, a multi-office dental group serving 10 counties in southeast Georgia. I also own a commercial farm in Screven, Georgia.
Twice named to UGA Alumni Association Bulldog 100 for 2018, 2019
2022 President of the Georgia Dental Association
2023 Named Adjunct Professor at the Dental College of Georgia
Honorable Fellow for the Georgia Dental Association (2011)
Honorable Fellow for the Pierre Fauchard Academy (2014)
Honorable Fellow for the American College of Dentists (2023)
What life lessons did you learn while at UGA?
Never, ever give up. Being relentless toward making your dreams a reality, the “vision quest” mentality. The power of the Georgia network…fellow students become friends, who become life-long colleagues. Next-door neighbors can rock your world. Take a wild guess who mine was in college? One ‘last’ cocktail at The Georgia Theatre is rarely a good decision
What professor did you most admire?
Dr. Josh Laerm- although he was a tough professor, his humor made him everyone’s favorite and he taught me to balance the seriousness of science with laughter. He introduced me to zoology, coastal ecosystems, and a love of natural history. Dr Laerm’s class was also where I met many future colleagues in healthcare. And Dr. John Pickering, UGA Chair for Entomology, opened my eyes to the essential role of bees and entomology in agriculture, healthcare, and our environment. Both professors helped me expand my level of thinking regarding zoology and biology’s impact on our everyday health – I still refer to their wisdom and teachings in my daily practice of dentistry.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Well, after Elizabeth chased me all over the University of Georgia, I finally relented and the rest is history. In all honesty, the joy of my life centers around our marriage of 28 years. It all started the first time I saw her (she was my next-door neighbor my senior year at UGA) … I knew she was the one. However, I think Elizabeth still might be thinking about it?
Together it has certainly been a wild and adventuresome ride, the Lord has blessed us with our two children, Anna Jane and Zach, a beautiful home on the Hampton River, and many business opportunities that have allowed us to serve people across the state of Georgia and beyond.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
George Washington- America’s original fierce leader, he was such a forward thinker. He looked inward, never gave up, and kept working toward innovation and improvement throughout his entire life. I also would have loved to have been his dentist- think of what he could have accomplished if he hadn’t struggled his whole life with poor dental health!
Who are your heroes in real life?
It’s hard to look past my parents, Joe and Sandy Powell. They are the American Dream and came from incredibly humble beginnings. They have modeled humility my entire life. They taught me about self-employment, entrepreneurship, faith, persistence, honor, loyalty, and the true power and strength of family. They gave me shoulders to stand on, and I would not be who I am today without them. They both also taught my brothers Jeff, Chad and I to work hard, but never, ever be afraid to be the life of the party!
Quotes to live by:
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
“Smile. It increases your face value.” – Dolly Parton
“For to whom much is given, much is expected.” Luke 12:48
“We’re Metal Rose, Goodnight.” If you know, you know.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I am an avid outdoorsman and there’s nothing I love more than being in nature and watching the sun come up, hearing the birds, the frogs and the insects. Sitting with Elizabeth and watching the Hampton River sunset or our Screven farm’s horizon at dusk are some of the true joys of my life. Nothing grounds me more than slowing down and taking in our Lord’s beautiful creation.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am intensely persistent, according to my wife. She also thinks I’m obnoxiously optimistic…she calls me the Ted Lasso of dentistry.
What do you most value in your friends?
Authenticity. It’s really all that matters in relationships. My men’s small group calls ourselves “The Sinners,” lol – not sure how you can get more genuine than that.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If you asked my famous high school football coach Dave Hunter, he’d probably say if I was only a few inches taller, I’d be finishing up my NFL career.
Who are your favorite writers?
Lewis Grizzard…I actually had the good fortune to know him. He reminds me of everything that is charming about the South and he loved the Dawgs with all his heart! We desperately need more of his humor in our lives.
Fave social media and who to follow?
I follow John Maxwell and Charles Stanley to fill my soul with leadership advice. I love Dawg Nation, and anything bulldawg, honestly, as I absolutely bleed red and black. I must admit that I admire a few Gators, besides my favorite local Gator and true gentleman Steve Melnyk, I love Gator Tim Tebow’s passion for others and follow him on social media as well. He has what my family calls “the light in the darkness.” I am only on Facebook for FB Marketplace. I’m always looking for some piece of junk to add to my barn at my Screven farm.