Robin L. Smith
Chairman of the Board
Robin L. Smith, M.D. joined our Board of Directors as its Chairman on August 20, 2015. Dr. Robin L. Smith is a global thought leader in the regenerative medicine industry, one of the fastest growing segments of modern-day medicine. She received her M.D. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business. During her tenure as CEO of the Caladrius Biosciences, Inc. (formerly NeoStem Inc.) family of companies (NASDAQ: CLBS), which she led from 2006 to 2015, she pioneered the company’s innovative business model, combining proprietary cell therapy development with a successful contract development and manufacturing organization. Dr. Smith raised over $200 million, completing six acquisitions and one divestiture while the company won an array of industry awards and business recognition including a #1 ranking in the Tri-State region (for two years in a row), and #11 nationally, on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, and Frost & Sullivan’s North American Cell Therapeutics Technology Innovation Leadership Award.
In 2008, Dr. Smith founded The Stem for Life Foundation (SFLF), a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to fostering global awareness of the potential for regenerative medicine to treat and cure a range of deadly diseases and debilitating medical conditions, as opposed to merely treating their symptoms. In 2010, in order to bring the charity’s mission to a global audience, Dr. Smith forged a historic, first-of-its-kind partnership with The Vatican. As part of this relationship, The Vatican and SFLF collaborate to create high-profile initiatives that help catalyze interest and development of cellular therapies that could ultimately reduce human suffering on a global scale. Dr. Smith has served as Chairman of the Board and President of the Stem for life Foundation since its inception and is expanding its mission further under the Cura brand to bring resources to fund cell therapy clinical trials and assist in accelerating enrollment and completion.
Dr. Smith maintains a regular column on these topics for The Huffington Post. She is a winner of the 2014 Brava! Award, which recognizes top women business leaders in the Greater New York area. She was also a finalist for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur of The Year award for the New York area, recognizing entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
In addition, Dr. Smith has extensive experience serving in executive and board level capacities for various medical enterprises and healthcare-based entities. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of MYnd Analytics, the Board of Directors of Rockwell Medical ( NASDAQ: RMTI), Signal Genetics (NASDAQ: SGNL), and Bioxcel Corporation. She also serves as President and Chairman of the Stem for life and Cura Foundation, Vice President and as a Directors of the Board of the STOQ Foundation in Rome and the Board of Overseers at the NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the NYU Langone Medical Center and is the past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases.
As a business leader, entrepreneur, doctor and philanthropist, Dr. Smith is uniquely positioned to lead the global healthcare industry into personalized medicine using cellular therapy and predictive analytics.
Geoffrey E. Harris
Geoffrey E. Harris joined our Board of Directors on July 30, 2015. Mr. Harris is a portfolio manager and managing partner at c7 Advisors, a money management and healthcare advisory firm focused on small-to-middle market healthcare companies. Prior to his position with c7 Advisors, Mr. Harris served as Managing Director and co-head of the Cantor Fitzgerald Healthcare Investment Banking Group from 2011 to 2014, and was a Healthcare Investment Banker with Gleacher & Company from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Harris has over thirty years combined experience as a healthcare analyst and portfolio manager for biotechnology, life sciences and healthcare services companies. Mr. Harris graduated from MIT's Sloan School of Management with an MS in Finance Management. Mr. Harris serves as a director on the boards of Cancer Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGIX) a molecular diagnostics company, American Care Source, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANCI) a healthcare services company, and two privately held companies, ConnectRN a technology enabled healthcare services company and PointRight, a healthcare data analytics company. Mr. Harris also serves on the Audit Committee of Cancer Genetics, Inc. Mr. Harris was selected to serve on our Board of Directors for his significant healthcare, finance and transactional experience. Furthermore, his financial, analytical and audit committee experience make him well suited to Chair our Audit Committee.
John Pappajohn joined our board of directors on August 26, 2009. Since 1969, Mr. Pappajohn has been the President and sole owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm, and President and sole owner of Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting firm, both located in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 1994 he has served as a director on the board of public company American CareSource Holdings, Inc., Dallas, TX. During the past five years he has served on the boards of public companies Conmed Healthcare Management, Inc., PharmAthene, Inc. and Spectrascience, Inc. Mr. Pappajohn also currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Cancer Genetics, Inc. Mr. Pappajohn was chosen to serve as a director of our company because of his unparalleled experience serving as a director of more than 40 companies and the substantial insight he has gained into the life sciences and healthcare industries by actively investing in the industries for more than 40 years, and by founding and supporting several public healthcare companies.
Michal Votruba joined our board on July 30, 2015. Since 2013, Mr. Votruba has been the Director of the Gradus/RSJ Life Sciences Fund, the largest dedicated fund in Central Europe with a portfolio of companies in Europe and the United States. Since 2010, he has served as a member of the board of PrimeCell Therapeutics a.s. as the Director of Global Business Development overseeing the expansion of the largest regenerative medicine company operating in Central Europe. In 2009, the Czech Academy of Sciences solicited Mr. Votruba's expertise for the first successful privatization project of the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Prague: the newly created protocol established a precedent for future privatization projects in the Czech Republic. Mr. Votruba graduated as a Clinical Psychiatrist from the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague in 1989. Shortly thereafter, he emigrated from Czechoslovakia and developed his professional career in Canada and the USA. Since 2005, Mr. Votruba combined his theoretical and clinical experience in the field of Competitive Intelligence serving the global pharmaceutical industry for eight years as an industry analyst advising senior leaders of companies including Amgen, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Allergan, EMD, Serono and Sanofi. Mr. Votruba brings valuable expertise to the Board as a clinical psychiatrist and broad experience in the international marketing of innovative medical technologies.
Peter Unanue has over 25 years of senior business experience, leveraging data and applied sciences to enhance business operations. Mr. Unanue currently serves as Executive Vice President of Goya Foods, Inc., one of the leading food companies in the U.S. with over a billion dollars in annual sales. While at Goya, Mr. Unanue oversaw the nationwide expansion of the company's facilities, managed distribution and logistics, consolidated redundant operations resulting in significant cost savings, and led the implementation of new software and technology to streamline and enhance operations and profitability. Mr. Unanue has held key operational and analytic roles with Merck Medco Health Solutions, Baxter Healthcare and Growmark, Inc. He currently serves on the boards of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Meadowlands Regional "2040 Foundation," and is a Council of Regents Member at Felician University and St Thomas Aquinas College. He was also an employer trustee for a local UFCW Health and Welfare Fund. He is the recipient of numerous awards and is a regular speaker on various topics including supply chain management. Mr. Unanue holds a Master of Science in operations research from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science from St. Thomas Aquinas College.