As a trusted St. Joseph dentists, Dr. Sven Erickson and Dr. Andrea Godawa make loyalty a priority. They rely on a carefully hand-picked a team of dynamic and caring dental professionals who have been the backbone of the practice for many years dating back to when the doors first opened in 1989.
This reliability has helped our dental team become a tight-knit family, creating an atmosphere that translates into a comfortable experience every time you visit with us. This helps us build stronger relationships with you and your family, and it results in higher quality dental care.
We’ll never make unnecessary treatment recommendations. Everything we suggest will complement your needs, schedule, and budget. We are often able to present you with several treatment options (including benefits and cost considerations) so that together we can make the right decision for your situation.
Chad grew up in Holland, Michigan, graduating from Holland High in 1986. He studied at the College International de Cannes, majoring in Art History and French. He also studied at the University of Michigan, majoring in Specialized Economic Studies, and he received his BA in Economics from Gordon College, where he was Coordinator of Student Ministries for English as a Second Language. For two decades, he owned and operated Artisan Home Builders in Holland, Michigan, where he purchased and developed properties, designed and built homes, as well as managed construction projects. In 2009, he moved to St. Joseph. A devoted father to his two young sons, Chad can often be found playing with them at the beach and at local attractions. In addition, he serves as a Reading Dad at their school, and he is involved with their scouting activities. Chad also completed the Florida Ironman competition in 2001, as well as several marathons, including the Boston Marathon once and the Chicago Marathon seven times. He has backpacked and snorkeled around the world, including the Middle East, Europe, Central America, as well as North America. Chad brings a wealth of experience to Modern Dentistry, serving in many capacities with a focus in the sleep apnea and neuromuscular programs.
From the age of 12 to the age of 22, Joy worked alongside her mother at The Chickhaven Restaurant in St. Joseph, where she learned and honed her hospitality skills interacting with people. In 1994, Joy was hired by Dr. Erickson to serve in the capacity of Patient Coordinator. She feels fortunate to have found a career that allows her to balance both of her passions: helping people by providing a higher-than-expected level of service and being able to spend quality hours with her family. Treating people how she would want to be treated has always been a priority for her, and she is happy to be able to work in an environment which not only encourages that behavior but practices it as well. Joy and her husband, John have two daughters. In her free time, Joy enjoys spending time with her family and gardening.
Kara earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grand Valley State University in 2007 and has an Associates in Dental Hygiene from Harper College after graduating in 2013. Kara’s love for learning didn’t stop there; she also has post-graduate training that consists of 36 credit hours every three years in dental hygiene subjects mostly obtained from the Midwinter Dental Conference held in Chicago. This allows her to get up-to-date information on the latest and greatest that dentistry has to offer. While obtaining continuing education credits, Kara can greatly expand her dental knowledge from year to year and then apply that at the office. She says it’s a real perk of living close to Chicago!
As our lead Dental Hygienist, she’s responsible for performing cleanings, scaling and root planing, x-rays, oral cancer screenings, oral hygiene instructions, scheduling recare appointments, ordering products for the office, monthly reporting of treatment acceptance for both new patients as well as existing patients, and maintaining a professional work environment. Kara loves welcoming new patients to the office and building on relationships with current patients while also making people feel comfortable.
Outside of the office, Kara loves to exercise, cook, camp, and spend time with her husband Mike and two young kiddos, Olivia and Evelyn. She also loves going to her favorite restaurant in Southwest MI — the Red Arrow Roadhouse in Union Pier because they consistently deliver great food and even better cocktails.
A graduate of Coloma High School, Shannon earned an Associates Degree in Dental Assisting from Lake Michigan College, obtaining both her Certificate Dental Assisting License and Registered Dental Assisting License.
After working many years as a dental assistant, Shannon decided to return to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science Dental Hygiene. She obtained her Registered Dental Hygiene License with Local Anesthesia and Nitrous Administration. Shannon then earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science Dental Hygiene at Siena Heights University.
Shannon is a Registered Dental Instructor at Lake Michigan College. In her free time, she enjoys photography and spending time with family and friends.
Laura has been around our office for many years, since she was our patient for about 10 years before she graduated from Lake Michigan College and joined our team. She’s always had an interest in the dental industry, so she loves how our busy office makes dental health a priority, rather just having a revolving door of cleanings like some dental offices do. She also loves our advanced level of equipment that is used to get our patients the treatments that they need with less time and more accuracy. You’ll talk to Laura about scheduling appointments and making financial arrangements, but she also wants to get to know you personally and help you achieve your smile goals. Outside of work, she loves having dinners out with her husband Pete and her kids, Eliana and Amara, especially at Coaches or Ryebelles. She also enjoys traveling, decorating, playing with Brody, the family German Shepherd, and believe it or not, organizing.
Bonnie came out of retirement to join our team as a part-time employee at our Front Desk. She’s the friendly voice answering phones, confirming your appointment, and taking care of a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities involved in running our busy office. She brings with her over 21 years of experience working for Whirlpool Corporation, and we can always count on her positive enthusiasm to get us through tough weeks.
Bonnie volunteers at the Mendel Center and loves spending time with her husband, Scott. They have two grown children and now grandchildren that they love to play with. She also enjoys all arts and crafts, sewing, and quilting.