The 2020 DEO 
Summer Summit

June 4-6, 2020

Phoenix, AZ

(360) 980-1437

The 2020 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. You'll get the necessary tools, techniques, and best practices to accelerate the success of your group practice or DSO growth plan, and the opportunity to network with the best and 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

Found and Executive Chairman at Heartland Dental Rick Workman

Keys to Growing An 1,000+ 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 (and More Importantly You) Will Love

Speaker: Eric J. Roman, Executive Coach for DSO Leaders​

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:
• Knowledge he has gained, having lived “the DSO life” for his entire career, and experienced firsthand the rollercoaster ride of founding, scaling, and finally exiting a successful company
• Lessons learned and pitfalls to steer clear of
• The ways you can attract investors and speed up growth
• A roadmap for the potential challenges that go along with the introduction of outside financing
• What he sees coming up in the constantly growing and evolving sphere of group dental practice

Keys To Financial Mastery for Emerging DSOs

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:
•  Why it can be misleading and dangerous for DSO leaders to just look at bank statements to manage their DSO’s finances
• How to be a wise consumer of tax, accounting and auditing financial services
• Why accrual based financials are the best way to manage your dental group’s finances, leading to better forecasting and budgeting
• Why it’s critical to your DSO’s financial health to make sure you are legally compliant in all financial functions
• How to align leadership and strategy over all finance functions
• Financial benchmarks to measure the health your DSO
• Empowering you to lead the financial functions of your DSO, knowing that you can get out of it what you need to take on scaling your group with confidence

Keys To Reach Your Maximum Leadership Potential

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

Steve Bilt is the Chief Executive Officer at Smile Brands Inc. Steve has overseen the development and operationalization of over 200 de novo practices and multiple acquisitions. Smile Brands has 5,500 employees and 450 locations across the United States and has been recognized as a Best Place to Work by Glassdoor for three straight years (#1 in multi-site healthcare) and by Comparably as a top-10 US Large Company for Culture, Diversity and Best Places for Women.

Steve was recognized as People Focused CEO of the Year and Healthcare CEO of the Year by American Business Awards (Golden Stevie) and as a top-rated U.S. Large Company CEO by Glassdoor, Comparably and CEOWORLD Magazine in multiple years.

In his presentation, Steve will share his story of success as a leader and provide a roadmap for DSO leaders striving to reach their leadership potential, discussing:
• How to shift your mindset shift from being a dentist — a “doer” — to being a leader
• How to motivate your team to be better “doers” and leaders
• How to express your authentic leadership qualities and best accentuate them through your organization so your team can know you as a leader
• The importance of matching your values with actions — your “why” — with how you behave
• Why the key to scaling is to empower your team to amplify “your why” — to be a leader developing leaders in your organization

​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, MBA, CVA, COO/Co-owner, OrthoDent Management, LLC

Tarek Aly is co-founder and COO of OrthoDent Management, which has 12 locations, and co-owner of Modern Smiles, with six dental practice locations. He also owns Precision Advisory. His expertise includes DSO platform development and management, M&As, business valuation, business operations, and dental organizations management.

Tarek will share the value and importance of establishing and tracking the right KPIs and metrics for your DSO’s success, including:
• The correct definition for and why KPIs are valuable
• Why KPIs are essential to any DSO/dental group’s success
• Defining the types of KPIs: strategic, financial and operational
• The methodology for tracking KPIs: manual and automated including the pros and cons for each and how to discern which would be best for your DSO/dental group
• Biggest mistakes most dental groups make with KPIs
• Solutions to a finding the right KPIs for your dental group… and uncovering the real problems that KPIs show you

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 :
•  Why it's important to build systems as you scale to get ahead of issues that come with rapid growth
• Lessons learned from his journey: the mistakes not to make and what went right
• The four dimensions of successfully scaling a DSO: strategy, cash, people and execution
• Hazards to avoid and what to look for ahead as you grow
• How the right systems can lead to more synergy and faster growth 

Panel Topics

Founder and CEO Tranquility Dental Wellness Lori Noga

Panel: Keys To Supporting Growth of Women Leaders in Group Practice

Facilitator: Dr. Lori Noga, Founder & CEO, Tranquility Dental Wellness, Tacoma, WA

Women now make up more than half of all dentists. Empowering women leaders is paramount to the success of any DSO. This panel will answer questions such as:
• What are the unique challenges faced by women in a growing DSO?
• What role will women leaders play in the growth of DSOs?
• What trends are happening at the practice level?
• How does a DSO create an optimum work environment to develop women in leadership?
• What are the most cutting-edge strategies to develop women leaders in group dentistry?

Panelist: Eva Sadej

Founder & CEO
Floss Bar

Panelist: Dr. Aman Kaur

DSO Strategy Developer
& Growth Accelerator

Panelist Eric Roman

Panelist: Eric J. Roman

Executive Coach
for DSO Leaders

President and CEO Underbite Dental Management David Janash

Panel: Keys To Spending Less Time in the Chair... and More Time as a CEO

Facilitator: Dr. David Janash, President and CEO, Underbite Dental Management, New York City

As dentist-entrepreneurs grow, they will inevitably face the question, "How do I spend less time in the chair and more time leading my business?" Hear from a group of dentists who have achieved the ability to choose freely between in-chair time and out-of-chair time. This panel will discuss:

• Step-by-step ways to spend less time in the chair
• How to decide when it's finally the "right time" to step back
• How do you prepare your team to help you spend less time in the chair?
• How do you deal with the perceptions that come with less time in the chair?
• How do you overcome the financial loss of practicing less dentistry?

Dr. Cheryl Brunelle, DDS

Lilac Family Dental

Dr. Jerry Burns, DDS

Owner & Founder
Burns Dentistry

Jeromy R. Dixson, DMD, MBA

Founder & CEO 
The DSO Project

Panel: Keys To Maximizing Associate Performance

Facilitator: To be announced

Maximizing associate performance is key to scaling any dental group or DSO. This panel will address how associates can be a boon to growth, rather than a hindrance. This panel will discuss:

• How do you incentivize associates to perform their best?
• How do you retain great associates?
• How do you align your associates’ personal goals for success with your dental group’s growth plans?
• Why organizational culture, work-life integration, and mentorship/career guidance are key to motivating associates
• How different associate-ownership structures and equity options affect associate performance

More panelists will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

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 Summer Summit:

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    Dentist Entrepreneurs with Growing Practice Portfolios
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    Equity Partners Investing in DSOs/ Group Practices
  • Executives Growing DSOs/Group Practices In North America
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    Executives Growing DSOs/Group Practices Outside of North America
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    Regional Managers for DSOs/Group Practices and Brands
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    Office Managers for DSOs/Group Practices and Brands
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    Senior Advisors Leading The Growth of DSOs/Group Practices
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    Capital Investors Looking to Expand  
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    Equipment Suppliers to DSOs/Group Practices 
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    Consultants Specializing in Growing DSOs/Group Practices 
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    Constituents from the DSOs/Group Practices Supply Chain 
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    ... 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] 
(360) 980-1437


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]


For Summit assistance, email [email protected]