Board of Directors
Smiles Change Lives is governed by a dedicated volunteer board of directors who provide governance and leadership to ensure the long-term health and vitality of the organization. It is these individuals who set the direction for our growth, sustainability and national expansion.
Virginia L. Brown, Founder
A Kansas City native, Mrs. Virginia L. Brown founded the Virginia Brown Community Orthodontic Partnership in 1997 with the intent of filling the unmet need of providing braces for low-income children. After serving the first 48 children in Kansas City in 1998, Mrs. Brown’s vision and generosity grew into a national nonprofit organization named Smiles Change Lives (SCL). To date, SCL has changed the lives of more than 2,300 children nationwide. Mrs. Brown continues to support the organization as a member of the board of directors. She enjoys reading notes of gratitude from the kids and families touched by SCL.
Thomas C. Brown, President
Mr. Brown is the son of Virginia Brown and the lead strategist for SCL. He serves as chairman of the board of directors and houses SCL adjacent to his law firm, The Brown Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Brown has provided legal and business counseling services to organizations and individuals for more than thirty years. As an entrepreneur himself, Mr. Brown has proven instrumental in business management, matters of financial sustainability and the development of key partnerships for SCL. Mr. Brown would like to see Smiles Change Lives serve more than 1,000 children annually.
Dr. Kelly Toombs, Orthodontist
Dr. Toombs has been an SCL board member since the organization’s inception as the Virginia Brown Community Orthodontic Partnership. In addition to serving as one of SCL’s directors, Dr. Toombs is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontists and has many professional memberships including the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, Southwestern Society of Orthodontists, Kansas Association of Orthodontists, Kansas Dental Association, Greater Kansas City Society of Orthodontists, Fifth District Dental Society (Johnson County) and UMKC Orthodontic Alumni Association. Dr. Toombs attained his Certificate in Orthodontics from UMKC School of Dentistry in 1984. Much of SCL’s program model has been developed and refined over the years under Dr. Toombs' leadership.
Dr. Frank E. Egan, Orthodontist
Dr. Egan, now celebrating his 16th year in practice, graduated with High Honors from the School of Dental Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook, and received his Orthodontic Certificate from SUNY’s School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Egan was certified, in 2000, as a Diplomate by the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. Egan’s professional memberships include College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics, American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, Northeastern Society of Orthodontists and New York State Dental Association. Dr. Egan has had his research published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, and is responsible for spearheading the wildly successful SCL Turkey Trot in Long Island, NY.
Dr. Jess Kane, Orthodontist
In addition to establishing two practices in Natick and Walpole, MA, Dr. Kane is a staff orthodontist at Tufts Dental Facility for the Handicapped and is Associate Clinical Professor of Orthodontics at Tufts Dental School, where he received his Master's Degree in Anatomy and Certification in both pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. Dr. Kane is a member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society and American Association of Orthodontics. His extraordinary enthusiasm for SCL stems from his passion for children. In addition to his board affiliation with Smiles Change Lives, he is a co-founder of Project Stretch, which provides free dental care for indigent children worldwide, and has spearheaded the establishment of the SCL program in Boston, MA.
Dr. Stephen Litton, Orthodontist
Dr. Litton is SCL’s Minnesota program champion. He has been instrumental in recruiting volunteer orthodontists and expanding SCL’s reach throughout the state and nationwide. Dr. Litton received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1967, his Certificate in Orthodontics in 1970 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1972, all from the University of Minnesota. Throughout his career he has received a variety of honors, including recognition from the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists, the Minnesota Dental Association and Midwestern Society of Orthodontists. He has served in a variety of leadership positions for organizations including the American Association of Orthodontists and The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Dr. Litton is currently a delegate to the American Association of Orthodontists House of Delegates.
Perry Brown, Citibank
Mr. Brown is the Managing Director and Private Banker for Citi’s Palm Beach region. Mr. Brown has more than 18 years of experience in the financial
services industry. He holds Series 7, 66 and 24 licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA). Mr. Brown received his MBA from Baylor University and his BS from Palm Beach Atlantic University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy reserve for eight years, and attended the U.S. Naval War College non-resident program. In addition to his work with SCL, Mr. Brown is on the Board of Governors for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and is a member of the Advancement Committee for the Norton Museum of Art.
Reuben Paulsen, Energy Financial Services
Mr. Paulsen, the Treasurer of the Smiles Change Lives board, is a Certified Public Accountant. He earned a Bachelor’s in Accounting from Washburn University in 1968. Since that time, Mr. Paulsen has worked in various companies until beginning his own accounting firm in 1997, specializing in small business accounting. Mr. Paulsen is also the Coordinator of the American Baptist Disaster Relief Team in the East Central Region of Kansas. In addition to his meticulous attention to detail, Mr. Paulsen is critical to the organization’s budgeting process.
Sally Smith, Smith & Associates, Inc.
Sally E. Smith, founder and president of Smith & Associates, Inc., is a business strategist with years of experience in senior management in the banking and financial services industries. In addition to her corporate career, Ms. Smith is an experienced entrepreneur. She co-founded and served as chief executive officer of an international distribution corporation that she successfully operated and subsequently sold. Ms. Smith has degrees in Business and Psychology from Drury University, as well as a Graduate Degree in Banking from the University of Colorado. She is a licensed mediator for the State of Kansas Courts.
Phyllis Nolan, Community Volunteer
Ms. Nolan has significant experience in business management, product and program development and consulting. She most recently worked as President of Peruvian Connection, a privately held knitwear and accessories company that markets to an international clientele. Her civic leadership includes five years on the Kansas Board of Regents, including a term as Board Chair. Ms. Nolan has also served on the board of a number of nonprofit organizations including the Kansas Policy Institute, the Kansas Civil Rights Commission and Heshima Kenya. She received her B.S. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and her MBA from Rockhurst College.
Susan Schmelzer, Community Volunteer
Ms. Schmelzer’s professional background includes a range of experience in non-profit administration, education administration, consulting, and teaching. She received her B.S. from the University of Missouri, her M.A. in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and her Ph.D. in Administration of Higher Education from the University of Missouri. Ms. Schmelzer has more than 25 years of experience in volunteer community service. She has previously served on the board of directors for a number of organizations including Planned Parenthood of Greater Kansas City, Missouri Citizens for the Arts and the American Civil Liberties Union.