Gold Sponsors


Supporting Organizations


Austin Chamber of Commerce

Bio Austin





Texas Medical

Texas Healthcare and Bioscience

Silver Sponsors





Eldon James

Fischer Connectors

Forefront Medical

GW Plastics












Surgical Technologies, Inc./McLean Medical and Scientific, Inc




Bronze Sponsors


Covington Associates

Dynatec Labs






Mark Bonifacio, Owner, Bonifacio Consulting Services
Mark Bonifacio has over 25 years of experience in medical device manufacturing across many therapeutic disciplines. After working for major medical device OEMs, he co-founded APEC—a medical device contract manufacturer in Baldwin Park, Calif. APEC was sold in 2007 and is now part of Freudenberg Medical. He established Bonifacio Consulting Services LLC (BCS) soon afterward. BCS has offices in Mass., Calif., and Zhuhai, China. Bonifacio serves on the board of several medical device contract manufacturing providers and serves as chairman of the Medical Plastics Division BOD of the SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers).

Kim Cobb, IoT Industry Solutions Executive, IBM Watson
Kim Cobb is a global IBM Watson IoT Industry Solutions Executive focused on the medical device, electronics, and healthcare industries. As a leader within the Watson IoT Cognitive Solutions team, her expertise is in exploring the art of the possible in the development and deployment of complex interconnected systems, devices, and products. Cobb helps leading industry clients meet their technical and business objectives through creative, industry specific deployments of IBM Watson IoT solutions. Her background spans a variety of safety critical industries including medical device, healthcare, electronics, automotive, and A&D. Cobb has over 18 years experience helping clients to establish innovative and agile business and technical strategies while retaining compliance to regulations such as IEC, ISO, HIPAA, FDA Quality Systems, and various global medical device directives.

Kristin S. Crosland, Chief Operating Officer, Experien Group LLC
Kristin Crosland joined Experien Group in 2008 to lead business development for the medical device consulting firm, transitioning to COO in 2015. Experien Group is a full-service CRO, developing FDA and international regulatory strategies, establishing or supporting Quality Management Systems, managing clinical studies, leading regulatory submissions, and ensuring compliance for commercialized products. In addition to her operations role, Crosland interfaces with client companies’ executives, strategic partners, and investors to ensure overall program alignment for success. Clients include lean startups, traditional device corporations, and consumer tech companies moving into the space. Crosland’s professional background includes business development consulting for small companies and public policy research for Stanford, Harvard, and UCLA. She earned her B.S. from Duke University in Political Science and pursued graduate studies at Harvard Law School, the University of Utah, and UCLA, receiving numerous research fellowships, grants, and awards.

Dan Croteau, CEO, Vention Medical
Dan Croteau is the CEO of Vention Medical—an innovative, global medical device solutions partner offering clients more than 30 years of experience in all phases of design, engineering, component manufacturing, and finished device assembly. Vention Medical provides expertise in the design and manufacturing of a wide range of surgical and interventional product technologies at 13 locations across the Americas, Ireland, and Israel; including a low-cost manufacturing campus in Costa Rica. Croteau joined Vention Medical in January 2011 after serving as the president of FlexMedical—the medical division of Flextronics—for almost 5 years. Prior to that, Croteau served as executive vice president and general manager of Accellent (now part of Greatbach) where he helped build the orthopedic business; and as a senior vice president of Medsource Technologies, which was merged in 2005 with UTI Corporation to form Accellent. Before MedSource, Dan spent the majority of his career with GE in a variety of roles and with Booz & Company in Sydney, Australia. Croteau is an active member of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and serves on its CEO Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Inventus Power and UFP Technologies (Nasdaq UFPX).

Perry DeFazio, Vice President, Covington Associates
Perry DeFazio has spent his entire career in the medical device industry, taking on a variety of roles. He has been with Covington Associates for nearly three years, providing merger and acquisition advisory guidance in the medical manufacturing and device sectors. Prior to joining Covington, DeFazio was at Partners Healthcare where he oversaw industry collaborations in the fields of microfluidics, rare cell isolation, and aesthetic dermatology. He was previously part of Tyco Healthcare, leading programs for its organic growth initiatives and serving as the technical lead for M&A activities in the operating room products business unit. He also has startup experience from his work at Ortheon Medical where he developed arthroscopic soft tissue fixation systems, as well as at Salient Surgical, where he led the launch of the company’s flagship radiofrequency energy device. DeFazio has several years of intellectual property advisory experience. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before joining Boston Scientific as a member of the company’s gastrointestinal endoscopy business unit.

Sara Dyson, Assistant Vice President—Loss Control, Medmarc Insurance Group
Sara Dyson assists companies with controlling products liability risks, losses, and associated costs at the Medmarc Insurance Group, which provides products liability insurance to the life sciences industry, primarily the manufacturers and distributors of medtech and pharmaceutical products. She regularly performs evaluations of medtech and pharmaceutical products and onsite evaluations of manufacturing operations to identify products liability risks. Dyson is also responsible for developing educational resources that focus on products liability risk management and related specialty areas, such as FDA compliance, post-market surveillance, product safety, and recalls. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Bill Ellerkamp, Operating Partner, Inverness Graham Investments
Bill Ellerkamp is a 30-year-career medical device industry executive, having served on leadership teams of public and private, venture capital and private equity backed, and large, medium, and small companies. He has extensive knowledge and understanding of the medical device contract manufacturing industry, with experience in strategic planning, business development, and international business, as well as a strong track record in advising private equity and private company clients and leading organizations into profitable positions in new markets. Ellerkamp’s executive experience includes board member of AdvancedCath (which was sold to TEConnectivity in March 2015), CEO of ExtruMed LLC (a precision thermoplastic extrusion business), COO of Ranier Technology Limited (a spinal implant technology company in the UK), VP of market development for MedSource Technologies (a leading contract engineering and manufacturing services provider to the medical device industry, which merged with UTI Corp in 2005 to form Accellent), and President of Teleflex Medical OEM.

Mickey Garcia

Mickey Garcia – Director, Medical Device Industry Solutions – MasterControl
Mickey Garcia guides the development of solutions that offer MasterControl medical device customers the fastest path to market and success. He has more than twenty years of experience in the life science and software industries. Garcia began his career working in manufacturing operations and systems engineering at Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for designing and validating automated production systems and leading Six Sigma Black Belt quality improvement projects. More recently, he led the product strategy efforts for a range of QMS, ECM, MES and PLM software companies serving the life sciences. Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from Stanford University.

Clayton Hall, Vice President, Government Affairs, Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA)
Prior to joining MDMA, Hall spent 12 years working on Capitol Hill and served as chief of staff to three members of the U.S. House of Representatives: former Congressmen Jim McCrery (La.) and Anh “Joseph” Cao (La.), and Congressman Tim Griffin (Ark.). McCrery and Griffin both served on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax-writing committee in the House, which has significant jurisdiction over federal healthcare policy. Hall managed a diverse portfolio of political and policy issues while he was on the Hill, playing a major role in drafting numerous pieces of legislation, including legislation to reform the federal regulatory regime, and Medicare payment policies. Hall received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

Kevin Johns, Economic Development Director, City of Austin
Kevin Johns is the director of the Economic Development Department for Austin, Texas. In this capacity, he is responsible for a nationally recognized team of 53 economic specialists who work together on a fusion of traditional and creative city building. His department’s mission is to increase the prosperity of all citizens, entrepreneurs, neighborhoods, and communities. The Austin Economic Development Department focuses on urban regeneration, business expansion, global commerce, and has the nation’s top small business solutions team, and music & entertainment, digital media, cultural arts, and technology innovation. Johns has a Master’s Degree in city planning from Georgia Tech, and a Bachelor of Arts from Case Western Reserve University.

Maninder “Mini” Kahlon, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Strategy & Partnerships, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Mini Kahlon enables innovation across the Dell Medical School enterprise to build a new model for academic medicine as a driver of health transformation. Working across the organization, her office identifies opportunities to catalyze change; introduce, align, and kick off new initiatives; drive new models of dissemination and commercialization; advance health product innovation; and enable technology-driven transformation. More broadly, Dr. Kahlon works with public, private, and academic partners to build a vital inclusive health ecosystem. In 2016, the Austin Chamber of Commerce selected Mini to serve on the Executive Committee of their Board of Directors as the Vice-Chair of MedTech Innovation. She also serves on the board of directors of the University Federal Credit Union.

Thomas R. Kowalski, President and CEO, Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute
Thomas R. Kowalski is president and CEO of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) in Austin, Texas. Prior to his appointment as president, Kowalski served as the executive director for the Washington, DC-based National Association for the Support of Long Term Care. He has previously served as a senior staff member to Governor Bill Clements of Texas, U.S. Senator John Tower of Texas, and Congressman Jim Collins of Dallas, Texas. With over thirty-five years of political and policy experience, Kowalski was appointed in 1989 by Governor Bill Clements to the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System. He served as chairman of the Board of Regents in 1995. In addition, Kowalski currently serves as chairman of the McCoy College of Business Administration Advisory Council at Texas State University.

Dawn Lissy, President & Founder, Empirical
Dawn Lissy is a biomedical engineer, entrepreneur, and innovator. Since 1998, the Empirical family of companies (Empirical Testing Corp., Empirical Consulting, LLC, and Empirical Machine, LLC) has operated under Lissy’s direction. Empirical offers the full range of regulatory and quality systems consulting, testing, small batch and prototype manufacturing, and validations services to bring a medical device to market. Empirical is very active within ASTM and has one of the widest scopes of test methods of any accredited independent lab in the United States. Because Lissy was a member of the FDA’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, she has first-hand, in-depth knowledge of the regulatory landscape. Lissy holds an inventor patent for the Stackable Cage System for corpectomy and vertebrectomy. Her M.S. in biomedical engineering is from The University of Akron, Ohio.

Steve Maylish, Chief Commercial Officer, Fusion Biotec
Steve Maylish has been a part of the medical device community for more than thirty years, serving management roles in business development, marketing, and operations. Early in his career, he held technical and marketing positions at Fortune 100 corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Shiley, Sorin Group, Baxter Healthcare, and Edwards Lifesciences. After receiving his MBA in 2002, Maylish focused his business development talents on early-stage, boutique medical design and manufacturing firms, two of which successfully exited through acquisition. Afterward, he founded Maytrix Medical to provide business development to third-party engineering firms. More recently, he founded Fusion Biotec with a partner to design and develop medical devices.

Todd McCaslin, Global Sourcing Director, 
Boston Scientific
Todd McCaslin is a global sourcing director for Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC), a leading innovator of medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. He joined BSC in 1984 and has held leadership positions in manufacturing operations, plastics engineering, process development, external manufacturing (OEM/CM), and sourcing. In his current role, McCaslin and his team are responsible for working with the 11 BSC manufacturing locations and 7 business units to develop and apply global sourcing strategies and relationship management skills to drive value and innovation across the packaging material commodity, while ensuring direct linkage to BSC’s overall business strategy. He is also responsible for the Global Process Excellence and Analytics functions.

Dennis L. McWilliams, Founder, President, and Chief Commercial Officer, Apollo Endosurgery
Dennis McWilliams founded Apollo Endosurgery Inc., a growing medical device company based in Austin, Texas that develops tools for minimally invasive, scarless, gastrointestinal procedures. McWilliams began his career with George Kozmetsky’s IC2 Institute developing strategies for startup companies based on new technologies from government- and university-based research labs. Out of this experience, he co-founded his first company, Chrysalis BioTechnology—a biopharmaceutical company focused on novel drug therapies for tissue regeneration. Following this, McWilliams was an entrepreneur-in-residence at PTV Healthcare Capital, a venture capital fund focusing on healthcare innovation. Apollo Endosurgery was incubated by PTV Healthcare Capital and was initially funded through a seed grant from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. McWilliams served as CEO until 2014, at which point, he assumed the role of president and chief commercial officer.

Andrew J. Miclot, President & CEO, Micro Machine Co.
Andrew J. Miclot brings more than 25 years of diverse leadership with medical device suppliers and OEMs. Prior, to joining Micro Machine, he was executive vice president of Micro Technologies, a medical device supplier, where he quickly reorganized and repositioned the company to dramatically grow the business. He was general manager, senior vice president, and officer of ArthroCare ENT, increasing revenue from flat to three years of near double digit growth. Miclot was president, CEO, and director of Ascension Orthopedics before ArthroCare, where he increased revenue by 15 percent within one year. He also repositioned the company as an extremity orthopedic company, preparing it for sustained rapid growth. From 1994 to 2007, Miclot served as senior vice president, officer, and IRO with Symmetry Medical (medial device supplier), leading the company from a $10 million breakeven to annual revenue in excess of $300 million, $51 million profit, an IPO on NYSE of more than $120 million, exceeding Wall Street expectations.

Susan Mucha, President, Powell-Mucha Consulting Inc.
Susan Mucha is president of Powell-Mucha Consulting Inc., an El Paso, Texas-based consultancy focused on market positioning, strategic planning, and training, which serves the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry. Prior to founding PMCI, Mucha spent over 20 years working for EMS companies in a variety of management and executive positions. She holds an M.A.S. degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Mucha is a frequent presenter at electronics industry trends conferences and has published a number of papers and articles related to both general and medtech outsourcing trends. She is also the author of the book, Find It. Book It. Grow It. A Robust Process for Account Acquisition in Electronics Manufacturing Services.

Dana A. Oliver, Senior Director of Research & Development, Medtronic’s Surgical Technologies ENT/NT division
Dana A. Oliver has helped grow Medtronic’s Surgical Technologies ENT/NT division from $100 million to approximately $2 billion in annual revenues over fourteen years. He has approximately 30 years of experience in the field of medical devices, working for such companies as Medtronic, Genzyme, SIMS Level 1, Kirwan Surgical, and Strichman Medical. He has applied for over 30 patent applications and has been granted over 20 U.S. patents to date. He is the author of two books: Mantra Design – Innovate, Buy, or Die! Discover the Secrets for Profitable and Lasting Innovation and Mantra Leadership – Don’t Become the Emperor with No Clothes! In 2016, Oliver plans to become an independent consultant and educator, offering expertise in innovation leadership.