Meet the Team
Ellenburg, Office Manager
Ellenburg has been with our practice for 21 years. She delights in getting to know our patients and hearing their stories. Going to work is a real joy for her, as our patients are like family and friends. She also highly values Asheville Smiles’s respect for and championing of diversity and heartfelt tolerance for others. She seeks to be compassionate and empathetic in all her interactions with our patients.
Outside of the office, Ellenburg likes to hike, camp, bike, and to be outdoors. She is also an aspiring novelist! She graduated from UNC with a degree in Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. She loves good writing and good books.
Mary Robinette, Registered Dental Hygienist
Mary has worked in Dentistry for a venerable 32 years! She is a graduate of East Tennessee University. Mary honors the trust our patients place in us to help them succeed in their dental well-being. She enjoys educating them on the link between systemic and oral health. Mary looks forward to coming to work every day and sharing life and adventures with her amazing team and Dr. Merrell’s patients!
Mary takes pleasure in hiking with her sweet dog, Harry, and her boyfriend, Rip. She also enjoys yoga, paddleboarding, traveling and hanging out with her 3 sisters, as well as her wonderful friends!
Elisa Alvarado, Schedule Coordinator
Elisa has been with us for 3 years! Her favorite part about her job is meeting so many interesting people. Outside of work, she likes to cook, travel and read.
Carolyn, Registered Dental Hygienist
We are happy to welcome Carolyn, who joined our practice this year. She has 7 years experience in dentistry. She completed her undergraduate coursework at California State University and earned her Dental Hygiene degree from Santa Rosa Junior College.
Carolyn thoroughly enjoys building relationships with our patients and helping contribute to their oral and overall health. In fact, she believes educating patients on the relationship between their oral and systemic health is the most important aspect of our job!
At home, she likes to spend time with her husband and son. Carolyn also likes anything outdoors, including hiking, biking, and running.
Kaleena, Dental Assistant
Out of her 17 years in dentistry, Kaleena has been with our practice for a little over 2 years! She has her 2 year Dental Assistant II Certification. Kaleena enjoys working with Dr. Merrell to provide patients with high quality dental care and the latest in dental technology to help them obtain a smile they can take pride in. Her goal is to provide a caring, comfortable experience for each patient. Kaleena understands dental anxiety, and will walk patients through every procedure — no surprises!
Kaleena treasures taking care of her sweet black lab mix, Lilly. She also enjoys hiking, reading and cooking.
Sofi, the Office Dog
Sofi has been a part of our team for 11 great years. Sofi’s distinguished educational laurels include Puppy Education, PetSmart Intermediate Education (she was the Valedictorian of her class!), Agility Boot Camp at Four Paws Kingdom, Basic Training II, and a A Good Dog’s Life Training.
If Sofi had to pick a favorite aspect of her job, it would have be treats, and the people who give them to her. Outside of work, she likes to hike, camp, sniff, snooze, chase squirrels, and play frisbee.