Recap of ADSO’s 2019 Partnering for Growth from a Moderator’s Perspective – with Official Photo Gallery

After the largest Partnering for Growth event to date, I thought it would be important to provide some insight on the event from a unique perspective. I was fortunate enough to be one of the moderators for the panel discussions at this year’s PFG, which took place in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort ChampionsGate from September 26th – September 27th .

Firstly, here are the stats. There were a total of 212 attendees. Of those 212 attendees there were 90 DSO attendees that represented 50 different emerging groups or DSOs. There were 110 industry partners in attendance representing 49 different industry partner companies. The remainder were a mix of moderators, speakers and staff. 212 attendees beats last year’s Partnering for Growth in Denver, and given that there were several conflicting dental events during this time, it was an impressive turnout.

The event started off with a panel discussion entitled Growth Stories with Dr. Sulman Ahmed of DECA Dental, Dr. Michael Riccobene of Riccobene Associates and Alistair Madle of D4C. The panelists were a well-balanced mix and gave great perspective from an emerging DSO, Riccobene Associate, a mid-sized group, DECA Dental, and a larger specialty DSO, D4C.

The next panel discussion was Keeping Your Practice Compliant with Neil Krugman of Waller, Andy Lyness of D4C, and Michael Willamson of Pacific Dental Services. The entire panel was made up of lawyers, each with their own way of entertaining the crowd. Neil Krugman was the realist of the bunch, Andy Lyness, the comedian, and Michael Willamson was inspirational.

There were also smaller breakout session discussions where attendees were matched up with individual panelists in a more personal setting. I did hear from several attendees that they would have preferred to choose a breakout session verses having it chosen ahead of time for them. But other than that, the idea of being able to have intimate breakouts with DSO thought leaders was unique and highly effective according to attendees.

After lunch on the first day, there were two more panel sessions.

The panel discussion, Leadership in Emerging Markets featured panelist Emmet Scott of Community Dental Partners, Ken Cooper of North American Dental Group and Gennady Sirota of StellaLife. The audience had great questions for the panelists including, “What mistakes have you made as a leader?” and “How do you create a vision and core values?” as well as many more.

Finishing up the panel discussions for the day was the Banking & Financing for Growing DSOs session. Featured speakers were Mark Denman of Genesis Credit, Mike Montgomery of Live Oak Bank and Todd Vernon of Care Credit. The panelists gave unique perspectives on patient financing, second-look financing and traditional bank lending to providers versus private equity.

Round table discussions, talk table networking and an opening reception on the lawn of the Omni ended the first day of Partnering for Growth.

Friday, September 27th included two additional panel discussions and moderator, Darin Acopan of the Dentist Entrepreneur Organization.

Darin did a stellar job moderating the Revenue Management in Growing Groups session with Colleen Ayala of Carestack, David Harris of Prosperident and Mike White of CliftonLarsonAllen, as well as the Regional Managers session with Melissa Acevedo of Heartland Dental, Tarkek Aly of OrthoDent Management, and Shawna Eury of Dental Care Alliance.  Both panel discussions had some excellent audience questions and the follow-up breakout sessions with each panelist were well attended.

An observation I had as an audience member on the second day was that at shows, typically on the last day of an event, in this case Friday, there are noticeably fewer audience members in the sessions as many leave early. I did not notice a huge difference in attendees at the Friday sessions compared to the first day, which was encouraging to see and I believe it was a reflection of the topics, panelists, and ADSO’s extensive knowledge and reputation in the group practice space.

Looking towards 2020, there are big changes coming for both Partnering for Growth and the Association of Dental Support Organization’s flagship event, The Summit. That is all I can share with you right now, but stay tuned to find out exactly what those changes will be. Hint, both attendees and industry partners will be happy! Make sure you save the dates for ADSO’s Summit in National Harbor, MD (Washington, DC area) which takes place March 12th and 13th 2020 at the Gaylord, National Harbor. Registration will open in early November and we here at GDN will give you all the details.




Bill Neumann is a dental industry veteran with 15+ years of experience in all facets of the industry. He is a DSO consultant and CEO and partner at Group Dentistry Now & JoinDSO. Bill co-founded the first print publication for DSOs, launched the first app for dental product literature, videos, and information, Dental Sales Pro Connect, founded the first dental industry networking platform, Dental Sales Pro, invented the iBarrier, a disposable infection control sleeve, and managed and trained a sales force for dental manufacturer. Bill is an advisor for the ADSO and several other dental companies. He sits on the board of Dental Lifeline Network, serves on the OSAP conference committee, and is a public speaker on DSO topics at many dental events.


Looking for a Job? Looking to Fill a Job? can help:Subscribe for free to the most-read and respected
resource for DSO analysis, news & events:Read what our subscribers & advertisers think of us: