Jim Kalina, DDS, has served families in the Mankato area with comprehensive, modern dental care and personalized service for nearly 25 years at Kalina Dental. Along with running a thriving business, Jim stays busy with his wife and three daughters, is active in his church, and loves to run marathons. We’ve had the joy of working with Jim through a new brand + website project along with his recent office build.  With his positive personality and passion for what he does, we knew he was someone that we had to share with our community!

Tell us a little bit about your career journey. I chose to start my dental career at the University of Nebraska Dental School in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I graduated in 1998 and spent 18 months as an Associate Dentist in Bloomer, Wisconsin.  Wanting to be closer to family, I decided to purchase a dental practice from a retiring dentist here in Mankato in December of 1999.  Thinking back to all the concerns with how the computer systems were going to handle Y2K added a bit more stress to taking over and updating the practice. We have now been in practice in Mankato for 24 years!

If you could go back in time, what’s one thing you would change about your business? I wish I had built our new building five to ten years ago. I feel that I got too “comfortable” and was anxious about making a big change.  Taking risks is difficult for me.  With some gentle encouragement from our office manager, I decided to take a leap of faith, allowing my business to grow into the future.

Where did you grow up? I lived most of my early years in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

What is something you’ve always wanted to learn? I have always wanted to learn Spanish.  Spanish is widely used; we have visited Mexico several times as a family and it would be helpful on my yearly mission trip to Belize.

What do you think is the most essential professional skill? For any profession, the most essential skill is to be continually learning.  In the medical field, we call our business a “practice.”  We are constantly learning new and more efficient treatments to better meet the needs of our patients. Making connections with our patients and making them feel comfortable in the dental chair is one of our top priorities.