Written by Betsy Abraham Sunday, 07 April 2013 00:00
Lillian Dent retired in 2004 from a career in the business world. But Dent is as busy as ever.
The entrepreneur and co-owner of LL Dent, a Southern-style restaurant in Carle Place has dedicated much of her time to community service, and was the recent recipient of the Unispan Award at the annual Hempstead for Hofstra/Hofstra for Hempstead Scholarship dinner. The community leader has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including being named one of Long Island Business News’ Top 50 Women in Business and a Nassau County Women of Distinction.
Dent is involved with numerous community organizations, including the Darby Foundation, where she teaches children life skills and how to play golf, and the Central Nassau Club, a civic organization that awards scholarships and works with senior citizens. She is also on the board of the Women’s Fund of Long Island.
“I truly believe that if you have been successful and have something to offer to the younger generations, you should try to do it as much as possible,” Dent says.
She is not only generous with her time and resources, but with her knowledge. With over 30 years of business knowledge and experience, Dent is always willing to help anyone who reaches out to her. She can often be seen walking around LL Dent, sharing entrepreneurial advice with people and offering to help them along the way.
“It’s rewarding to me to see someone benefit from whatever knowledge I have. I think if you have knowledge and it’s not shared, then it’s useless. It’s rewarding for me to be able to help someone. It makes me feel good,” Dent says.
Dent places a high value in investing in people. She recalls one restaurant employee who was having problems and that she and her daughter were considering firing. But, the Dents decided to give the employee another chance. They worked with the employee, and the person straightened up and became one of Dent’s best workers. “They credit us with saving their life. You talk about a good feeling? That’s a good feeling. When you see somebody’s who really going down, with them wanting to do better and me and my daughter with them, they’re on the right track,” Dent says.
The Georgia native’s desire for helping people through life is also reflected through LL Dent, which offers comfort food such as southern fried chicken and fried okra poppers, in a warm, homey environment.
“We wanted people to feel as if they were being entertained in our home. Our customers say they feel like they’ve been to a family reunion or they’re eating a family’s house. That’s rewarding to us because that’s exactly what we’re aiming for. That was our goal. Yes we wanted to make money, but we wanted people to enjoy the experience and take something away from it,” Dent says.