Mason Kauffman, President, Chief Executive Officer, Board Chairman – Mason received his BS from the University of Michigan and MBA from the University of Memphis. He was part of FedEx’s pioneering teams from 1978-1994 before leaving to found, grow, and sell his own businesses. Those companies, Express Logistics and Accuship, earned Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Company status. Mason was recognized as the Memphis Business Journal’s and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999. Mason has also been recognized as an industry “mover and shaker” by Bloomberg Businessweek and a “leader in the pack” by LEADERS.
Chris Przybyszewski, Executive Vice President, Board Secretary – Chris has spent his career working with physicians and scientists in the neuroscience, medical device, and vaccines fields, where he has helped them translate basic technologies into implementable programs and products. By providing strategic planning and implementation expertise, Chris has helped build multi-national public-private programs funded by government and industry. An accomplished professional writer, Chris has authored hundreds of media articles, industry reports, website blogs, and other writings with a particular focus on business-to-business proposals, including grants and contracts with public and private funders. Chris earned degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Memphis, respectively.
Dave Williams, Board Member – Dave retired in 2008 as Chairman & CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of Sanofi-Aventis Group. Dave’s 30 years with the company was marked by his rise from Finance Manager, to General Manager of the US Business unit, to being named the U.S. President. He was later named Global President & COO in 1998. Dave’s leadership moved the company from a niche vaccine business to the global leader in vaccine development, production, and sales, with 2007 revenues of more than US $6 billion. In addition to being the largest vaccines business in the world, Sanofi Pasteur provides the broadest range of vaccines available from any one company.
Under Dave’s guidance, more than a billion doses of Sanofi Pasteur’s lifesaving vaccines were administered to more than 500 million people around the world each year, representing more than 25% of the global vaccine market. The company, which grew to almost 13,000 employees, licensed more than 30 new vaccines and launched hundreds of business development programs under Dave’s leadership. Headquartered in Lyon, France, Sanofi Pasteur has major campuses in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania and Toronto, Canada, with additional locations in more than 130 countries.
Michael Shmerling, Board Member – Mike is a veteran entrepreneur who has established and grown profitable companies in a wide spectrum of industries. Mike began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young and has since founded or co-founded five businesses, four of which were acquired by publicly traded companies.
At present, Mike serves as Chairman of Clearbrook Holdings Corp., a management and investment holding company. In addition, Mike serves on the board of several companies including Choice Food Group, Inc., Maynard Select, LLC, and Health Connect America, Inc. In 2007, he was awarded the American Institute of CPA’s Public Service Award.
Gov. Tommy Thompson, Board Member – During his 14 years as governor, Gov. Thompson focused on revitalizing Wisconsin’s economy and gained national attention for his leadership on welfare reform, expanded access to health care for low-income people, and education. In 2001 Gov. Thompson accepted the nomination for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
As the nation’s leading advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans, Secretary Thompson led the department which employed more than 60,000 personnel and had a fiscal year 2001 budget of $429 billion. Gov. Thompson now serves on several strategic healthcare-related boards and has also served as the Chairman of Deloitte’s Global Healthcare Practice focusing on Health Care Management and Transformation.
Steve Good, Senior PMP and T&O Advisor – Steve is recognized as one of the world’s most experienced and successful pest management professionals. In his executive leadership roles at Terminix, Steve provided sales leadership, business strategy development, brand positioning, direct marketing, media advertising, public relations, promotions, and product placement across multiple verticals. He oversaw the successful integration of these business development strategies to help propel Terminix to their industry leadership position while overseeing a $60M annual marketing budget, managing a global sales force of over 1,500, and generating over $500,000,000 in annualized sales.
Steve Zatechka, PhD, MBA, Chief Science Officer – Steve earned his PhD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and his MBA from the University of Memphis. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Steve is experienced in the development and utilization of gene targeting technologies for animal models and the development of applied biotechnology-based protocols. Steve is the inventor of US BIOLOGIC’s patented production platform technology.
Dr. Ed Robb, DVM, Senior Product Development & Regulatory Advisor – Dr. Robb has influenced the research and commercialization of animal health products for over 30 years. He earned his BS and DVM from Cornell University and served as a veterinarian in New York. Becoming interested in research and large-scale solutions to health problems, Ed attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his MS in Epidemiology.
From Penn, Ed became one of the few veterinarians of his generation who actively practiced research, and he quickly became a strategic innovation leader in several of the industry’s largest companies, including Pharmacia, Pfizer, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Ceva, and Parnell Pharmaceuticals.
Ed’s career has been highlighted by bringing several products through their earliest R&D phases, through clinical trials, and then to market. In each step, he has shown a nuanced understanding of the animal health market, being able to balance market opportunity with costs.
Dr. Luciana Meirelles Richer, DVM, MSc, Principal Scientist & Laboratory Director – Luciana earned her DVM from State University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and MSc in Veterinary Sciences from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She has worked on oral vaccine projects against Lyme disease and other infectious diseases with Dr. Maria Gomes-Solecki, as well as several ground-breaking methodologies for tick-borne disease diagnostic tools. Luciana brings vast animal model experience for vaccine delivery and diagnostics, as well as great expertise in microbiology and immunology. She is the lead author on several pivotal publications including Reservoir Targeted Vaccine Against Borrelia burgdorferi: A New Strategy to Prevent Lyme Disease Transmission.
Colonel (ret) Tom Monath, MD, Board Director – Tom is a venture partner with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the Chief Scientific and Chief Operations Officer of the BioProtection Systems Corporation Infectious Disease Division, and an adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2014, VaccineNation named Tom and Bill Gates as the Two Most Influential People in Vaccines.
Previously, Tom served as chief scientific officer and an executive director at Acambis, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, from 1992 to 2006. He directed R&D on dengue, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and Clostridium difficile, as well as on smallpox vaccine for defense against bioterrorism. In 1992, Tom retired as a U.S. Army colonel following 24 years in the uniformed services, during which he served as chief of the Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He went on to serve as director of the CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.
Tom earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and then trained in internal medicine at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. He has served on numerous government and international committees on infectious diseases and biosecurity, World Health Organization expert committees and the (U.S) National Vaccines Advisory Committee. He has published 40 patents, written more than 380 papers and edited six books on the epidemiology, immunology and pathogenesis of viruses and on vaccine development. He also serves on the editorial boards of five scientific journals. Tom received the Nathanial A. Young Award, the Richard M. Taylor Award, and the Walter Reed Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, for which he was also chosen as president.
Dr. Stephen Wikel, PhD, Senior Science Advisor – Dr. Wikel has led worldwide research collaborations in tick physiology and genetic discovery research, as well as host immunological responses and vector countermeasures to host defenses at the arthropod vector-host-pathogen interface; the role of those interactions on blood feeding and pathogen transmission; and, development of novel immune-based anti-vector and pathogen transmission blocking control strategies.
Dr. Wikel received a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan and went on to serve as a staff fellow at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, as well as Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut prior to becoming Professor of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch and Senior Scientist at the Center for Tropical Diseases and Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Galveston National Laboratory.
In 2011, Dr. Wikel was appointed Senior Associate Dean, Professor and Chairman, Department of Medical Sciences, and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Endowed Chair, School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University, as one of four deans to establish a new school.
Dr. Wikel has 91 peer reviewed publications and 16 invited review and book chapters on these topics. He has been a featured speaker for 75 national or international symposia. Dr. Wikel received extramural research support for his program from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Agriculture and industry. He has extensive service experience as a member of advisory panels, research study sections, editorial boards and academic institution administration.
Dr. Louise Henderson, PhD, USDA/CVB Consultant – Dr. Henderson retired from the CVB as a manager in PEL in 2008 and has since been a consultant in veterinary biologics. She served as Chief of Biotechnology, Immunology, and Diagnostics. She was responsible for overseeing policy, laboratory testing, and review and approval of licensing submissions for all biotechnology, immunology, and diagnostic products. She also has expertise in regulatory jurisdiction issues for those products that may be either a veterinary biologic regulated by the USDA or a veterinary drug regulated by the FDA.
Maria Gomes-Solecki, DVM, Inventor – Maria earned her DVM from the University of Lisbon, completed a Fellowship at the National Institute of Technology, Lisbon, Portugal, and her post-doctorate work at Stony Brook University. She is now an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, serves as president of Immuno Technologies, and is the inventor of US BIOLOGIC’s first oral vaccination technology. Maria is a leader in developing vaccines to break the cycle of Lyme disease transmission and has been awarded over $6M in research funding.
Sanford Kaufman, Senior Political Advisor – Mr. Kaufman has Master Degrees in both Biology and Public Administration, from St. John’s University and New York University, respectively. He has 20+ years’ experience leading the State Government Affairs function at Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine subsidiary of Sanofi Aventis. Over that time he led lobbying and public policy initiatives in over 40 states and interacted with major policy organizations in the public health arena.
Colonel (ret) Steven Swann, MD, FACS, Senior Medical Advisor – Following 34 years of service as an Army Physician, Colonel Swann retired as Command Surgeon, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). In this role, Col. Swann served as the Senior Physician for all of the Department of Defense’s Special Operations Forces worldwide. Previously, Col. Swann served as Commander of the 3,000 man 30th Medical Brigade, US Army Europe (USAEUR), and deployed the Brigade to Iraq during OIF 05-07, 2005-2006.
Colonel Swann has also commanded the Joint Medical Augmentation Unit (JMAU), JSOC, Fort Bragg, NC; Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk; the 31st CSH (PROFIS), Fort Bliss, TX; and the 168th Medical Battalion, Taegu, South Korea. Colonel Swann holds his BS from Tennessee Technological University (TTU), his MD from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and his MNSS from the National War College.
Major General (ret) William K. Suter, Political Adviser – General Suter has recently retired as the 19th Clerk of the Supreme Court of the U.S. where he served for 22 years. Gen. Suter also served as Army Judge Advocate before retiring as a Major General.
Receiving his BA degree from Trinity University and his JD degree from Tulane University School of Law, General Suter has served in numerous positions of responsibility around the world, including Appellate Judge, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of the U.S. Army Vietnam, Staff Judge Advocate of the 101st Airborne Division, Commandant of the JAG School, and the Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Army.
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