BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Co-founder, President, Chief Executive Officer
Board Member, TELA Bio
Antony Koblish is a medical device entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in healthcare. Prior to founding TELA Bio, Mr. Koblish was president and CEO of Orthovita, Inc., a publicly traded orthobiologics and biosurgery medical device company. During his tenure as CEO of Orthovita from 2002 to 2011, Mr. Koblish created significant company value, growing valuation from $30M to a $316M exit sale to Stryker Corporation in 2011. He is a skilled leader with a proven track record in driving sales growth, building a robust product pipeline, establishing world-class commercial operations, and instilling clinical and manufacturing quality. Mr. Koblish is also a co-founder and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Onkos Surgical, a surgical oncology company, and is an operating partner with 1315 Capital, a private investment firm that provides expansion and growth capital to commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical, medical technology, and healthcare services companies. Mr. Koblish earned a Master of Science in Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Maarten Persenaire, MD
Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer
Maarten Persenaire is a medical professional with 35 years of experience. Prior to founding TELA Bio, Dr. Persenaire was Chief Medical Officer at Orthovita, Inc. from 1999 to 2011. At Orthovita, Dr. Persenaire designed, managed, analyzed and filed an FDA-IDE study in vertebral fractures; managed post-market studies and data collection efforts in the areas of spine, orthopedics and trauma; and lectured on subjects such as bone biology and spinal fusions. Fluent in four languages, Dr. Persenaire received his medical degree at Groningen University in The Netherlands.
Skott Greenhalgh, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Skott Greenhalgh has 20 years of industrial experience, 18 years in the development and manufacture of medical devices, and 2 years of teaching and research at North Carolina State University and Philadelphia University. Dr. Greenhalgh has a strong understanding of the medical device clinical and regulatory pathways, and he has lead teams of highly skilled research and development personnel focused on cardiovascular, general surgical, and orthopedic medical device implants. Dr. Greenhalgh has developed multiple hybrid biologic implant devices, with numerous patents issued. He has directed R&D activities for multiple strategic partnerships and co-development programs, including minimally invasive cardiovascular, spinal, surgical, and neurologic implants with multiple start-ups and Fortune 500 medical device companies, and has raised more than $19M in outside capital to fund these efforts. He has licensed 14 medical implant technologies, 10 of which he was initial inventor/creator, and sold one company. Dr. Greenhalgh received his PhD in Fiber and Polymer Science and his Master's degree in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State University. His Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering is from Drexel University.
Vice President, Sales
Christopher Smith possesses over 25 years of sales and executive sales management experience within the medical device and service industries. In January 2012, Mr. Smith co-founded Connect Medical, LLC, a national medical distribution channel focused on assisting medical companies achieve their top-line revenue goals by providing clients immediate access to a nationwide network of tenured medical sales professionals. Prior to Connect Medical, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Orthovita, Inc., where he spent nearly 7 years building the company's domestic sales team while increasing revenues to more than $100M per year. In addition, Mr. Smith was part of the Senior Management team that participated in Stryker Corporation's $316M acquisition of Orthovita in 2011. Previously, Mr. Smith served as Group Director at Medtronic Neurologic Technologies, where he had sales management responsibility for the eastern third of the United States.
Vice President, Finance
Frank Conway is a finance executive with more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences and medical device fields. Mr. Conway has been a Controller, VP of Finance, and Chief Financial Officer in entrepreneurial environments, both public and private, with extremely driven, smart management teams. Before joining TELA Bio, Mr. Conway was Corporate Controller at Orthovita, Inc. from 2009 to 2012. He was Manager, Financial Reporting and Analysis at Centocor, one of the first generation of publicly held biotechnology companies, and Chief Financial Officer at Principia, a fusion-protein therapeutics company acquired by Human Genome Sciences for 22X return to investors. Mr. Conway graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting.
Vice President, Marketing
Stuart Henderson joined TELA Bio in April 2013, assuming commercial and business development responsibilities. Mr. Henderson was previously at Quaker Partners, a healthcare venture capital fund in Philadelphia, where he assisted both in helping to identify a novel technology around which TELA Bio was founded and in securing the Series A financing before transitioning to TELA Bio full time. While at Quaker, Mr. Henderson focused on conducting due diligence in the medical device and biotech sectors and assisting portfolio company teams with projects around market opportunity assessment, fundraising, and strategic planning. In his prior role as a Consultant at ZS Associates, he focused on engagements across sales force effectiveness, market research and segmentation, forecasting, and go-to-market strategy. Mr. Henderson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Cornell University.
Vice President, Commercial Development
Paul Talmo possesses over 20 years of experience commercializing technologies within the medical device and service industries including medical devices, implantable materials as well as imaging and diagnostic technologies and services. Mr. Talmo spent 16 years at LifeCell Corporation and was an impetus behind the transformation of a burn focused company into a soft tissue reconstruction company. Mr. Talmo was responsible for first introducing biologic materials to the urogynecology market, for urinary incontinence and pelvic floor reconstruction, as well as the general surgery market, for hernia repair. Mr. Talmo also worked closely with surgeons to develop the various techniques and protocols for implant-based reconstruction with the first biologic material used in breast reconstruction, eventually commercializing the material and new techniques in the early 2000’s. Mr. Talmo applies his years of clinical and commercial experience with innovative and strategic thinking to create unique disruptive business models.
Vice President, Strategic Customer Relations
Greg Firestone possesses more than 25 years of experience in the IDN, health systems, and GPO market segments. Prior to joining TELA Bio, Mr. Firestone served as vice president of strategic customer relations at ROi, where he led a team of co-workers responsible for provider customer recruitment and support, focusing on supply chain services, operational infrastructure, and financial health of providers’ supply chains. Mr. Firestone also served as regional vice president of MedSpeed, founder and CEO of Dermal Life, LLC, co-founder and president of Mossberg Labs, and owner and CEO of NCI. Mr. Firestone founded the IDN Summit & Expo, which connects IDN and GPO executives, and authored "Swimming with the Supertankers," a book written to assist supplier sales and marketing professionals.
Vice President, Operations
Michael Leonard joined TELA Bio in April 2018 following more than 25 years in operations and quality leadership roles in the medical device industry. Over his career Mr. Leonard has executed strategies to build best-in-class manufacturing organizations from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. From 2011-2018 Mr. Leonard served as Vice President of Operations at Stryker, where he was responsible for global quality and operations for Stryker’s spine and biologics portfolio. During his time with Stryker, Mr. Leonard led several M&A projects, responsible for due diligence, integrations, technology transfers and consolidations. Prior to joining Stryker, Mr. Leonard served as Vice President of Operations and Quality for Orthovita, an orthobiologics and biosurgery manufacturer, where he was a member of the senior leadership team who built the company from start-up to $100 million in sales. Previously, Mr. Leonard held various leadership roles in capital medical equipment manufacturing.
Board Member, TELA Bio
Adele Oliva has more than 25 years of finance and healthcare experience, including 19 years in private equity. Throughout her investing career, she has focused on commercial stage specialty pharmaceutical, medical technology, and healthcare service investments. Ms. Oliva co-founded 1315 Capital, a firm focused on healthcare growth investing, in 2014. She joined Quaker Partners in 2007 to advance their growth and expansion stage investing practice. Prior to Quaker, she was Co-Head of US Healthcare at Apax Partners, a global private equity firm. Forbes has recognized Ms. Oliva on its Midas List of top 100 technology investors worldwide, top 10 life science investors, and top women in venture capital. Before entering private equity as a Kauffman Fellow in 1997, Ms. Oliva built a strong foundation in finance and healthcare at CoreStates in commercial banking and Baxter Healthcare in marketing and business development. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Joseph's University and an MBA from Cornell University, where she was awarded the Albert Fried Fellowship.
Board Member, TELA Bio
Ashley Friedman has more than 15 years of life science investing and finance experience. Throughout his career, Mr. Friedman has focused on the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. He is currently a Managing Director at Signet Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm focused on growth stage healthcare investments. Prior to joining Signet Healthcare Partners in 2014, Mr. Friedman spent more than 10 years (2003-2013) working for Investor Growth Capital, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare investments. While at Investor Growth Capital, Mr. Friedman was involved with several successful biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and medical device investments. He began his career as a healthcare investment banker at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Friedman holds a Bachelor of Science from Yale University in both Economics and Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology (MCDB), with a concentration in biotechnology.
Board Member, TELA Bio
Kevin Rakin is a co-founder of HighCape Partners and brings more than 25 years of experience as an executive in the life sciences industry. He most recently served as President of Shire Regenerative Medicine. Prior to joining Shire, Mr. Rakin was the Chairman and CEO of Advanced BioHealing from 2007 until its acquisition by Shire in 2011. Before that, he served as an executive-in-residence at Canaan Partners. Previously, he cofounded and was President and CEO of Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly held pharmacogenomics company, until its merger with Clinical Data, Inc. in 2005. In addition to TELA Bio, he currently serves as a board member of Cheetah Medical, Inc. (Chairman), Histogenics Corp., Collagen Matrix, Inc., and CURE, Connecticut's bioscience cluster, as well as the State of Connecticut's Regenerative Medicine Advisory Committee. Mr. Rakin received his MBA from Columbia University and his Bachelor of Commerce and BCom (Honours) degrees from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Chairman and Board Member, TELA Bio
Paul Touhey is the Executive Chairman of Invisible Sentinel Inc., a food pathogen diagnostics company located in Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Touhey is the former President/CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc. (FDI), a global premier cancer diagnostics company. He has more than 25 years of industry experience. Mr. Touhey joined FDI in 1998 when Fujirebio acquired the Diagnostics Division of Centocor Inc. He joined Centocor in 1985 where he held a variety of positions, including Senior Vice President of Operations. Mr. Touhey is the former Chairman and current Emeritus member of the Board of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), a national trade association representing the entrepreneurial sector of the medical device industry in the United States. He served on the Board of Directors of Orthovita, Inc., a publicly traded orthobiologics company acquired by Stryker in 2011, and Cernostics, Inc., a diagnostics company focused on GI disorders. Mr. Touhey received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Temple University.
Board Member, TELA Bio
Ron Ellis brings over 20 years of healthcare experience in medicine, clinical research, equity research and institutional investing. Dr. Ellis is currently Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Pacira Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Ellis was a Managing Director at Leerink Partners, a boutique healthcare investment bank, advising institutional investors on healthcare trends, strategy, and capital markets across a broad array of investment instruments, including equities, derivatives and convertibles. Before that, Dr. Ellis was the Healthcare Trading Specialist at Citigroup Global Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities. He was a Biotechnology Analyst in Equity Research at Prudential and Leerink Swann. Dr. Ellis began his Wall Street career as an Associate on the specialty pharmaceuticals equity research team at ING Barings, which was subsequently acquired by ABN AMRO. Dr. Ellis did his post-doctoral work in pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes, as a Wyeth-Ayerst fellow (later acquired by Pfizer). He earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and an MBA with a concentration in Medical Management from St. Joseph’s University, where he also pursued post-MBA studies in Pharmaceutical Marketing.
Board Member, TELA Bio
Vince Burgess is a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. Mr. Burgess has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare operations, business development, and venture capital. Mr. Burgess was a crucial member of the founding executive team at Volcano Corporation, where he served as President of Advanced Imaging Systems. He also led marketing and business development at Volcano from 2002 to 2010 and was a key architect of the company's product, marketing, and mergers and acquisitions strategies. During his tenure, Volcano grew from a start-up to a global company with more than 1,000 employees and a market cap of more than $1.2 billion. Mr. Burgess previously served as a partner of Sorrento Ventures and has operational and board experience in the surgical tool, ophthalmology, and healthcare IT fields. He earned his MBA from University of California, Los Angeles and his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.