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Senior Management

garippa-smallMichael Garippa
CEO and President

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Douglas NutterDouglas Nutter
Chief Operating Officer



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Richard G. SmithMarvin J. Slepian, M.D.
Co-Founder, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, Chairman of the Science Advisory Board
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Richard G. SmithRichard G. Smith,
MSEE, CCE

Co-Founder,
Chief Technical Officer

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Kirk CollamerKirk Collamer
Chief Financial Officer


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Dena RichterDena L. Richter
VP, Administration



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Mary Pat SloanMary Pat Sloan
VP, Global Certification and Customer Support


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Don IsaacsDonald G. Isaacs
VP, Communications



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Senior Management Biographies

Michael Garippa
Michael Garippa

CEO and President

Michael Garippa is the former CEO and President of TandemHeart. He was recruited by TandemHeart in 2002 as a turnaround expert and stayed on as CEO and President. He took TandemHeart from an R&D firm that had lost an aggregate of $50 million and had no commercial sales to a successful company with over $6 million in net income in the 24 months prior to joining SynCardia.

Prior to joining TandemHeart, Mr. Garippa served as CEO and President of Gateway Home Care. In addition, Mr. Garippa was Founder and CEO of Millennium HomeCare and The Prompt Care Companies. His background also includes being National Sales Manager at Omni Medical and Senior Analyst with the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. Mr. Garippa holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers University and a master's degree from New York University.

Douglas Nutter Biography
Douglas Nutter

Chief Operating Officer

Douglas Nutter joined SynCardia in March 2012. He has 20+ years of experience in materials, operations and management with GE Plastics. As President of Exatec, LLC, he led the formation, negotiation and start-up of a joint venture between GE and Bayer for lightweight, life-saving polycarbonate automotive windows. Mr. Nutter also has 10 years of experience in optics-based medical devices as Vice President of Business Development at Optical Research Associates, and General Manager of Electro-Optics at Zygo Corporation. He received an S.B. in Physics from MIT and began his career as a materials physicist for Hercules.

Marvin Slepian Biography
Marvin J. Slepian, M.D.

Co-Founder, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer

Marvin J. Slepian, M.D. is Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Director of Interventional Cardiology and Director of the Tissue Engineering Lab at the University of Arizona. Dr. Slepian completed his Internal Medicine training at NYU-Bellevue in New York where he was a Resident and Chief Resident in Medicine. He completed his Cardiology training at Johns Hopkins where he was a Clinical and Research Fellow. He completed a second fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Slepian has conducted extensive research, development and pre-clinical investigation of novel cardiovascular therapeutic methods and devices, and is the holder of more than 25 issued and 41 filed patents. He is an expert in polymeric biomaterials and local drug delivery.

Dr. Slepian has founded numerous medical device companies, including Focal (NASDAQ-traded, acquired by Genzyme), Endotex, Angiotrax and Hansen Medical, and has served as acting CEO and Board Member of several medical device startups. He earned his A.B. in Biochemical Sciences and Science in Human Affairs from Princeton University, and his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He has received additional post-doctoral training at MIT and Washington University.

Richard Smith Biography
Richard G. Smith, MSEE, CCE

Co-Founder, Chief Technical Officer

Richard G. Smith has been involved in the biomedical engineering field for 31 years, including 23 years exclusively with circulatory support devices. He directs the Artificial Heart Program at University Medical Center in Tucson, the most experienced artificial heart center in the world. Mr. Smith has overseen more than 18,000 patient days (50 years) with 20 different support systems in more than 300 patients. He has been a principal scientist at SynCardia from its early stages, writing the FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), conducting the clinical study and training centers around the world. He is co-author of more than 120 publications in the medical device field and has consulted for many medical device companies. Mr. Smith holds a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a certified clinical engineer.

Kirk Collamer
Kirk Collamer

Chief Financial Officer

Kirk Collamer brings diverse U.S. and international experience to SynCardia, with over 30 years in finance, accounting, information systems, planning and audit with Fortune 500, growth and startup companies in biotechnology, networked, service, consumer products and manufacturing companies at the division, group, corporate, and Board of Director levels. He led 3 IPO's and numerous public and private financings, raising over $1B in equity and debt capital. Kirk started his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., served in senior level management, finance and accounting positions at Brown-Forman, Ameritech, Muzak, Coinstar, and most recently as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. Kirk received a B.A. in Accounting from Michigan State University and his MBA from Vanderbilt University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Dena Richter Biography
Dena L. Richter

VP, Administration

Dena L. Richter graduated from Minnesota State University – Moorhead, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.S. degree in Accounting and received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Ms. Richter joined SynCardia in 2004. She has more than 12 years of senior management experience in banking, human resources, information systems and corporate accounting functions in various industries including construction, automotive and FDA-regulated food processing.

Mary Pat Sloan Biography
Mary Pat Sloan

VP, Global Certification and Customer Support

Mary Pat Sloan was with AlphaGraphics Printshops of the Future for 25 years. She started the domestic and international franchise programs including setting up and conducting training classes, as well as developing the curriculum and authoring the operating manuals. She was Managing Director of the AlphaGraphics Master Licensee for the former Soviet Union and lived in Russia for five years and Cyprus for two years.

She has an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird, 1977. She also has a B.S. degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona, 1976. Ms. Sloan was most recently with Invacare Corporation, a home medical device company in Elyria, OH, that makes custom wheelchairs and portable oxygen. She has been with SynCardia since December 2005.

Donald Isaacs Biography
Donald G. Isaacs

VP, Communications

Donald G. Isaacs started with SynCardia in January 2006. Mr. Isaacs has more than 25 years of hands-on experience directing the marketing for many fast-growth, successful companies including: AlphaGraphics, which grew from seven to more than 300 franchises; Brake Masters, which grew from 41 to more than 83 stores; and Arizona Physicians Network, which grew from 20 to more than 100 OB/GYN physicians. Mr. Isaacs holds a B.A. degree in Marketing/Communications from the University of Arizona and was one of two non-academic instructors for the International Franchise Association's certification program.

 

 

NEXT ›› Board of Directors

*The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart was formerly known as the
SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart.

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