A native of Slovakia, Marina Funtik first came to Colorado Springs — and the United States — as a dental assistant student at Pikes Peak Community College in 2000.
“Everything was so big — the cars, the pizza,” she said of her first impressions of the U.S.
After she received her dental assistant certificate from PPCC, Funtik moved to the East Coast for about a dozen years, where she studied prosthodontics and completed her doctorate in dental medicine.
Her love of Colorado Springs, however, brought her back, and just nine months ago Funtik opened her own practice, Oasis Prosthodontics.
Funtik said she had female doctors in her family who acted as role models, and she knew early on that was the path she wanted to take.
“In my country, I went to medical high school,” she said. “It’s a little different from here. Education is more specialized. I was a lab technician in high school.”
Funtik now employs five, but never intended to have her own practice.
“I wanted to become a partner somewhere,” she said. “But I realized, to get to where I wanted to be, I had to go out on my own. I did that after a couple years of finding myself.”
Starting her own business was far more intimidating than going into medicine, she said.
“It was scary. I took a lot of business classes on the weekends. … You don’t learn a lot of business in regular school or medical school,” she said. “Dentistry is easy compared to business.”
Dr. John Agar nominated Funtik for the Women of Influence recognition.
“Marina’s work ethic is unsurpassed and her integrity is exemplary,” Agar said. “She has trained and worked as a dental assistant and laboratory technician. She understands the contributions of everyone on the dental team and her first priority is always the best possible care for her patients.”
Funtik excels at everything she sets her mind to, Agar said.
“Dr. Funtik’s strength of character is also unexcelled,” he said. “I used her as chief resident more than both her fellow residents combined because of her leadership and organizational skills.”
Aimee Grable, a marketing consultant with AdPro 360, also nominated Funtik.
“I’m accustomed to working with some of the best and brightest people in Colorado Springs, from a variety of backgrounds and industries, who exhibit perseverance and embrace their long list of accomplishments,” Grable said. “I believe Dr. Funtik has a special spark that needs to be recognized. When I thought of all the strong women I’m surrounded by, Dr. Funtik exemplified initiative, leadership and dedication. … Her ambition, intelligence and accomplishments complement precisely the stellar community of past recipients and make her highly deserving of the opportunity.”
Funtik’s achievements prove the efforts of a single person can make a difference, Grable said.
“She is deeply committed and involved in her practice, with her staff, patients and communities,” Grable said.
Funtik said “it’s a great honor” to be recognized as a Woman of Influence.
“I’m grateful and blessed to have people around me who make it fun to go to work everyday,” she said. “I say I don’t have a job, I have a calling. Even if wasn’t getting paid, I would probably still go to work.”
Funtik said she named her practice Oasis Prosthodontics because she wants her business “to be place of laughter, warmth and sunshine — a place where people can feel good.”
Her staff, whom she calls the Oasis Girls, helped her succeed, she said.
“I want to thank them for being so amazing and such a great team. Patients tell us how well we work together, and I couldn’t do this without them.”
— Bryan Grossman