Cheryl Wilson Griffin, COO of Lupl, Top 10 Admired Leaders of 2022

Conrad J Rensburg
CEO & President
Absolute Dental Services

Cheryl Wilson Griffin, COO of Lupl

“A Leader’s Journey”

Conrad J Rensburg is CEO and President of Absolute Dental Services and leads the highly respected and renowned Absolute Dental Prosthetics team.

Conrad proudly states that the company vision, with its roots firmly planted in integrity, is the driving force behind Absolute’s success. With almost 30 years in business and 160 associates, Absolute serves their national customer base out of four state-of-the-art locations in North and South Carolina. Absolute’s highly qualified team collaborates with world renowned clinicians from across the US in a myriad restorative solutions. In addition, through the Absolute Care Foundation, the company’s non-profit charitable organization, they positively influence the lives of many people through outreach projects.

Conrad is a passionate leader who believes a strong company culture drives even stronger financial results, and invested associates are the ultimate proof of a successful CEO. His message to Absolute's executive leadership is to emphasize the importance of people through all decisions. He firmly believes that the lack of strong and decisive leadership can result in employees failing to achieve their full potential. In the early days of the COVID shutdown, he vowed that none of his team would be sacrificed, and Absolute ultimately never terminated an employee because of COVID. He admits that this was a decision that many of his CEO colleagues frowned upon, but today the Absolute company culture is stronger for it and the decision yielded a vested employee base.

Serving their customers with Absolute Excellence has always been the primary focus of the Absolute team. Their vision and dedication is reflected in the company motto, Perfection Is Not Optional!

Conrad proudly recalls when a young associate thanked him for “helping so many of us be successful”. "That was the biggest compliment I have ever received," says Conrad. "Building a wonderful team is one thing but getting people to believe in their own potential is the highest prize a leader can hope for."

“Customers should be fans, and disputes, if handled correctly, are avenues to improve relationships” says Conrad. He emphasizes to his team that an unhappy customer should be seen as a potential to build an Absolute fan and not something to dread. Conrad, a naturalized citizen of the US, feels very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities this country has afforded him, and assists others professionally and personally because he believes "charity always starts at home."

Conrad learned through both his failures and successes that leadership should be valued as a journey and that this journey is truly one to be cherished. He states, "Mistakes are unavoidable, but often lead to an opportunity for a lesson to be learned." He emphasizes the importance of admitting to, addressing, and most importantly learning from a mistake with humility. Conrad tells his daughter, "We always learn more from difficult experiences than from easy successes." He sees an ego as nothing more than a weakness that stifles learning and hinders development and progress.

In the mid-2000s, Conrad, along with his business partner Drew, realized and embraced the importance of adopting technology to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry. Absolute ultimately digitized most of its processes in 2010 and today continues to lead the industry in adoption and new product development through technology. Conrad adds, "Drew’s efforts ultimately drove Absolute to be the digital leader it is today." Drew explains, "I implemented my partner's passionate ideas and it paid off very well for us. Conrad advocated these new techniques and believed in the positive effect they would have on our products long before others in the industry thought it was possible.” Today, Drew's digital division continues to implement creative workflows and expand Absolutes innovative dental prosthetic offerings.

Furthermore, surgeons from across the U.S. utilize the NavaGation Synergy guided surgical solutions. This stand-alone division is Absolute Dental's surgical arm which was founded by Conrad and Matt Vrhovac almost a decade ago. Today, with the support of the very talented NavaGation surgical team, this division performs complex guided surgeries in collaboration with world renowned surgeons. Through collaboration with industry experts, Absolute trademarked and clinically validated NavaGation Synergy and Synergy Zero workflow solutions. These systems reduce intra-oral surgical times and patient recovery through less invasive procedures by reducing blood flow disruption which leads to patient morbidity.

Jack Marrano, Absolute’s Director of the Signature ART, team is widely seen as one of the most talented zirconia full-arch artists in the industry. Conrad says ”Jack and his ART team bring another level of expertise to Absolute and supports the surgical and restorative divisions with world class prosthetic solutions and years of clinical and technical experience.”

In 2016, Absolute started a removable prosthetic department to support the hybrid implant division, but it was not until 2019 with the release of a revolutionary printable polymer for digital dentures that this division rose to the top of the industry. Conrad worked closely with the research and development teams from Carbon and Dentsply Sirona to develop Lucitone Digital print. Today, Conrad and Derik Ayers, Absolute’s prosthetic manager, continue to develop products like Flexera Smile from Desktop Metal and others. Through these efforts, Absolute quickly became known as the leader in this new additive digital industry with their work and research articles published in multiple industry magazines.

The foundation of Absolute's business philosophy is: customer support, innovative products, and digital workflow education.

Under Conrad’s leadership, the company has evolved from a full-service lab to a full solutions dental laboratory and its focus is to be a clinician’s biggest resource and most trusted partner. Amongst many other accolades, Absolute was named the U.S. NADL Dental Laboratory of the Year in 2020. Conrad emphasizes that this award, which is voted for by NADL peers, as an outstanding recognition of the Absolute teams’ efforts.

“I am extremely proud of the company we have built; our Absolute team can assist clinicians with any degree of complexity, offer world class restorative options and provide a solution for every patient. Absolute is ultimately a company made up of incredibly talented and very diverse people, all believing in the same dream of being the best.” says Conrad.

He emphasizes the Tanveer Naseer quote: "As a leader, the value you create is not getting people to do their job but rather to inspire them to achieve their true potential." IE


Absolute Dental Services


Conrad J Rensburg
CEO & President
Absolute Dental Services


Absolute Dental Lab is a true full-solutions partner driven by a team, nationally and internationally renowned for their expertise in creating world-class dental esthetics. Utilizing cutting-edge technology in CAD, reductive and additive fabrication techniques the team produces extraordinary fixed and dental implant prosthetics as well as proprietary guided surgery solutions and high-end digital removables.

Admired Leaders Magazine