Brian C. Carney, Principal at Harbert Management Corporation (HMC)
Melissa Daniels, Managing Principal at Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Melissa held operational and management roles in private companies and served as staff on a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives.
Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
David Fitzgerald, Partner at Petra Capital Partners
David has broad experience in both private equity and mergers and acquisitions. David’s primary focus has been on the healthcare, information technology, and business services sectors. Prior to joining Petra, David was a General Partner at Richland Ventures, a venture capital fund with $340 million in assets under management. Earlier in his career, David led market development and acquisition activities for InformDx, a diagnostic laboratory company and THG Management Services, a managed healthcare company. David received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University.
David has board-level experience with many successful growth companies including SpecialtyCare (sold to American Securities), US Healthworks (sold to Dignity Health), Televox (sold to West Corp.), Appriss (sold to Bain Capital), Synhrgy (sold to Mercer), Nuvox Communications (sold to Windstream), Salveo Specialty Pharmacy (sold to Catamaran). He currently serves as a director on the boards of Urgent Team, New Century Hospice, Opportune IT Healthcare Solutions, Access Media 3, SUN Behavioral Health, Clinipace Worldwide, VirMedica, and Lineagen.
Kenneth B. Lee, Jr., Board Chairman & General Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners
Ken is a general partner for HVP III at Hatteras Venture Partners and is involved in deal sourcing, investment decisions, and implementing exit strategies. He is also a general partner for HVP II, where he has played an important role in deal sourcing, syndication and management recruitment, and evaluation. Ken is the former co-head of International Life Sciences for Ernst & Young, where he established a career of 29 years advising biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies throughout the world.
He got his start in biotech as part of the first audit team of Genentech in 1976. As co-founder and manager of the firm’s national life sciences practice from his location in the San Francisco Bay Area, he advised numerous high profile life science companies with their initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic financings. Among others, these included: Affymax, Affymetrix, Applied ImmuneSciences, Chiron, Circadian, Genentech, Heartport, Systemix, ALZA, and Collagen.
Ken is a nationally-recognized financial matters expert and serves on the boards of Maxygen, Inc. (MAXY), Pozen, Inc. (POZN) and Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISPH), where he is Chairman of the Board. Until April 2009, Ken was also on the board of CV Therapeutics, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Jeremy Mario, Principal, Private Equity Investments for Mario Family Partners
Gena Reed, Former CEO at Paragon Biomedical
Gena co-founded Paragon Biomedical with her late husband Nick Reed in 1989. Together with their management team they built Paragon Biomedical into a global CRO employing more than 240 employees, contractors, and consultants prior to its acquisition by Clinipace Worldwide. With the acquisition Gena joins the Clinipace Board.
Prior to starting Paragon, Gena worked in the pharmaceutical industry where she held positions in Pharmaceutical Sales Management, Consumer Products Sales Management, and Human Resources at Merrell National, Merrell Dow and Marion Merrell Dow. While at Merrell Dow, she was one of five individuals selected to start a new health promotion business. Throughout her career, Gena has been actively involved in professional and community-based groups and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Girls Incorporated, a national non-profit youth organization.
Gena received the 1998 Orange County Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Healthcare, and on October 14, 2005, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) honored her as Business Woman of the Year 2005. Gena holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.
Steve Skolsky, Principal of EXPIS Partners
Steve Skolsky is Principal of EXPIS Partners, a biopharmaceutical and life science consultancy. A recognized Healthcare and Life Science leader with over 30 years of industry experience, Steve has extensive general management and international Life Science sector experience with emphasis on product strategy, commercialization and product development.
He has held senior executive leadership positions in Pharma, Biotech and Health Care Services including CEO/President roles in both private and public sectors. Steve’s sector experience spans all facets of the biopharmaceutical and healthcare services industry including Research, Early Stage Discovery, Product Development, Commercialization, Sales/Marketing, Healthcare Operations and Clinical Services. From 2011- 2016, Steve held senior executive roles at Quintiles Transnational, most recently as Senior Vice President & Managing Director. He joined Quintiles in 2011 as Senior Vice President-Global Head, Clinical & Data Operations. From 2004 to 2011, Steve served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sequoia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and previously, Chief Executive Officer of Trimeris Inc. Steve joined Trimeris from GlaxoSmithKline where he had served for more than 20 years including senior leadership roles as Managing Director of GSK’s operations in Australia and New Zealand and Senior Vice President, Global Product Strategy and Clinical Development.
Steve serves on the Board of Directors at Basilea Pharmaceutica, a Swiss- based biotech company, on the Foundation Board of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler Business School and on the Board of Visitors of UNC- Chapel Hill. Steve holds a B.A. in Biology from UNC- Chapel Hill.
Jesse Watson, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Virgo
Jesse is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Virgo with lead responsibility for the day-to-day operations of Virgo and the Fund, the sourcing and investment process, portfolio construction, and investor relationships. Jesse co-founded Virgo with Capricorn Investment Group as the initial, anchor investor.
Prior to Virgo, Jesse was a senior investment professional at Eton Park Capital Management where he focused on credit, distressed, special situations, and asset-based investing. Jesse joined Eton Park through a merger with R6 Capital Management, where he was a co-founder, partner, and portfolio manager with responsibilities which included portfolio construction and hedging, management of the investment process, and firm strategy. Prior to joining R6 Capital, Jesse was a senior investment professional at Silver Point Capital. Jesse worked on the public trading desk and assisted in the build out of the firm’s middle-market, private investment business, where he worked with several Virgo team members. Prior to Silver Point, Jesse was an Associate with Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice (CD&R) and an Analyst with Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, the leveraged buyout principal investment division of Morgan Stanley.
Jesse earned his Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University with highest honors, graduating at the top of his class with Phi Beta Kappa distinction. Jesse also studied at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and was a guest of the Japanese Ministry of Finance in Tokyo for a seminar on fiscal and monetary policy where he published a conference paper on private equity in Japan. Jesse is a member of the Virgo Investment Group.
Jeff Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Clinipace Worldwide
Jeff co-founded Clinipace Worldwide in 2003 with the idea of building a clinical research company that would take a different approach to managing clinical trials. He wanted to build a company where technology served as the foundation of the research. At Clinipace Worldwide, technology is in our DNA with Jeff and his team successfully delivering a technology-amplified approach to conducting research resulting in strong year-over-year growth.
Prior to founding Clinipace Worldwide, Jeff held several executive-level positions within the life sciences and software industries. As CEO of NextAudio, an early pioneer in Internet-based services, he successfully merged the company with Koz to create Mediaspan, a company that expanded to more than 200 employees and earned more than $26 million in sales.
Additionally, Jeff was a co-founder of HealthMatics, one of the first electronic medical records (EMR) software providers, which was sold to A4 Health and later acquired by Allscripts. Prior to these technology endeavors Jeff spent 10 years at Ciba (now Novartis) and two years at Glaxo Wellcome. During this period, he pioneered some of the earliest direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns within the industry and shared marketing-based responsibility for one of the largest Phase IV studies ever conducted at the time (more than 10,000 patients).
Jeff also served on the board for CampbellAlliance (prior to its acquisition by InVentiv) and currently serves on the board at Cathedral Corporation, a leader in print and electronic data output services.
Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with minors in Business Management and Biology from the University of Tampa. In 2007, Jeff was named to the PharmaVoice 100, an annual listing of the 100 most influential people in the life sciences industry.