“Dr. Jim Arnold Wins the ’20 Under 40′ Award for Community Service”

The Times newspaper recognizes 20 Northwest Indiana professionals with the “20 Under 40” award. In 2009, Dr. Arnold was given this designation in recognition for his years of devotion to serving his dental patients and his community.

Graduating from Valparaiso High School in 1988, he achieved all-state status for running four times, All-American honors once, and he ran track and cross-country for Indiana University. He earned a full academic scholarship to college, graduating with honors in 1992. Dr. Arnold attended Indiana University School of Dentistry from ’92 to ’96, serving as class president all four years and winning several awards along the way.

His career has also been marked by a long list of accomplishments, including the Partners in Peace Award given by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry for his work with victims of domestic abuse. He provided full-mouth rehabilitation free of charge for an area woman who had been abused and beaten throughout her adult life.

“What is most striking about his character is kindness and humility,” says Mary Beth Schultz. She is the Executive Director for The Caring Place, which serves the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. “I asked how he manages to be so involved in the community with such a busy and thriving practice, he simply stated, ‘I want to pay it forward.’”

Arnold recently provided Caring Place clients with dental makeovers. “It was such a boost to their spirits,” Schultz says. “Many hadn’t been to the dentist in years. One was experiencing so much difficulty she couldn’t eat.” Smiles By Arnold & Associates has also donated several thousand dollars in free dental work for the Give Kids A Smile program. He has also used his Smiles by Arnold Foundation, formed in 2006 to donate over $35,000 to local organizations.

In 2006 and 2007, he travelled with colleagues to India to share his expertise with more than 1,500 dentists in seven cities. They even reconstructed fourteen upper teeth with porcelain crowns and veneers for an impoverished female patient, allowing Indian dentists to observe. The lectures and the dental care were provided at no cost.
“He has demonstrated by his example that leadership should start early in a person’s career,” Schultz says. “Hopefully, by his example he will encourage other young leaders to promote a healthy community in Northwest Indiana for years to come.”

Dr. Arnold gives his parents, past coaches, and wife the credit for helping him to be the best that he can be. “My parents always said ‘the more you have, the more you have to give’ and I believe this to be true,” he says. “They instilled a strong work ethic and sense of spirituality at a young age. My wife teaches me daily how to be a better person, daily. My coaches taught me the value of hard work and determination and I learned as a teen that I had control over the level of success I would have in life.”

Arnold knew that dentistry would be a good career for him because he could run his own business, build relationships with people, provide a valuable service, and create a work schedule that allows him to spend time with his wife and four children. When asked what he would like to be remembered for, Arnold answered, “I hope to be remembered as someone who always did his best to provide excellent care, treat everyone fairly, and went above and beyond to exceed expectations,” he adds. “I also want my kids to know that I went out of my way to help others.”

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