Robert Dennison

Robert Dennison


A dynamic, results-oriented CEO with career-long success in creating a corporate vision and then developing and implementing strategies and action plans that align with the vision.An insightful, innovative, pragmatic change agent who consistently challenges the status quo and leads teams to exceptional results. Passionate about establishing a culture of continuous quality improvement to increase efficiency, drive growth, and enhance profitability. An exceptional leader who skillfully manages relationships with all internal and external stakeholders.


Working out, Skiing, Fishing, Golf, Acting

Work History

Work History
Sep 1999 - Jul 2009

President and CEO

Delta Dental of Illinois

Named DDIL’s COO March, 1999, acting CEO September, 1999 and President/CEO December, 1999.Immediately began to turn around the struggling organization, building it into one of the top service providers in the industry.Revised the corporate vision, reconstituted the senior management team, negotiated contracts with key vendors and reengineered multiple departments which greatly reduced costs and improved efficiency.Developed an alliance with a sister Delta Plan, creating an innovative corporate design to consolidate the senior management teams.Established a WAN and unified call center with two Delta plans, which led to improved productivity and reduced staffing.Adopted the Baldrige approach to continuous quality improvement and saw growth and profitability increase dramatically.Positioned DDIL as a key provider of grants to not-for-profit agencies in order to improve oral health education and access to oral health care in Illinois, ultimately leading to the creation of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation.

·Improved surplus (retained earnings) 322%.

·Achieved a 170% increase in total revenue (including a 250% increase in commercial revenue).

·Targeted key market segments and grew primary enrollees by 147%.

·Slashed the company’s administrative expense ratio by 50%.

·Reduced call center head count 25% below budget.

·Named a Baldrige National Quality Award finalist; awarded a site visit in 2008.

·Became a major contributor to the expansion/renovation projects at the dental schools of Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

 Served on numerous committees at Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) and chaired two key committees.The first, the Dental Policy Committee, created a processing manual for use by the entire system when processing claims for national accounts.The second, the Technology Committee, managed the conversion of the system’s crown jewel, the National Provider File, to a new platform with enhanced functionality.In both cases led diverse groups of peers from all over the country by achieving consensus.Brought both projects in on time and under budget.

Jan 1997 - Mar 1999

Vice President of Professional Services

Delta Dental of Illinois

Promoted to DDIL’s Vice President of Professional Services and restructured the department, reducing costs by 15% and improving productivity.One year later, appointed to DDIL’s Senior Management Committee and assumed responsibility for Sales and Marketing.Enhanced relationships with group administrators, brokers, consultants and dentists.Increased sales 19% in 1998 and 25% in 1999 while simultaneously reducing department expenses 25% over the same period.Developed adult benefits and policy guidelines for the Illinois Medicaid dental program.

Mar 1994 - Dec 1996

Dental Director

Delta Dental of Illinois

Within a year of joining the company as a consultant, hired as DDIL’s Dental Director.Successfully reduced department costs, improved productivity and managed strained relationships with dentists and group administrators. Played a key role in rewriting Delta’s group contracts and explaining the changes to organized dentistry.Worked closely with Illinois Department of Public Aid regulators and served on numerous Medicaid advisory committees.

Jul 1982 - May 1995

Private Practice

Robert E. Dennison DMD
Private practice of dentistry as an associate and eventually as the owner of my own practice.
May 1993 - Mar 1994


Delta Dental of Illinois

After over eleven years as a practicing dentist, joined Delta as a dental consultant, adjudicating claims for government (Medicaid) and commercial accounts.

Aug 1991 - Dec 1992


Eastern Illinois University

Taught one section of business statistics Fall Semester 1991 and one section of business statistics Fall Semester 1992.


1985 - 1990


Eastern Illinois University
1978 - 1982


Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Aug 1973 - Dec 1977

Bachelor of Science

Eastern Illinois University



Board Management

Liaised with and managed Board of Directors for over 10 years.

Market Expansion

Proven record of adding new products to organization's portfolio and expanding into new markets.

Workforce Planning

Skilled at identifying structural changes and reengineering work flow and staffing to optimize productivity.

Process management

Instills a culture of continuous quality improvement and formalizes the process through Malcolm Baldrige approach. 


Identifies innovative solutions to problems and instutuionalizes innovative thinking in an organization.

Customer Focus

Canvases all key stakeholders to ensure alignment of organizational output with stakeholder expectations.


Insightful senior exectutive can see to the heart of an issue and identify solutions.

Change Leadership

Skilled at restructuring and reengineering to reduce costs while simultaneously improving productivity.

Strategy Execution

Strategy development, implementation and alignment for departments divisons and organizations.