Meet the CEOs of the 9 largest DSOs

Some of the largest DSOs in the industry have CEOs who come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences that help them lead successful organizations.

Here are nine CEOs to know:

Editor's note: Names are listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Patrick Bauer. Heartland Dental (Effingham, Ill.). Mr. Bauer has been with Heartland Dental since 1997. His first role with the company was COO, and he was named president in 2009 before being appointed CEO in 2015. In addition to leading Heartland Dental, he is also a certified instructor for a leadership program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to the organization's website. In 2019, he was named a top CEO by Glassdoor.
  2. Steve Bilt. Smile Brands (Irvine, Calif.). Mr. Bilt co-founded Smile Brands in 1998. He is also the CEO of the OneSmile dental service organization. He combined the two companies in 2016. Additionally, he serves as chair of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation, an international nonprofit providing dental care to those in need. Mr. Bilt earned a bachelor's degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master's degree from the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School in Los Angeles.
  3. Daniel Crowley. Western Dental (Orange, Calif.). Mr. Crowley has led Western Dental since 2015 and has more than 30 years of experience working in leadership positions to healthcare services companies, including dental payers and providers. He is also the founder of consulting company Dynamic Healthcare Solutions and the Crowley Children's Fund to support programs for at-risk children.
  4. Bob Fontana. Aspen Dental Management (East Syracuse, N.Y.). Mr. Fontana has led ADMI since he founded the organization in 1998. After he founded East Coast Dental Management in 1995, the organization merged with another DSO in 1997 and became ADMI the following year, according to Mr. Fontana's LinkedIn page. Mr. Fontana attended the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and business management in 1990.
  5. Gene Kirtser. Affordable Care (Morrisville, N.C.). Mr. Kirtser joined Affordable Care in 2017 after serving 10 years as the president and CEO of healthcare supply company ROi. He earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
  6. Jerry Rhodes. Dental Care Alliance (Sarasota, Fla.). Mr. Rhodes has been DCA's CEO since 2017. Before joining DCA, he served as COO and CEO for CRC Health Group, which was acquired by Acadia Healthcare in 2014.
  7. Adesh Ramchandran. Great Expressions Dental Centers (Southfield, Mich.). Mr. Ramchandran has been the president and CEO of GEDC since 2019. He previously served as president and CEO and COO of the Boca Raton, Fla.-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America. He holds a master's degree in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial studies from the University of Texas at Austin Red McCombs School of Business.
  8. Stephen Thorne. Pacific Dental Services (Irvine, Calif.). Mr. Thorne founded PDS in 1994, starting with his first dental practice management contract in Costa Mesa, Calif. Additionally, he is on the executive committee of the CEO Leadership Alliance Orange County. He received his bachelor's degree from The University of California Los Angeles and his master's degree in health services administration from Chapman University in Orange, Calif.
  9. Chris Steven Villanueva, DMD. MB2 Dental (Carrollton, Texas). Dr. Villanueva founded MB2 Dental in 2007. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his dental degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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