2020 Summer Summit

June 4-6, 2020

Phoenix, AZ

(360) 980-1437

The DEO Summer Summit:
Keys to Growing & Operating

a Successful Dental Group

Open to the public

Grab your ticket at the Early Bird Price of $799 through March 31!
That's a $200 savings!
Days until this price ends:


  • You’ve made the decision to grow your DSO/group practice. 
    How do you actually do it?
  • What pitfalls are there to avoid when building
    and operating a group dental practice or DSO? 
  • Want to hear what's working in 2020?

  • Then you're invited to our 2020 DEO Summer Summit! Grab your ticket and discover how to: 
  • - Implement strategies used by large DSOs and group practices to facilitate success
    - Use KPIs and numbers to make educated decisions on needle-moving ideas
    - Avoid the pitfalls that you'll likely face as you grow
    - Be an effective leader and keep your team motivated as you grow  
    - Hire and retain A+ Associates and team members
    - Much, much more!

  • You’ll walk away with important insights and actionable advice. Want the necessary tools, techniques, and best practices to accelerate the success of your group practice or DSO growth plan? Want to network with the brightest minds in the dental industry?

What You Can Expect at The DEO Summer Summit

  • The DEO Summer Summit is the premier yearly event for up-and-coming group dental practices. It empowers budding dental entrepreneurs to discover what the future holds for dentistry, and how group practices can position themselves now for future success.

  • The Summit is a place where all stakeholders in group dentistry come together each year to network, learn, and grow their dental enterprises. It brings together industry players engaged in managed-group practice — from startups to the largest DSOs — to address the fundamental, critical issues that affect their growth and success. 

Meet the Speakers

Keys to Growing An 800+ Location DSO

Speaker: Dr. Rick Workman, Founder & Executive Chairman, Heartland Dental

Dr. Rick Workman is the founder and executive chairman of Heartland Dental, a DSO based in Effingham, Illinois, with 1,000 offices and 1,600 dentists nationwide. After seeing the need in his community, Dr. Workman opened his second office within one year of opening the first, followed quickly by a third office: Heartland Dental was born.

Dr. Workman spearheaded the success of Heartland by viewing its dentists as customers. Heartland’s philosophy is: Take care of dentists, set them up for success, and surround them with opportunities for success. They also prioritize taking care of their patients, which creates more demand for both new and experienced dentists. Dr. Workman will share how he guided Heartland to focus on these strategies:
•  Recruit highly successful, experienced dentists
•  Mentor dentists just out of dental school, teaching them the practices of experienced dentists
•  Provide ample opportunities for continuing education; make developing leadership skills just as important as honing technical skills
•  Prioritize the economic security of dentists

​Keys to Building a Dental Group Investors Will Love

Speaker: Eric Roman, Executive Coach and Strategic Advisor for DSO Leaders, High-Performing Dentists, and Dental Companies

For six years, Eric Roman was the CEO and co-founder of CarolinasDentist — a six-location DSO — where he provided the company’s vision and day-to-day executive-leader development. Eric will share his journey as CEO of CarolinasDentist and its growth story, including:
•  Struggles, low points, highlights, and successes along the journey
•  Advice for groups and DSOs looking to speed up growth by tapping the capital of outside investors
•  Lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid while scaling quickly, with tips geared toward smaller DSOs
•  Challenges encountered when scaling startups, particularly when seeking financing

Keys To Optimizing Finances
in a Growing Dental Group

Speaker: ​Ken Kaufman, CFO, Community Dental Partners

Ken Kaufman is CFO of Community Dental Partners, a 28-location DSO based out of Denton, TX. Serving in this position since 2016, Ken successfully led the financial management of this growing DSO. Ken will share the essential strategies for optimizing your DSO’s finances, as well as mistakes to avoid, including:
•  How to take a deep look at your DSO’s financials
•  Essential financial metrics and KPIs to evaluate
•  Financials of a “healthy” vs. an “‘unhealthy” DSO
•  Advice for the CFOs of DSOs that are just beginning to scale 

Keys To Reach Your Maximum Leadership Potential

Speaker: ​​Steve Bilt, CEO, Smile Brands Inc.

Steve Bilt is the CEO of Smile Brands Inc. and OneSmile, LLC. He co-founded Smile Brands and OneSmile, and in 2016 combined the two businesses (collectively “Smile Brands”). Steve has overseen more than 200 de novo practices at Smile Brands, and each of the OneSmile platform acquisitions. Smile Brands has been recognized as a Best Place to Work by Glassdoor in 2017 and 2018 (#23 in U.S. and #1 in multi-site healthcare).

Steve also serves as Chairman of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation. Additionally, Steve is a founding member, former president, and executive board member of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO).

Steve’s successful career and volunteer leadership has been recognized with numerous entrepreneurship and leadership awards. Steve will share his story of success as a leader and provide a roadmap for DSO leaders striving to reach their leadership potential.

​Keys To Onboard and Train Your Team for Success

Speaker: ​Cheryl Penava, VP Practice Excellence, Mortenson Dental Partners

Cheryl Penava, VP of practice excellence at Mortenson Dental Partners, is an expert in operational best practices, learning and development, leadership development, and change management. Cheryl has a unique background of leadership experiences, having worked for several Fortune 500 companies: BellSouth Advertising & Publishing, Allstate Financial, and Humana.

Cheryl will share her passion for developing people so they can achieve operational excellence, resulting in outstanding patient care. She will share the essential keys for growing a successful team within your DSO:
•  Best practices for managing employees
•  Proven strategies to successfully onboard and train both new and existing employees
•  Ways to effectively build a positive company culture
•  How to get new employees excited about the company vision

Keys To Establishing the Right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Your Dental Group

Speaker: ​​Tarek Aly, BDS, MBA, Co-founder and COO, OrthoDent Management, LLC

Tarek Aly is co-founder and COO of OrthoDent Management, which has 11 locations, and co-owner of Modern Smiles, with six dental practice locations. He is experienced in pediatric dentistry and orthodontic model ownership. His expertise includes M&As, business valuation, human resource management, business operations, dental organizations management, and platform development and management of dental-support organizations.
Tarek will share the value and importance of establishing and tracking the right KPIs and metrics for your DSO’s success, including:
•  Looking at the KPIs of a thriving vs. a struggling DSO
•  Deceiving metrics to look out for
•  How to assess which metrics could be valuable for your DSO vs. those that yield little information
•  A list of essential KPIs that all DSOs should measure and track

​Keys to Building Systems In Your Dental Group

Speaker: ​​​A.J. Peak, CEO, Peak Dental Services

A.J. Peak is CEO of Peak Dental Services, a 30-location DSO based out of Colorado Springs, CO. A.J. founded Peak Dental Services in 2008. Under A.J.’s leadership, the company has been recognized as one of Inc. Magazines Top 5000 fastest-growing companies.

Drawing from his experience as a leader of a rapidly growing DSO, A.J. will share the key strategies for building systems to successfully scale your DSO. He will focus on the importance of and methods for building solid systems for the following to ensure your DSO’s success :
•  Human resources
•  IT
•  Project management
•  Centralized financial management
•  Leadership and management alignment

Panel Topics Include: 

•  Keys To Supporting Growth of Women Leaders in Group Practice
•  Keys To Spending Less Time in the Chair... and More Time As a CEO
•  Keys To Growing Through The "Dark Tunnel" of Scaling
•  Keys To Maximizing Associate Performance
•  Check back for Panelist Information!

Stay Tuned for Speaker Updates,
Panelist Information and More!

Who Should Attend the DEO Summit?

Registrants include over 400 dentists, DSO/group practice executives and dental professionals,
as well as numerous sponsors dedicated to the group space. Summit attendees consist of
small and emerging DSOs/group practices, mid-level DSOs (50 to 100 practices), suppliers, vendors and capitalists.

You'll Meet The Following People at
The DEO Summit:

  • check
    Dentist Entrepreneurs with Growing Practice Portfolios
  • check
    Equity Partners Investing in DSOs/ Group Practices
  • Executives Growing DSOs/Group Practices In North America
  • check
    Executives Growing DSOs/Group Practices Outside of North America
  • check
    Regional Managers for DSOs/Group Practices and Brands
  • check
    Office Managers for DSOs/Group Practices and Brands
  • check
    Senior Advisors Leading The Growth of DSOs/Group Practices
  • check
    Capital Investors Looking to Expand  
  • check
    Equipment Suppliers to DSOs/Group Practices 
  • check
    Consultants Specializing in Growing DSOs/Group Practices 
  • check
    Constituents from the DSOs/Group Practices Supply Chain 
  • check
    ... Anyone Else Who Touches DSOs/Group Practices


Day 1: June 4

5:00 p.m.

Arrive at the JW Marriott

6:30 p.m.


7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Day 2: June 5

7:00 a.m.

Breakfast & Registration

8:00 a.m.


8:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m.


10:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m.


12:00 p.m.


1:30 p.m.


2:30 p.m.


3:00 p.m.


4:00 p.m.

Panel Day 2

5:00 p.m.

Close Day 2

Day 3: June 6

7:00 a.m.

Breakfast & Registration

8:00 a.m.


8:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m.


10:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m.


12:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.


2:00 p.m.

Panel Day 3

3:00 p.m.

Close Day 3

Register now for Early Bird Pricing!

2020 Summer Summit Registration


Per Attendee

3 Days

Full Access to Speakers 

Full Access to Networking and Events — plus, Earn CE CREDITS !

The 2020 DEO Summer Summit is open to all members of the dental community. DEO Members receive a special registration price. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about  DEO Membership, click here
or Contact Darin Acopan
for more information:
[email protected] 


The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge

The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa offers everything you'll require for a remarkable experience. Showcasing an array of first-class resources, intuitive service and a picture-perfect location in the heart of Phoenix, the hotel provides an effortless blend of style, comfort and luxury. All of the gorgeously appointed hotel rooms and suites are overflowing with top-quality amenities, as well as awe-inspiring views of immaculate desert vistas and striking mountains. 

Why You Should Attend

"I always come to the Summit. We've grown from one to 25 practices in three years. The information you learn really sets you on the right path."

— Ty Shoemaker, CDO, Smiles Dental

Become a sponsor!

Contact Sarah Wojcik for more information:

[email protected]