Board of Directors
As a corporately driven organization, the MedTech Board of Directors is comprised of senior officers of our member companies.
Sarah Oliker, Chair
Vice President, Assistant General Counsel , CONMED Corporation
Sarah Oliker is the assistant general counsel and assistant secretary at CONMED Corporation. In this role, she advises on international and domestic distribution matters, health care provider arrangements and provides strategic counsel on day-to-day matters affecting CONMED’s business. Oliker has more than 15 years of healthcare experience. Prior to CONMED, she served as senior counsel for ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., where she structured complex physician arrangements and hospital joint ventures, provided health care regulatory and reimbursement counsel, as well as overseeing the Corporate Compliance Program. Prior to ProCure, Oliker spent five years with Epstein Becker & Green in its Health Care & Life Sciences group based in Washington, D.C., where her practice consisted of health regulatory and transactional matters, representing clients from all verticals of the health care industry. She is currently admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. and New York and also serves on the St. Joseph’s Health Foundation Board of Directors. Oliker holds a bachelor’s from Colgate University and earned her JD at Syracuse University College of Law.
Jeff Champagne, Vice Chair
Vice President of Business Development, Inertia Product Development
Champagne, based in Greater Boston, brings 14 years of experience in medical device R&D innovation and 20 years of sales and marketing leadership in healthcare and innovative ecosystems. Jeff brings solid experiences in both well-established and start-up organizations, with strong bias for growth. He developed relationships with business leaders and coached his clients to improve their productivity and profitability by defining roadmaps, navigating obstacles, and reaching objectives to speed up commercialization efforts.
Jeff is Board Vice Chair at MedTech Association, Syracuse, NY, Board Advisor at M2D2 Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center at UMass-Lowell, Lowell, MA, and is on the Life Science Screening Committee for Boston Harbor Angels. Champagne has also recently been added as a Board Advisor to Medical Device Group (MDG) Boston.
Champagne earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, Visual Communication Design degree from the University of Hartford Art School and an MBA in Marketing, Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT.
Jim Leggett, Treasurer
Plant Controller, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Jim Leggett is a plant controller for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he has financial responsibility for the Rensselaer Industrial Operations and Product Supply Group. Prior to Regeneron, Leggett was the global controller for the coated fabrics division of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, a publicly-traded French multinational building products company. With more than 20 years of experience in finance and accounting, including 6 years in public accounting as an auditor, his specialties include telecommunications, manufacturing and biopharmaceuticals manufacturing. Leggett graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a bachelor's degree in Accounting. He has also held a Certified Public Accounting license since 1995.
Saleem Cheeks, Secretary
Vice President, Communications, AngioDynamics
Saleem M. Cheeks was named AngioDynamics’ Director of Communications in February 2018 bringing with him more than 16 years of private and public-sector experience in communications, community relations and politics. Prior to joining AngioDynamics, Mr. Cheeks served as a key member of the Mower public affairs practice, where he advised global corporations and non-profits, and developed award-winning communications strategies for major economic development projects. Prior to his role at Mower, Mr. Cheeks served in several key roles for a New York Governor including deputy director for legislative affairs and deputy press secretary. In addition, Mr. Cheeks provided communications support for several United States presidential candidates and served as a professional volunteer for the White House. Mr. Cheeks holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Oswego.
CEO, Compliance Team
Michelle’s career has involved leading life science consulting firms and international, technical teams across the US, Asia and Europe. She is well versed in compliance regulations for the pharmaceutical, cannabis and medical device industries. She has led ISO certifications, manufacturing risk assessments, manufacturing facility audits to GMP standards, FDA regulatory clearances, and Health Canada License registrations.
In 2020, she acquired Compliance Team to blend FDA regulatory affairs services from her first company, Guideline Medical, with specialized, FDA Engineering, Compliance services of Compliance Team. Here, she leads the company’s strategic direction and vision. She ensures the team is executing on corporate plans, expanding cannabis service offerings, and maintaining a dynamic and effective work culture.
Michelle has successfully completed FDA regulatory certificate programs and is an active member of MedTech, the NY Cannabis Association, and Upstate Capital in NY.
President & CEO, iuvo BioScience
Prior to co-founding iuvo BioScience and taking on the roles of President and CEO, Ben was Vice President of Quality for the Pharmaceutical, Solutions and External Manufacturing organizations of Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Prior to the acquisition of Bausch + Lomb by Valeant, Ben served as Global VP of Quality for the Pharmaceutical Business Unit, and was a member of the B+L Global Leadership Team.
Earlier in his career, he held the position of Director, Quality and Technical Services for Norwich Pharmaceuticals, responsible for driving new business development and revenue and leading the technical services organization in delivering customer projects, as well as heading up the site quality organization. Ben began his career with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals as a Process Engineer, moving up to roles of increasing responsibility in Product Development, OTC Engineering (Cayey, PR) and Global Clinical Supplies.
Ben holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University with a double major in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and a dual MS/MAT in Chemistry and Education from Binghamton University.
Director of Sales and Marketing, CO-AX Technology
Chris Cassan has been involved with sales leadership roles in Electronic Distribution industry with Arrow Electronics , Avnet Inc. , and its acquisitions since 1981 in the region .
His current position is to expand CO-AX's design and electronic contract manufacturing awareness and solutions in the United States. This initiative is to leverage the on-shoring resurgence for design, automation, and cost competitiveness using our North American supply chain.
Chris received his BSBA from Ohio University in Athens.
Head of Assay R&D, QuidelOrtho
Joe Chiapperi has been with QuidelOrtho (formerly Ortho Clinical Diagnostics) for over 27 years and is currently Head of R&D for Clinical Labs Menu. Prior to this he was Head of R&D for Transfusion Medicine. Joe has extensive experience in new product development, program management, portfolio management, and strategic partnerships. Joe has led numerous programs across Ortho’s business including in Immunohematology, Chemistry, Immunoassay, Lab Automation, and Commercial Excellence. He is a certified process excellence black belt and holds several patents. Joe is an alumnus of the University of Rochester where he earned an MBA from the Simon School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Optics.
CPA/Principal, The Bonadio Group
Dave is a principal in the firm’s Commercial division. Dave works closely with a wide array of clients including manufacturers, high tech companies, service providers, software companies, private equity firms, contractors, real estate/property management companies, and employee benefit plans.
Dave’s responsibilities include the overall coordination and management of financial statement audits and other attest services including financial statement reviews, compilations and agreed-upon procedures engagements. In addition to performing attest services, Dave also has considerable experience in merger & acquisition due diligence, consulting, and transaction-based projects.
Dave received both his B.S. degree in Accounting and his M.B.A. from St. Bonaventure University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Executive Director, Innovation Law Center, Syracuse University
College of Law alumnus Brian J. Gerling is the new executive director of the Innovation Law Center (ILC). Gerling, who brings nearly two decades of intellectual property and commercial litigation experience to the role, takes the helm from M. Jack Rudnick L’73, who will remain engaged with the ILC as senior advisor.
Gerling most recently served the College of Law as an adjunct professor, teaching innovation law and technology law courses. In his new role, he will continue to teach as a member of the College of Law faculty. He also will retain his Of Counsel affiliation with Syracuse-based law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, where his practice focuses on IP, data privacy, emerging technology and economic development.
Gerling serves on the Board of the Central New York International Business Alliance and on the Technology Council of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, and he holds other ex officio board positions. In addition to his J.D., cum laude, from the College of Law, Gerling holds a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
James Grabowski, PhD, MBA
Vice President - Portfolio and Sourcing, Curia Global
James Grabowski, Ph.D., MBA, is Vice President - Portfolio and Sourcing at Curia Global in Albany, NY. James has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility with experience managing diverse, international teams within AMRI since joining the company in 2006. His current role includes, but is not limited to, the development of business, product strategies, the management of cost savings initiatives, and leading API operations in India for AMRI. Dr. Grabowski received a MBA from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 2015, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Brandeis University in 2006 and a B.A. in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross in 2001.
COO, Quadrant BioSciences
Bryan Greene is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Quadrant Laboratories and the Chief Operating Officer of Quadrant Biosciences, a life sciences company dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by delivering innovative diagnostic, therapeutic, and virtual care solutions for global health priorities. . He graduated with distinction from Clarkson University with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He has more than 15 years of experience in medical device operations, manufacturing, validation and new-product introduction at both large multinational and start-up corporations. Greene has a demonstrated work history in operations and engineering, including successfully introducing Class I, II and III products at Life Technologies (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Pall Corporation and ImClone System (Eli Lilly). Prior to joining Quadrant, Bryan was the manufacturing and operations leader during the establishment and implementation of an FDA 21CFR820-compliant system at Rheonix, a medical device start-up.
Through Greene’s extensive work, Quadrant has been able to achieve and maintain regulatory standards, establish manufacturing supply chains and launch new products, all while remaining the site leader for Quadrant’s Syracuse operations. Specifically, this includes leading regulatory documentation and process to obtain 510k clearance for ClearEdge Balance System, implementation of 21 CFR part 820 FDA compliant Quality Management System, helping achieve FDA EUA for Clarifi COVID-19 Test Kit (September 2020, amended May 2022), establishing a lean distribution model to distribute over 4 million COVID test kit within New York SUNY system and lead logistic to return collected samples to a lab and assisting with the stand up of clinical lab operations to process COVID samples to allow SUNY and K-12 return to learning in August 2020 and beyond. Additionally, Greene has helped throughout many aspects of Quadrant’s general operations, including the operation of Quadrant’s labs, supply chain management, maintaining strong quality, regulatory and compliance standards, project management, business development and he formerly managed customer service.
Director, Shipley Center for innovation, Clarkson University
Jamey Hoose joined the Shipley Center for Innovation in October 2015 and brings a diverse set of experiences in entrepreneurship and collegiate administration to the Center. In his role as Director Jamey helps to support the mission of the Center as it guides Clarkson University students and faculty, as well as regional entrepreneurs, through the process of commercializing their innovations. He and his team provide support in relevant areas such as patent prosecution, market analysis, product development and commercialization strategy. Jamey spent nearly ten-years as an entrepreneur before taking on his first administrative role at SUNY Potsdam in 2007, and he has continued to serve in administrative positions at both SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University since that time, culminating in his current role which combines his passion for entrepreneurship, innovation and administration. Jamey attended Clarkson where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as well as his MBA. In 2020 Jamey earned a JD from Albany Law School with a concentration in Intellectual Property.
CEO, Excell Partners, Inc.
Theresa Mazzullo has been the CEO of Excell Partners since 2006. She has a 30-year track record in business, finance and entrepreneurship. Having owned and sold a small business, she brings firsthand knowledge, unique skills, and proven experience to the seed stage investment arena. In her role as CEO, her duties include governance, compliance, reporting, community integration, finance and fundraising. Her fundraising ability has resulted in bringing over $60 million into the upstate ecosystem for investments in high tech startups. Prior to joining Excell, Theresa spent six years as President & Principal of EPIC Advisors, Inc a 401(k) retirement plan company with $1.5 billion in retirement plan assets. In her capacity as President, she built an infrastructure that supported annual revenue growth of 20%. She also directed business planning process regarding business strategy and tactics in the areas of finance, sales, marketing, administration, operations and information technology to ensure increased profitability and the achievement of the company vision. Ultimately, she led the team to a successful exit in 2005.
Sr. Marketing Manager, Baxter
Michelle McGrath is the senior manager of marketing operations at Baxter, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. She has nearly 25 years of healthcare experience, starting with Welch Allyn and then Hillrom before its acquisition by Baxter in 2015. Her marketing experience spans communications, new product development, regional marketing, and marketing process development. In her roles, she has traveled the globe visiting healthcare institutions and meeting with distribution and manufacturer partners. She has worked closely on the regulatory side of the business, as well as with R&D, quality, and legal. Michelle is also co-president of the Alliance for Baxter Women, the company’s largest Business Resource Group. With Welch Allyn, she oversaw the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility committee for several years and has recently been appointed Baxter’s community engagement site ambassador for Skaneateles, NY. She is on the St. Joseph’s Health Foundation Board of Directors and chairs its Board Governance Committee.
Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA in marketing and organizational management from Syracuse University.
Chris Neville, PhD, PT
Director of Industry Research & Innovation, Upstate Medical University
Dr. Neville is director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory where he completes research with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Neuroscience, and the Upstate Concussion Center, along with his primary appointment in the Department of Physical Therapy Education. Dr. Neville has worked extensively with various industry partners across a range of research activities. These industry collaborations have spanned from consulting, device design and validation, equity partnerships, strategic development, and product design. Dr. Neville is pas-president of the Foot and Ankle Special Interest group (FASIG) within the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy providing oversight for the national membership of 700 and voice on the board for an organization of over 20K members. Dr. Neville has participated, and led, strategic planning for groups and organizations ranging from 10 to 700 people. He has over 50 peer-reviewed publications leading to numerous national and international presentations and a history of NIH, industry, and private funding supporting his ongoing research.
Norma Nowak, PhD
Executive Director, NYS Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, University at Buffalo
Norma Jean Nowak, Ph.D., is recognized as a leader in the field of human genomics. Her research contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, as well as to genomic based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer. In 2015, Dr. Nowak was named executive director for the University at Buffalo New York State Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, and holds the rank of Professor of Biochemistry. In addition, Dr. Nowak is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Empire Genomics LLC, a molecular diagnostics firm focused on enabling personalized medicine. Dr. Nowak was appointed to the Empire State Stem Cell Board in 2014 as well as the New York State Life Science Advisory Board in 2018.
She previously served as the director of science and technology for UB’s New York State Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences from 2003-2015, as well as director of the UB/RPCI Genomics Facility from 1999-2012, a collaborative research lab shared by UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Prior to that, she was involved for 14 years in research at RPCI developing physical clone resources for cloning disease genes and mapping the human genome.
Dr. Nowak's efforts were instrumental in obtaining more than $70 million in funding for research and infrastructure and she has authored or co-authored over 150 research articles in leading scientific journals. She also has served on the editorial board of Cytogenetics and Genome Research as well as an Associate Editor of Physiological Genomics.
Associate Provost for Research & Economic Development, Alfred University
Dr. John J. Simmins is Associate Provost for Research and Economic Development at Alfred University. In this position, he oversees approximately 50 research faculty and 200 graduate students. In addition, he directs the efforts of the NYS Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) as Executive Director. Simmins is also partially responsible for bringing jobs and opportunities to western NY and in particular Allegany County, one of the most underserved counties in NY State. Dr. Simmins has expertise in the intersection of augmented reality, artificial intelligence and geospatial information systems developed while he was at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) where he was employed for the 10 years before becoming Associate Provost.
Lisa L. Smith
Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP
From her days as a biology major in college to her many years serving as national science counsel to global pharmaceutical companies, Lisa Smith has had a decades-long focus on how science, and scientific innovation, can improve people’s lives. Smith is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP, where she co-chairs the firm’s Life Science & Health Effects team, as well as the Class Action, and Products Liability and Mass Torts teams. Smith is also a member of Law360 Life Sciences Editorial Advisory Board. She has decades of experience in regulatory approval and compliance, product labeling, risk management, and defending high-stakes product liability claims.
In addition to her experience in representing global pharma companies, Smith also represents emerging medical technology companies, research hospitals, and hospital systems. Prior to Phillips Lytle, Smith spent four years with Crowell and Moring in its Washington, D.C. office. She is admitted to practice in New York and Washington, D.C. She also serves as Vice President of the Boards of Trustees of the Charter School for Applied Technologies and the Irish Classical Theatre Company, as well as serving as Vice President of The Pink Pillow Project, Inc., a breast cancer charity she co-founded. Smith holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Grove City College and earned her J.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Dr. Jonathan J. Stone
Founder/CEO, Simulated Inanimate Models
Jonathan J. Stone, MD, MSe is a faculty member in the Departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology & Biomedical Engineering and the Director of Surgical Innovation at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is also Founder and CEO of Simulated Inanimate Models. He has published over 30 articles, received 9 awards, received a Master's in Biomedical Engineering, and has been granted 4 patents. Dr. Stone's experience with simulation began during his residency. After winning 1st place for video abstracts of his lifelike simulations 3 years in a row (2015-2017) at the largest annual AUA national meeting, he founded a company to develop and manufacture these surgical phantoms. Dr. Stone earned his M.D. from the University of Buffalo, completed his residency program at the University of Rochester and then continued his education to complete a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in Peripheral Nerve Surgery. He also performs advanced surgical planning and rehearsal using 3D printing at the Institute for Innovative Education.
Director, The Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences, Cornell University
Lou Walcer was appointed in June 2011 as the first Director of the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University. Lou’s career spans 40 years in drug, medical device, vaccine, and diagnostic product development as Entrepreneur, Consultant, Manager, Director, Company Officer and President.
From 2006-2011, Lou had served as Consultant to, then Senior Commercialization Executive for New Ventures at Cleveland Clinic Innovations where he managed a portfolio of 30 startups, and planned, created and obtained initial investment funding for 10, which eventually netted two licenses, one IPO, and 3 exits by sale for that institution.
Lou earned a B.A. degree from Cornell University, and his M.B.A. from New York University. He has served as Director, Vice Chair, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Business Incubator Association of New York State.