CEO Chats


The CEO Chats welcome leaders from Georgia-based companies to hear how these prominent entrepreneurs build companies, inspire the team, envision success and unwind -- or not -- from a long day at work.

10:00 AM Concurrent Session:  Evolving from a Start-Up Biotech to an International Commercial Success

Raymond F. Schinazi, Ph.D.

Chairman, Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.

Raymond F. Schinazi, Ph.D. is the Frances Winship Walters Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology and Director, HIV Cure Scientific Working Group at Emory University. Dr. Schinazi's Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology at Emory develops approaches to treat infections caused by human immunodeficiency viruses, herpesviruses, HBV, HCV, Zika, West Nile, Chikungunya and Dengue virus. These treatments include antiviral agents as well as synthetic, biochemical, pharmacological, and molecular genetic approaches, including molecular modeling and gene therapy.  Dr. Schinazi's company, RFS Pharma LLC., merged with Cocrystal Discovery, Inc. in 2014 to form Cocrystal Pharma, Inc.  Dr. Schinazi has retired from the Atlanta Department of Veterans Affairs after 35 years of service serving most recently as Senior Research Career Scientist. In addition, Dr. Schinazi currently serves as a Governing Trustee for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), Director of Brace Pharmaceuticals, Inc., The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), and the Global Virus Network (GVN). He is also currently serving as a non-executive Director of Gliknik Inc. and reViral Ltd.

Dan Myers 

Alimera Sciences CEO and GaBio Board Member

Dan Myers is one of the co-founders of Alimera Sciences and has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a director since the founding of our Company in 2003. Before founding the Company, Mr. Myers was an initial employee of Novartis Ophthalmics (formerly CIBA Vision Ophthalmics) and served as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing from 1991 to 1997 and as President from 1997 to 2003. Mr. Myers holds a B.S. in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Myers has over 33 years of ophthalmic pharmaceutical experience, including over 19 years in the role of president or chief executive officer. In addition, Mr. Myers served on the board of directors of Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Myers currently serves on a number of industry boards.

11:15 AM Concurrent Session: Building Biotech: Running a Growth Company in Georgia

Greg Duncan 

President and CEO, Celtaxsys, Inc

Greg has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Celtaxsys, Inc. since January 2014.  Celtaxsys is a privately held biotech company focused on advancing innate immune modulation therapies to treat rare, orphan designated diseases. Celtaxsys’ lead candidate, acebilustat, is an anti-inflammatory medicine being tested in a phase 2 lung function preservation trial in CF patients. In his current role, Greg is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the company, scaling the capital required to fund priority research programs and leading business development and partnership activities to complement the Celtaxsys focus on orphan disease medicines. Prior to joining Celtaxsys, Greg was Executive Vice President and President of North American Operations for Brussels based specialty pharmaco UCB. He was responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction to all aspects of the organization's operations in North America. Prior to his North American appointment, he was the President of European and Emerging Market Operations at UCB, responsible for the UCB business in forty countries around the globe. Before joining UCB, Greg spent 17 years with Pfizer where he held several U.S. and international executive appointments, including SVP of Marketing and President of Pfizer’s Latin America Operations. His brand and general management teams had accountability for the launches of many "blockbuster" pharmaceutical brands including Lipitor, Zoloft, Viagra, Celebrex, Aricept, Lyrica, Cimzia, Zithromax (ZPack), Diflucan, Sutent and Vimpat.


Greg presently serves as an independent board director for Alliance Health and GA Bio.  Previous director appointments included serving as a Board Director of the American Psychiatric Foundation, Biotie Therapeutics, and Bio International Organization (BIO). Greg holds a master's degree in business administration from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the State University of New York in Albany, NY. He and his wife Jennifer are the proud parents of three wonderful children.

Daniel H. White 

President and CEO, Clearside Biomedical, Inc.

Daniel White is the President and CEO and founder of Clearside Biomedical, a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class drug therapies to treat blinding diseases of the eye.  Clearside Biomedical, Inc. became a publically traded company in June of 2016 (NASDAQ: CLSD) raising $57 million in proceeds.  Since the inception of Clearside in August of 2011, Clearside has completed proceeds raised of $105 million through 5 financings to perform drug development in 3 active programs, and build a company of 23 employees based in Alpharetta, GA.


Prior to joining Clearside Biomedical, Mr White served in Global Corporate Development as head of transactions for GSK’s dermatology division of Stiefel. Daniel White has participated in private equity raises and sales of assets for over $275 million and has played an integral role in the negotiation of 12 financings and over 30 acquisitions and divestitures. Product successes include 8 launched products and one late Phase 3 program associated with assets identified, licensed or acquired. He was a founding member and instrumental in the creation of Alimera Sciences, Inc. (ALIM) in 2003, now a publically traded, Atlanta-based specialty pharmaceutical company developing drugs for prescription ophthalmology indications treating retinal disease, where he served as Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development. He has previously held management positions in global corporate development with the ophthalmology subsidiary of Novartis, CIBA Vision, and aaiPharma, and has developed numerous contacts in the health sciences industry.


Mr White holds an MBA from Wake Forest with a focus in Finance, and later received post graduate work in finance at Harvard Business School in the Novartis HBS Finance program.  As an undergraduate, Mr. White was awarded one of the first of two inaugural Bachelor of Science degrees in Molecular Biology from Auburn University and went on to perform graduate work in pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Daniel is married to Kathy with three children, Harrison (20), Philip (17), and Andrew (13) and they have lived in the northern suburbs of Atlanta for the past 16 years.


2:30 PM Concurrent Session: Medical Device Success Stories: Overcoming Barriers in a Changing Business Climate

Gregory J. Vaughn, M.D.

CEO, Bauerfeind USA

Gregory J. Vaughn, M.D. currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Bauerfeind USA, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Bauerfeind AG. Bauerfeind is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium quality orthopedic braces, athletic supports and compression garments, which it provides to healthcare professionals, professional and amateur athletes, and consumers.

Prior to joining Bauerfeind, Greg held a variety of management positions in sales, marketing and business development with Medtronic, Inc. Greg also held management roles at NDCHealth Corporation where he led the company’s flagship pharmacy services business unit and at McKinsey & Company where he rapidly advanced to manager and led strategic, operational and organizational engagements for healthcare industry clients. While at McKinsey, he co-led the Atlanta office business analyst and minority associate recruiting program. Before becoming a business executive, Greg earned board certification in ophthalmology and founded his own practice in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Greg has undertaken various civic leadership roles including the Emory University Board of Trustees, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Board, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce BioSciences Leadership Council Co-Chairperson, Emory University Alumni Association Board President, the Emory Senior Society, various student advisory roles, and The Vestry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Greg graduated with a M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia and fellowship at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in History from Emory University. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

J. Patrick Mackin, Chairman

President and CEO, CryoLife, Inc.

Mr. Pat Mackin is a recognized and highly respected professional with 25 years of medical device industry experience. Mr. Mackin is President and CEO of CryoLife, Inc., a leading medical device and tissue processing company focused on cardiac and vascular surgery. He was appointed President and CEO in September 2014 and Chairman of the Board in April 2015. 

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mackin served as President of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management from 2007 to 2014, Medtronic’s largest operating division. In that role, he was responsible for the overall strategic direction of the $5 billion CRDM business and its day to day operations. Previously, he held several senior level positions including Vice President, Vascular, Western Europe from 2004 to 2007, where he successfully managed the international launch of the companies first drug eluting stent - Endeavor and Vice President & General Manager, Endovascular Business Unit from 2002 to 2004. 

Prior to joining Medtronic in 2002, Mr. Mackin worked for six years at Genzyme, Inc. serving as its Senior Vice President & General Manager for the Cardiovascular Surgery Business Unit and, earlier, as Director of Sales, Surgical Products division. Previously, he worked in various sales and marketing management roles at Deknatel/Snowden-Pencer from 1991 – 1996. Mr. Mackin also served in the United States Army as an Officer from 1988 to 1991. 

Mr. Mackin received a Master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

Timothy J. Patrick

President and CEO, Cartiva

Tim Patrick has over 30 years of successful leadership experience in the medical device industry, including managing innovative medical devices from concept through clinical trials, FDA approval, and successful commercialization. He is President and CEO of Cartiva, Inc., located in Alpharetta, GA. Cartiva develops and markets innovative products for the treatment of cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. Cartiva received Premarket Approval from the FDA on July 1, 2016 for its Cartiva Synthetic Cartilage Implant (SCI) for arthritis of the big toe joint.  The approval allows Cartiva to market the first synthetic cartilage device approved by the FDA in the US, and is supported by Level 1 clinical evidence from the largest randomized study ever conducted for this condition. Cartiva SCI is a biocompatible, biomedical polymer implant designed to offer an alternative to fusion by replacing damaged cartilage with a compressible, low-friction and durable bearing surface, thereby providing not only pain relief but also improved function and motion.


Tim was formerly President, CEO and co-founder of Proxima Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company that developed and marketed innovative local radiation delivery systems for the treatment of solid cancerous tumors. Proxima was acquired by Cytyc Corporation in March 2005 for approximately $187 million.


Prior to co-founding Proxima Therapeutics in 1996, Mr. Patrick was President of Gesco International, the leading manufacturer of peripherally inserted central venous catheters. Gesco was acquired by C.R. Bard in 1995. Before serving as President of Gesco International, he ran two high growth divisions for McGaw Inc.  He also held a number of sales and sales management positions at American Hospital Supply Corporation.


Tim has served on the Board of Directors of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Board of the Georgia Tech Coulter Grant Committee and on the Board of Georgia Bio. Tim is an inventor on several patents related to an automated injection system and others related to localized radiation delivery systems. He earned his BA in Zoology from Miami University in Ohio.

John O’Shaughnessy, MBA

Founder & CEO, Matrix Surgical USA

John O'Shaughnessy founded Matrix Surgical USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Matrix Surgical Holdings, LLC, in 2010 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Matrix Surgical USA is a pioneer in the design, development, manufacturing and commercialization of innovative biomaterials and surgical devices used in Craniomaxillofacial and Ophthalmic surgery. The Company's flagship product, OMNIPORE Surgical Implants, is cleared to market by the US FDA, carries the CE Mark, and is sold in more than 80 countries around the world.

Before founding Matrix Surgical USA, Mr. O'Shaughnessy held numerous senior level management positions with Stryker (NYSE: SYK) and Porex Surgical, Inc (division of WebMD NASDAQ: WBMD) with General Management (P&L), Sales, Marketing & Business Development responsibilities. While with Porex Surgical, Inc., he created, staffed and lead two foreign subsidiaries in Munich, Germany and Shanghai, China which drove the firm's international revenue growth over 700% in a 12 year period. In 2001, Porex Surgical, Inc. received the President's E-Award from President George W. Bush in recognition of the firm’s outstanding export revenue growth from 1998 to 2001.

Mr. O'Shaughnessy is a published author, a frequent contributor to the business press, and highly sought-after speaker/panelist on matters of globalization, entrepreneurship, startups, and the global medical technology market. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the State University of New York at Potsdam and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. In 2006 he was the recipient of the Global Business Alumni Award from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business.

Specialties: Globalization strategy, emerging markets and risk management, global branding, international channel management, strategic alliances, merger & acquisitions, talent recruitment and development, contract negotiations, regulatory environments.

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