Meet The Team

Mark Seekings
Chairman & CEO

As CEO of the Group, Mark has extensive experience of running successful businesses over a career spanning 30 years. Mark was part of the founding team at one of the largest dental groups in the UK where he was instrumental in building the group to 135 practices and 10 laboratories. With a keen interest and a passion for digital dentistry, Mark will play an influential role in rolling out the group wide vision to integrate cutting edge digital technology to better serve our patients. You will find him to be a very approachable, down to earth Yorkshireman who relishes being with the ‘troops’ as often as he can.

Gus Fichardt
Chief Financial Officer

Gus is Managing Director of The Peloton, a chartered accountant and marketeer firm for Dentists. He was formerly the Financial Director for Harley Street Dental Group. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Smiles Dental Care Clinics where he devised and implemented a turnaround strategy. Co-Founder of Dental Property Investments, Gus was responsible for the sale and lease back of freehold assets and building the business to a multi-million-pound property portfolio. Gus completed his MBA thesis on “Business of Dentistry in the UK”.

Chris Aylward
Chief Investment Officer

Chris has a passion for acquisitions specialising in healthcare and understands the unique aspects of dealing with sale of a dental practice. Every dental practice is different, every sale has different aspects that need to be addressed and that is why we will work with you to understand your particular needs. Following a successful 20-year career with Alliance UniChem/Boots, Chris has recently held senior M&A roles with small Private Equity backed healthcare businesses, recently as Head of M&A with Oasis Healthcare.

Mike McGrath
Non-Executive Director

As a non-executive director, Mike sits on the Boards of a number of high-growth consumer businesses, including a major online beauty retailer and one of the country’s largest consumer law firms. Earlier in his career, he held a number of senior management roles at FTSE 250 level. Mike’s role is to use his experience to support the senior management team led by Mark in developing and delivering its vision to become one of the country’s leading dental businesses.

Ian Gordon
Managing Director – Alpha Vitality and Group NHS Lead

Ian Gordon graduated from Newcastle Dental School in 1984. He returned to his native North Yorkshire before starting The Dental Centre Group in 1989 which expanded to include 4 practices across Teesside. In 2008 he founded Alpha Vitality Group with his wife and business partners, which has expanded to 10 practices across the North from York to Chester Le Street, with significant NHS, Private, referral and Orthodontic commitments.

Ian has been involved in Dental Politics and Vocational Training throughout his career. He is currently Chair of North Yorkshire and Yorkshire Regional Council of Local Dental Committees. Ian retains a clinical commitment providing NHS and Private dental treatment. Until very recently Ian has also been a dento-legal advisor for Dental Protection and is currently a dento-legal advisor to Densura -a recently formed dental indemnity company.

Ian is currently a Director of The Association of Dental Groups, which represents many of the larger Corporates and Groups in the UK. He also becomes a Director of Riverdale Healthcare, Group NHS Lead and Managing Director of Alpha Vitality Group (as part of Riverdale Healthcare) to take the existing practices to the next level through investment and growth.

Ben Wild
Operations Director

Ben trained as a dentist in Newcastle before moving back to North Yorkshire where he worked as an associate in private and NHS practice before going into partnership with Ian Gordon to form The Dental Centre group in 2005. Valuable experience gained from these early years were used to build up the second group of 10 practices that became Alpha Vitality Group with an ethos on building motivated dental teams to provide high-quality NHS and private dental care in modern and progressive practice environments. This team focused passion has also been harnessed to train dentists, firstly as a trainer within a practice and subsequently as a Training Programme Director for Health Education England North East for the past 10 years.

He was recently appointed Regional Foundation Programmes Advisor and overseas dental foundation training across the North East and Cumbria. Ben is also a past member of Tees Local Dental Committee and PEC committee member of Langbaurgh PCT.

He becomes Operations Director for Riverdale Healthcare and will work with Ian Gordon on developing the Alpha Vitality Group, and with the Riverdale management team on further planned growth across the UK.

Ashkan Pitchforth
Non-Executive Clinical Advisor

Ashkan qualified from Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Dental School in 2009 with honors. Ashkan practices dentistry in Crawley where he is a supervisor and mentor for younger dentists for Health Education England. He is an Executive Member of the West Sussex Local Dental Committee, which strives to represent dentists on a local and national level. He additionally works as a Clinical Dental Advisor for NHS England South East (Kent, Surrey and Sussex).