The New Faces of the ADSO Executive Leadership Team

Justin Jory, Dr. Michael Riccobene, Dr. Sulman Ahmed, Dustin Netral (left to right)

The Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) just announced the election of four new officers to its executive leadership team:

  • President: Dr. Sulman Ahmed of DECA Dental Group
  • Vice President: Dustin Netral of Vista Verde Dental Partners
  • Treasurer: Justin Jory of Light Wave Dental
  • Returning Secretary: Dr. Michael Riccobene of Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry.

The new leaders, who began their term March 1, will spearhead the strategic direction of the ADSO at a time of tremendous growth and expansion for both the organization and the broader DSO industry.

The ADSO, comprised of nearly 100 member companies operating in 44 states, works to elevate dentistry by creating and maintaining a practice environment where dentists have the ability to focus on patients, expand access to quality dental care, and improve the oral health of their communities.

Get to know the new leadership team:

Dr. Sulman Ahmed was recognized on Group Dentistry Now in May of 2021 as a DSO Influencer. He founded the Dallas-based DECA Dental in 2008 with one location. As the CEO, he has grown the DSO to over 150 offices located in seven states. The privately-owned dental group operates under the brand name: Ideal Dental. Doubling its revenue since 2020 while maintaining double digit same store sales growth, a new Ideal Dental office opens every nine days.

Instrumental in shaping and overseeing the dental group’s growth, strategy and culture, Dr. Ahmed has 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.

DECA Dental has been on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies four times in six years. On a more personal note, Dr. Ahmed has achieved many honors and awards, one of the more notable ones being a finalist for the prestigious 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and the winner of the 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Michael Riccobene, DDS is the CEO & founder of Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry. His group was recognized by Group Dentistry Now as an Emerging Dental Groups to Watch in 2022.

Dr. Riccobene founded the rapidly growing group in 2000 as a single practice in Selma, NC. Since then, Dr. Riccobene has grown the company through de novo additions and acquisition of single and group practices. In 2021, Riccobene Associates expanded into Virginia and ended the year with over 50 locations.

When looking ahead to the next five years, the company intends to expand into additional states while doubling location count and tripling revenue, delivering approximate compound average growth rates of 15% in locations and 25% in revenue. Location growth will come primarily from multi-location acquisitions and de novo additions.

The most important factor that Riccobene Associates looks at during an acquisition is core value alignment: a commitment to comprehensive quality patient care, amazing customer and employee experience, and the drive to continue to improve and grow. This belief is based on experiences of early acquisitions that had not gone as smoothly as they’d liked. The root of those issues always stemmed back to the lack of values alignment.

Justin Jory is the founder and CEO of Light Wave Dental Management, an innovative dental practice management platform in the Mid-Atlantic region. The DSO is based in Woodbridge, VA with an alliance of 81 dental practice partners across the Mid-Atlantic. Light Wave Dental Management boasts 97% doctor retention and 100% annual practice growth.

Prior to founding Light Wave Dental, Justin spent almost a decade in the private equity industry as managing director of Horizon View Capital, Principal at Mercato Partners, and director of M&A at Leucadia National Corporation. While at Leucadia, Justin personally sourced and closed Leucadia’s $1.5 billion acquisition of National Beef Packing (which later sold for $2.6 billion), advised on the $4 billion stock merger with Jefferies Group, and the $400 million investment in Mueller Industries.

Prior to Leucadia, Justin was the CEO of Scalar Analytics a leading valuation and transaction advisory firm and an investment banker with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Financial Sponsors Group. Justin graduated with a JD/MBA and a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University where he was also playing tight end for the BYU football team.

Dustin Netral is president and CEO at Vista Verde Dental Partners. He has been with the DSO for over four years. He has also been the membership committee chairman at the ADSO for over two years. Vista Verde is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana.

Dustin is a highly driven, performance-focused leader with diverse successes in building best in class healthcare, e-commerce, retail and services companies. He has a history of turning retail teams and experiences into award-winning operations, most notably at Fabletics and HHGregg. At Fabletics, his transformation of the customer experience took the company’s Net Promoter Score from 27 to 54 in less than a year.

Prior to Fabletics, he took over training at HHGregg, and was responsible for making their 8,000+ employees into an award-winning team. JD Powers awarded the company the best sales force in the industry for five consecutive years. Dustin’s understanding of how to create and use technology to improve customer experiences led him to develop a patent-pending technology that has received numerous innovation awards.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new additions, each one of them top professionals within their organizations and fields, to our executive leadership team,” said Andrew Smith, Executive Director of the ADSO. “At a time when dentistry faces countless challenges and opportunities, their leadership will undoubtedly prove essential to charting a positive path forward for our organization, our industry, and for the patients we serve.”

The ADSO is a non-profit international trade association whose members support more than 13,000 dentists worldwide. ADSO supports its members through research, education and advocacy; enabling them to foster innovation, collaboration and a vibrant market where DSO-supported dentists can provide quality oral health care.