Two weeks ago a great friend changed his address from Earth to Heaven. His name is Dr. Steve Tracey. I met him at an orthodontic meeting in Orlando twenty years ago. He was a speaker and I loved what he had to say. He shared a vision of patient care that hit me in the heart. At that meeting I shared with him my vision of WildSmiles designer shaped braces. He immediately jumped on board. Steve was all about loving people. He valued everyone as family and he delivered excellent orthodontics while putting patients his first.

Steve was a revolutionary leader in orthodontics. He had no long list of rules. He would say he was a regular guy who set high standards for himself and encouraged others to do the same. He had a compelling vision of adventure and curiosity. Embracing it, he led others in it’s pursuit. One of the coolest adventures I had was when I went to “Adventures in Orthodontics”, a series of meetings Steve and Jim Hilgers created. Steve and Jim shared everything! They shared their successes and failures. Honesty and transparency are extremely rare and extremely necessary. Those meetings were awesome and I will always value their impact on me.

Steve had the uncanny ability to make you feel special. He was real. He valued people. He needed people. When you were around him you liked yourself more. He made a leadership CD in which he described meeting a new orthodontic patient named Allison who was a little girl with spina bifida. He picked her up and said “let’s dance”. One of his Adventure videos features Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance”. Steve Tracey danced. Thank you Steve for teaching us all to dance!