Regional Professionals Elected to MedTech's Board of Directors

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SYRACUSE, NY- MedTech, the hub of Upstate New York’s bioscience and medical technology industry, is pleased to announce its 2012-2013 Board of Directors election results.

Albany executive named to the board:

John Boger, a partner with the intellectual property law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, was elected as a director-at-large. He graduated cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. Mr. Boger also received cum laude, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. Previous to joining Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. Mr. Boger was Senior Counsel to Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, Inc. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Boger worked for 8 years at DePuy, Inc. as a product development engineer and product manager specializing in orthopaedic implant design. He also worked for DePuy–DuPont Orthopaedics, Inc. as the venture project manager, focusing on the development of advanced implantable biomaterials. He is admitted to practice in New York and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“I also look forward to working with MedTech to facilitate and improve communication between member organizations,” said Boger in his vision statement.

Buffalo-area executives named to the board:

Paul Buckleypresident of Applied Sciences Group, was elected as a director.Buckley works in engineering, operations management and strategic development areas.  He has a Bachelor's degree in Bio-medical Engineering and a Masters in Systems Engineering from RPI.  Prior to his employment at ASG, Paul worked in the aerospace and telecommunications industries in various engineering and management capacities.  Paul currently chairs the University at Buffalo's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) Alumni Association and is the 2004 CEL Taylor Kew award recipient for entrepreneurial excellence.  He is a board member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the UB School of Medicine's Dean's Council, and the Buffalo branch of the American Diabetes Association.

As a MedTech board member, Buckley will advocate for continued expansion of MedTech's influence as it pertains to business growth within New York State, support for business-friendly legislation, and member education. 

Ben Harp, Chief Operating Officer of Polymer Conversions Inc., was elected as a director.Harp joined Polymer Conversions Inc. in December 2003 as the Director of Business Development.  In June 2004 he became the Chief Operating Officer.  He holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Canisius College.  He currently is the Vice Chair of the Life Science Council of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and is on the board of directors for Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors.  Harp previously served on the board of directors for the Society of Plastics Industry from 2004 to 2007.

Harp hopes to enhance membership value by growing membership throughout New York State and encouraging member-to-member networking to share technologies and best practices to foster each other’s growth. 

Jim Hengst, CEO of ZeptoMetrix Corporation, was elected as a director. Hengst is co-founder of the ZeptoMetrix Corporation, engaged in infectious disease research and diagnostic product development and manufacturing. Prior to ZeptoMetrix, he held various management positions at Allied Signal Corporation, Boehringer Mannheim Corporation and Cellular Products, Inc. He has served an adjunct professor for various academic institutions including the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Purdue University and Indiana University. He has also served as an advisor and board member for a number of corporate, academic and governmental organizations. He holds his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Eureka College, his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Illinois Medical Center and did his post-doctoral work at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He has authored over 40 publications including manuscripts, abstracts and patents.

“I view MedTech as the lead organization in upstate New York for coordination, development and facilitation of businesses in the medical device and life sciences industries leading to the growth and success of those industries,” said Hengst in his vision statement.

Rochester-area executives named to the board:

Bob Ruppenthal,president of RTEmd, was elected as a director. For nearly thirty years Bob has led RTEmd in strategic direction, business development and administration. His company is focused on development and testing of software for regulated medical devices in clinical diagnostics, medical imaging and information systems. RTEmd computer engineers work closely with clinicians and others in optics, chemistry, fluidics and electronics in the integration of technology for new products that improve patient outcomes. Before founding RTEmd, Bob was a practicing electrical engineer designing hardware and software for complex systems in aerospace and medical applications.

“As a board member, I will work to continue the success achieved in MedTech’s formative years and get us to the next level of value creation for our members,” said Ruppenthal in his vision statement.

Verner Andersen, vice president and general manager of Labware & Specialty Plastics, was elected as a director. Verner oversees the development, manufacture, and go-to-market strategies with strong focus in delivering global products and services that target the bioproduction, cell culture, drug discovery, diagnostics and packaging marketplace.  He brings with him over 30 years industry experience, and his influence and direction can be seen throughout the broad portfolio of solutions available today as Thermo Scientific branded product.  Verner attended Copenhagen University College of Engineering in Denmark where he majored in Industrial Engineering.

Anderson believes that long-term success and vitality of MedTech’s membership will depend on local availability of human and financial resources that can compete in the global market.

Jeff Helfer, CEO of Diffinity Genomics was named as a director. Mr. Helfer is an entrepreneur and angel investor with 37 years of experience in medical product development and manufacturing, new business development, and regulatory affairs.  Between July 2003 and May 200, he co-founded and served as CEO of MYOTECH, LLC, a company formed to commercialize a unique, alternative human heart pump. He served as VP of Engineering for Biophan Technologies, Inc. between October, 2001 and April, 2007 where he successfully developed new medical device technologies that led to acquisition of the business by Boston Scientific and Medtronic.  Previously, he was with Johnson & Johnson, where he served at different times as Program Director, Director of New Business Development, Director of Regulatory Affairs, and Director of Engineering, and also Eastman Kodak Company where he participated in the early development of the company’s Ektachem clinical diagnostic business, formed and managed the company’s radiographic imaging research laboratory, and participated in multiple life science business development initiatives.

Helfer hopes to bring his experience in the life science industries at many levels and geographic locations to MedTech. He will work with the Board of Directors to help make Western New York less of a Life Science fly-over region.

Scott Steele,director of research alliances at University of Rochester, was elected as a director-at-large. Steele fosters strategic research partnerships between the University and industry, government agencies, and other academic institutions.  He is actively involved with the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute, serving as the Director of the Public-Private Partnerships Key Function.  Additionally, he holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Prior to joining the University of Rochester, Dr. Steele served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), initially as a policy analyst and was later designated as the Executive Director of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Steele received his BS with Honors in Biology from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Following this, he performed research at the General Electric Center for Research and Development and was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.  Dr. Steele completed his MA and PhD in Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

“Building on my role at a research university, I wish to enhance a key function for MedTech in fostering industry-university-government alliances in biomedical technology research, development and educational initiatives.” Steele said in his vision statement.

Syracuse-area executive named to the board:

Scott Gucciardi,executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer of Welch Allyn, was named as a director. Gucciardi is responsible for leading the global marketing function and bringing together a customer-focused organization to drive Welch Allyn’s solutions strategy.  Scott began his career at Welch Allyn in 1990 as a manufacturing systems project engineer and soon after moved into the new product development function as a quality engineer.  He then held a number of management positions of increasing leadership responsibility in product management, marketing, and strategic business unit management, with a focus on innovation in ophthalmic diagnostic devices.  Scott most recently served as executive vice president & chief new product development officer and was responsible for leading all of the functions relating to R&D at Welch Allyn. Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester Simon School.

His vision for MedTech is one in which the organization rallies its membership around common causes benefiting the geographic region, employees, customers, and ultimately the patients. “Collectively we can do more together through leveraging our human capital, technology assets, and resources, leading to a stronger and more competitive regional cluster of capabilities and talent that is attractive to healthcare industry players,” said Gucciardi in his vision statement.

For a complete list of the MedTech Board of Directors, visit


MedTech is an active association of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical technology companies, their suppliers and service providers, and research universities. We boost the growth and prosperity of our members by connecting them for collaboration, offering educational programs, sharing news and information, and advocating for the industry with government and leaders. Our mission is to develop the relationships, tools and programs that enable Upstate New York companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace. For more information, visit    

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