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Board of Directors

Partner at Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton

Ken Eheman, Co-Chair

womens-board-jayne-morgan
Director of Cardiovascular Research – Piedmont Heart Institute

Jayne Morgan, Co-Chair

Brian Adams

Alex Arfaei

Senior Director, New Ventures – Johnson & Johnson

Ibraheem Badejo, PhD

Mark Baxter

Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Ali Behbahani

Robert Benson

Gerry Brunk

President & CEO, BioFlorida

Nancy Bryan

Vice President, Global Research & Development – Halyard

Lee Burnes

President & Founder – Life Science Partner

Tom Callaway

Joe Cook, III

Partner – HealthQuest Capital

Todd Creech

David Day

Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

Mike Dial, PhD

Vice President, Investments at North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Vivian Doelling, PhD

Audit Partner, Hughes Pittman & Gupton

Thomas Fagley

Strategic Alliance Director, Bayer

Hanna Eilken

President, SC Bio

Erin Ford

Managing Principal/Founder – Hatch Medical LLC

Paul Gianneschi

Director of Licensing and New Ventures, UAB

Karthik Gopalakrishnan, PhD

Founder & CEO – Innovetica

Ashley Hancock

Chief Economic Development Officer – Metro Atlanta Chamber

David B. Hartnett

Vice President, Venture Development

Lee Herron

board-david-huizenga
CEO – Moterum Technologies

David Huizenga

Program Manager, Medical Device Technology – Southern Research

Stacey Kelpke

President – Silver Spire Consulting; Executive Mentor-in-Residence – Duke University; Member – Triangle Angel Partners

Fred Kornahrens

President, Bio Alabama

Rachel Lane, PhD, RD

Executive Director, Life Sciences – J.P. Morgan

Joe Lee

President – Southern Metrics

Chris Lyons

Director - Life Sciences, Silicon Valley Bank

Scott McCarty

Tina McKeon, Board Chair
Partner Kilpatrick Townsend

Tina McKeon

President & CEO, Virginia BIO

John Newby

Assistant Vice President of Technology Commercialization

Jim O’Connell

Partner, Hutchison PLLC

Dan O’Korn

womens-board-grace-powers
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs – Brookhaven Medical

Grace Powers

Director of Business Development Strategy – Medtronic

Kip Roberts

President & CEO – Georgia Bio

Maria Thacker Goethe

Associate Vice President & Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Emory University

Todd Sherer

Managing Partner, Epidarex

Kyp Sirinakis

Amy Sturdivant

President, Life Science Tennessee

Abby Trotter

Chief Operating Officer – AdvaMed

Chris White

Principal – The Pinnacle Group

David White

Partner – Baker Hostetler

Kristen Woodrum

Executive Director

Jason Rupp

Partner at Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton

Ken Eheman, Co-Chair

Ken practices in the area of corporate and securities law, including company formation, venture capital financings, venture capital fund formation, private placements, public offerings, mergers & acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. His practice focuses on technology-related industries, including life sciences and information technology. Ken’s experience includes representing start-up and emerging growth companies, public companies, underwriters, and venture capitalists. Ken is the firm’s Life Sciences industry team leader and served on the firm’s Executive Committee 2008-2018.

Ken joined the firm in 1998 from New York where he practiced at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, LLP. Ken graduated with honors and distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

womens-board-jayne-morgan

Director of Cardiovascular Research – Piedmont Heart Institute

Jayne Morgan, Co-Chair

Dr. Jayne Morgan is a Cardiologist with extensive experience in clinical patient management, as well as pharmaceutical and biotech research. For the past 2 decades she has focused on improving the care and quality of life measures for patients from heterogenous populations, including end-of-life patients without further medical options.

Serving in the roles of both Clinical Development and Medical Affairs for global pharmaceutical and device companies for the past 10 years, she has successfully led Phase II and III programs globally, and Phase IV programs in Europe. In these roles, her background includes leadership and accountability for research projects with oversight of a $52 million dollar budget within a $4.5 billion company.

As the driver of the cardio-renal and heart failure programs (sponsored and funded by Solvay Pharmaceuticals), and providing the scientific guidance as a consultant to the MitraClip programs (funded and sponsored by Abbott Vascular), her experience in the design and execution of large international clinical trials for both devices and pharmaceuticals is well established. Acknowledged with both the Solvay Cardio-Metabolic Strategic Paper Award and People to People Ambassadorship for vulnerable global populations, she has selected and led many scientific panel experts including Steering Committees, Adjudication Committees, and Data Safety Monitoring Board Committees, and has also served on regulatory panels for both the FDA and EMA.

Following high school graduation as Valedictorian, Dr. Morgan went on to complete her B.S. degree in Biology and Biochemistry from Spelman College; her M.D. degree from Michigan State University; Internal Medicine Residency from George Washington University; and Cardiology Fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center including completion of a Pacemaker Sub-Fellowship. She has treated patients in both rural primary care settings, as well as within academic institutions as the Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Florida, and is published in both the American Heart Journal and recognized by the Heart Failure Society for her work on Adenosine Receptor Antagonists. Further, Dr. Morgan has received numerous distinctions in Principles of Radiation Physics, and RadioPharmaceuticals and Chemistry in Nuclear Medicine. In fact, most recently, she served as the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) of the American Chemistry Council where she introduced new stakeholders, advocated for senate bill reforms, and developed a strategy and new direction for their research program including securing funding from the Board of $5 million dollars annually for 4 years.

Dr. Morgan has also served as a 6 year Board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama and the Calvary Childrens Home (orphanage). Currently, she is a Founding Member of Biotechnology for Women, member of the AHA (American Heart Association), AMA (American Medical Association), AWMA (American Womens Medical Association), and the ABC (Association of Black Cardiologists). Additionally, she is recognized as an Industry Fellow for the GRA (Georgia Research Alliance) focused on the development and commercialization of biotech and pharma innovations into viable companies and partnerships here in the state of Georgia.

Currently, she is the Director of Cardiovascular Research at the Piedmont Research Institute where she is responsible for all drug, device, and drug/device combination trials in both the Cardiovascular and Peripheral Vascular space. Bringing to an organization over 20+ years of clinical and industry experience, and a demonstrated record of strategic planning, management, and execution of trials to support the medical and scientific platform of an organization, Dr. Morgan is able to leverage a wealth of qualifications in business development, scientific rigor/conduct, medical education, and communication.

Brian Adams

Dr. Brian Adams has a career of over 20 years in the life sciences in both academia and industry. He currently works in the Rare Diseases group at UCB as part of the company’s I2I Global Insights organization.  Prior to joining UCB, Brian served as the Vice President of Business Development at Arbor Pharmaceuticals for nine years, where he directed/coordinated the identification, evaluation, and execution of new in-licensing, out-licensing, M&A,

investment and promotional opportunities with pharmaceutical companies, CDMOs and universities.  Before his time at Arbor, he served as Head of Business Development at Cornerstone Therapeutics and Senior Director of Business Development at Shionogi Pharma (formerly Sciele Pharma). Brian originally started with Shionogi as the Intellectual Property Manager and was responsible for handling the company’s patents and trademarks. Prior to working for Shionogi, he served as a patent agent and scientific advisor at Pabst Patent Group LLP and Holland & Knight, LLP in the areas of biotechnology and chemistry. He has been very active in the Southeast life sciences community and is a member of the SE BIO Board of Directors. Brian has earned a B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University, a PhD in Molecular and Systems Pharmacology from Emory University, and an MBA from the University of Georgia.

Alex Arfaei

Alex joined Pappas Capital in 2019, bringing with him twelve years of therapeutics equity research experience and six years of biopharma operating experience. Prior to joining Pappas, he was a Managing Director with BMO Capital Markets where he was a top-ranked senior equity research analyst responsible for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In early 2019, Alex won the Starmine award as the #1 stock picker in pharmaceuticals. Alex began his career in the pharmaceuticals industry in 1999 with operating roles at Merck and Endo Pharmaceuticals, including positions in sales, market research, forecasting and product management.

Education:

University of Toronto (BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology)
Duke University Fuqua School of Business (MBA, Health Sector Management Concentration)

Senior Director, New Ventures – Johnson & Johnson

Ibraheem Badejo, PhD

Ibraheem (Ib) is Senior Director, New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston. He leverages his expertise in smart materials and biomaterials to support the medical device sector.

From 2010 to 2013, Ib was a Research Fellow at Global Surgery Group of Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for external and front-end innovations and intellectual property for Ethicon Biosurgery. From 2006 to 2010, he was the Director of Applied Research & New Technology Assessment of novel biomaterials. Prior to that, he was the Chief Scientist of Closure Medical Corp (acquired by J&J in 2005). Prior to joining Closure, he held various positions at Bayer, North Carolina State University, College of Charleston. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University.

During his career, Ib has led teams in the development of commercialized biomaterials based products and new technology / products licensed or acquired.

Ib received his BA degree in chemistry from Avila University.  He received his PhD in Organic chemistry from the University of Toledo, where he was the Robert Whiteford Memorial Scholar for Outstanding Graduate Research and a Petroleum Research Fund Fellow. He is also the recipient of 24 US patents with others pending.

Mark Baxter

Mark has over 20 years of experience serving primarily life sciences and technology companies both public and private. His life sciences companies include medical device, biotechnology, diagnostics, pharma, contract research organizations, and other health related sub-industries. He has extensive SEC, transactional and multi-national experience assisting clients with initial public offerings (10+ IPO’s), debt offerings, corporate restructurings, acquisitions, collaborations, divestitures, private equity offerings, as well as implementing Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 requirements and other matters impacting companies that have recently become a public registrant.

Mark is a CPA in North Carolina and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  He graduated from North Carolina State University with both a B.S. and Master’s degree.

Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Ali Behbahani

Ali joined NEA in 2007 and is currently a General Partner on the healthcare team. He specializes in investments in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare services sectors. Prior to joining NEA, Ali worked as an intern and later as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing acute care cardiovascular products. He previously held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health and at Duke University. Ali concurrently earned his MD degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA degree from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, where he graduated with Honors and was a Palmer Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude and received his bachelor’s degrees with distinction in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke University.

Robert Benson

Robert E. Benson, Jr. is a corporate attorney and a Partner in King & Spalding’s Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity practices.  Robert represents advises public and private companies, private equity funds, boards of directors, investors, inventors and special committees in significant corporate transactions, including domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, spin-offs, divestitures, joint ventures, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions, complex commercial agreements and strategic investments.  Robert also advises clients on a variety of corporate governance and general corporate and securities matters, including the commercialization and development of innovations in tech, fin-tech, green tech, energy, automotive and life science industry sectors.

Robert is a native Atlantan and a graduate of Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School and Washington and Lee University.  Robert is a member of the Board of Trustees of Odyssey Atlanta and is a member of the advisory board of SE COLOR.  Robert is also the founder of the Inkwell, a monthly networking breakfast for diverse professionals in Atlanta.  Robert leads the Core Committee for the Atlanta University Center InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and is a former member of the Regional Board for Young Life Gotham City. Robert is a member of Southwest Christian Fellowship Church in South Atlanta.

Robert was recognized as a New York Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2016 and 2015 and a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2018.

Gerry Brunk

With over 28 years of investment, consulting and entrepreneurial experience in the health care industry, Gerry has helped build life sciences companies at all stages of development. He focuses on investments in a range of therapeutic areas in the biotechnology and medical device sectors, including infectious diseases, neurology, cardiovascular disease, gene therapy and medical robotics. Gerry manages Lumira Ventures’ Boston office, which he established when he joined the firm in 2002.

Prior to joining Lumira Ventures, Gerry was an entrepreneur in the life sciences sector, founding and serving in a variety of management and board capacities at several venture capital-funded companies. Earlier in his career he was an engagement manager in the health care practice of The Boston Consulting Group, where he advised pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms on strategic issues including portfolio management, corporate partnering, R&D productivity, new product launches, disease management initiatives, acquisitions and post-merger integration. Gerry began his career as a member of the investment banking group of Credit Suisse First Boston in New York where his clients included public and private health care companies.

President & CEO, BioFlorida

Nancy Bryan

Nancy Bryan joined BioFlorida in May 2013 and serves as its President and CEO. Nancy has 25 years of experience in the life sciences in commercial positions of increasing responsibility involving primary care, biologics and specialty markets. Her experience began with major pharmaceutical companies (MERCK, GlaxoSmithKline) and progressed to executive leadership positions in specialty pharmaceuticals and smaller, start-up biotech companies (Indevus Pharmaceuticals, NPS Pharmaceuticals). Most recently, Nancy was the SVP of Commercial Operations responsible for leading marketing, sales, reimbursement and distribution. In this role, she has served on executive leadership teams and boards and played a key role in companies’ successes including business development, financing initiatives and investor and PR communications.

Throughout her career, Nancy has developed, launched and commercialized many products including: blockbusters (Zantac, Levitra), major biologics (Tysabri) and orphan drugs for rare diseases (Valstar for bladder cancer, Supprelin LA for central precocious puberty)  and has established franchises in a wide variety of therapeutic areas including: Oncology, Anti-infectives, GI and Autoimmune (MS,CD). Nancy earned a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia University. Academic honors include Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma. Nancy currently serves as a Board Member for SEBIO, an Investment Advisory Committee Member for SEED Tampa Bay and on the Advisory Committee of Health & Wellness for the DeSantis-Nuñez Transition team.

Vice President, Global Research & Development – Halyard

Lee Burnes

Lee Burnes is the Vice President of Global R&D for Halyard Health where he leads an organization focused on the development of products, technologies and solutions that advance health and healthcare by preventing infection, eliminating pain and speeding recovery.

Lee has over 26 years of medical device design and development experience and holds a B.S. in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Prior to joining Halyard, Lee successfully led numerous R&D organizations at Covidien in such fields as Urology, Safety Injection Devices, Neonatal & Obstetrics and Vascular Disease Management as well as building PMO and Technology Development organizations. He most recently was the Vice President of R&D for the Venous Solutions Franchise of Peripheral Vascular at Covidien.

Teams under Lee’s leadership have developed and brought to market over 40 innovative solutions.  Lee currently holds 10 US Patents and has a number of additional patents pending.

President & Founder – Life Science Partner

Tom Callaway

Tom is a venture partner with HealthQuest, where he leverages his training as a physician, experience in the diagnostics industry and success as one of the industry’s best executive recruiters and management team builders. He serves as a Board observer for portfolio companies Lineagen and Inmediata.

Tom founded Life Science Partner, a very successful executive recruiting firm that has helped build the leadership teams at some of the world’s foremost medical device and pharmaceutical companies, as well as many venture-backed companies in the medical device, biotech and healthcare services sectors. Prior to LSP, he led similar practices at Korn/Ferry and Russell Reynolds. Tom has learned that the quality of a company’s management team predicts its success more than products or technologies and that perspective guides him in looking at companies for HealthQuest.

Tom began his career at Roche Molecular, where he developed and implemented their first marketing programs around PCR for medical diagnostics, including HIV detection. Like all HealthQuest partners he then worked inside a start-up, SyStemix where he established technology developmental partnerships with major cancer centers including MD Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Mayo Clinic. SyStemix developed proprietary stem cell purifying technologies important for treatment of cancer and genetic illnesses. He was the liaison with Sandoz’s oncology group, whose parent company completed its acquisition of the company in 1996.

Tom has been especially active at promoting the industry across his home state of Georgia and the entire southeast. He is former Chairman of Georgia Bio, co-founder of SEMDA, the Southeast Medical Device Association and serves on the boards of SEBIO and the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech.

Tom earned his MD from Vanderbilt and both his undergraduate degree and MBA from Duke University. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Atlanta. He splits his free time between hiking and skiing in the mountains and kite-boarding on the coast.

Joe Cook, III

Mr. Cook currently serves on or has visitation rights to the board of directors of: Castle Biosciences, a company developing and commercializing molecular diagnostics to aid healthcare professionals in assessing probability of tumor progression to metastasis and improving information for therapy choices; Cerebrotech, a company that has developed a non-invasive monitoring device for early detection of cerebral bleeding and edema; Lineagen, a chromosomal microarray and next generation sequencing genetic testing company serving children and families with autism and other developmental delays; and MiNDERA, a company developing a proprietary method for extracting skin biomarkers which enable non-invasive molecular testing for skin cancer and other skin diseases.

Mr. Cook previously served on or had visitation rights to the board of directors of: Clearside Biomedical (NASDAQ:CLSD), an ophthalmic company specializing in the research, development and commercialization of therapeutic products delivered through a proprietary microinjection platform targeting the suprachoroidal space; PhaseBio (NASDAQ:PHAS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing improved biotherapeutics for the treatment of orphan diseases, with an initial focus on cardiopulmonary disorders; Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic company targeting rare and orphan diseases; and OnFocus Healthcare, a company selling proprietary performance management software to hospitals and other healthcare organizations.

Prior to his involvement with MGP, Mr. Cook was a Director, Private Placements in the Investment Banking Group of Robert W. Baird & Co. in Nashville from January 2001 through February 2003.  During this time, he helped originate and led the team executing nine transactions raising almost $400 million.  Previously, Mr. Cook was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group at J.C. Bradford & Co. in Nashville. Mr. Cook graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College, and moved to Nashville, TN in 1993.  Mr. Cook has previously served as the Chairman of the Board for the Martha O’Bryan Center and St. Paul Christian Academy, a board member for Ten Thousand Villages of Nashville and a member of the Investor Committee for LaunchTN, a public-private partnership organization focused on supporting entrepreneurship throughout Tennessee.  Mr. Cook currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southeast BIO and the Advisor Board of the Nashville Capital Network.

Partner – HealthQuest Capital

Todd Creech

Todd has spent the last nine years as a healthcare CFO, helping build several successful companies to profitable exits. He joins HealthQuest excited to bring his operations and financial experiences to innovative companies that are primed for growth with the right plan and execution.

For the last year, he has been the acting CFO for Femasys, a medtech company developing and selling devices targeted at women’s health issues. Prior to that, he was CFO and Treasurer of ZS Pharma (IPO in 2014 and sold to AstraZenaca in 2015; a 30x increase in valuation from when he joined in 2013).  Todd was the CFO and led business development activities for Sarcode which developed lifitigrast, the first dry-eye pharmaceutical to be approved (2016) for both signs and symptoms of dry eye (sold to Shire in 2013).  He was also the CFO of Sirion Therapeutics, an ophthalmic company that successfully developed and received approval for two products (Durezol and Virgan) and sold to Alcon and Bausch and Lomb in 2010. During his CFO tenure he has raised more than $500m in equity and debt, helping to build operations and companies that generated over $3.5b in exits.

Earlier in his career, Todd did healthcare venture investing for Quintiles and worked with SRI International. He has also co-founded two companies; a spectroscopy platform spinout of Duke University (Centice) and a specialty pharmaceutical company (TLC Pharma).

Todd holds bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Accounting from Miami (Ohio) University where he was also a scholarship baseball player, and an MBA from Duke University. He is an Executive-in-Residence for Moffitt Cancer Center and sits on the Healthcare Advisory Board for Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife live in Tampa, Florida with their two sons.

David Day

Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

Mike Dial, PhD

Experienced investor and scientist. Mike has over a decade of experience working with early-stage life science and healthcare companies. Mike joined Hatteras in 2009 from Silicon Valley Bank, where he was a Vice President in the Corporate Finance Group focused on emerging tech and life science companies and venture capital funds. Prior to SVB, he held research scientist positions in the Department of Biochemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Laboratory of Structural Biology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the UNC-Duke Michael Hooker Proteomics Center. He has performed research in the fields of cell cycle regulation, proteomics, and cancer therapy.

Mike is a Professor of the Practice at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the Manager for the Carolina Research Ventures Fund, a $10M fund dedicated to UNC-Chapel Hill related start-ups. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mike serves on the boards of Ribometrix, StrideBio, and Genturi. Previously, Mike was involved with G1 Therapeutics, Viamet, Lysosomal Therapeutics, Artizan Biosciences, and Curoverse among others, and has held various operational roles in Hatteras portfolio companies. Mike has also served on committees and panels for the North Carolina Biotech Center, Council for Entrepreneurial Development, SEBIO and PTP NEXT. Mike serves on the board of SE BIO.

Vice President, Investments at North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Vivian Doelling, PhD

Vivian Doelling joined NCBiotech in February of 2015 as Director, Business and Technology Development. In this role, she supports the start-up and growth of life science companies in North Carolina primarily through management of the Center’s loan programs. Additionally, Vivian identifies and mentors early stage and loan portfolio companies as well as supporting key scientific/investor events.

Vivian has strong experience in life science product R&D leadership, including senior roles at Embrex/Pfizer, ILS, and SCYNEXIS. Her background includes starting and managing research, development and commercial operations for human and animal health products. Vivian has broad expertise in technology assessment and strategically managed a wide range of collaborative research and licensing agreements with universities, large pharmaceutical partners and customers.

Vivian currently serves on the Industry Advisory Board for the Masters of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program at North Carolina State University and is an Executive Council member of the North Carolina One Health Collaborative.

Dr. Doelling holds an undergraduate degree from Dickinson College in Biology and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Biochemistry.

Audit Partner, Hughes Pittman & Gupton

Thomas Fagley

Tom is currently the leader of the Firm’s life science practice and has 24 years of experience, 18 in public accounting and six in private practice.  He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an audit associate.  Tom was previously a controller and CFO with a sports travel company.  Tom joined Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP in November 2006, and became a partner in January 2014.

Tom works with both public and nonpublic companies.  Tom’s primary focus is life science clients.  In addition to being an audit partner, Tom provides interim chief financial officer services to private companies and SEC reporting services for public companies.  Tom has experience with biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, contract research organizations, software, professional services, distribution, and venture capital funds.

Strategic Alliance Director, Bayer

Hanna Eilken

Hanna Eilken is currently a Director for Strategic Alliances and an innovation partner at Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

In addition to managing strategic cardiovascular research collaborations for Bayer in Cambridge, Hanna is scouting external innovation, breakthrough technologies, new business opportunities and potential partnerships fitting various areas of Bayer’s focus. In her previous role, Hanna has been working as a lab head in Pharmacology at Bayer focusing on Ophthalmology where she led projects from early target discovery through the lead optimization phase. Hanna is a biologist by training and earned her doctoral degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

President, SC Bio

Erin Ford

Erin Ford is the current Interim CEO of SCBIO, recently transitioning from Executive Vice President and COO. Ms. Ford works on corporate strategies emanating from the organization’s three statewide offices, its Board, and hundreds of supporting Members and Investors.

Her comprehensive responsibilities include serving as primary lead for SCBIO’s business operations and finances, championing investor relations and existing industry strategies, and spearheading integrated marketing initiatives. She previously served as sales and marketing executive at Poly-Med, a global innovation company that is developing absorbable polymers and constructs for the medical device industry, during which she served on the SCBIO Board of Directors. Before her role at Poly-Med, Inc., Erin was a business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance.  She served as the main point of contact for life sciences companies interested in expanding or locating in South Carolina. While at the Upstate Alliance, Ms. Ford served as an ex-officio SCBIO board member from 2013-2015 and led a regional biosciences task force comprised of industry executives from across the region. Erin also has extensive television experience as a documentary producer and sportscaster.

She received her B.A. in Communication from La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Managing Principal/Founder – Hatch Medical LLC

Paul Gianneschi

Paul Gianneschi is the Managing Principal and Founder of Hatch Medical, L.L.C., a privately held medical device incubator and technology brokerage firm focused on assisting physician inventors, entrepreneurs and early-stage companies with the commercialization of minimally invasive medical device technologies. Mr. Gianneschi has spent the past 21 years as an executive in the healthcare industry.

Prior to founding Hatch Medical in 2000, Mr. Gianneschi served over seven years in a series of senior level marketing and sales management positions with medical device industry leader, C. R. Bard, Inc.’s Peripheral Vascular Division. Prior to joining Bard, Mr. Gianneschi worked in similar capacities with Bausch & Lomb and NDC Health / McKesson. Mr. Gianneschi earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and an Executive M.B.A. in International Management from Mercer University, where he currently serves on their business school’s Board of Visitors and Alumni Board. Mr. Gianneschi is also a board member of Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University’s joint Center for Health and Learning.

Mr. Gianneschi is a past-president and current board member of the Southeastern Medical Device Association and also serves on the American – Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region – Medical Committee.

Director of Licensing and New Ventures, UAB

Karthik Gopalakrishnan, PhD

Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D. joined the Harbert Institute in 2019 and manages the commercialization efforts of UAB technologies as director of licensing and new ventures.

Karthik holds more than 15 years of experience in asset and technology evaluation across broad scientific disciplines, marketing and negotiating agreements and contracts, business plan assessment, startup formation and fundraising. He previously worked at Duke University Office of Licensing & Ventures and as a consultant with a biotechnology startup in the oncology space leading their strategic planning and business development efforts. Karthik earned a Master of Science in Biotechnology from the MS University of Baroda, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai. Karthik completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Founder & CEO – Innovetica

Ashley Hancock

Ashley Hancock is Founder and CEO of Innovetica, a boutique technology incubation firm established in 2009 that partners with physician and research-inventors in the development and commercialization of new and innovative medical technologies. Innovetica’s most recent portfolio spinout is Atlanta-based Intent Solutions, Inc., a technology-enabled healthcare services company that is focused on monitoring and managing medication adherence in clinical research and applied healthcare.

From 2011-2013, Ashley served as executive director of the Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA), a non-profit, regional industry association focused on medical technology. Beginning in 2006, he managed medical device portfolios, first for C.R. Bard, and then for EndoChoice, accountable for national markets.

He began his career in 1990 in the chemical industry with BP Amoco Chemical Company, providing oversight of engineering, manufacturing, operations planning, and supply chain optimization. Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990, and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2006.  He is a 2018 recipient of the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award.

Chief Economic Development Officer – Metro Atlanta Chamber

David B. Hartnett

David Hartnett is the chief economic development officer for Metro Atlanta Chamber. David is responsible for leading a team focused on the retention, recruitment, and expansion of companies within key clusters e.g. Bioscience, Health IT, Mobility, IoT, Cybersecurity, Fin Tech, Supply Chain and Digital Media/entertainment.

Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as the president and CEO of Maco Pharma (formerly United Pharma) a privately held medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, Georgia, headquartered in Lille France. Prior to Maco Pharma, Hartnett was president and CEO of SteriFx Corporation, a specialty chemical company, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Prior to SteriFx, he was the executive vice president of the North American headquarters of Given Imaging, Inc. with corporate headquarters in Yokneam, Israel. Under his leadership, the company commercialized the “PillCam” video capsule, a disposable capsule that captures video after it is ingested by the patient.

Hartnett helped to raise more than $30 million in a private placement for corporate infrastructure development and product commercialization prior to the company going public in 2001 (GIVN-NASDAQ). Hartnett served as vice president of marketing at ERBE Electro-surgery, the largest manufacturer of electrosurgical systems in the world, where he was responsible for commercial marketing throughout North America.

He has also served in a variety of other senior sales and marketing roles for the following companies: Karl Storz Lithotripsy, Genzyme (formerly Deknatel), STERIS (formerly AMSCO) and the XEROX Corporation.

He holds a B.A. in speech communication from San Diego State University with a master’s equivalent in marketing through post-graduate studies.

He is currently serves on the following boards:

  • Chairman, Atlanta Science Festival
  • Vice Chairman, Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership
  • President Emeritus, Southeastern Medical Device Association
  • Director/Co-Founder, Venture Atlanta Coalition
  • Director, Georgia Bio
  • Director/Co-Founder, Health IT Leadership Summit
  • Director/Co-Founder, Institute for Healthcare Information Technology
  • Director, Georgia HIMSS
  • Quick Start, Board of Advisor

Hartnett is married with four sons, was raised on Coronado Island, California and is an active member of the Atlanta business community.

Vice President, Venture Development

Lee Herron

Dr. Lee Herron joined the Georgia Research Alliance in 2008 to direct its venture development program, which has launched 180 companies and attracted more than $1 billion in equity investment.

GRA supports universities in forming new companies around their discoveries, providing seed funds and access to experienced mentoring and expert consulting. As vice president of venture development, Lee does everything from reviewing business proposals to meeting with faculty scientists. He often walks university halls and drops by labs, gaining an insider’s perspective on the newest innovations that could lead to a new company.

Lee helps GRA portfolio companies prepare a strong pitch to investors. Drawing on his own 17 years of entrepreneurial experience, he ensures that companies adopt a sound business strategy and operational plans. As Lee explains, it’s not enough to just have a brilliant idea.  “Successful entrepreneurs must be comprehensive in their understanding of what questions to ask.”  Lee guides faculty and entrepreneurs in figuring out the right questions, a role that has earned him the nickname “Start-up Sherpa.”

Previously, Lee managed the biosciences division of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), advising early stage life science companies. In his earlier career, he founded SeaLite Sciences, Inc., a company that developed and commercialized diagnostic products and molecular biology reagents derived from a light-emitting protein found in jellyfish. He was also a founding team member of three other bioscience companies: Biopool International, Inc., CytRx Corporation, and Theragenics Corporation. Lee also worked with German biotech company BRAHMS AG to establish its North American operations.

Today, Lee serves on the boards of Georgia BIO and Southeast Bio, and is a special advisor to the Executive Committee of Georgia’s Bio/Med Investor Network.  Lee serves on numerous advisory committees, and he was Chairman of the 2017 Georgia BIO Life Science Summit.

Lee holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The University of Georgia. He also studied experimental pathology at Emory University.

 

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CEO – Moterum Technologies

David Huizenga

David E. Huizenga cofounded and currently manages Tao Life Sciences LLC, an early stage life sciences technology development and investment company. Mr. Huizenga has been on the founding team of numerous life science companies, including involvement in successful acquisitions and exits.  Mr. Huizenga has served in a variety of corporate management roles including currently, in his role for Tao Life Sciences, as Interim Chief Executive Officer for two of its portfolio companies: Klaren Technologies Inc., a company with novel sterilization technology to fight heathcare acquired infections in developed and underdeveloped countries around the world, and Moterum LLC, a patient mobility and rehabilitation company whose founding product is aimed at retraining stroke patients to relearn how to walk normally.

Previously, Mr. Huizenga has served as the Chief Technology Officer of Zirus, Inc. where he was engaged in management of the Zirus patent portfolio, licensing, and competitive intelligence. Mr. Huizenga was a leader in the translation of the company’s science strategy to its patent and business strategy.

Before joining the Zirus team, Mr. Huizenga was a partner and the founding member and head of the Patent Team at Arnall Golden Gregory, and prior to this he was a shareholder, and the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Venture Investment at Needle & Rosenberg, PC.  Mr. Huizenga serves on numerous corporate and non-profit boards.  Mr. Huizenga obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard, in the laboratory of Jack Szostak, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, and his Law Degree from Emory University Law School, where he was a Woodruff Fellow.

Program Manager, Medical Device Technology – Southern Research

Stacey Kelpke

Stacey S. Kelpke, Ph.D., is an experienced biomedical/bioengineering researcher who leads Southern Research’s medical device technologies initiative. She oversees a program that aims to accelerate the development of early-stage medical device technologies as potential commercial products through prototyping, market validation, and other forms of assistance.

Kelpke was previously at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) serving as licensing manager for medical devices for the university’s Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Between 2013 and 2018, she negotiated license agreements with biotech and medical companies that generated more than $1.5 million in revenue. Prior to that, she was an instructor and researcher at UAB, where she secured funding for four R&D projects and authored 11 peer-reviewed papers.

Kelpke earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from UAB, as well as a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University.

President – Silver Spire Consulting; Executive Mentor-in-Residence – Duke University; Member – Triangle Angel Partners

Fred Kornahrens

Fred Kornahrens, a Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) with Duke New Ventures, brings 28+ years of experience in medical device technologies that spans large company, startup and turnaround ventures with a proven record of building company value.   In addition to working as a Duke MIR, Fred is President of Silver Spire Consulting, a medical device consulting firm.  He is also a member of Triangle Angel Partners II Fund (TAP II) serving on the screening committee and is a Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) Mentor for the Council for Entrepreneur Development (CED) in Durham.

Fred offers company formation, device technology, and executive management expertise from experience with Telectronics Pacing Systems, Datascope and Zimmer Spine along with small company/pure start-up experience with IntraTherapeutics (sold to Sulzer Medica), Raymedica, Kspine (sold to K2 Medical Group) and Cardiosolutions. Multiple technologies taken from concept through regulatory approvals and to market that include pacing leads, vascular/endovascular grafts, peripheral stents, spinal orthopedics and structural heart devices.  Fred progressed through the technical ranks reorganizing/building companies, leading R&D, Product Development, Clinical, & Regulatory functional areas to include COO, President, CEO and Board Member responsibilities.  Fred has directly/indirectly raised $50M+ across several companies, recruited high performing teams and led companies to key value-driving milestones.

A veteran US Air Force pilot serving as a B-52 Crewmember.  Fred earned a BS Engineering, US Air Force Academy and MBA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

President, Bio Alabama

Rachel Lane, PhD, RD

Rachel Lane, PhD, RD is executive director of BIO Alabama. She began her career practicing evidence-based nutrition in a long-term acute care hospital, where she worked closely with the medical team to implement a first-in-kind medical nutrition therapy protocol that increased the dietitian’s clinical autonomy to integrate evidence-based nutritional care.

After five years in the clinic, she could no longer deny the pull of graduate school and eventually earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation explored the influence of metabolic pathways on disease progression and the potential for novel sugar chains to improve the effectiveness of therapeutics, respectively.

Dr. Lane’s drive to translate science into medicine was her impetus for founding The Written Science. At The Written Science, Dr. Lane combined her clinical and research experience to help business leaders and subject matter experts across the country clarify and communicate the business potential of new biotechnology to stakeholders. She is excited to apply those skills as executive director to serve, connect, nurture, and fortify the state’s bio industry and economy. Dr. Lane is an active volunteer, helping students engage in STEM, promoting women in science, and connecting biotechs with innovation funds. Rachel and her husband welcomed their first child in 2019, and most weekends you will find them exploring a hiking trail together in the Tennessee Valley.

Executive Director, Life Sciences – J.P. Morgan

Joe Lee

Joe Lee is an Executive Director with the Life Sciences banking team and leads the coverage of companies in the Southeast. He has nearly 20 years of banking and finance experience, including roles in venture capital, sponsor finance and middle market banking. Joe is located in the Raleigh, N.C., area.

President – Southern Metrics

Chris Lyons

Director - Life Sciences, Silicon Valley Bank

Scott McCarty

Scott is currently working as a Director on the National Life Sciences Team for SVB, covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets. Through his 12 years with Silicon Valley Bank based in the Atlanta office, Scott has been focused on providing specialized banking and lending services to the innovation economy with specific focus on growing the Bank’s healthcare practice. Previous to SVB, Scott was a sales executive for an emerging healthcare IT company. Scott graduated from the University of Georgia with a major in Finance from the Terry College of Business.

Tina McKeon, Board Chair

Partner Kilpatrick Townsend

Tina McKeon

Dr. McKeon contributes her talent and time to a number of bioscience and medical device organizations. She has served on the boards of Southeast Bio and Metro Atlanta Red Cross and is the current co-chair of Southeast Life Sciences. From 2005 until 2016, she taught in the TI:GER® Program, a collaboration between Emory University School of Law and Georgia Institute of Technology, that focuses on technology commercialization in a multidisciplinary context. She is also a frequent lecturer regarding the role of intellectual property in entrepreneurship and has served as adjunct faculty at Emory Law School. Dr. McKeon is the author of more than 14 scientific publications.

Dr. McKeon was named an “Atlanta Lawyer of the Year” in 2018 for Biotechnology Law and in 2012 for Patent Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. She was also listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Patent Law and Biotechnology and Life Sciences Law in 2020 and each of the 11 years immediately preceding. Dr. McKeon has been recognized annually since 2009 by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers, which stated she “has a respected postdoctoral academic background and is highly regarding for her ‘great depth of knowledge’, particularly in biotech matters.” Dr. McKeon was named a Georgia “Super Lawyer” in 2020 and each of the 12 years immediately preceding, a “Top 50 Women Georgia Super Lawyer” in 2019 and each of the six years immediately preceding, and a “Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyer” in 2016 by Super Lawyers magazine. She is a recipient of the 2019 SEBIO Leadership Award  and the 2013 Georgia Bio Community Award. Dr. McKeon was recognized by Georgia Bio for “being that rare combination of scientific expertise, legal acumen and sociability that affords her a broad role in the Georgia life sciences community.” She was named one of the “Top 10 IP Stars of the Top 250 Women in IP” in 2013 and 2016 and recognized as an “IP Star” in 2019 and the six years immediately preceding by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. Dr. McKeon was named as one of Georgia Trend‘s 2018 “Legal Elite” for Intellectual Property Law. She was named a top patent practitioner in 2014-2019 by IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners. Dr. McKeon was named by Legal Media Group in its 2014 and 2016-2019 Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law. She was selected as a “Life Science Star” in the 2016 edition of LMG Life Sciences. Dr. McKeon is AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

President & CEO, Virginia BIO

John Newby

Assistant Vice President of Technology Commercialization

Jim O’Connell

Mr. O’Connell has broad-based expertise managing and building teams and commercializing technology. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Miami, acting as an agent of change from June 2013 until he arrived at UF OTL. In that role, he increased deal flow by 100 percent while reducing expenses, made it easier for faculty to disclose their inventions, and founded programs to reach out to faculty on UM’s engineering and marine science campuses.

Prior to his time at UM, Mr. O’Connell was Director of the Michigan Venture Center with the University of Michigan, where he lead an office that produced more than 10 startups per year based on university technology. Between 2008 and May 2013, he founded and created Michigan’s first startup company accelerator, directed a mentor-in-residence program to draw entrepreneurial talent into the university, and managed relationships with more than 100 venture capital firms. He also was the driving force behind the Coulter Translational Program that earned $20 million endowment from the Coulter Foundation and nurtured technology business formation that led to more than $30 million in VC funding.

Between 2005 and his arrival at University of Michigan in 2008, Mr. O’ Connell directed operations at Sensicore and Xoran Technologies, both startups in the Michigan area. He transitioned Sensicore’s manufacturing and operations out of “startup mode” and ramped up production to meet sales goals, resulting in an exit to GE. At Xoran, he initiated the CE Mark, ISO 13485 and FDA Manufacturing Compliance program and established a startup operations facility for manufacturing CT scanners. He built a 10-person team, set up supply chain, freight, shipped and installed 140 scanners, generating $35 million in sales and shipping product on time 100 percent of the time.

At Stryker Instruments, from June 1996 through March 2005, he worked his way from project engineer, where he manufactured bone cement, to manager, where he introduced more than 30 new products including power tools, analgesia pumps, and interventional pain devices, eventually serving as manager of operations business units, where he managed three units. In that role, he managed 45 employees and netted $60 million in sales.

Mr. O’Connell also served as Chief Evaluator Helicopter Pilot, 89th Operations Group, at Andrews Air Force Base. He earned his M.S. in engineering management from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Partner, Hutchison PLLC

Dan O’Korn

Dan’s practice focuses on the business transactions important to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including licensing and commercial transactions, FDA-related regulatory matters, asset acquisitions and divestitures, supply agreements, product development agreements and strategic alliances. Dan previously served as outside counsel to life sciences companies and in in-house counsel roles for Eli Lilly and Company, AAIPharma, Inc., Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Xcellerex, Inc.

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Vice President of Regulatory Affairs – Brookhaven Medical

Grace Powers

Grace Powers is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Brookhaven Medical. She has fifteen years experience in cardiology and urology medical devices including R&D. She has management experience including RA responsibilities related to submissions and compliance. Her RA submission experience includes 510(k), IDE, PMA, HUD, EU Technical Files and Design Dossiers.

Grace previously has managed an International RA team which including Canadian licensing, Australia, Japan, China, Russia, Latin America and other country submissions. She has worked for C.R. Bard, CardioMEMS and Novoste. She also does regulatory consulting for universities, inventors and start-ups. Grace holds a BE in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, a MS in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA and an MBA from Georgia Tech. She is RAC US, RAC Europe, and RAC Global certified.

Director of Business Development Strategy – Medtronic

Kip Roberts

Kip Roberts is currently a Global Marketing Director for Medtronic’s Biologics business; leading the $550 million Advanced Biologics & BioSurgicals segment since 2015. He has also led the Spine business unit’s global strategic planning process since 2015.

Kip began his career with Medtronic in 2008 in the minimally-invasive spine business (Kyphon) followed by a marketing leadership role in Medtronic’s Oral-Maxillofacial business. In 2012, he took the reins of Medtronic’s flagship biologic product, INFUSE®, and led its recovery following a series of controversies surrounding the product in 2011.

Prior to Medtronic, Kip worked in the pharmaceutical industry for Eli Lilly & Company. A Memphis native, he holds a B.S. in Political Science & Marketing from Murray State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Memphis.

President & CEO – Georgia Bio

Maria Thacker Goethe

Maria Thacker-Goethe joined Georgia Bio April 2006. She oversees the general office operations for Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute. Maria is responsible for programs and events, purchasing programs, member outreach and engagement, as well as new member development. Additionally, she is responsible for conceiving, developing and executing a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy.

In addition to her work with Georgia Bio, Maria is Executive Director of the Georgia Global Health Alliance which strives to advance global health equity by promoting and facilitating collaboration amongst business, academia, non-profits and government organizations within Georgia and linking them with partners in the US and other countries. Officially launched in late 2016, GGHA is working with the global health community in Georgia, local community business leaders, and national partners to develop strategy and organize the sector to embrace collaboration and speak with a collective voice. GGHA is housed within Georgia Bio.

Maria has a diverse background including environmental health, women’s health and health communications and marketing. Prior to joining Georgia Bio, Maria participated in a fellowship at Centers for Disease Control & Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in environmental investigations, working closely with the National Center of Environmental Health in Chemical Demilitarization.

Maria received her Master in Public Health in health education/communication, and maternal and child health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Sweet Briar College. She is a 2009 recipient of the Power 30 Under 30 Award for professional and community excellence. Maria currently sits on the CJD Foundation Board of Directors and previously served on the Supervisory Committee for the CDC Federal Credit Union. Additionally, Maria has volunteered for more than 9 years with the Junior League of Atlanta Estrellitas program which works to empower Latina teens.

Associate Vice President & Director, Office of Technology Transfer, Emory University

Todd Sherer

Todd leads a team of 25 focused on innovative, clinical and non-clinical, research partnerships and creating value in technology developed by Emory researchers. In 2005, he worked with colleagues to monetize downstream licensing revenues on an Emory-discovered molecule that is now part of the leading AIDS drug cocktail – resulting in a $540 million, one-time payment. Prior to joining Emory, Todd led the Technology and Research Collaborations office at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

Todd is Past President for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Southeast BIO (SEBIO).  Todd is a Registered Patent Agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) and a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

Managing Partner, Epidarex

Kyp Sirinakis

Kyp has more than 30 years of experience in creating and growing companies both as an early-stage venture investor and a senior executive in various technology and life science companies.

Prior to co-founding Epidarex, Kyp was part of the senior management team of MASA Life  Science Ventures (MLSV), an early stage life science venture fund where she co-led the fund’s investment strategy and managed several MLSV portfolio investments through successful exits.

Kyp was the Founder and Managing Director of WomenAngels.net LLC, a top performing fund investing in start-up technology and healthcare companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Kyp was the Chief Financial Officer of Oncologix, a venture-backed, early-stage biotechnology company based in Gaithersburg, which was subsequently sold to Antigenics, Inc.

Kyp has extensive experience collaborating directly with numerous universities and in creating companies from university related technologies. She also was previously the Director of a technology accelerator and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University.

Kyp is a frequent speaker on early stage investing and venture capital. She serves on the Boards of Virginia Bio, the Virginia Catalyst, George Mason University Research Foundation and Southeast Life Science. She is on the Advisory Board for the University System of Maryland’s Momentum Fund and on the Investment Committees for Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology BioLife Fund and the Ivy Foundation (University of Virginia).

Kyp has held numerous directorships of start-up companies throughout her career. Kyp currently serves on the Boards of Directors for Eternygen GmbH and Sirakoss Ltd. She is a graduate of Boston College’s School of Management Honors Program.

Amy Sturdivant

As the director of business recruitment, Amy supports HudsonAlpha’s economic development mission to foster the success of bioscience companies.

HudsonAlpha’s Economic Development mission is driven by the overarching goals of growing the biotech presence on the Institute’s campus and throughout north Alabama; leveraging the HudsonAlpha ecosystem for entrepreneurs, start-up companies and small businesses; creating opportunities for collaboration and for genomic services; and generating economic impact to local, state and regional stakeholders.

Amy joined the Institute in 2016 and recruits biotech entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes and stages to the 152-acre HudsonAlpha campus. She enjoys matching entrepreneurs, startups and growing companies with the lab and office space they require and the tools they need to make it happen. Amy raises global awareness of the opportunities for early stage and small and medium enterprises to grow and thrive, building on the prevailing research and technology areas of the Institute and resident associate companies.

Together with the economic development team, she fosters success for more than 40 companies on the growing biotech campus with programming, networking, business support resources, workforce and scaling in place. Amy’s approach to economic development is through interdisciplinary and team efforts, creative solutions, and long-term relationships and partnerships.

Prior to her work in the bioscience industry, Amy’s career was working in local government, including serving for 5 years as the Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Madison, Alabama. In this and similar previous roles, Amy managed all city planning and economic development activities. This included management of the development review process, planning commission, industrial development board, redevelopment board, and historic commission. Amy was instrumental in promoting collaboration amongst elected and appointed city officials in efforts of business retention, retail and industrial attraction, long-range planning, zoning, and overall promotion of economic development in all aspects. Notable efforts included partnership with Madison’s Industrial Development Board on Intergraph’s retention/expansion, and support for businesses such as Matsumoto, Rocket Republic and Old Black Bear. Other key projects were Target, a growth plan and the new Madison Library. Before relocating to north Alabama in 2009, Amy’s early career in Chicagoland private and public sector roles allowed her to work with Illinois communities like Naperville, Winfield, Montgomery, and even her hometown of St. Charles, all of which provided an environment for making good growth happen through great plans.

Her foundation in teamwork and problem-solving began with undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami of Ohio followed by graduate studies in architecture and urban and regional planning at University of Illinois.

She serves on the BIO Alabama (vice chair) and Southeast Life Sciences boards of directors, as well as on the District Export Council of Alabama.

Amy’s other roles as a wife to 6th-grade teacher Mr. Sturdivant and mother keep her personal life as exciting as her professional one.

President, Life Science Tennessee

Abby Trotter

Abby Trotter is the executive director of Life Science Tennessee (LST) and a principal at Hall Strategies, a public and government relations firms she helped to found in 2004. Since her involvement with LST in 2012, she has helped the organization to be a leading advocate for the industry in the state. Recently she led the organization’s strategic alignment with BioTN, a non-profit focused on economic and workforce development in bioscience and STEM-related fields. Abby specializes in association management, previously working with the Tennessee Economic Partnership on their efforts to market Tennessee as a great place to do business for companies considering expansion or relocation.

Chief Operating Officer – AdvaMed

Chris White

Mr. White serves as the Association’s Chief Legal Officer and manages AdvaMed’s Legal Committee to develop and promote legal policy positions enhancing patient access to medical technology. Mr. White also leads the Association’s global working groups on legal policy and compliance, including over 1500 in-house medtech lawyers.  He testified before state and federal legislative committees on priority legal policy issues; led the drafting team revising the AdvaMed Code; and led the multinational negotiating team to draft the Kuala Lumpur Principles, harmonizing industry Codes of Ethics in Asia.

He is a frequent speaker on health law and policy issues, and has guest lectured at Northwestern, UPenn, Wharton, GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences and is an Advisory Board Member to the GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He serves as a frequent speaker and author on industry legal and compliance issues.

As Chief Operating Officer, he manages the Association’s HR, IT, Facilities, and, governance and provides counsel on contract, corporate, tax exemption, HR, and legislative and regulatory matters. Mr. White is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he studied cell biology, and Catholic University Law School. He is an avid sailor, cyclist and beekeeper.

Principal – The Pinnacle Group

David White

David is a principal and founding member of MRC Global, the result of a merger between Pinnacle and MRCx, and serves as a member of the leadership team where he directs growth strategies for the organization including service line expansion and new company development. Known as a creative thinker and problem solver, David’s professional focus is geared toward building stronger provider relationships and identifying shared business opportunities.

With more than 25 years’ experience in health care organization management and consulting, David’s expertise is extensive and includes new business development, health services valuation and financial analysis, health care market research, medical staff partnership planning, and physician practice management consulting.

David has managed thousands of fair market value analyses for a broad array of clients located across the country including health systems, medical device/pharmaceutical companies, community/rural hospitals, specialty health service providers, and single/multi-specialty medical groups. He has also worked with national health plans on provider contracting and medical management issues and is viewed as a leading expert in the dialysis industry with more than 18 years’ experience as a valuation and management consultant.

In addition to his leadership role with Pinnacle, David has been part of management teams developing and launching a wide variety of services including urgent care access and delivery, outsourced medical coding solutions, telemedicine technology and support services, an insurance brokerage offering tailored provider solutions, and an insightful approach to credentialing for physician thought leadership.

Prior to Pinnacle, David was a health care consultant with Milliman USA and a co-founder of Physician and Hospital Solutions. He also served as Director of Planning and Practice Management for Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, and started his career in Cleveland, Ohio with Orion Consulting/New Health Management. David received his BS in Finance from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and his MBA with a focus in health care management from Cleveland State University.

On a personal note, David has been married to his best friend for 27 years. They have three children and two grandchildren. David enjoys skiing in the Rockies, reading a good sci-fi or action thriller, golfing whenever he can and travel with friends and family.

Partner – Baker Hostetler

Kristen Woodrum

Kristen McDermott Woodrum concentrates her practice in the area of healthcare law, including regulatory compliance and transactional matters. Well-versed in the nuances of healthcare law, Kristen anticipates potential issues and provides practical counsel while working with clients to structure complex transactions, including acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic affiliations.

Kristen also advises clients on day-to-day operational and compliance matters, including fraud and abuse laws, such as the federal Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and the HIPAA; Medicare/Medicaid billing and reimbursement, licensure and accreditation; third-party payor issues; and state fee-splitting, fraud and abuse; and corporate practice of medicine laws.

Select Experience

  • Represented a multicampus hospital system in its acquisitions of ancillary facilities, including imaging centers, ambulatory surgery centers, laboratories, urgent care centers and radiation therapy facilities.
  • Assisted a community hospital in the development of a clinically integrated network of providers, including evaluation of corporate structure and healthcare regulatory issues, and preparation of key documents, such as participation agreements and CIN policies and procedures.
  • Advised a multicampus hospital system regarding physician-hospital arrangements and provided transactional representation in connection with practice acquisitions; employment, medical director, response and call coverage agreements; and other professional services arrangements.

Executive Director

Jason Rupp

Jason has 15 years of experience in business development and association management. Prior to joining SEMDA as its first full-time Executive Director, Jason spent 12 years in business development and marketing at the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), two influential healthcare trade associations based in Washington, DC. At AdvaMed, Jason served as Vice President of Business Development and on board of directors of the AdvaMed conference. Prior to his time at AdvaMed, he spent 10 years at BIO working in membership and marketing.

Prior to his tenure at BIO, Jason served as the Director of Business Development for ACI Aviation Consulting where he led the firm’s business development activities, valued aviation deals, and performed financial and economic forecasting.

Jason moved to Washington, DC in 1994 to intern on Capitol Hill, working his way up to Legislative Assistant for Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas and worked on transportation and environmental issues.

Jason earned a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University and a M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.