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Bold Visions Inspire Giving

A rendering of the health center at FAU

A rendering of the health center at FAU

It’s been a good two weeks for Boca Raton’s two universities, thanks to the generosity and vision of Christine Lynn.

Lynn University announced at its annual State of the University address recently that it will build the Christine E. Lynn University Center, a project that begins the final phase of the school’s Campus Master Plan.

 The new building is made possible by a $15 million gift, the largest in university history, from Board of Trustees Chair Christine E. Lynn. Mrs. Lynn’s commitment is a challenge grant that establishes the foundation for others to participate in this momentous project.

This week, Ms. Lynn gave Florida Atlantic University $5 million gift to help construct a building on its Boca Raton campus.

 The Christine E. Lynn Sports Medicine Center will be a treatment center for FAU student athletes within the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence. It’ll include rehabilitation facilities, hydrotherapy treatments and medical exam rooms.

Both Lynn and FAU are growing in stature, importance and reputation thanks in large part to the dynamic leadership provided by its presidents—John Kelly at FAU and Kevin Ross at Lynn. That kind of dynamic leadership spurs excitement and giving. Leadership matters. You can’t succeed without it.

 “The Christine E. Lynn University Center will stand at the heart of our campus and enhance the experience of students, employees and every person who visits,” says President Ross. “We are grateful for Mrs. Lynn’s unparalleled generosity and the role she continues to play in our university’s future.”

The university center’s design is the culmination of years of preparation, beginning with the development of the Lynn 2020 strategic plan in 2005, and the Campus Master Plan, developed with design firm Gensler and approved by the board of trustees in 2009.

 “Our approach is based on Lynn’s core values as a vibrant, energetic campus,” says Gensler Senior Associate Cliff Bollmann. “The goal is to drive energy on campus and create a space where students want to be.”

 The building will encompass student essentials including Lynn’s award-winning 24-hour dining, Hannifan Center for Career Connections, the Center for Learning Abroad, campus store, mailroom, coffee shop, student affairs offices, collaboration spaces and more. Its design includes a large “living room” for informal gatherings and presentations, with expansive glass windows that connect students outdoors with activity occurring inside.

The university center, collectively with future residential spaces including the recently announced Mary and Harold Perper Residence Hall, will bring together academics, housing and the overall student experience to drive engagement and create a gathering place for future generations. The project’s crowning element will be a green space envisioned as a park dedicated to Mrs. Lynn.

The university center is expected to be completed in 2018 and is only one part of Lynn’s bold vision which includes an award winning curriculum and relationships with key partners including that little company in Cupertino– Apple.

At FAU, keep a close watch on the Tech Runway which will nurture start-up companies via funding, mentoring and activities.

The Runway itself is a start-up and I’ve been proud to serve on its advisory board.

Next week, I along with local businessman Connor Lynch and Stacey Halberg of Northern Trust will host a special dinner in Delray to introduce the concept to key leaders. President Kelly and others will be there to share the vision.

Exciting times…indeed. Our local universities are leading the way.

 

 

 

Thanks Joe

Mr. Debonair

Mr. Debonair

Editor’s Note: Joe Gillie officially retired this week as President and CEO of Old School Square. A celebration of his legacy will be held Nov. 7 at Old School Square. To get tickets visit http://delraycenterforthearts.org/

 

I remember the first time I met Joe Gillie.

It was 25 years ago and he was a board member at Old School Square, which at the time was a fledgling experiment in a town trying desperately to change its narrative.

It was 1990 and Delray Beach was a very different place. In March, the city held a landmark election and elected a slate of candidates who promised to reform government, bring stability to City Hall and implement what was being called a “Decade of Excellence.”

The 80s had been a rough decade for Delray, also known as “Dullray” back then. The city had serious crime issues, the downtown had major vacancies and the crack cocaine epidemic had engulfed entire neighborhoods. But there were signs of hope all around. Visions 2000 brought people together, there were plans to reform schools, a new CRA was doing good things, historic districts were being established and the Decade of Excellence Bond passed with huge voter support, promising over $20 million in needed improvements and beautification.

A year later a visionary police chief was hired and a new chamber president too. It was a time of hope and promise and Old School Square was at the forefront of civic endeavors charged with being a catalyst for downtown revitalization.

Two years after I met Joe, he became President of Old School Square. By 1993, he was in charge of our first bid for an All America City Award and when I say he was in charge, he was in charge.

Joe managed every detail using his theatre background to craft a presentation that literally blew the judges in Tampa away. I recently found archival footage of that event and it was remarkable to see our diversity and spirit in action—and it was remarkable to see Joe’s leadership at its most impactful.

He incorporated young and old, black and white, east and west into a team. In baseball they call it clubhouse chemistry; that intangible that makes champions. Joe was the architect of that chemistry and the vehicle was the All America City Competition.

When you view the footage from that event, you see a young Mayor Tom Lynch, civic giants like C. Spencer Pompey, dedicated city staff like Lula Butler and Dorothy Ellington, residents like John Tallentire and Sandra Almy and you just marvel at the energy, spirit, humor and camaraderie. There was trust among neighbors, people loved their city and trusted their local government enough to go millions of dollars in debt in order to achieve a vision.

Old School Square itself was a big risk, and you can see in founder Frances Bourque’s eyes her trust and belief in a young Joe Gillie to pull off a vision that if successful would mark a huge turning point in the city’s rich history.

In hindsight, winning that first All America City Award was the propellant we needed as a community to tell the world that things in Delray were changing and we were serious about lifting up all parts of our community.

Joe Gillie was at the forefront of those efforts. He, along with many many others, helped to win two All America City Awards and we became the first city in Florida to do so.

But Joe was our captain. In Joe, we trusted. He kept this city focused, laughing and moving forward through good times and challenging times.

Joe was a different kind of leader. He wasn’t walled off in some office, he could be found in the trenches, usually with a broom in those early days, but always with a larger than life personality that greeted patrons, promoted shows, programs and classes and always talked up the larger goal which was building community through culture.

We hear, often, how people are replaceable. How no one person is larger than the mission or more important than the enterprise. Part of that old saw is true, except that people are not replaceable.

There will be people who serve as President of what is now called the Delray Center for the Arts and hopefully they will do a great job in the role. But there will never be another Joe Gillie. He’s an original; a Delray original by way of Virginia.

In August, I attended a surprise party for Joe at Smoke. It’s not easy to surprise Joe, but it happened. Many of his friends were there and it was a wonderful night, full of memories and laughs, but with Joe in the room there is always talk about the future.

Joe is departing from his role, but he’s not retiring. He’s a creative force and creative beings don’t stop inventing and innovating. He will act. He will sing. He will write. He will paint and he will continue to be a vibrant and positive force in our community.

During the party a loop of old photos ran on the wall in back of Smoke. Joe looking dapper in a tux. Joe with hair. Joe and me and Gary Eliopoulos dressed as rappers (Joe is the only guy who could get me to do that or to get Diane, my wife to sing Rodgers and Hammerstein songs with localized lyrics at a roast in front of 450 people). Joe made us believe. His time here was magical—pure magic. How lucky we have been.

 

 

FAU Scientists to Study Traffic

FAULOGO

FAU has received a $300,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and a $100,000 grant from the City of Miami Beach to research and test more efficient traffic signals.

Traffic jams not only make daily commutes exasperating, they also contribute to excessive fuel consumption and air pollution. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, outdated traffic signaling accounts for more than 10 percent of all traffic delays. Adaptive traffic control systems or “smart” traffic lights allow intersection signals to adjust to real-time traffic conditions like accidents, road construction and even weather. In the U.S., adaptive signal control technologies have been in use for approximately 20 years, but have been deployed on less than 3 percent of existing traffic signals. Florida, California and Michigan are among the states paving the way to make traffic signal improvements a priority.

Researchers in the Laboratory for Adaptive Traffic Operations & Management (LATOM) in FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science have received a $100,000 grant from the City of Miami Beach to test two adaptive traffic signals being considered for one of their busiest corridors in South Beach – Arthur Godfrey Road (41st Street). Miami is among the 10 U.S. cities with the worst traffic. In addition, FAU’s LATOM recently received a $300,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation to research use of high-resolution data, from signal controllers and detectors, to monitor performance of traffic signals.

“Timing for research in adaptive control systems is right and perspectives are exciting,” said Mohammad Ilyas, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “With better sensing technologies such as wireless communication and personal mobile devices, smarter algorithms, and more processing power, we are moving towards an era of much more efficient, safer and eco-friendly traffic signals.”

These complex systems require extensive surveillance and communication infrastructure to enable connection either among local controllers or between a central system and the local controllers. FAU’s LATOM is a one-of-a-kind simulation lab equipped with software, hardware and institutional capabilities, providing regional, national and international partners with opportunities to develop new and use existing methods and tools to monitor, manage and control transportation infrastructure.

“Congested roads have long been a headache for contemporary cities and we need to look at innovative ways to deal with traffic,” said Aleksandar Stevanovic, Ph.D., PE, director of LATOM and associate professor in FAU’s Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering. “While better management of traffic signals won’t reduce the number of cars on our streets, we can do a much better job in adjusting signals to work more efficiently.” He adds, “Smart traffic lights are one way to address urban traffic congestion, and if timed properly and continually, they can both reduce traffic delays and improve public safety.”

Conventional signal systems use pre-programmed, daily signal timing schedules. Adaptive traffic control systems on the other hand, adjust the timing of red, yellow and green lights to accommodate changing traffic patterns. Duration of the green lights is usually a result of a complex compromise between the needs of a single intersection and the needs for good connection/progression with other surrounding intersections. Adaptive traffic control systems create such compromising solutions ‘on the fly’ by extensively using wires embedded in city streets, or other forms of detectors, to sense changes in traffic demands and its patterns.

As a relatively new technology, adaptive control systems are still somewhat expensive. Therefore, municipalities often seek advice from experts and research labs to pre-test effectiveness of these systems in the lab environment before the systems are deployed in live traffic.

“In our lab, we are able to work with our partners to model or ‘simulate’ different traffic patterns throughout a day – and on weekends and during various other scenarios – where virtually the same technology that controls traffic in the field is used in simulation to test its effectiveness and reliability,” said Stevanovic.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on average, smart traffic lights improve travel time by more than 10 percent, and in areas with particularly outdated signal timing, improvements can be 50 percent or more.

For more information on FAU’s LATOM, visit latom.eng.fau.edu

Boca Firm Steps Up With College Scholarship

 

From Left, Robert Barboni, President, Evershore Financial Group, Sean Fallon,  Daniel Zagata, Managing Director.

From Left, Robert Barboni, President, Evershore Financial Group, Sean Fallon,
Daniel Zagata, Managing Director.

Following the tragic death of his father several years ago, Sean Fallon realized that pursuing his dream of securing a college education would be difficult.

But through community support, a supportive family, and hard work, the recent Jupiter High School graduate is attending the University of Central Florida with his sights set on becoming a Certified Public Accountant.

The tension of paying for four years of college became a bit easier recently when a local financial services company stepped up and presented Fallon with a $7,000 scholarship check.

The path to receiving this check was a bit convoluted since Fallon had originally submitted an essay for the national Life Lessons Scholarship, which is given to a student in recognition of “the character and perseverance that so many young people show in the face of adversity.”

While Fallon didn’t win this scholarship, his moving essay recounting the trauma of his father’s suicide was forwarded to Evershore Financial Group, a financial services firm with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, and Orlando.

“Sean is such an inspirational young man,” said Robert Barboni, president of Evershore Financial Group. “He’s gone through a lot, yet he’s done what he can to take care of his family and is now striving to receive a higher education. We are so glad to be able to give him a little boost along the way.”

The original amount of the scholarship Evershore expected to award was $2,000, however, when Evershore advisors and staff learned about Fallon’s story, they enthusiastically contributed an additional $5,000. When the over-sized check was presented to Fallon, there was hardly a dry eye in the audience at the Wyndham Grand Harbourside in Jupiter.

“I originally thought that the scholarship was going to be $2,000,” said Fallon. “But when they explained that it was actually $7,000…wow. What a surprise. I am so grateful for this opportunity and thrilled that Evershore has provided this scholarship for me.”

Before lunch, Fallon was invited to tell his story to the audience. Many in attendance were in tears as he told his story and he received a standing ovation. Once the applause cleared, Barboni made the emotional presentation.

“The Fallon family has been through an unimaginable tragedy,” said Barboni. “It was with great pride and humility that I was able to meet this young man who is an example to everyone in the audience. I know that I have learned so much from Sean and how he has persevered through these difficulties.”

Barboni was particularly moved by the following passage from Fallon’s essay:

“I know that life is going to be different for me and I know that I am always going to have to work hard. I just am hoping to get some help financially with college. My mom is a teacher and also works after school to help make ends meet. We are surviving and will continue to do so.”

Fallon was joined by his aunt, Lori Hausman, who is a Certified Public Accountant and the inspiration behind him aspiring to enter this profession.

Delray Center for the Arts Names New CEO

Rob Steele

Rob Steele

Bill Branning, Chairman of the Board of the Delray Beach Center for the Arts, today announced the appointment of Rob Steele as President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit visual and performing arts center that is the anchor of the city’s dynamic cultural community. He succeeds longtime CEO Joe Gillie, whose last day is September 30.

In making the announcement, Branning stated, “Joe took the reins of this organization in its infancy, and under his leadership, developed a cultural center that provides a total arts experience for the community and at the same time, generates continuous economic activity for our downtown. Our nationwide search for his successor aimed to identify a proven leader with the ability build on these successes and raise the Center to even greater heights.  Out of almost 100 applicants, Mr. Steele stood out as the right person with the right skills, talent, experience and energy.  He has a unique background that includes a master’s degree in business administration as well as a successful track record of developing strong non-profit organizations through strategic planning, collaboration, and community engagement.  We’re confident Rob will continue to move the Center forward, and welcome him to the Delray Beach Center for the Arts.”
Steele comes to Delray Beach from Pennsylvania, where he spent the last 10-years as executive director of the Williamsport Community Arts Center, a 2,100-seat, state-of-the-art performing arts center that bills itself as “one of the top venues on the Eastern Seaboard.”
Under Steele’s leadership, the Community Arts Center implemented event analysis and fee negotiation practices, marketing strategies and guest service enhancements that effectively doubled ticket sales in only two years; initiated a community outreach that increased the number of local and regional partners from 10 to more than 200; facilitated a systematic upgrade of all technical systems and protocols; and successfully devised an endowment campaign in 2010 that generated more than $5 million in gifts and bequests.
William J. Martin, Board Chairman for the Williamsport Community Art Center, told the local newspaper that Steele has done an extraordinary job in making it a more “community-minded facility … There’s something going on at the arts center about 250 days a year. It’s a very busy place and I attribute that level of activity to Rob’s initiative and his ability to engage people in the community.”

 

Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Steele spent five years as executive director of the 576-seat civic auditorium in Tecumseh, Michigan, and had previously been both a successful restaurateur and an executive vice president of a Michigan-based national bank & trust.
“Joe Gillie has been the champion in establishing the Delray Beach Center for the Arts as a premiere arts institution in South Florida,” says Mr. Steele. “My goal is to honor, preserve, and extend the rich traditions he has established.”
“Community outreach and coordinating broad-based collaborations with local organizations has become one of the hallmarks of my career,” he adds. “It is my expressed desire to reach into every corner of the market served by the Delray Beach Center for the Arts to engage new audiences, create lasting partnerships and serve the cultural needs of this vibrant and diverse community.”
“The arts are without question an economic engine, and Delray Beach stands as a magnificent example of this reality,” says Steele. “That is why I am committed to keeping a constant eye on the relationship between what we do on the Old School Square campus and how it can help stimulate the local economy.”

Medical Innovation Agency Removes `Drama’ From Medical Innovation Process

SoundHealth's Michael Miller

SoundHealth’s Michael Miller

Imagine a medical technology company committed to commercializing medical discoveries, but choosing not to own any of them.

Sounds counter-intuitive until you take a closer look at what’s going on in the global economy.

Consider the following:  UBER is the world’s largest TAXI company, yet it doesn’t own any vehicles. FACEBOOK is the world’s most valuable media company, yet it doesn’t create any content. ALIBABA is the world’s largest retailer, yet it doesn’t own any inventory.

“It’s all about leveraging resources, and combining expertise, while providing the public with valuable services and products,” said Michael Miller, founder of Boca Raton, Florida-based SoundHealth, a medical innovation agency. “Basically, we combine the expertise of inventors, with the funding of charitable organizations, and the facilities and resources of research institutions, to provide commercially ready products and services to industry distribution/marketing companies and bring life-saving innovation to the public in a hyper-efficient way.

“Our program also eliminates the drama most entrepreneurs are forced to endure while growing a company, raising capital, and finally being able to successfully exit from it,” said Miller. “Our goal is to take early stage products through the commercialization process quickly so all parties can profit. Too many important products end up in the inventor’s garage, gathering dust, rather than saving lives. “Inventors are creative… but as a rule, aren’t prepared to deliver their products to the public. We’ve brought all of these disciplines to the table and have created a team focused on one thing – commercializing a product, without the risk,” added Miller. “That’s the drama we remove. We also approach things differently, by starting with identifying the exit… the potential buyer,” said Miller.

“Our singular goal is to build a sellable product with input gained from the potential buyer. Then, we leverage the capacities of our partners (i.e. funding foundations and research institutions) each of which have a stake in the process, of getting it done. “We make it very clear to everyone that we’re not interested in building a company,” stressed Miller. “We’re not a venture capital company. We simply want to develop a product and sell it to Johnson & Johnson, for example, and walk away with the proceeds… and, do it over and over again.”

To be considered for the program, innovations must:

• Solve a specific medical problem

• Have a working prototype

  • Have protectable intellectual property
  •  Be able to be completed within 2 years.
  • About SoundHealth SoundHealth: www.sound-health.org) founded in 2010, based in Boca Raton, FL, is a “medical innovation agency” whose unique structure and system are designed to expedite the delivery of medical innovation to the marketplace.  By combining the business know-how of its executive team with the expertise of: inventors, funding organizations and research institutions, SoundHealth is able to provide market-ready products to the medical industry’s manufacturing and distribution companies. 

7 Traits Determine A Child’s Success

Author Paul Tough

Author Paul Tough

Paul Tough is an award winning journalist who believes he has found the 7 traits needed for children to succeed in school and in life.

I had a chance to see and meet Mr. Tough at the recent annual meeting of Leadership Florida, a statewide organization that has been involved in education for over 30 years.

Tough is the author of the best-selling book “How Children Succeed”. He did exhaustive research, interviewed dozens of experts, reviewed countless studies and spent a ton of time in a variety of school settings studying the personalities of kids who succeed.

He found that the following 7 traits were essential: zest (having passion), curiosity, self-control (ability to delay gratification), social intelligence (empathy), grit (resilience), gratitude and optimism.

It’s an amazing list when you think about it. Tough found that in wealthy communities and schools, oftentimes “helicopter” parents (those who hover over their children shielding them from life’s challenges and setbacks) aren’t doing their kids a favor. Over-protected children often don’t develop grit or self-control in a world that demands both. So when the inevitable hurdle is encountered, many of these kids crumble.

Consequently, some kids have it so tough—living in impoverished conditions or with a raft of social pathogens– that they need more nurturing in order to succeed in life.

I’ve been thinking about Tough’s talk, our brief conversation after his speech and his book since meeting him a few weeks back.

It’s hard to stop measuring whether friend’s, my own kids and myself have the traits he mentioned.

I also think that those traits (and others) determine whether people are good leaders and managers.

Think of an elected official and see whether he or she has passion, curiosity, social intelligence, grit or optimism. Do any of the aspirants for the White House possess all 7? Do your children? Do you?

When I take Tough’s research and apply his thinking to the local level, it sparks all sorts of ideas.

Boca Raton has an incredible public school system—“A” rated schools everywhere you look, with involved parents and well-funded PTA’s providing the extras. But in some of these wealthier enclaves are our children learning to be resilient? How can we allow them to fail occasionally, scrape their knees, learn and be stronger for the experience?

Recently, I wrote about a Bar Mitzvah I attended in Milwaukee. At the service, my friend gave a speech in which he told his son that it was OK to experiment and to fail and I thought that was an amazing gift.

In the book Start-Up Nation which chronicles Israel’s amazing entrepreneurial culture, investors view failure as a rite of passage, a way to build resilience and learning. Many won’t invest in an entrepreneur until they have failed, figuring you learn more from your defeats than your victories.

In Delray, our foundation Dare 2 Be Great works with children who often have all 7 traits, in abundance. Many of them have overcome brutal poverty, violence, family substance abuse and other dysfunction. We are there to provide them with the last bit of help they need, some money for school and mentoring. But after reading Tough’s book, I wonder about those left behind.

My friend, Mark Sauer, has a non-profit called Delray Students First, that provides the nurturing and intervention that many of these kids need. It reminds me of what Wayne Barton has done with his non-profit in Boca. Yes, there are children in Boca with needs.

Often, when we focus on our cities we fixate on development and on numbers: how high, how dense, how many trips generated etc. etc. And it’s important, those numbers are the starting point of a good conversation, but they are only a starting point.

When we talk about economic development, we often talk about incentives and “big game” hunting…how do we get the giant corporate headquarters to come to town? But the best economic development we can do is to invest in people. It’s called human capital.

We teach to the test in this state and in many others. But how do we develop children with zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, self-control, curiosity and grit?
That’s the conversation we should be having as a society.

Read the book, it’s compelling.

http://www.paultough.com/the-books/how-children-succeed/

 

Senior Vice President and Chief Transactional Officer Joins SoundHealth

Allen F. Campbell, JD, has joined SoundHealth, a Boca Raton-based medical innovation agency, as Senior Vice President and Chief Transactional Officer.

An attorney and biotech entrepreneur, Campbell brings invaluable expertise to the SoundHealth executive team, according to Michael Miller, founder of SoundHealth.

“It is indeed a pleasure to welcome Allen to the SoundHealth team,” said Miller. “He has a successful and exemplary track record of legal and business structuring for a wide range of medical and biotech projects.”

This experience includes: crafting contractual arrangements to protect all parties involved, analyzing commercial potential of medical and biotech projects, and building leadership teams capable of refining innovations and bringing them to market.  Campbell honed his exceptional skills at leading institutions. One of them was the international technology consulting firm of Arthur D. Little (ADL), Inc. in Cambridge, MA.  In this capacity he was to help the firm build and enhance its capabilities in licensing technology and incubating new companies formed to commercialize technology that was created in-house or brought in from the outside. Campbell served as ADL’s teacher, strategist and organizational consultant.

“Allen’s background enhances our SoundHealth team by bringing the experience of having been on every side of many transactions, and being instrumental in their successful conclusions,” added Miller.  “This talent and experience will be a key asset for SoundHealth, as transactions like this are similar to those we are doing.   Our business is rooted in being hyper-efficient. Having expertise and knowledge relevant to each product we look at is critical to successful commercialization.”

SoundHealth’s ‘hyper-efficient’ process combines the expertise of innovators, the mission of funding organizations, and the resources of top-tier research institutions to accelerate the development and deployment of beneficial medical innovations.

“We do this without the drama one might find in similar situations,” said Miller. “Allen’s 30 years of experience in medical industry business transactions and keen understanding of the intellectual property licensing arena will serve to benefit everyone involved in and with our unique process.”

Campbell appreciates the benefits of the SoundHealth process.

“As the point organization for these activities, SoundHealth must make sure that all of the various transactions, contracts and business arrangements are legal, reasonable and enforceable,” said Campbell. “Having been the architect of many transactions, and having participated in many others, I’m aware of the pitfalls, from a legal standpoint, and I’m able to analyze the business opportunity of a project by asking the right questions. Once those

questions are answered, we can move forward with needed refinements and bring important innovations to the public.”

Campbell brings more than transactional expertise. He has been the founder, chairman, director and/or shareholder of several medical innovation companies. Most notably he founded International Murex Technologies, which created the world’s first rapid diagnostic for AIDS.

Campbell received his Bachelor’s degree from The College of Wooster, his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and his law degree from Columbia University.

About SoundHealth SoundHealth, LLC (www.sound-health.org) founded in 2010, based in Boca Raton, FL, is a “medical innovation agency” whose unique structure and system are designed to expedite the delivery of medical innovation to the marketplace.  By combining the business savvy of its executive team with the expertise of inventors, funding organizations and research institutions, SoundHealth is able to provide commerce-ready products to the medical industry’s manufacturing and distribution companies.

Former Interim FAU President Joins SoundHealth

Dennis J. Crudele was a former interim President and CFO at FAU.

Dennis J. Crudele was the former interim President and CFO at FAU.

Dennis J. Crudele, former Interim President and CFO of Florida Atlantic University (FAU), has joined the leadership team at SoundHealth, a Boca Raton-based medical innovation agency.

Mr. Crudele takes the top spot as the President and Executive Director of The Discovery and Translational Science Research Institute @ SoundHealth a non-profit, 501(C)(3).

“Our organization has built a ‘hyper-efficient’ process that combines the expertise of innovators, the mission of funding organizations, and the resources of top-tier research institutions to accelerate the development and deployment of beneficial medical innovations – without the Drama,” said Michael Miller, founder of SoundHealth.

“Having administered an $800 million annual budget at Florida Atlantic University, Mr. Crudele is the ideal person to be the liaison with our institutional partners,” said Miller. “Dennis knows the culture, speaks the language and understands the systems at large research universities.”

In his new role, Crudele will be performing a range of duties similar to those of chief executive officer: overseeing all departmental functions and all operational matters. Paramount in his duties will be matching research facilities (universities & institutions) to medical innovations, in order to best fulfill the required refinements and development in making them market-ready.

“This is a unique opportunity, where all participating parties involved get to win,” said Crudele. “I look forward to developing these important relationships with institutions that, in many cases, would never have the opportunity to collaborate with creative inventors, committed funders, and some of the largest distribution companies.  In addition, partnering institutions benefit from the funding to support research that the SoundHealth model can provide. That research expertise is a key component of our process. Best of all, the work we’ll be doing can directly impact so many people’s lives, locally and globally. ”

Crudele has more than 30 years of experience in the academic, non-profit sector. Prior to joining the Discovery and Translational Science Research Institute @ SoundHealth, he served as Senior Vice President of Institutional Initiatives and Major Projects at FAU.

“The Institute and Dennis are invaluable components in our unique translational process of how medical innovation evolves,” added Miller. “Healthcare charities and foundations can support and/or sponsor medical innovation that can help their constituents; research institutions can receive funding to conduct specified research; and distribution and manufacturing companies can have the opportunity to benefit from the latest medical innovation that may well save lives, and improve their bottom lines.”

About SoundHealth

SoundHealth, founded in 2010, located in beautiful Boca Raton FL, (www.sound-health.org) is a “medical innovation agency” whose system expedites the delivery of medical innovation into, the marketplace. SoundHealth’s unique process combines the expertise of inventors, funding organizations, and research institutions, in providing commercial ready products to distribution/marketing/manufacturing companies.

 

Entrepreneurial Spotlight: SoundHealth

SoundHealth's Mike Miller making a splash in medical innovation.

SoundHealth’s Mike Miller making a splash in medical innovation.

Editor’s Note: At YourDelrayBoca.com we take pride in shining a spotlight on local entrepreneurs. Today, we introduce you to SoundHealth and its founder Michael Miller.

The medical innovation landscape is littered with valuable products that have not and may never make it to market. And with these failures, the general public suffers because it never had the opportunity to benefit from these innovations.

Such is the dilemma of the thousands of products being developed by inventors, individuals who simply don’t have the knowledge, finances, or connections to bring these innovations to market.

Michael Miller, founder of a Boca Raton-based “medical innovation agency”, was one of the keynote speakers at the Insight Innovation Exchange Health (IIEX) Conference in Philadelphia recently.

His firm, SoundHealth, combines the expertise of the inventors, the missions of funding foundations, and resources of research institutions to develop what is essentially a market-ready medical solution for presentation to potential purchasers of the product.

Miller was joined on the panel by executives from InCrowd, AstraZeneca, and Merck.

“Getting a product to market can be a time-consuming and cumbersome exercise,” said Miller. “Quite frankly most inventors simply don’t have the ‘muscle’ to usher a product through the various stages of development. And, even if they have a mature product, they don’t have the knowledge of how to market these products directly to the consumer.”

Miller explained that inventors must recognize that there is a new model, one that involves looking for an “exit strategy” before the product gets to market.

“Too often, innovators spend too much money and time developing a product, and they run out of capital, can’t secure approvals, can’t afford manufacturing, and can’t raise more capital,” he said. “The unfortunate reality is that these products die on the vine. And, another product sits on the shelf.

“This is a vicious cycle in the medical innovation world. The real tragedy is two-fold. First the people that could benefit from these products don’t get the opportunity to use them, and second the innovators don’t get to benefit financially from their creations.”

SoundHealth streamlines the process of moving these medical innovations from “bench to bed- seamlessly”.

“All we ask is that products be relatively mature,” said Miller during his presentation. “They can’t be a concept written on a napkin. We then consider which distribution outlets (i.e. medical device, pharmaceutical, biotech, etc.) may want to purchase it following a conditional evaluation. That is what we mean by working backwards from the exit strategy.”

Through relationships with various funding organizations and research & development entities, SoundHealth is able to deliver market-ready products to purchasing and distribution firms.

“Our process minimizes the need for inventors to raise capital, hire lots of people and spend time lost in all the drama” he said. “It’s our business to take early stage innovations, and working with the innovators, rapidly finish it to the point it’s ready for commercialization.

The interest in SoundHealth’s model was evident at the IIEX conference.

“One of the major concerns of medical innovators who were there was getting the product to market,” said Miller. “We are now in the process of evaluating a number of products from the conference, and we’re confident that several will become part of our growing portfolio.

“We also have the attention of the distribution and manufacturers who are continually seeking the next great medical innovation.”

One key feature to this unique business model is, that everyone involved benefits.

“The inventor earns significant money through the ultimate sale,” said Miller. “Funding organizations support and sponsor medical innovation that helps their constituents. Research institutions are being funded to conduct research. And, distribution and manufacturing companies receive the latest medical innovation that may save lives while improving their bottom lines.”

Miller added that many of the inventors are physicians who are developing products as a way to enhance their medical practices or even phase out of their practice altogether with the hopes of retiring.

“Some are inventing products directly related to their medical expertise,” said Miller. “They have a passion for medicine and their patients’ well-being and this is just another way for them to contribute, all while pursuing the American dream of making a significant amount of money.”

About SoundHealth:

Boca Raton based SoundHealth, founded in 2010 (www.sound-health.org) is a “medical innovation agency” that expedites the process of delivering medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech innovation to the marketplace. SoundHealth’s unique process combines the expertise of inventors, funding organizations, and research institutions, which provide commercial-ready products to distribution/marketing companies.