Meet the Staff
Nicole Balderas—Financial Coordinator
I have been in the dental field since 2005. Looking for a job, I saw an ad for a dental assistant. It sounded like something I would enjoy. Obviously, I did since I am still here! The first office I worked with allowed me to learn both dental assisting and the front desk. I feel most at home at the front desk greeting patients as they come in the front door. I have a passion for people and love meeting new faces. It’s wonderful! I am able to move back and forth between the front desk and assisting as needed. I’m honored to be part of the Newkirk dental team.
I live in Yorkville with my husband and two young sons. Keeping up with their activities and spending time with our extended families keeps me very busy.
Nicole Zagorac—Dental Hygienist
Hi! My name is Nicole. I’ve been working at Dr. Newkirk’s office since 2014 on a part-time basis. I graduated from Elmhurst College in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. I went on to Harper College to get my license in dental hygiene where I graduated in 1999. As your dental hygienist, I am committed to helping you keep your mouth happy and healthy. My goal is to assist your needs as a patient, whether it is home care solutions, problematic areas in the mouth, or basic dental education. You will receive the best possible care while in my chair. Your comfort is my priority.
Outside of the office, I keep very busy with my family, friends, and dog, Rex. In the evenings, you can usually find me at the ballpark or basketball court watching my two boys play. There’s nothing more important to me than family. I look forward to meeting you and your family at the office!
Cari Murawski—Dental Hygienist
I have been in the dental field since 1981. I started out as a dental assistant. After a few years, I decided to continue my education by going to hygiene school. I graduated from hygiene school in 1997 and have worked with Dave Newkirk ever since! I was drawn to dentistry because it’s a career which allows me to offer compassionate service to those around me. My favorite part is the interaction with people; I truly enjoy sharing stories with them.
I am a native of Chicago. I have three children who are all out of school and on their own now. I also have one grandson, who is the light of my life. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my children and grandson. I also enjoy shopping, going to the movies, and am working on enjoying exercise.
Margaret Deffenbaugh—Care Facilitator
Welcome to our office! Since I joined the team here in 2007, my primary focus has been on patient care. As the Care Facilitator, I am involved with each new patient. I help welcome them to the practice and then work to help them find a way to meet their dental goals. This can be either helping them find the “perfect” smile or achieving and maintaining a healthy smile as well as everything in between. I truly enjoy helping people achieve their dream smiles or restore function to a “troubled” mouth. It’s incredibly satisfying when a patient is thrilled with their results. I treasure the relationships I’ve developed with our patients over the years and look forward to meeting new patients as well.
People often ask why I chose to work in the dental field. When I was a freshman in high school my father suggested I come to work in his dental office. I worked all through high school and continued throughout college as a dental assistant with him. It was a fantastic experience working with my father and learning the dental field. That’s where I developed my love for interacting with patients.
I met my husband, Dan, in college and we have been married for 40 years. We have two sons and seven grandchildren. I enjoy exercise, reading, cooking and spending time with our family when I am not at the office.
Melissa Andel—Chairside Assistant
I have been in the dental field since 2002 and assisting Dr Newkirk since the spring of 2017. I truly love what I do and the relationships that I build with the patients. It is such a rewarding feeling to work in an office where the team is highly professional and where you will receive the best care possible.
I am a mother of two sons and when I am not working I love to spend time with family and friends.