|Kollbe Ahn, Ph.D., CEO, ACatechol Inc. |
Dr. Kollbe Ahn is the CEO and founder of ACatechol Inc. His present mission is to commercialize ACatechol’s novel anti-infective surface technology for central venous catheters, funded by NIH and NSF, to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). He received his Ph.D. in Biomaterials from Kansas State and completed his Postdoctoral training at UCD and UCSB. Dr. Ahn was previously a professor at UCSB and UCF, and is currently serving on an industrial advisory board of UCLA.
|Bryan Barrera, CEO, LC Innovation International Corp. |
Bryan Barrera is CEO of LC Innovation International Corp., a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership training, as well as sales and marketing representation. LC Innovation represents clients with cutting edge technology spanning across several industries, including but not limited to 3D printing, eVTOL development, and collaborative/autonomous robotic management systems. Barrera has over 15 years of experience as a sales/marketing and operations executive, recently exiting the custom injection molding arena. With over 10 years of experience molding plastic components for several OEMs listed in MPO’s annual Top 30 Medical Device Companies report, Barrera understands the psyche of the OEM supply chain and engineers’ never-ending pursuit of efficiency, innovation, and technological advancements. He graduated from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School with an MBA in the President’s and Key Executives program and is now a Ph.D. candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in industrial organizational psychology. He is the author of “Your Ego: The Real Reason Your Business Is Failing,” which debuted as the #1 new release in its genre.
|Brandon Birchmeier, President, Birchmeier Plastic Solutions |
Brandon Birchmeier is a 20-year, hands-on veteran of the injection molding industry. Recently, he started his own consulting business, Birchmeier Plastic Solutions, helping his clients to maximize their existing equipment infrastructure and guiding them toward new technological innovations that can impact their specific needs. Birchmeier utilizes statistical tests and methods to help molders understand and manage variables specific to their product and equipment, creating a “language” of data that permeates through the organization. Prior to that, he was the technical director at iMFLUX for 10 years, applying new control and adaptation concepts to the injection molding industry. During his tenure, Birchmeier was responsible for 21 patents related to this innovative approach. Prior to joining iMFLUX, he worked for both Rain Bird Corp. and Johnson Controls Inc. as an advanced process engineer. Birchmeier has a Bachelor of Science in Plastics Engineering Technology from Ferris State University.
|Rosemary Coates, Founder and Executive Director, Reshoring Institute |
Rosemary Coates is the founder and executive director of the Reshoring Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on expanding U.S. manufacturing. She is also the president of Blue Silk Consulting, a supply-chain management consulting firm. Coates has been a management consultant for more than 25 years, helping over 80 global supply chain clients worldwide. She is an Amazon.com best-selling author with five Supply Chain Management books, including the Reshoring Guidebook, 42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China, and the Legal Blacksmith – How to Avoid and Defend Supply Chain Disputes. She also works as an expert witness on legal cases involving global supply chain disputes. Coates serves on the Board of Directors at the University of San Diego Supply Chain Management Institute and teaches Global Supply Chain Strategy at UC Berkeley. She earned an MBA from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in business logistics from Arizona State University.
|Darci Diage, M.S., Founder and CEO, TPL Consulting |
Darci Diage is the founder and CEO of TPL Consulting, which provides consulting services for all facets of medical device development, from concept to commercial. After 18 years of running complex laboratories and quality departments for medical device manufacturers, Diage decided to apply her unique contributions to the “total product lifecycle” to accelerate development timelines and launch products. Her BS in Molecular Biology from Sonoma State and MS in Biomedical Laboratory Science from San Francisco State spring boarded her career in cardiovascular, combination, and peripheral devices. Diage’s knowledge and expertise in feasibility testing, design control, risk management, and quality system implementation has further expanded her regulatory role, resulting in the successful submission of numerous device approvals in the U.S., EU, Canada, and Australia. With a portfolio of diverse device developments and a multitude of devices, Diage has firsthand experience in overcoming challenges within the design control process, given the continually evolving regulations and guidance documents. Having owned and operated TPL Consulting for five successful years, Diage comprehends the intricate relationship between suppliers, service providers, and contract manufacturers to get devices to the market and in the hands of users to improve patient lives.
|Paul DiLaura, Chief Commercial Officer, Mantle |
Paul DiLaura joined Mantle as the chief commercial officer in 2021. Prior to Mantle, he was the vice president of sales and applications engineering at Carbon, a leader in the plastics 3D printing market. While at Carbon, DiLaura helped bring three generations of printers and many new materials to markets such as automotive, industrial, consumer products, and medical devices. He also helped develop a network of Production Partners that produce parts with Carbon’s technology worldwide. DiLaura started and grew the sales and applications engineering teams and was instrumental in bringing many industry-first 3D-printed applications to volume production. Before joining Carbon, DiLaura spent over ten years at Dassault Systèmes. He served most recently as its managing director of North America, where he was responsible for customer and partner relationships, marketing, and customer service. DiLaura holds Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and History from the University of Michigan.
|John M. Ebeid, SVP, Randstad Life Sciences |
John Ebeid is a seasoned executive leader within the dynamic landscape of the life sciences staffing industry. With an extensive career spanning over 25 years, his expertise encompasses a multifaceted background in management consulting, strategic R&D operations, and global staffing. Ebeid’s global staffing experience has honed his ability to navigate diverse markets and harness a deep understanding of talent dynamics across geographies. He leverages a wealth of industry knowledge and hands-on experience to curate bespoke workforce solutions that resonate with unique business imperatives. Ebeid wields an innate capacity to align staffing strategies with overarching corporate goals, enabling clients to propel their enterprises forward.
|David Ferrera, CEO, RC Medical |
David Ferrera is an engineer, entrepreneur, inventor, and advisor with nearly 30 years of experience in the medical device field successfully developing products, founding companies, and managing them from concept through commercialization. He’s the author of Innovation in Translation – How Big Ideas Really Happen, published by Advantage-Forbes in 2021. He’s currently CEO of RC Medical, a medical device venture studio that is funding, designing, developing, and commercializing products for the interventional radiology markets. RC Medical works with physician-entrepreneurs to identify new product technology and indications of medical devices. The organization has formed several NewCos recently (e.g., Single Pass, Infinity Neuro and Sonorous NV) with physicians to create product-based solutions for problems they encounter every day in the interventional suite. Ferrera was formerly chief technology officer of Balt Global (France), which is dedicated to advancing therapies in hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. He co-founded Blockade Medical in 2011 and was President and CTO. Prior to Blockade, Ferrera spent time at MindFrame Inc., Microvention Inc., and Micrus Endovascular. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Plastics Engineering from University of Lowell, Mass., and also holds more than 80 U.S. and international patents for medical devices.
|Anthony S. Freeman, President, A.S. Freeman Advisors LLC |
Tony Freeman leads A. S. Freeman Advisors, a transaction advisory firm focused on the precision manufacturing and specialty materials industries. With a focus on supply chain companies, Freeman Advisors offers buy-side and sell-side services as well as strategic consulting on market selection and value enhancement. Clients range from Fortune 500 firms to small, privately held companies in the life sciences, aerospace, electronics, and specialty chemical industries. Freeman also serves as executive director of mdmX, an industry organization for medical supply chain executives. He is a regular contributor to MPO and other industry publications. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Columbia University.
|Brett Freeman, President, Providence Enterprise USA Inc. |
Brett Freeman is the president of Providence Enterprise USA Inc., located in Newport Beach, Calif. In addition to overseeing global sales and marketing, he is responsible for the operations of the U.S. company. Providence Enterprise USA is the U.S. subsidiary of Providence Enterprise Limited, a medical device contract manufacturer with headquarters in Hong Kong, China, and manufacturing locations in China, Vietnam, and Mexico. Prior to joining Providence Enterprise in 2005, Freeman spent three years living and working in China and has been involved with the Chinese manufacturing industry since 1998. Time spent in China included developing Sales, Marketing, and Manufacturing initiatives. His prior experience included working at such companies as Ingram Micro, Accenture, and T Mobile. He received his MBA from UC Irvine, his Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) certification from APICS, and his BS from Miami University (Ohio).
|Christopher Gates, Director of Product Security, Velentium |
Christopher Gates has over 50 years of experience developing and securing medical devices for numerous industry-leading device manufacturers and frequently collaborates with regulatory and standard bodies including the CISA, HSCC, OWASP, Bluetooth SIG, IEEE, and the SBOM Forum to present, define, and codify tools, techniques, and processes that enable the creation of secure medical devices. Everywhere he goes, Gates promotes the concepts of a secure total product lifecycle, an approach that eases the burden on developers and ensures high-quality products that work as intended to save and improve lives without putting patients at risk. In 2020, he co-authored the first book on medical device security, entitled “Medical Device Cybersecurity for Engineers and Manufacturers,” and is currently finishing the second edition of this bestselling, and award-winning book. Gates graduated from California State University Northridge with a B.S. in Computer Science and worked in various roles as a software/firmware engineer, systems engineer, project manager, and cybersecurity architect. He joined Velentium in 2017 because he had previously collaborated with Velentium as a contractor and had seen firsthand that its values are exemplified by its founders. Gates currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife of 42 years along with their Siberian Husky.
|Alex Goryachev, Partner, PragmaticAI |
Alex Goryachev is a globally acknowledged technology and innovation strategist, renowned for embedding a continuous culture of innovation in digital transformation, particularly while advancing the commercialization of cutting-edge emerging technologies like AI and IoT. With over two decades of expertise, he has notably served as the general manager of Global Innovation Centers at the $50B tech giant, Cisco, and prior to that, held key transformational roles with Napster, IBM, and Pfizer. He is a bestselling author of “Fearless Innovation: Going Beyond the Buzzword to Continuously Drive Growth, Improve the Bottom Line, and Enact Change” and has been pivotal in fostering innovation at grand events like the Olympics. As a dynamic speaker, expert, and adviser, he’s shared his insights in over 250 engagements worldwide, further establishing himself as a leading voice in tech innovation, with regular contributions to major publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.
|Manish Gupta, Managing Director—Medical Products and Related Services, DC Advisory US |
Manish Gupta has more than 15 years of dedicated experience advising clients across a variety of investment banking services and engagements. He has focused his expertise in the medical products and related healthcare services sectors. Gupta provides comprehensive investment banking advisory services across M&A, debt capital raising, equity capital raising, alternative transactions and structures, etc. Prior to his current position, he was a managing director in Baird’s Healthcare group and a new business development officer at Hollister Inc., a medical device firm. He earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his M.S. from The Ohio State University.
|Scott Johnson, President, DeviceAlliance |
Scott Johnson, MBA, is the president of DeviceAlliance and is the principal of Strategic Markets at Square-1 Engineering; a medical device consulting firm. DeviceAlliance (DA) is the largest multidisciplinary, non-profit professionals association exclusively serving the medical device industry in Southern California. DA was formed in 2009 to serve the Southern California medical device industry through promoting the vitality of the marketplace and its people. Johnson hosts the DeviceAlliance MedTech Radio Podcast which highlights Southern California’s MedTech leaders advancing medical technology. He received his MBA from Chapman Argyros School of Business in 2013, and his B.S. in Marketing from CSULB.
|Suhas Kulkarni, Founder and President, FimmTech Inc. |
Suhas Kulkarni is the founder and president of FimmTech Inc., an injection molding service-oriented firm focused on scientific molding and scientific processing for injection molding. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Polymer Engineering from India and a Master’s Degree in Plastics Engineering from UMASS, Lowell. Kulkarni has 30 years of experience in injection molding processing and worked as a process engineer for 12 years before he started FimmTech in 2004. FimmTech has developed several custom tools that help molders develop robust processes, and its seminars have trained individuals from hundreds of companies throughout the world. Kulkarni is an author of the best-selling book “Robust Process Development and Scientific Molding,” published by Hanser Publications. He is a regular contributor to the widely distributed Plastics Technology magazine.
|Mike Lavaglio, Sr. Director, Supply Chain, Dexcom |
Mike Lavaglio is currently the senior director of supply chain planning and analytics at Dexcom, a manufacturer of continuous glucose meters. He leads a 20-person team of supply chain professionals focused on global/regional S&OP, master data management, and analytics. In his six years at Dexcom, Lavaglio has stood up the Global S&OP process at Dexcom, driven best practices in master planning, and enabled a data-rich environment that has enabled Dexcom to experience its tremendous growth. He has spent over 15 years in medical device and craft beer industries, is currently based in San Diego, CA, has two little kids, and enjoys time surfing, playing ice hockey, and camping with family and friends.
|Patrick Lynch, Principal, chainLEANk solutions |
Patrick Lynch is a sourcing and CMO leader in medical device supply chain and specializes in strategic sourcing, materials management, and procurement. He earned his undergrad in Supply Chain from Michigan State University, and has maintained ISM, ASQ, and APICS certifications in procurement, inventory management, quality auditing, and Six Sigma, in addition to having articles published on topics related to supply chain risk, ERP configuration, and kanban. During his career, he has helped companies such as General Motors, Illiumina, Abbott Labs, Callaway Golf, and several smaller startups. His latest achievements have included successful M&A support for TearFilm, risk management programs at Illumina and Abbott, along with assisting reshoring efforts for several companies.
|Jim McCormack, Senior Global Commodity Manager, Hologic |
Jim McCormack is an accomplished global supply chain leader in life sciences with an operations-focused finance background. At Hologic, he has over ten years of experience working extensively within the Costa Rica medical device sector. Areas of expertise include negotiating large complex supply agreements, plastics, and sterilization. During the pandemic, McCormack managed the scale up of key suppliers that were instrumental in Hologic becoming one of the largest suppliers of molecular COVID-19 tests in the world. He has directed diverse global teams including procurement, strategic sourcing, supplier quality, and planning. Prior to Hologic, McCormack was responsible for Manufacturing Finance at a division of Parker Hannifin where he developed deep expertise in lean manufacturing. Jim has an MBA and an undergraduate degree in accounting from Bentley University.
|Ryan Moran, Director of Automation, SMC |
Ryan Moran, director of automation at SMC Ltd., has over 23 years in the industry focused on automation for manufacturing as it relates to assembly, testing, and packaging. He works with customers upfront to understand and communicate expectations, specifications, and deliverables between SMC, customers, and automation partners. This is in effort to provide a comprehensive, phased-in, capital approach to meet the needs of the program from a cost, timing, resource, and risk standpoint. Moran is also a technical sponsor for programs once awarded to ensure proper automation strategy, implementation, and resources are allocated for overall success. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineer with a concentration on manufacturing processes.
|Jennifer A. Neff, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Allvivo Vascular |
Dr. Jennifer Neff is a founder and the CEO of Allvivo Vascular, a company developing antimicrobial technologies to reduce wound and medical device-related infections. Prior to Allvivo Vascular, Dr. Neff was a founder and the Director of Research for Allvivo, where she was instrumental in bringing nine new life science research products from inception to market. She started her career as an engineer in the Environmental Products Division at Terra Tek, where she worked with a small team to develop mycotoxin detection kits, taking these products from an early development stage through manufacturing and commercialization. As an entrepreneur, she has been successful in raising funding for product development through private investors as well as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. She acts as a board member for the Southern California Biomedical Council and provides regular service as an NIH reviewer. Dr. Neff graduated with honors in Materials Science Engineering and earned a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. After completing her Ph.D., she served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Human Toxicology in Salt Lake City, Utah.
|Marie O’Malley, Sr. VP Commercial Operations, PiSA USA |
Marie O’Malley serves as the Sr vice president of commercial operations for PiSA USA, representing Centerpiece and PiSA who offer world class contract manufacturing and EtO sterilization processing. PiSA supports top tier OEMs along with startup companies for their development, manufacturing, and EtO sterilization needs. Prior to joining PiSA USA, O’Malley worked at Medtronic for over 27 years in a number of executive leadership roles at the corporate level and with the Cardiovascular Group. During her tenure, she led global teams in a number of functions including finance, sales & contract administration, customer service, global supply chain, and supply management roles. Under O’Malley’s leadership, Medtronic was recognized as a top corporation supporting women-owned businesses; she has served in numerous leadership roles in National Supplier Diversity and industry advocacy organizations. O’Malley has an MBA from Bentley University and an undergraduate Finance degree from Binghamton University. She has been listed as one of the Top 100 Women in Medtech. O’Malley also serves on the Board of HERhealthEQ, a global non-profit focused on women’s health in emerging and developing counties.
|William Pratt, VP Operations and Director of Creative Design, Kinamed Inc. |
Bill Pratt has worked in the medical device industry for over thirty years in a variety of manufacturing, operations, and design roles. He holds several commercially successful U.S. and international patents related to surgical implants and instruments. His design activities range from direct product development and collaboration, to manufacturing process and equipment development. Pratt’s public service includes the Southern California Biomedical Council and Ventura County Workforce Development Board. He also advises the biomanufacturing program at Moorpark College and he is a member of the industry advisory boards for the bioengineering departments of UCLA and UC Riverside.
|Jennifer Samproni, Chief Technology Officer, Health Solutions, Flex |
Jennifer Samproni is chief technology officer for the Health Solutions business at Flex, a global manufacturing partner that helps a diverse customer base design and build products to improve the world. Samproni leads the global product development organization made up of over 650 medical engineering professionals supporting the innovation of medical devices, medical equipment, and pharmaceutical products. With over three decades of experience in medical device product development spanning R&D, strategy, and manufacturing, Samproni is an expert on how product engineering and design teams can overcome complex challenges such as incompatible designs, limited supply, broken systems, and countless other scientific challenges. She’s known as a results-oriented leader focused on increasing efficiency and facilitating predictability for organizations. Samproni is a recognized thought leader in healthcare diagnostics, digital health, next generation technologies, and advanced manufacturing. Prior to Flex, she spent 13 years at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, where she served as vice president, head of Critical Care Systems R&D.
|Rick Sanghera, CEO and Co-Founder, AtaCor Medical Inc. |
Rick Sanghera has spent over 25 years within the cardiac rhythm management industry, with roles at Guidant Corporation, Cameron Health, and Boston Scientific—including 10 years dedicated to the development of the world’s first subcutaneous implantable defibrillator system (S-ICD). His experience includes positions within R&D as well as field-based roles, creating a foundation that gives him a keen ability to develop novel products that simplify the user experience and improve outcomes for patients. With a deep understanding of how medical devices must interface with healthcare institutions, physicians, and patients, Sanghera played a critical role at Cameron Health where he led development efforts for the subcutaneous lead system and cardiac detection algorithm used to determine when defibrillation shocks should be delivered or inhibited. In 2014, he co-founded AtaCor Medical to continue his desire to simplify cardiac device therapies for physicians and patients. AtaCor’s extravascular pacing method frees the veins and hearts of pacemaker patients from all foreign hardware, and now, the technology has been expanded to provide defibrillation therapies as well. Sanghera holds over 70 U.S. patents in the cardiac device space and has co-authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed cardiology journals.
|Julie Schulte, MBA, Co-Founder & CEO, Chamfr |
Julie Schulte brings over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry. She got her start in the industry with a small contract manufacturer focused on implantable and single-use devices that was acquired several times and eventually became part of Greatbatch (now Integer). Schulte led Sales, Marketing, and Corporate Sustainability efforts at Vention before it was sold to Nordson MEDICAL and MedPlast (now Viant). She went on to co-found Meraqi Medical—a device design, development, and manufacturing services provider—for which she served as president for two years prior to its acquisition by Viant. Schulte also co-founded Chamfr—a medical device component marketplace—for which she currently serves as CEO. She holds a BS in Business Administration and Organizational Management as well as an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing.
|Robert Schwenker, Vice President of Sales—Specialty Molding, Spectrum Plastics Group, a Dupont Company |
Robert Schwenker is the vice president of sales – Specialty Molding at Spectrum Plastics Group, a Dupont Company, where he has held this role for four years. He has also provided commercial leadership for the Fluid Management division during his time at Spectrum. Prior to this, Schwenker led the Medical Components business at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, where he served as both a sales leader and business manager for over 20 years in the Medical and Life Science sectors. Schwenker specializes in silicone materials and engineered plastics, particularly in implantable and non-implantable applications. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Texas.
|David Sheppard, Managing Director, MedWorld Advisors |
David Sheppard has been a leader in the medical device industry for more than 30 years. His experience includes positions such as GM and VP, as well as high impact sales and marketing leadership roles at major Fortune 500 corporations (Medtronic/Covidien, BD/Bard, Cooper and Ciba). His achievements also involve work at startup organizations (including working pre-IPO on a successful IPO company). As a managing director at MedWorld Advisors, Sheppard is focused on exit strategies for the MedDevice, BioTech, DentalTech, DigitalHealthTec, and OEM Medtech companies. For M&A, the goal is to help small- and medium-sized companies maximize their value with their exit strategy and/or achieve success with their acquisition strategy. Having completed international/cross-border deals, an important component to MedWorld’s success is its global reach and ability to cross boundaries to successfully facilitate transactions. In addition to M&A achievements at MedWorld Advisors, his medtech career worldwide results include completing distribution and licensing deals with international businesses, comprising of major Fortune 500 companies (e.g., GE, Philips, Stryker, NK, Mindray, etc.) as well as smaller entities. These experiences have led to a global network of contacts with channel partners both large and small. Sheppard has been involved in “go-to-market” strategies on every major developed continent (Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America).
|Seema Sood, Associate Director, Reliability & Verification Engineering, BD |
Seema Sood has been at BD for nine years in roles varying from project management to tooling & molding engineering, and reliability and verification/validation engineering. She was the tooling engineering manager for five years, supporting operations and R&D for two profitable platforms. Sood led a team of 10 tooling and molding engineers with a strong focus around developing robust processes at the component level around part designs, mold designs, and mold qualifications, as well as system level verification and validation activities. With a portfolio of 500 plastic injection molding tools in the platforms, Sood was responsible for the replacement mold and new mold activities for sustaining and R&D engineering, as well as prioritizing the molding portfolio. She is responsible for capital budget in the millions of dollars and its execution. In addition to the portfolio, Sood has built and maintained strong relationships with the numerous molding vendors producing parts for BD. She has worked at various multinational companies such as Bechtel Corporation (bioprocess facility design), Novellus Systems (semiconductors), and Abbott Vascular (coronary stents). Sood holds a B.S in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from San Jose State University.