The Medical Alley Innovation Summit Minneapolis 2017 – Sept. 18-19 — Agenda

September 18th - 19th, 2017 Marriott Hotel City Center — Minneapolis, MN

Confirmed Speakers and Panelists



Panelist: Edward Andrle, Senior Vice President New Ventures & Business Development, LivaNova

Edward Andrle is Senior Vice President of New Ventures & Business Development at LivaNova. Previously, Andrle has served at Sorin Group as Vice President of Strategy & Business Development since 2010.

Andrle had a successful career in the medical device industry, where he also became an entrepreneur and a CEO of start-up companies like Teramed (endovascular stent-graft), Myocor (mitral valve surgery) and StarFire Medical (neurovascular technology).

Prior to this Andrle spent 5 years as a Vice President at Boston Scientific, where he led a new business unit focused on peripheral vascular catheters and guidewires that accounted for over $100 million in sales.

He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS in Chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame.


Panelist: Todd Berg, President & CEO, Torax Medical, Inc.

Panelist: Louis Cannon, Founder, Senior Managing Director, BioStar Ventures

Louis Cannon, MD, a former Judith Volkman Scholar in Residence, is the President of the Cardiac and Vascular Research Center of Northern Michigan. Dr. Cannon has been repeatedly honored as one of “America’s Top Interventional Cardiologists.”

He has authored hundreds of articles for medical publications and holds a vast number of medical device patents in the United States. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of CardioVascular Ingenuity and Kona. Previously, he has served on the strategic advisory boards for Fortune 500 companies such as Medtronic, Abbott, Boston Scientific, Johnson and Johnson, and Covidien, as well as many early developing medical technology companies.

Dr. Cannon, through BioStar Ventures, has participated in the start-up and subsequent development of a multitude of developing bio-technological, or emerging healthcare companies, and has served as the National or International Principal Investigator for landmark cardiovascular studies. Additionally, he was Chairman of the Board of AorTx, Inc., which was successfully acquired by a publicly traded company. Similarly, as BioStar Ventures was the lead investor of Setagon, later acquired by a Fortune 100 company, Dr. Cannon served as the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. In 2007, Dr. Cannon assisted in performing First-In-Man percutaneous Aortic Valve procedures in Paraguay.

Panelist: Greg Cash, President & CEO, Argent International

Greg Cash is an experienced executive and a seasoned industry veteran. He has over thirty-five years of business experience and has been chief executive officer of several companies, both public and privately held, as well as run global business units of larger companies.

Mr. Cash is currently President and CEO of Argent International, a life sciences consulting firm.  Previous positions include President and Chief Executive Officer as well as a director of BioSig Technologies, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroTherm, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as a director of HeartSine Technologies, Inc., President, Vascular Therapy and New Businesses for Sorin Group, President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Vasomedical, Inc., Corporate Vice President, Datascope Corporation, and President of its subsidiary, InterVascular, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Eminent Technology Partners and Chief Executive Office of its subsidiary, Eminent Research Systems, Vice President and General Manager, Vascular Therapies, for U.S. Surgical Corporation and spent five years with Boston Scientific Corporation, ultimately as Vice President, Cardiology Sales and Marketing, Europe.  He began his career at Medtronic, Inc., where he served fourteen years in increasingly senior sales and marketing positions.

Mr. Cash has lived and worked as an expatriate in London, England, Hong Kong, Paris, France and Milan, Italy and speaks French, German and Italian.   Greg serves on the board of directors of Amerivision International.  He is a member of the Concordia Language Villages National Advisory Council and the University of Minnesota Office for Technology Commercialization Advisory Board as well as a member of the French American Chamber of Commerce of Minneapolis/St. Paul Key Opinion Leader Advisory Board.  Mr. Cash holds a B.A. in International Marketing and Business Administration from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where he is an active alumnus presently serving on the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and as a mentor to students.  He is currently living in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota.

David Cassak, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The MedTech Strategist and Managing Partner, Innovation In Medtech, LLC

Conference Host and Panel Moderator

David has more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry.  Prior to co-founding Innovation In Medtech, LLC, he served as Vice President, Content and Managing Director, Medical Devices for Elsevier Business Intelligence, A Reed Elsevier Company, now part of Informa Business Information, where he wrote extensively on the medical device industry for Windhover’s monthly publications, IN VIVO and START-UP.  He is also a frequent speaker before various companies and industry trade groups.

Prior to joining Elsevier, David worked for nearly 20 years at Windhover Information Inc., a company he founded with his partner, Roger Longman, which spun out the publications business of The Wilkerson Group, a leading management consulting firm at the time.

Keynote Speaker: William E. Cohn, M.D., Director for Johnson & Johnson’s Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center

William E. Cohn, MD, is a Vice President of Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson and the Director for the Johnson&Johnson Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center. He is also a professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering at both Rice University and the University of Houston.

Prior to joining J&J, Dr. Cohn was the director of the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Lab at the famed Texas Heart Institute and the Director of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery at THI. A native of Houston, Dr. Cohn received his medical school education, general surgical training, and cardiothoracic surgical training at Baylor College of Medicine where he served as the last chief resident of the legendary heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey. After graduation, Dr. Cohn spent eleven years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and as an Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

His major research interests include the development of new technology for decreasing the invasiveness of cardiac and vascular surgery and development of the continuous-flow totally implantable artificial heart. In 2011, Dr. Cohn and Dr. O. H. Frazier successfully implanted the first pulseless total heart replacement device in a human patient.

Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development and has more than 90 US patents granted or pending and another 60 international patents for his medical innovations. His numerous awards include an honorary doctorate in science from Oberlin College, the Distinguished Scientist Award, given by the MacDonald Fund, and the Edison Award for excellence in human-centered design and innovation for inventing the SentreHEART® Lariat® Suture Delivery Device. In 2000, Dr. Cohn was named the distinguished Inventor of the Year by the U.S. Intellectual Property Owners Association and in 2014, he was named Outstanding Inventor of the Year by the Houston IPO. In addition, in 2014 he received an award for the most Innovative Medical Device Startup of the year at the Innovations in Cardiovascular Interventions Conference in Tel Aviv for inventing the TVA Everlin q system for percutaneous creation of AV fistulas and for founding TVA Medical. In 2015, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for healthcare innovation by the Houston Technology Center.

He is the Chief Medical Officer of BiVACOR Inc. and currently serves on the board of directors of CSI Inc., BiVACOR, and TVA Medical. Previously, he served on the boards of ArterX, PluroMed, Onyx Medical, and SentreHeart.

Speaker: Kelli L. Hallas, Executive Vice President, Emerson Consultants, Inc.

Kelli Hallas is an accomplished reimbursement thought leader with over 24 years of experience in the medical device industry in the areas of reimbursement, sales, and market development. Kelli joined Emerson Consultants in 2004 and over the past decade has successfully provided a wide range of services to Medical Technology Companies to increase patient access to new technologies and drive company revenue.

Since 2011 Kelli has been an active representative of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery’s (ISASS) Coding and Reimbursement Advisory Board and has assisted with CPT submissions, participated in policy and guideline development, and has administered RVU and utilization Surveys.

Sponsor Presenter: Philippe Kassab, President genae Americas

Philippe Kassab joins genae after spending nine years at General Electric. With a degree in business administration from Northeastern University, Philippe initially held several roles in finance and treasury at GE in Paris, France.

Philippe was then a Sr. Associate at GE’s leadership program, Corporate Audit Staff. His assignments in healthcare, oil & gas, real estate and financial services have led him to be posted in North America, the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe.

Philippe’s in-depth expertise and knowledge of business processes, financial audits and transaction analysis are tremendous assets to complement the growth of the global genae group.

Sponsor Presenter: Patrice Kloss, Partner, Fox Rothschild

As Fox’s Minnesota Office Administrator for the Corporate Department, Patrice advises medical technology companies, digital health care companies, other emerging businesses and venture capital investors in a broad range of business and commercial matters, including venture capital financings, private placements, venture debt and credit facilities, mergers and acquisitions and securities compliance. She also delivers sound legal counsel to lenders in commercial loan transactions, including $100 million+ loan facilities, and advises clients on equity financing structures and clinical trial agreements. In addition, she routinely provides guidance to boards of directors on fiduciary duties and corporate governance obligations.

Prior to joining Fox Rothschild, Patrice was a partner at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, where she served as co-chair of the firm’s MedTech Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Policy Committee.

Sponsor Presenter: Thomas Letscher, Partner Medical Technology, Fox Rothschild

Chair of the firm’s medical technology practice, Tom is a veteran medtech counselor and transaction attorney who has represented early stage and middle market public companies in dozens of financing, acquisition and sale transactions for more than 20 years. He assists medtech companies with formation, equity capital raising, technology acquisition and licensing, as well as mergers and acquisitions and related matters.

Tom also advises boards of directors on fiduciary duties in connection with financing and sale transactions.

Prior to joining Fox Rothschild, Tom was a partner at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP.

Stephen Levin, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The MedTech Strategist and Managing Partner, Innovation In Medtech LLC

Conference Host and Panel Moderator

Prior to co-founding Innovation In Medtech, Stephen Levin served as Editor-in-Chief of Medical Devices for Elsevier Business Intelligence, where he directed the company’s editorial coverage of the medical device industry, following Elsevier’s acquisition of Windhover Information in 2008.  This included managing the device content for the following publications: IN VIVO, START-UP, MEDTECH INSIGHT, The Gray Sheet, and The Silver Sheet, along with the IN3 medical device partnering conference series.  Stephen joined Windhover Information in 1997, where as Executive Editor, he specialized in covering the device industry, distribution, and legal issues.  He also served as the company’s General Counsel. He also formerly was an Editor of Health Industry Today, a leading publication in the health care industry.

Prior to joining Windhover, Stephen was Senior Counsel to the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, where he directed Senate investigations into a wide variety of areas including health care fraud and abuse, international organized crime, and corruption in federal contracting programs, while also participating in other Senate investigations including the Whitewater inquiry.  Before joining the Subcommittee, he was with the Federal Election Commission (enforcement and regulatory counsel) and the Department of Justice (international criminal law).

Shaye Mandle, President & CEO, The Medical Alley Association

Conference Host and Panel Moderator

Shaye Mandle has served as President & CEO of The Medical Alley Association since May, 2014. During this tenure, the association has undertaken significant transformation to focus on championing and facilitating an environment that enables health technology and care organizations to innovate, succeed, and influence the evolution of healthcare. Under Mr. Mandle’s leadership, the association’s vision is to elevate Minnesota’s Medical Alley as the global epicenter of health innovation and care.

Mr. Mandle has more than 20 years of experience in government, the private sector and academia, leading organizations, public affairs and political activities. From 2011-2014, Mr. Mandle served as the association’s EVP & COO and its VP of Government & Affiliate Relations. Prior to joining The Medical Alley Association, Mr. Mandle served as the Executive Director of the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, where he launched and oversaw the University Office of Technology Transfer and led the University’s corporate partnership, entrepreneurship and economic development programming. Mr. Mandle has also led business development and government affairs for the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Operation of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500 company specializing in defense and homeland security technologies.

Mr. Mandle has served as the chief executive of two industry and economic development organizations, the Illinois Coalition for Science & Technology and the East-West Corporate Corridor Association. Mr. Mandle’s extensive policy and political experience includes leading state and federal political campaigns and having served on the policy staff of former U.S. House Speaker, J. Dennis Hastert and former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar. Mr. Mandle has a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the Duquesne University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Panelist: Jeff Mirviss, Senior Vice President and President, Peripheral Interventions, Boston Scientific

Jeff Mirviss is Senior Vice President and President, Peripheral Interventions for Boston Scientific and a member of its Executive Committee. In that capacity he is responsible for developing and bringing to market innovative solutions for treating patients with high blood pressure, vascular system blockages and cancer.

Mirviss has more than 23 years of experience in medical device and pharmaceutical general management, marketing and sales. He has held positions of increasing responsibility since 1997 at Boston Scientific.

In addition to his roles at Boston Scientific, Mirviss has worked for companies ranging in size from a pre-revenue venture-backed medical device startup to Dow 30 companies.

A resident of Plymouth, Minnesota, Mirviss holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Panelist: Susan Morano, Vice President of New Business Development, Johnson & Johnson

As Vice President of Business Development and a member of the Medical Devices Group Operating Committee, Susan has responsibility for strategic planning and licensing & acquisitions for the Medical Devices Group.

Susan joined Johnson & Johnson as a college recruit in the finance organization. During her tenure in the Corporation, she transitioned through a number of positions with increasing responsibility through six operating companies, primarily within finance and new business development. Susan has been involved in a number of significant transactions within MD&D.

Ms. Morano received her BS in accounting from Villanova University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Panelist: Kathleen Skarvan, President and CEO, Electromed, Inc.

Kathleen Skarvan was named CEO of Electromed, Inc. December 2012 where she returned the company to profitable revenue growth by executing a new vision and market strategy including the launch of a new generation device. She was elected to its Board of Directors in November 2013. Electromed is dedicated to designing, manufacturing and marketing innovative airway clearance technologies.

Previously, Ms. Skarvan was Vice President of Operations at OEM Fabricators where she realigned manufacturing operations to support 60% revenue growth. Before that, Ms. Skarvan spent most of her career with Hutchinson Technology, Inc., a publicly traded global technology leader supplying critical components to the disk drive industry and new technologies to improve the quality of health care. From 2007 to 2011 she served as Sr. Vice President and President of their Disk Drive Components Division where she led the launch of a new component technology and the transition of their high technology manufacturing to Southeast Asia.

Earlier in her career, she was the Vice President/General Manager with Phillips Medisize (formerly Phillips Plastics) leading their medical device contract manufacturing group.

In 2014, Ms. Skarvan was recognized by The George Family Foundation as one of the exceptional women leaders making remarkable contributions to building the Twin Cities at its first-ever “Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders” event, and recognized on the prestigious Honor Roll for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Minnesota Census of Women in Corporate leadership by the School of Business and professional Studies at St. Catherine University. In June of 2105 Ms. Skarvan was elected to the St. Cloud State University Foundation Board and in 2017 elected as Vice Chairman.

Ms. Skarvan holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University.

Panelist: Thomas Shehab, Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures

Tom Shehab joined Arboretum Ventures in 2014 as a Principal and became a Managing Director in 2017. Prior to joining the Arboretum team, Tom served as a member of Arboretum’s Technical Advisory Board. Tom draws upon his extensive clinical, healthcare administration and operational experience to invest in medical device and IT enabled healthcare companies that focus on improving patient outcomes while decreasing healthcare costs. He also provides strategic support to Arboretum portfolio companies and served as Chief Medical Officer for ArborMetrix where he led strategic positioning and clinically focused efforts. Tom currently serves as Board Director for nVision Medical and Lucina and is a Board Observer for PEAR Therapeutics and ArborMetrix.

Prior to joining Arboretum, Tom spent 12 years as a physician executive and practicing physician specializing in gastroenterology. He was involved in a number of entrepreneurial healthcare-related ventures and held multiple senior leadership roles. Most recently, Tom served as Chief of Staff for more than 1,000 physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and as the Chair of Medicine for Integrated Health Associates (IHA), a multi-specialty group consisting of 300+ providers. Both St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and IHA are part of Trinity Health.

Tom is engaged as board member for several healthcare and innovation focused organizations including the Cleveland Clinic Medical Device Advisory Council, the Center for Machine Learning and Health at Carnegie Mellon University, and the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

Tom earned an M.D. from Wayne State University, performed his residency, chief residency, and fellowship training at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and earned his Master’s in Medical Management from the Heinz School of Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Panelist: Robert Stevens, President & CEO, Ridgeview Medical Center

Robert Stevens has been in healthcare administration for 40 years. Currently, he is President and CEO of Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, Minnesota.

Mr. Stevens has a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota. In 1993 he was recognized by the Healthcare Forum as one of the country’s emerging leaders in healthcare and, in 2008, was one of 20 to receive the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health’s Annual Service Award. Mr. Stevens has held numerous healthcare positions throughout his career including executive director of the first healthcare cooperative in the United States, and has been an adviser/mentor to many early-stage healthcare companies.

Mr. Stevens currently serves on the Board of Directors of Charter Bank of Eau Claire, Gravie Inc. (a private health insurance exchange), the American Hospital Association Region 6 Policy Board, and the Board of Trustees for Minnesota College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has previously served on the Boards for Bloom Health, Inc., Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, and Citizens Bank.


Panelist: Kathleen Tune, Partner, Cross River Healthcare Partners

Kathleen is a co-founder and managing partner of Cross River Healthcare Partners, a healthcare investment firm established to invest in and work with entrepreneurs to turn their ideas and visions into successful companies.

Kathleen is a proven healthcare executive with over 25 years of investing and business experience. Her extensive background in venture capital and growth equity investing include M&A transaction expertise, corporate strategy, business development, sales and marketing strategy.  She is also an active corporate board director.  Prior to co-founding Cross River Healthcare Partners, she was a partner with Thomas, McNerney & Partners and continues to act in an advisory role.  While at Thomas, McNerney, she led and managed several the portfolio company investments in the Thomas, McNerney & Partners fund portfolios with a primary focus on medical device technology, diagnostics and connected devices.

Kathleen has worked with a range of companies from startups to large organizations in the highly-regulated healthcare industry.  She is currently serving on several corporate boards and serves or has served in board and advisory roles to several companies. Kathleen’s community leadership is extensive and she also serves on several non-profit boards.

Panelist: John Uribe, VP of Corporate Development, BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota

John is responsible for leading the organization’s corporate development and business development activities. John has an extensive background in deal transactions (from origination to integration), business operations and equity fund raising. His industry experience includes consumer products, financial services and healthcare.

Prior to BCBSMN, John was the CFO of Schwan’s HomeService division (the company’s largest division). His transaction background ranges from the $10.5 billion Pillsbury acquisition while he was at General Mills as Senior Director of Global M&A to identifying and leading equity investments in strategic partners while at General Electric Commercial Finance, where he served as Vice President of Business Development.

His healthcare experience was obtained while he was CFO of Redbrick Health and was responsible for financial accounting, corporate development, trust and compliance, and legal functions and was instrumental in the company’s Series “C” funding. John’s career began at Arthur Anderson in Chicago after his undergraduate studies. John is currently a Board Member at The Bakken Museum (innovation museum focused on technology—founded by founder of Medtronic). John earned his B.A. and MBA from Indiana University and holds a CPA (inactive) designation.

Panelist: Dennis Wahr, President & CEO, Nuvaira

Dennis Wahr, M.D. joined Nuvaira in September 2012, with a unique background in serial medical device development, clinical evaluation and commercialization experience.

Prior to joining Nuvaira, Dr. Wahr co-founded Lutonix in 2007 and served as its President and CEO until CR Bard acquired the company in December 2011. Preceding its acquisition, Lutonix developed a unique drug coated balloon angioplasty technology for the treatment and prevention of vascular stenosis caused by atherosclerosis. Prior to Lutonix, Dr. Wahr co-founded Velocimed in 2001, and served as its President and CEO until its acquisition by St. Jude Medical in 2005.

As a company CEO, Dr. Wahr has wide-ranging experience with both the European regulatory authorities and the US FDA. His companies have sponsored 9 clinical trials involving more than 1500 patients leading to approvals for 4 unique and innovative medical products.

Dr. Wahr has served on the board of directors of several medical device companies including Accumetrics, IDev, Velocimed, and Lutonix, and he currently serves as chairman of the board for Intact Vascular. Additionally, Dr. Wahr spent two years as a Managing Director with RiverVest Ventures focusing on capital investments in emerging medical technology companies.

Dr. Wahr received a Bachelor of Arts from Albion College and his Medical Degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He did a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco and is currently board certified in interventional cardiology. He spent more than 14 years in clinical practice and served as the Chief of Cardiology at the Michigan Heart and Vascular Institute in Ann Arbor, MI prior to launching his entrepreneurial career.

Panelist: Dan Wolf, Sr. Director, Strategy & Business Development Restorative Therapies Group, Medtronic