The orthodontic dental support organization (DSO) Smile Doctors LLC announced today that John “J.” Hedrick has joined the company as its new CEO effective immediately. Hedrick succeeds Scotte Hudsmith, co-founder and prior CEO, who will continue to serve as an active member of the Board as its new chairman.

Smile Doctors has more than 200 affiliated practices in 17 states. Based in Georgetown, Tex, the orthodontic DSO was founded by Drs Scott Law, Dana Fender, Greg Goggans, and Hudsmith. 

According to a press release from the company, Hedrick has a leadership background in consumer-driven businesses, bringing extensive multi-site and operational experience to Smile Doctors. He most recently served as CEO of Pei Wei, a private equity-owned fast casual restaurant chain, which he helped build into a fast-growing $300 million business with more than 200 locations and 6,000 employees.

“We are thrilled to have J. join our organization at this time,” said Hudsmith. “His strong expertise and proven track record in scaling businesses and driving multi-site operations while providing customer-centric experiences will help us continue to deliver outstanding service for our patients and doctor partners. I personally look forward to continuing to support Smile Doctors’ growth and strategic objectives as chairman.”

Hedrick’s previous leadership positions include serving as Chief Operating Officer of NPC International, the nation’s seventh-largest restaurant operator with 1,300 Pizza Hut and Wendy’s locations and annual revenues exceeding $1.2 billion. His earlier experiences include key operating and support roles with Pilot Flying J, 7-Eleven, and RaceTrac Petroleum.

“The team at Smile Doctors has built a truly differentiated, high growth, market-leading business defined by a unique patient-focused culture and high-quality clinical reputation,” said Hedrick. “I’m honored to partner with the clinical and field leadership team to continue to help Smile Doctors on its growth trajectory as the leading orthodontics support organization in the country.”