AZBio’s 2015 Leadership Team Engaged in Growing Arizona‘s Economy

Meet AZBio’s 2015 Leadership Team


Chandler Arizona –The Arizona Bioindustry Association elected its 2015 officers and welcomed five new leaders to the AZBio Board of Directors at its 2015 Annual Meeting on January 22nd.  The meeting was followed by a Leadership Forum where the board exchanged ideas with Arizona business leaders and gained insights from members of the Arizona Legislature.

“The Arizona Bioindustry Association is committed to the growth and leadership of Arizona’s bioscience, medical technology, and health care delivery sectors by working collaboratively with its member companies and leaders from across the state and across the country,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of AZBio and Chair of the AdvaMed State Medical Technology Alliance (SMTA) in Washington, DC. “It is truly an honor work with this team of highly dedicated life science and business leaders.  As our industry continues to grow, it is their efforts and their leadership which support both the job creation and the life changing innovations our industry delivers.”

AZBio’s Board of Directors elected the following officers to lead the organization in 2015:

  • Chairman: Russ Yelton is CEO, Pinnacle Transplant a rapidly expanding tissue bank and medical device company. Pinnacle Transplant Technologies is a multi-service tissue bank dedicated to ethical participation in the donate life process. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited. Russ also serves as Chair of the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program Review Committee and as a Board Member at the National Business Incubation Association.
  • Vice Chair: Don Isaacs is Vice President of Communications at SynCardia Systems, Inc.  in Tucson, Arizona.  SynCardia  is the privately-held owner and manufacturer of the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart for use as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure in which both ventricles can no longer pump enough blood for a person to survive.
  • Secretary: Greg Garcia, Esq.  is a Member of the Board of Directors of Invoy Technologies, LLC .  Garcia is an experienced attorney trained in the legal and business aspects of the biosciences and has substantial litigation experience. He has been a commissioner for the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, which supports translational medical research and the State of Arizona’s investment in the biosciences.

They are joined by Immediate Past Chair,  Glen Galster,  co-founder of  Algae BioMax who led the organization as chair from 2011-2014, Board  Treasurer,  Jeffrey Singleton, Senior Manager, EY  who has served in this capacity since 2013 , and  Joan Koerber-Walker who joined the AZBio  leadership team as President & CEO in 2011.

“AZBio’s new board members reflect the depth of expertise that is found in the life science leaders who call Arizona home,” added Yelton.

  • Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D. is the Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President of Research at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She has overall executive management responsibility for developing, coordinating and stimulating research and creative activity for Phoenix Children’s Research Institute. One of the focus areas for research for PCRI will be genomic medicine which is an area of Dr. Aziz’s expertise.  Aziz has held executive leadership positions in healthcare, biotechnology and was on the faculty at Harvard. She received her Ph.D. from M.I.T.
  • Joel E. Barthelemy, is the founder and CEO of GlobalMed, the industry leader in healthcare delivery systems.  He has spent a quarter century in the high-tech industry with more than a dozen years in the visual communications, imaging and connected healthcare.  He took what began as an Internet and industrial camera company in 2002 and refocused it on systems that allow physicians to see, examine and treat patients remotely. GlobalMed initially entered the connected health marketplace with the first integrated mobile telemedicine station and now offers a cloud-based solution that can make patient medical images and data available to authorized providers, wherever they are.    The GlobalMed mission is to transform healthcare globally by developing and integrating secure, efficient healthcare delivery systems that improve access and quality of care, while eliminating unnecessary costs.
  • Jennifer K. Barton, PhD, is the Associate Vice President for Research at The University of Arizona. Barton previously served as head of the department of biomedical imaging, as well as assistant director at the BIO5 Institute.
  • Jeff Cherry is a Business Development Manager at Medtronic. Cherry has over nine years of experience in Management Consulting and Business Development. He started his career at Accenture, consulting on strategy for a variety companies across the health insurance and energy sectors. During his tenure, Cherry was leveraged for his expertise in organizational strategy, business case analysis, and optimization of systems.
  • Kristen Swingle is the Vice President and Laboratory Manager for 2013 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year, Cord Blood Registry (CBR). Responsible for the storage of over 500,000 cord blood and cord tissue stem cell units, CBR us  the #1 recommended cord blood company by OB/GYNs and expecting parents. Swingle has been responsible for overseeing all operations at CBR’s laboratory in Tucson, Arizona, since 2007. Swingle has a strong background in experimental design, technical writing, and management.

“From discovery to development to delivery, AZBio members are driving life science innovation and the growth of our industry.  Our 2015 AZBio Board of Directors reflect the expertise and commitment to excellence that can be found across Arizona,” shared Yelton.

The 2015 AZBio Board of Directors are:

  • Chairman: Russ Yelton,  CEO, Pinnacle Transplant
  • Vice Chair: Don Isaacs, Vice President of Communications at SynCardia Systems, Inc..
  • Immediate Past Chair: Glen Galster,  co-founder of  Algae BioMax
  • Secretary: Greg Garcia, Esq. , Member of the Board of Directors, Invoy Technologies, LLC
  • Treasurer: Jeffrey Singleton, Senior Manager, EY
  • President & CEO: Joan Koerber-Walker

Board Members At Large:

  • Mara Aspinall, Co-Founder, DxInsights
  • Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President, Phoenix Children’s Hospital
  • Joel Barthelemy, Chief Executive Officer , GlobalMed
  • Jennifer K. Barton, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Research, The University of Arizona
  • Dirk Karsten Beth, Founder & CEO Hyalescent Ventures and Managing Director of US Operations for arivis
  • Scott Brooks, President and & CEO, Regenesis Biomedical
  • Jeff Cherry, Business Development Manager, Medtronic Medtronic Tempe Campus
  • Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director, The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
  • Joseph “Jay” Ennesser, Sr. Vice President, IBM (Retired) and VP Sales, Americas, N2N Global
  • Shelby Fletcher, Government Affairs Director, Pfizer, Inc.
  • Jim Harris, MBA, Vice President, Business Development, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
  • William “Bill” Grabe, Ph.D., Vice President of Research, Northern Arizona University
  • Barbara Lussenhop, Senior Manager, State Government Affairs, Genentech
  • Stacie Mallen, Vice President, Human Resources, Ulthera, Inc.
  • Renae Moomjian, Principal, Acacia Consultants
  • William F. Mulholland, II, Partner, Snell & Wilmer
  • John Muraski, Ph.D., President & CEO of Convoy Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Joan Rankin Shapiro, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
  • Kristen Swingle, Vice President and Laboratory Manager, Cord Blood Registry (CBR)
  • Kathleen “Kiki” Traylor, M.D., Senior Manager, State Government Affairs, Amgen
  • Jeff Vallerga, Biotechnology Program Director, VWR
  • Sandra Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Arizona Commerce Authority

Readers may access the most current AZBio Board List, including company links and board member bio sketches at


About the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio)

AZBio is a not-for-profit, 501 (c) 6 trade association promoting the growth of Arizona bioscience companies. The Association is comprised of Member organizations in business, research and education, economic development, government, and other professions involved in the biosciences.  As the unified voice of the bioscience industry in Arizona, AZBio strives to make Arizona a place where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed.  Learn more at and www.AZBio.TV

About Arizona’s Bioindustry

Arizona’s bioscience industry continues to experience rapid job growth, increasing employment by nearly 22 percent since 2007, a period which includes the deep national recession and overall declines for the state’s private sector. State bioscience firms employed 23,545 in nearly 1,300 establishments in 2012. When we include our hospital partners in the calculation, Arizona’s Bioscience related employment includes over 106,000 Arizonans.  State academic institutions accounted for $409 million in bioscience-related R&D expenditures in 2012 and NIH funding to these and other non-academic institutions totaled $182 million in 2013. Arizona inventors have had more than 1,400 patents issued in bioscience-related classes since 2009 and they span a variety of areas in medical devices and drugs and pharmaceuticals. To learn more, visit the Arizona Bioscience Fact Sheet at

Posted in AZBio News.