Dr. Melvin Feiler, the 1st generation patriarch of the East Gate Alliance family office, graduated dental school from University of Maryland’s Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1958. He began his professional career by serving two years in the United States Air Force and was deployed to Japan during that time. While serving his country in the United States Air Force, he took care of our troop’s dental needs.
After Dr. Melvin Feiler was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, he remained in Japan for an additional 3 years. While living in Japan as a civilian, he provided dental care in a local dental office and was a part-time instructor at a Japanese dental school. Throughout his time in Japan, Dr. Melvin Feiler became fluent in Japanese and began to explore his entrepreneurial desires by opening a car dealership. While the car dealership venture did not turn into a long-term career, the experience was fundamental in developing the skills and business acumen that Dr. Melvin Feiler would eventually employ in building out a dental services business in the United States over the ensuing decades. By the mid-1960’s, Dr. Melvin Feiler had moved backed to his home state of New Jersey where he opened up a small 3-chair dental practice, which unknowingly at the time would become the first practice of many and marked the beginning of what would eventually become known as Dimensional Management. By the late 1960’s, leaning on his visionary and prescient skills, Dr. Melvin Feiler saw the need in the dental services industry for offering affordable dental care for all individuals. He recognized there was a whole population of working class Americans that could not afford routine dental care and so he decided to make providing such affordable care fundamental to his business plan and philosophy.
Eastern Dental was established in 1972 and generally marks the time period where Dr. Melvin Feiler began focusing on breaking the mold that was the old way of offering dental services within the industry. Not only was he making dentistry affordable, but he also developed one of the first HMO dental insurance plans during this time period. Word quickly spread among potential patients about this new and affordable approach to obtaining dental care, and as a result Eastern Dental’s business grew to 4 locations throughout northern NJ throughout the 1970’s. In 1976, Dimensional Management was incorporated as the parent company for the overall business in order to help manage the growing number of independently operated dental practices and insurance plans being offered to its patients.
Dimensional Management and its affiliates spent much of the 1980s rapidly growing its footprint throughout New Jersey and into Michigan with global and national employers such as Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Motors, and Merck taking notice. In 1980, the company developed and built a new 62,000 corporate headquarters in Avenel NJ which they named Plaza 35. The development and construction of Plaza 35 marked the first ever commercial real estate venture on which the family embarked in its long storied history. In 1981, Midwestern Dental was born when Dimensional Management built the largest dental office in the country in Dearborn Michigan, taking advantage of the significant need for affordable dental services in the Detroit metro and surrounding suburban areas during this time. By the end of the 1980’s, the company expanded to 12 locations across New Jersey and Michigan and was employing over 300 employees. Dimensional Management, Eastern Dental and Midwestern Dental was now becoming a highly recognized brand in the affordable dental care industry across large swaths of both New Jersey and Michigan. As a result of Dimensional Management’s approach to the dental business in general, the concept of “All Services Under One Roof” within the dental services industry was born. The strategy quickly began to be copied by competitors and, still to this very day, is an ownership and management strategy employed by many large multi-practice dental businesses. In 1984 and 1985, Inc. Magazine recognized Dimensional Management in its Inc. 5000 Rankings as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country.
The 1990s was the decade during which the torch of the Feiler family’s business began to be passed down to the 2nd generation of the Feiler family business. In 1998, Dr. Aaron Feiler graduated from the family’s alma mater, University of Maryland’s Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. Dr. Aaron Feiler, although required by his father to start out in the company as an entry level dentist at one of the company’s practices, would quickly become instrumental to both the family’s business growth within the dental services industry and the family’s continual expansion into investing in commercial real estate assets.
Throughout the 1990s and well into the 2000s, Dimensional Management, Eastern Dental and Midwestern Dental continued to grow, adding double-digit number of additional full-service practices across NJ, MI and now PA. The family expanded services in their insurance business and grew to be the largest provider of HMO dental insurance in New Jersey and Michigan. By the end of the decade, Dimensional Management was operating over 30 locations across NJ, MI and PA, employed over 1,000 workers, and was clearly recognized as one of the top industry leaders in high quality affordable dental and orthodontic care. As the organically grown business continued to generate more and more EBITDA and cash flow, the family began more rapidly expanding its investment portfolio into the commercial real estate sector. Primarily focused at the time on owning the medical office-centric real estate in which they operated many of their dental practices, Dr. Aaron Feiler began expanding the family’s CRE investments into retail shopping centers, industrial sites and some single tenant NNN deals.
This most recent decade was primarily marked by two momentous events. First came the successful sale of Dimensional Management and its affiliates to Waud Capital Partners in 2016. Second came the official formation of the East Gate Alliance family office in the same year. The first half of this decade was spent both managing the large Dimensional Management family business and preparing for the sale of the company. The second half of this time period was dedicated to standing up the family office and its resources with the initial goal of proprietarily preserving and growing the Feiler familial wealth created over decades of owning and operating Dimensional Management and its affiliates. Once Dimensional Management was sold and the East Gate Alliance family office was officially formed, Dr. Melvin Feiler retired and officially passed the torch onto his son, Dr. Aaron Feiler, marking the completion of the 2nd generation take-over of the family business, now mostly focused on commercial real estate investing.
As the East Gate Alliance family office looks forward to the future, it strives to maintain the same core fundamental values and mission that was employed by Dr. Melvin Feiler all those years ago. Namely, East Gate Alliance continues to provide our investors with high quality investments and strong risk-adjusted returns, focusing on value in the same fashion that Dr. Melvin Feiler focused on affordability decades ago. In the same light, East Gate Alliance is also highly focused on making an impact in underserved and marginalized communities via strategic commercial real estate investing in an effort to deliver similar value-based benefits to these communities on which Dr. Melvin Feiler based much of his entire professional career dating back to the 1960s.