|WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- BioFlorida has announced five new board members who will support the organization's effort to grow the life sciences industry in Florida.
"The life sciences industry in Florida is vibrant, and we're excited to welcome Thomas Equels of AIM ImmunoTech, Mark Friedman, PhD of Axogen, Geoff Green of Longeveron, Adam Grossman of ADMA Biologics, and Joe Sardano of Sensus Healthcare," said Nancy Bryan, President and CEO of BioFlorida. "Our new board members are leaders in their fields with a passion to unite with our diverse Board of Directors representing the various sectors and regions in Florida with a collective goal to advance the impressive, diverse life sciences ecosystem."
Today, the life sciences industry in the state represents 6,700 establishments and research organizations in biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, healthIT and bioagriculture that collectively employ nearly 94,000 Floridians.
"BioFlorida provides Florida's life sciences industry with a venue to collaborate to address global health challenges," said Rob Herzog, Chair of the BioFlorida Board and Vice President of Research and Operations at AdventHealth. "I look forward to working with our new board members to continue to build Florida as a life sciences destination."
The new board members began their two-year term on January 1, 2021. The five new board members are:
Thomas K. Equels, CEO, AIM ImmunoTech (Ocala): Mr. Equels has served as the CEO of AIM ImmunoTech since February 2016, after serving as President since 2015. Mr. Equels' successful legal career included extensive experience in the pharmaceutical sector. He also has served as a court-appointed receiver turning around businesses in several different fields. Mr. Equels received his JD with high honors from Florida State University. He is a summa cum laude graduate with a BS and an MS from Troy University. Mr. Equels is also a highly decorated combat aviator, twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and 15 Air Medals, including three for extraordinary valor. In 2012, he was knighted by Pope Benedict as a knight of the Papal States. Mr. Equels received the BioFlorida Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020.
Mark L. Friedman, PhD, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Policy, Axogen, Inc. (Alachua): Dr. Friedman joined Axogen in September 2006, and has served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for Axogen since November 2011 and Axogen Corporation since June 2011, and previously served as Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs from for Axogen Corporation. Prior to joining Axogen, Dr. Friedman held several regulatory and quality leadership positions at Enable Medical Corporation, a medical device company, including Director of Quality Assurance and Vice President of Quality and Regulatory. Dr. Friedman also worked for AtriCure, Inc., a company that develops, manufactures and sells surgical ablation systems to treat atrial fibrillation, as Vice President of Quality and Regulatory and as Vice President of Operations. AtriCure acquired Enable Medical in 2005. Dr. Friedman has over 30 years of experience in developing and directing regulatory strategy and quality systems for medical products, including 15 years with startup medical product firms. Dr. Friedman has a PhD in Chemistry specializing in protein biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati.
Geoff Green, CEO, Longeveron, Inc. (Miami): Mr. Green has been with Longeveron (NASDAQ: LGVN) since 2016, and is a veteran of the life sciences and drug development industry. A versatile executive with a career spanning 25 years in both public and private companies, Mr. Green has held a variety of leadership roles throughout his time in the industry. Prior to joining Longeveron, he was VP of Operations at Partikula; VP, Business Development & Clinical Affairs at Accu-Break Pharmaceuticals; President and Acting CEO of DOR BioPharma [now Soligenix (NASDAQ: SNGX)]; VP of Business Development & Operations at Heart Genomics; and Director of Clinical Affairs at Innovative Drug Delivery Systems. Early in his career he spent several years managing oncology clinical trials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and as a research associate at Paramount Capital, where Mr. Green managed clinical trials for several portfolio companies. Mr. Green received a BA in biology from Kenyon College, and an MBA from Barry University's Andreas School of Business.
Adam S. Grossman, President & CEO, ADMA Biologics (Boca Raton): Mr. Grossman is a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry and has been the driving force behind ADMA Biologics' mission since its inception to develop and bring to market novel plasma derived products to address certain unmet medical needs for immune compromised patients. Mr. Grossman has over 25 years of experience in the blood and plasma products industry, which includes experience in launching new products, building and managing national and international sales forces, managing, and designing clinical trials as well as developing strategies and executing solutions to resolve complex quality assurance, biologics and pharmaceutical manufacturing and regulatory affairs issues. Additionally, he has negotiated and completed multiple business development and merger and acquisition transactions. Mr. Grossman is a member of the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association North American Board and has been a member of the ADMA Biologics Board of Directors since 2007, has served as its President and CEO since October 2011, and was the President and COO between 2007 and October 2011. Mr. Grossman is a graduate of American University, receiving a BS in Business Administration, with a specialization in International Business and Marketing.
Joe Sardano, CEO, Chairman & Founder, Sensus Healthcare (Boca Raton): With over 35 years of management experience with such companies as CTI Molecular Imaging, GE Healthcare, Siemens Medical Systems, Elscint Inc., and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Mr. Sardano is a respected and recognized leader in the healthcare industry. He has been responsible for introducing and commercializing many new technologies and services, including PET and PET/CT, SPECT, MRI, Lithotripsy, Digital Radiography and Electronic Brachytherapy. Mr. Sardano established and led national and international sales and marketing organizations demonstrating consistent overachievement while driving customer centricity and market share. He has led several M&A initiatives from both the "seller" and "buyer" sides while establishing the processes for the integration of multi-faceted organizations and establishing their structures and "go to market" strategies. He currently is the President/CEO of Sensus Healthcare, a Medical Device company addressing the therapeutic treatments of NMSC and Keloid scars. He has been involved with many philanthropic organizations raising millions of dollars for Heart and Cancer research. Joe is originally from Montreal Canada where he graduated from Concordia University. He also attended McGill University, School of Management.
"Our new BioFlorida board members bring invaluable expertise to BioFlorida's mission of progressing product and technological innovation that improves the lives and health of Floridians," said Rob Finizio, Vice Chair of the BioFlorida Board and CEO, Co-Founder and Director of TherapeuticsMD. "I look forward to how BioFlorida's board relationships expand employment in Florida's life science industry and overall nourish the economic interests of the state. I'm also looking forward to working closely with Rob Herzog as I make the transition to Board Chair of the BioFlorida Board of Directors in January 2022."
The new BioFlorida board members join 31 current board members including: Mario Carranza (Nemours Children's Health System), David Day (DDay Ventures), Rob Herzog (AdventHealth), Emily Gresham (Florida International University), Norma Sue Kenyon (University of Miami), Valerie McDevitt (AdventHealth), Karen Moore (Moore), Adam Hunter (Cherry Bekaert), Jim O'Connell (University of Florida), Jarett Rieger (Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute), Raquel Rodriguez (Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC), Svetlana Shtrom (University of Central Florida), David Smith (Akron Biotech), Holly Bates Snow (Amgen), Mark Strong (LifeLink), Sue Washer (AGTC), Julie Watson Lampley (Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.), David Conrad (University of South Florida), Charles Bruce (Mayo Clinic), Nancy Bryan (BioFlorida), Douglas Calder (Vycellix), Les Croland (Legal Counsel), Brian Dorn (Arthrex), Antonio J. Ferreira (Johnson & Johnson), Robert Finizio (TherapeuticsMD), Glenn Ladwig (Saliwanchik, Lloyd & Eisenschenk), Gregory Nelson (Fox Rothschild), Michael Paredes (Genentech), Steve Parkinson (Lakewood-Amedex), Juan Toro (Medtronic), and Juan Carlos Varela (Globant).
BioFlorida is the voice of Florida's life science industry, representing 6,700 establishments and research organizations in the biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and bioagriculture sectors that collectively employ 94,000 Floridians. BioFlorida's member driven initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products and technology that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state.