In order to amplify and diversify education and resources for our members, the DEO has brought top industry leaders on board. We have a diverse Faculty dedicated to providing exceptional service to group practice owners. These inspiring men and women are eager to add tremendous value to your operation!
Introducing the DEO Faculty
Dr. Marc Cooper
President Emeritus, Dentist Entrepreneur Organization (DEO)
Dr. Marc Cooper’s principal commitments are to educating, developing, and training dentist-entrepreneurs and senior executives of emerging or established managed group practices. His work is focused on developing strategies to succeed in the emerging future of dentistry, leadership development, senior executive development, corporate infrastructure development, and the development of high-performance cultures. Over the last six years Dr. Cooper has worked with dentist-entrepreneurs worldwide to generate highly successful managed group practices.
Dr. A.J. Acierno
Born and raised in Chicago, Dr. Acierno created DecisionOne Dental Partners with his brother. They began with their own practices and added their first outside acquisition in 2011. DecisionOne Dental currently has 19 locations with an aggressive growth plan in place. Dr. Acierno is dedicated to forging a new path in the field of dentistry that considers the benefits and pitfalls of both private practice and corporate dentistry.
Dr. Sulman Ahmed
Founder and CEO, DECA Dental
Dr. Sulman Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of Deca Dental. He is instrumental in shaping and overseeing Deca Dental’s growth, strategy and culture. In 2008, Dr. Ahmed opened his first dental office and set out to create a truly patient-centered model. His belief in putting patients first is the fundamental backbone of DECA Dental’s core values and patient care delivery model. Ensuring adequate training for doctors, the very best materials being placed in the patient’s mouth, weekend hours and multiple specialists working under one roof are just the beginning of his vision.
Having a natural talent for finding and cultivating leadership and growth within people, he has built a first-class organization of leaders from the top down. Additionally, under Dr. Ahmed’s leadership DECA Dental has grown rapidly to become one of the industry’s fastest growing and most respected organizations. It has received several honors and awards. Some of the more notable ones are being recognized as Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 fastest growing companies in the nation, several years in a row. The Dallas Business Journal recognized DECA Dental as one the top 100 companies in the region and the 21st fastest growing company in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Ken Cooper, originally from Columbiana, Ohio and currently residing in Canfield, Ohio, attended Youngstown State University where he studied Finance & Marketing. Ken acquired his Series 7, 63, & 65 Licensure and began working as a Stockbroker and Investment Advisor with Wheat First Securities. From 1995-2005 Ken acted as the CEO in several joint venture deals with Atlantic Records/WEA distribution, Universal Records/Fontana distribution, and Sony Records/Red distribution. In 2008 he founded Dental Express and again in 2010 he co-founded Refresh Dental. Ken is a motivated leader with a patient-centric focus who ensures that providers have the clinical autonomy to provide the very best treatment and environment possible.
Dr. Rich Evangelista
CEO and Co-founder Premier Dental Solutions
With corporate business models dominating the market, Dr. Evangelista saw a need to equip single practitioners with the same toolkit that allowed him to acquire 33 offices in 5 years, driving over 35 million in profit and 6 million in EBITDA. His success despite the falling trends of private practice convinced him of the need to bring his approaches to others, and inspired him to put together the team needed to make that happen.
Dr. Evangelista developed streamlined, sustainable solutions to building staff, making the numbers work, and getting money without private equity, all so that single practitioners are freed up to fulfill their potential as practice owners and industry leaders.
CEO, Fischer Professional Group
Dee has been involved in the Dental Field for over 25 years and has been involved in practice management for many new Dental practices. Dee currently serves as a CEO of Fischer Professional Group and helps group practice owners construct state-of-the-art new locations, providing a seamless and fun experience while delivering a remarkable turn-key project on time and within budget.
Principal and Co-founder, i3 Ignite
Kathy has deep experience advising companies about their growth and go-to-market strategies. For 25 years, she helped B2B companies develop sales and distribution channels for new products/services, especially in markets being transformed by new technology. For example, she worked closely with leadership teams responsible for digital media growth and integration with the core business at Dex, AT&T, Sensis and Yellow as they piloted new services.
As a principal with i3 Ignite, she is pursuing her passion to support implementation of healthcare innovation. She brings proven frameworks and tools, as well as a hands-on approach, to large and small companies that have a plan to grow.
Co-founder and Principal, i3 Ignite
Margaret is an expert in growth, whether it’s turning around a situation to get back on the growth track or scaling quickly. Her passion is getting results in a way that’s sustainable, which she’s done successfully as a C-level exec in both Fortune 100 companies and startups,. She loves to share insight and actionable approaches. While many consultants work on one function or problem at a time, Margaret’s experience suggests that to make significant progress you need to focus on intersections that are causing roadblocks e.g. people and metrics.
President, MB2 Dental Solutions
Justin Puckett has been exposed to the dental industry for many years, in many different capacities – first, as a transactional attorney for Andrews Kurth, LLP, followed by taking an executive position with a Texas-based Dental Practice Management Company, in which he spurred unprecedented growth in 18 months’ time. Since 2014, he has been the President of MB2 Dental Solutions, based in Dallas, TX where he has assisted in doubling the size of this doctor-owned 100 location DSO. His unique blend of experience in corporate finance, public accounting, and corporate law provides a knowledge base that is invaluable in assisting affiliated doctor owners as they evaluate their growth capacities.
Emmet Scott is CEO and co-founder of Community Dental Partners™ and Smile Magic Dentistry and Braces™ – a Chucky Cheese like dental practice for kids (www.MySmileMagic.com). Before building Smile Magic, Emmet started in the financial planning industry where he built and sold two financial planning firms one in Houston, TX and the other in Las Vegas, NV. He then launched his own radio show from Las Vegas called “The Entrepreneur Life™” and established a consulting firm branded “Entrepreneur Advisors™.” Emmet is now business partner with his childhood friend from age two, Dr Chad Evans. He is married with five children, ages thirteen and under, and all redheads. When not working, he enjoys reading business and leadership books, watching TED talks, and playing racquetball. He is an Eagle Scout, is fluent in American Sign Language and worked with deaf students in California and Arizona as part of a two-year church missionary program. He graduated from Brigham Young University in accounting and has been part of the Strategic Coach® executive program for the last 6 years.
Dr. Ty Shoemaker
Chief Dental Officer, Smiles Dental
Dr. Shoemaker began his dental career in Washington State, serving patients at the Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS), and spent his first 10 years in private practice. He owned and operated five dental practices in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. He was instrumental in establishing the Inland Dental Expanded Access Clinic (IDEA Clinic) in Spokane and was its first volunteer dentist. Dr. Shoemaker is a pro tem member of the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) of Washington State. He is the immediate past chair of the Washington State Dental Association Budget and Finance Committee, former President of the Spokane District Dental Society(SDDS) and former board member of the SDDS Foundation. He is an International College of Dentists Fellow and has received advanced dental training at the Las Vegas Institute, Zimmer Implant Institute, and the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry, and has served as a member of the ADA, AGD, ALD, and AADGP.
Dr. Chris Steven Villanueva
CEO and Founder, MB2 Dental Solutions
MB2 Dental was founded by Dr. Chris Steven Villanueva, an active practitioner with a vision of promoting the best of best from both the sole-practitioner and corporate dentistry sides of the industry. Having spent time on both sides of the provider-business equation, he started his company with direct knowledge of what it took to furnish vital support without compromising the integrity of his beloved profession.
Recognizing that dental practitioners needed specialized assistance that didn’t come with strings attached, Dr. Villanueva founded MB2 Dental. Since then, the firm has supported practitioners at no less than 70 affiliated locations across six states, has 533 employees, and its close-knit leadership looks forward to continuing the trend of excellence.
Typical dental practice management networks are like traditional dental practices: drab and uninspired. Dr. Villanueva created MB2 Dental in order to bring something completely new to the field focusing on more than just profit margins.
He built MB2 Dental to be a dentist-owned firm focused on autonomy, support, personal growth, and having fun together. MB2 Dental helps practices make improvements that actually benefit the patients who patronize them. These innovations promote improved operating standards that lead to happier practitioners and which facilitate healthy organic business growth.