Our Leadership/Administrative Team

Gerald Klein, BS, BA

Gerald Klein, BS, BA

President/Chief Executive Officer

Originally from New York, Mr. Gerald Klein has been a Northern California resident since 1986. From 1986 – 1996, Gerry worked for two software development companies as a product specialist for the hotel industry. For the past 24 years, Gerry has served as a corporate manager in network engineering for AT&T.  He has extensive experience in business operations and corporate finance, holds two Baccalaureate degrees in economics and computer engineering, and holds a professional certification designation in project management.  Mr. Klein is majority shareholder of the FADE Institute, serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute, and as an advisor to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Allied Dental Education.

LaDonna Drury-Klein, RDA, BS

LaDonna Drury-Klein, RDA, BS

Founder/Chief Operations Officer

Ms. LaDonna Drury-Klein has been engaged in the dental profession at nearly every level since she began her journey in 1979. She completed her dental assisting education and her national dental assisting board examinations just as California established the RDA license.  During her 18 years as a chairside clinician, she earned degrees in biological sciences and business management before completing her teacher credentialing in higher education from UC Berkeley Extension. Over the next 20 years, Ms. Klein worked for three community college-based vocational programs teaching dental sciences, began a very successful consulting firm for dental office compliance, and served as Assistant Vice President of Education for the California Dental Association, during which time she consulted and worked very closely on legislation to bring the dental assisting duties into statute.

Ms. Klein served as a two-time appointee to the Dental Board of California for Governor Gray Davis and is often called upon to assist in developing regulatory and statutory language for dental assisting-related oversight. In 2005, LaDonna was elected to serve as the first Executive Director of the California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers, where she served as a member and volunteer leader for nearly 26 years.

In 2011, LaDonna established the Foundation for Allied Dental Education as a non-profit, public benefit entity serving to support the educational and professional development needs of all allied dental healthcare personnel.  In 2016, LaDonna and Gerald Klein founded the FADE Institute, a dedicated facility focused solely on the advancement of dental assisting education. She is currently the Executive Director of the Foundation for Allied Dental Education and is the Chief Operating Officer of the FADE Institute.

Judith Zann, RDA

Judith Zann, RDA

Chief Academic Officer/RDA Program Director

Ms. Judith Zann has worked in the dental industry for over 25 years with education being her passion. She has been a RDA since 1986 and has worked in private practice, dental product sales and as an educator in community college-based vocational programs, including Reedley College in Reedley for 11 years as Program Director for the Dental Assisting Department. While serving as Chief Academic Officer for the FADE Institute, Judith still enjoys instructing in the areas of radiology and infection control. She works closely with our dental community and advocates for all dental assistants to strive for advancing their skills through education and professional development. Ms. Zann has been involved with several  professional organizations at various levels including Past-President of the California Dental Assistants Association and is currently serving as President and Local Director for the Greater Sacramento Dental Assistants Society.  In addition, Judith serves as an Executive Committee Officer on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Allied Dental Education.

Jose Spain

Jose Spain

Executive Assistant

Mr. Jose “JJ” Spain grew up in Dinuba, California and completed his college education with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Reedley College. After working in sales and customer service roles for several years, he entered the dental profession in 2014 working in business practice management and patient coordination roles in orthodontic offices in the Sacramento area.

Currently, JJ serves as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and COO of the Institute and assists the leadership in establishing and maintaining sound business practices.  JJ is one of our amazing team members who represents our Foundation during SDDS Foundation fundraising events each year. In addition, JJ currently serves as the Recording Secretary for the FADE Teachers Coalition.

Carl Hillendahl, DMD, BS

Carl Hillendahl, DMD, BS

Institutional Dean

Dr. Carl Hillendahl graduated from UCLA in 1979 with a DDS and continued at UCLA Hospital and Clinics in a General Practice Residency Program. After the GPR program, Dr. Hillendahl practiced in the Greater Los Angeles area before moving to El Dorado County in 1982 where he maintains a private practice in Placerville.

As an advocate of staff education, he supported one of his own clinical staff through the original RDAEF program in 1996 and the EF2 in 2010. Observing the benefits of EF utilization in his practice, Dr. Hillendahl joined the FADE Institute to help promote progressive education of RDAs and RDAEFs.

Dr. Hillendahl is active within the dental community, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento District Dental Society. In his spare time, you will find Dr. Hillendahl riding road bikes, fly fishing or skiing.

Nicole Esposto, RDH, RDAEF, AS

Nicole Esposto, RDH, RDAEF, AS

EF Program Coordinator