Support Center

Star Dental Partners’ Support Center team is comprised of an experienced group of professionals from diverse healthcare and dental backgrounds. They each bring expertise in various non-clinical areas that are key to dental practice success.

Amelia Melendez

Director of Integrations

Amelia has almost a decade of Texas dental industry experience, working for both large and small dental support organizations. Her prior experience includes opening and integrating over 20 De Novo dental offices across 12 states. Amelia has an MBA from UT Dallas and a BBA in management from UT Permian Basin. Amelia has been married to her husband, for almost 10 years and has 3 wonderful dogs. Amelia and her husband enjoy spending time on their small Texas cattle ranch and building awards in their free time.

Kathryn Barni

Director of Human Resources

Kathryn has over 12 years of Human Resources experience with private and publicly traded companies in both the U.S. and abroad. In the last 5 years, she has focused on building and developing multi-site and multi-state HR platforms conducive to healthcare sales and operations. Kathryn’s prior experience focused on full-cycle recruiting in the Financial Services, Private Equity, and Executive Search industries. Originally born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Corporate Communications & Public Affairs and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Kathryn is passionate about art, travel and family.

Jason Schwanke

Director of Marketing

Jason brings over 10 years of diverse marketing experience that includes several years in various fields of healthcare, including almost 5 years in Dental (DSO). Prior to joining Star Dental Partners, Jason has worked directly with over 100 privately owned dental practices, implementing and driving marketing strategy to achieve significant growth. In addition, he spent 3 years leading the marketing department for a multi-location outpatient diagnostic imaging group in Texas. He is originally from the Pacific Northwest and attended the University of Oregon, where he earned a BS in Business Marketing. Jason lives with his wife and two dogs in Richardson, TX and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, and golfing.

Whitney Schemmel

Senior Recruiter – Clinical & Practice Support

Whitney has over 10 years of talent acquisition experience within both agency and corporate healthcare space. Prior to joining Star Dental Partners, Whitney handled recruitment of doctors into national, multi-unit dental practice settings for private and public companies. Whitney has developed a passion for building professional relationships and making a positive impact on the careers of the dental community. Her goal is to support clinical and business initiatives through strategic planning, team collaboration and positive communication. Whitney is a Texas native graduating from the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communications with a BA in Public Relations. Whitney and her husband have been married for almost 10 years, have two energetic boys and a rescue pup. They enjoy staying active, visiting family and friends across the country and supporting the Dallas Fire-Rescue community.

Sheley Fagan

Regional Director of Operations

Sheley Fagan is the Regional Director of Operations for the Austin/San Antonio area. She has worked in a multi-site management role for 20 years, including corporately owned and privately held equity investment companies. Prior to dentistry, Sheley also worked in the education and veterinary fields. Throughout her career, she has managed up to 36 locations at one time, totaling over 275 employees and a revenue of over $100 million per year. Her passions are coaching and team building to accomplish excellence in all aspects of business operations. Sheley lives in Austin with her husband and 2 children, where she enjoys woodworking and various other creative outlets.

Karen Cope


Karen is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in both healthcare and public accounting. Prior to joining Star Dental Partners, Karen spent 8 years at a fast growing, private equity backed multi-site healthcare company helping them take the company from privately held to being publicly traded. Karen looks forward to improving month end closing cycles, system implementations, developing and maintaining internal controls, as well as managing external audits. Karen is a native Texan. She graduated from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, where she was a member of the Tarleton TexAnn basketball team all four years. Karen lives in Flower Mound with her husband and 2 children.

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