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
Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, 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 is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association. She also serves as president of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association. Oliker holds a bachelor’s from Colgate University and earned her JD at Syracuse University College of Law.
Jeff Champagne, Vice Chair
Director of Business Development, MPR Associates
Jeff Champagne is the director of business development at MPR Associates. Specializing in emerging technologies and research and development, he is able to help clients gain perspective, define company and product road maps, navigate obstacles and realize objectives to speed up commercialization efforts. As a trusted management consultant, his clients include top executives at the most innovative companies, the most prolific research institutions in the world and many Fortune 500 companies. Champagne has a background in marketing and business development, with a master’s from the University of Hartford.
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.
Kathi Durdon, Secretary
Director of Operations and Innovation Partnerships, CNY Biotech Accelerator
Kathi Durdon, MA, CCRP, directs the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC), a 52,000+ square foot specialized NYS Certified Business Incubator operated by SUNY Upstate Medical University, located in an Opportunity Zone in Syracuse, NY.
Kathi connects with various innovation ecosystem resources to support client needs and promotes collaborations to accelerate business development opportunities and long-lasting cooperative partnerships. She manages the annual Medical Device Innovation Challenge and Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp and chairs an annual medical device research and regulatory conference sponsored by the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) and serves as a Good Clinical Practice regulatory mentor and certification instructor. Kathi also serves on the Business Incubator Association of New York State (BIANYS) Board of Directors and is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Human Factors and Clinical Investigations Committees.
Kathi holds Bachelor’s degrees in English and Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Business. Previously, Kathi was employed at Welch Allyn, a medical device manufacturer, for over 10 years, as Manager of Clinical Affairs, supporting the clinical research and human factors engineering test programs for diagnostic product design and development as well as supervising a team of senior clinical research associates. Prior to this she was the Director of the Clinical Trials Office at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Associate Director Client Services & Director of Business Development, Axon Communications
Jennifer M. Barrett, MSc is an experienced health communication professional dedicated to improving health outcomes. She has focused her career on building awareness through health education, marketing and rebranding initiatives that result in behavior modification. She develops creative strategic communication and marketing plans that address disease prevention, health promotion, patient advocacy and support, improvements in quality of care, as well as educating on the social model of patient care. She has been an integral leader in health collaboration initiatives providing unique solutions to address evolving health care industry trends.
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and holds a Master of Science in Health Communication from Boston University. She is active in her industry as a member of CURE and Healthcare Business Women’s Association.
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.
President, Novatek Communications
Amy Castronova combines the thoughtfulness and precision of an engineer with the personality and energy of a natural-born leader. As President and CEO of Novatek, her professional and leadership skills have been challenged and awarded with many honors. In recent years, Castronova has been awarded Rochester Business Person of the Year, finalist for Technology Woman of the Year, and Rising Star of the Women Presidents Organization, an organization for women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies across the US and Canada. She was also awarded the Young Entrepreneur Champion of the Year, at the district, state, and regional level by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Castronova was invited to the White House to be recognized as one of the top 100 companies run by young entrepreneurs age 30 or younger who impact our economy, where she gave a brief speech on the importance of entrepreneurship.
Head of R&D, Clinical Labs Menu, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
Joe Chiapperi has been with 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.
Greg Gdowski, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CMTI, University of Rochester
Dr. Greg Gdowski is the executive director of the Center of Medical Technology and Innovation (CMTI) at the University of Rochester. With a background in both academic research and industry/incubation settings, he was most recently a senior research engineering fellow at Blue Highway, where he managed ideation, invention, incubation and subsequent innovation opportunities. He also served on the faculty in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester from 2001-2010 where he established and managed a NIH-funded research laboratory in vestibular sensory processing. Dr. Gdowski received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, and his post-doctorate in Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.
James Grabowski, PhD, MBA
Vice President - Portfolio and Sourcing, Albany Molecular Research Inc.
James Grabowski, Ph.D., MBA, is Vice President - Portfolio and Sourcing at AMRI 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.
Irfan Khan, MD
Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Circuit Clinical
Irfan Khan is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Circuit Clinical - a rapidly scaling clinical research site network powered by proprietary data management software. In this role he is responsible for Circuit's strategic positioning and all business development and industry engagement. He has also been a clinical research investigator for almost 15 years and as a partner in Buffalo Heart Group built its electrophysiology clinical research program. Dr. Khan is a Board Certified clinical cardiac electrophysiologist trained at Case Western Reserve University and has performed thousands of cardiac procedures in his past role as the Director of the Electrophysiology program at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. Dr. Khan is a passionate advocate for patient education and responsibility and speaks frequently on these topics, including a 2014 TEDx appearance on prevention of sudden death.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, SoPark Corporation
Gerry Murak is the sole owner, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of SoPark, which is an ISO 9001:2008, AS 9100 and ISO 13485 Certified contract electronics service provider. He is also the founder, president and chief executive officer of a new high tech venture, Precision Scientific Instruments, Inc. (PSi™), which is commercializing disruptive US patented technology. Prior to starting his management consulting firm, Murak & Associates LLC in 1991, he turned around the performance within two different locations of a Fortune 500 FDA regulated corporation, as well as a Top 100 Western New York corporation. He is currently a member of the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Management (SOM) Dean’s Advisory Council and a Director on the UB SOM Alumni Board. Murak has a master’s and an MBA and is a Certified Professional in Human Resources. He also serves as a professional speaker and is the author of several journal articles.
President & CEO, Efferent Labs, Inc.
Bill Rader is the president and CEO of Efferent Labs, Inc., a pre-clinical stage company focused on biosensor systems for life science. A serial entrepreneur, Rader sold his first company at age 18. To date he has launched five ventures, including the most recent Efferent Labs and orchestrated multiple mergers and acquisitions. In October 2014, Efferent Labs was a winner in the world’s largest business contest, 43North. Rader started in the engineering sector of the U.S. Navy as a nuclear engineering member of the Submarine Fleet and is a member of many industry organizations. He is also a contributing writer for Forbes, where he writes on entrepreneurship and business. Rader holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Management. He is also a member of Harvard Business School, Business Innovations in Global Healthcare class of 2015.
M. Jack Rudnick
Counsel, Barclay Damon
M. Jack Rudnick is counsel with Barclay Damon, LLP on their Emerging Technology Team, where he provides business and legal consultation to technology-based companies. He is experienced in corporate and intellectual property law and has been providing legal counsel for over 40 years. Rudnick co-founded Blue Highway, Inc. while at Welch Allyn, Inc. to locate and accelerate the development of technologies with medical applications. He served as Blue Highway's senior vice president of legal and government affairs. Rudnick is also the director of the New York State Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University, with long-term experience as an adjunct professor. He serves on the Advisory Board of CNY Biotech Accelerator as well as and the Lally School (RPI) Advisory Board for Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. He is an active member of the American and New York State Bar Associations. Rudnick earned his bachelor’s in Political Science and History from Middlebury College and his JD from Syracuse University College of Law.
President & CEO, Galiot Insurance Services
Brian Toglia is currently President & CEO of Galiot Insurance Services. In this role, he advises clients on their various exposures to loss during each phase of business development and leverages his relationship in the marketplace to deliver comprehensive insurance solutions. Toglia has over 12 years of risk management experience and has been specifically focusing on the life science industry since 2013. His practice has expanded beyond the borders of New York State where he is currently licensed in 12 states and growing.
Beyond his role at Galiot, Toglia is actively involved in the life science community, particularly in NY. In 2016, he was named MedTech Association Member of the year in recognition of his contributions to the industry. He also serves on the advisory council for the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Studies. Toglia also contributes at an educational level on topics such as Insurance 101 for Biotech Startups, CFC 21 Part 11 (Cyber Security) and International Clinical Trials. Toglia holds 2 bachelor degrees from Pepperdine University in Business and Political Science.
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.
Key Accounts Manager, Sparton Corp.
Kevin Webb is a key accounts manager for the Sparton Corporation, a specialized contract development and manufacturer for complex classification II and III medical instruments and other highly regulated industries. For the past seventeen years, his main role and passion at Sparton has been engaging with clients, cross functional teams and supplier partners to help launch "first of kind" medical technologies. Prior to Sparton, Webb has more than ten years of direct sales, marketing, and sales operations for global product launch campaigns. Webb is from a family of innovators and received his B.S.B.A from the University of West Florida.