Hard working as he is, Dr. Glenn Krieger has been surprised to find himself on Seattle Magazine's list of top dentists twice in the last five years.
Noting that the list is compiled from a survey of local dentists ' and assuring me that he did not vote for himself ' he suspects that the recognition comes from his work in dental photography.
The Merrick, N. Y. (Long Island) native took a lifelong interest in photography and brought it to his work, adapting single lens reflex cameras for this particular work.
'It's different from an inter-oral camera, which is good for one tooth,' he explains. 'But if you're trying to look at an arch or a smile,' the high-resolution digital images are much better for cosmetic or reconstructive dentistry.
Krieger, whose offices are in West Seattle, studied dentistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo and then returned home to work with his father, also a dentist.
'My dad recently retired after over 40 years in practice,' says Krieger. 'He's a fantastic dentist. He built a lot of good relationships with patients over the years.'
Building relationships is what Glenn is interested in as well. Each morning, he and his staff bake cookies, not just for his patients to eat, but to relax them with the homey scent of baking.
At first, patients were shocked that their dentist was offering them sugar.
'It underscores the misconception that you can't eat cookies, gum or candy,' says Dr. Krieger. 'You can, but just brush or floss afterwards.'
Now patients come in asking, 'where's my cookie?'
Krieger and his wife, Alissa, moved to Seattle in the mid-1990s. They became interested in living here after numerous visits to Glenn's aunt and uncle, Richard and Lynn DuBey, active members of Herzl-Ner Tamid on Mercer Island.
Wanting a more Orthodox lifestyle, the couple joined Mercer Island's Congregation Shevet Achim, where Krieger is now serving as president. And, as young couples tend to do, they had kids and are now the parents of Jordan, 6, and boy-girl twins, Zachary and Devin, almost two.
'I'm wearing about eight hats now,' laughs Krieger, who lectures on dental photography about once a month around the country and tries to bike, run or swim every day, confessing that 'I am a struggling amateur triathelete.' He and Jordan also ski. 'I have trouble keeping up with her,' observes dad.
Krieger thinks he's probably the only shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant) Jewish dentist on the lecture circuit, so I asked if he wears a kippah at work, which he doesn't. But most of his patients know he is Jewish.
'I'm not bashful about my affiliation,' he states. 'I was taught not to bring up religion, money or politics, but if you've known someone for years, it eventually comes up.'
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'First, I wanted to give back,' says Temple Beth Am member George Cox of the non-profit organization he started two years ago. But the genesis of the idea for Alexander Hamilton Friends Association was 'a passion for the constitutional era and, in particular, Alexander Hamilton.
'I felt a kinship with Hamilton,' explains Cox, who had already helped found one scholarship in that name through the Puget Sound chapter of his West Point alumni association.
During the 200th anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel that resulted in Hamilton's death, George traveled to New York to participate in some commemorative events.
'Out of that trip the idea was conceptualized.' The most significant of AHFA's three programs is their national citizenship award for exceptional high school students. (It's also helping to restore Hamilton's New York home and developing a web-based resource center. See www.hamiltonfriends.org)
The Hammies are 'not just a pat on the back,' Cox says. For demonstrating academic, personal and entrereneurial acumen, winners receive money, publicity and, most importantly, an academic and professional Hamilton Advisor, a volunteer who helps with college and career decisions. Among the 15 to 20 advisors are local news anchor Lori Matsukawa and president of the New York Historical Society, Louise Mayer.
'It's a hell of a list,' says Cox, a certified financial planner who has been at Merrill Lynch in Seattle for 20 years. 'There's a huge need to recognize the good in America's youth, and we're not doing enough of it. We can never do enough for America's youth.'
Cox says the things that engage him 'are this organization and Temple Beth Am,' where he has been a member since he converted to Judaism almost a decade ago, and which he credits for inspiring him to start a charity. Most encouraging have been the people he's met there, which would include his wife, Carolyn (Puddin)
Admits George, 'I could not do this if not for the support of my wife and the knowledge that I can talk things out with dozens of people at temple.'
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Sidney and Jennifer Stock have become annual correspondents with updates on their grandson, Robert Stock, an up-and-coming young baseball player formerly from the Seattle area, now living in California. The six-foot, 180-pound 15-year-old was called 'precocious' by Baseball America, which also noted his 'moxie,' 'mental edge' and 'outstanding skills as a catcher and pitcher.'
Keep an eye on this kid and, if only by indirect association, we can all say we knew him when.