Fred M. Schwarzer
Chairman of the Board
Fred has extensive operational and fundraising experience, including the development of corporate partnerships and the structuring of venture capital investments and acquisitions.
Prior to founding Charter Life Sciences, Fred was the chief executive officer and then chairman of Heska (HSKA). During his tenure at Heska, Fred completed corporate partnerships with Bayer and Novartis, completed seven acquisitions and Heska’s initial public offering and follow-on public offering. During this time, Heska also obtained its first FDA approval, launched its first products, created its sales and marketing effort and grew its revenue to approximately $40 million.
Fred has also been the president and chief executive officer of Mingly Capital Corporation, which was focused on developing cross-border opportunities in life sciences and information technology. He was also executive director of the Mingly Corporation Limited (listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) and prior to that he was a senior vice president of C.M. Capital, a diversified asset management company.
Fred began his professional career as an attorney representing technology companies and venture capitalists. In 1985, he was made a partner with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury, Winthrop) and in 1988 he founded the firm of General Counsel Associates (now GCA Law Partners).
Fred holds a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Richard L. Grant
Rich is founder and Managing Member of E-PRIME GROUP LLC a medical device development company located in Blue Ash, Ohio (www.eprimegroup.com) and a Member of the Board of Directors of two medical device firms:
Rich’s career includes Director of Product Development, Team Leader, and Principal Engineer at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson Company. He moved to J&J through acquisition of SENMED, Inc. where he was a Product Manager for Mechanical Surgical Products, and Manager of Quality. Rich has over 30 years experience in engineering, product management, product development, quality, and regulatory in the medical device industry. Rich holds degrees in Mathematics, Economics, and Mechanical Engineering Technology from West Virginia University and is formerly a Certified Quality Engineer. He is the holder of 14 issued and 2 pending medical device patents. Rich was a major contributor to the development of several orthopedic devices including the TenoFix™ tendon repair system by Ortheon Medical (www.ortheon.com). Rich is also a member of the Queen City Angels™ investment group (www.qca.com) and serves on the Technology Validation Advisory Board of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/about/news/release/2003/7-tech-board.htm).
Donald C. Harrison, M.D.
Dr. Donald Harrison is Professor of Medicine and Senior Vice President and Provost for Health Affairs Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. From 1986 to 2002, he was Senior Vice President and Provost for Health Affairs and directed the University’s Medical Center, which included over 1,000 faculty members and over $240 million in funded research. He was one of the organizers of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, an affiliation of major university and community medical centers, and he served as its Chairman of the Board for a two-year period after its organization. Prior to 1986, Dr. Harrison was Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, Chief of the Division of Cardiology, and Co-Director of the Falk Cardiovascular Research Center of Stanford University. He was also Chief of Cardiology at the Stanford University Hospital for 20 years. During his 24 years at Stanford, he trained 156 post-doctoral cardiology fellows, many of whom are now heads of their own units.
Among his many professional honors and achievements, Dr. Harrison served as President of the American Heart Association, as Vice President and Trustee of the American College of Cardiology, and as a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has also been a member of the editorial boards of 13 professional journals and has authored seven books and more than 585 scientific articles and reviews.
Currently, Dr. Harrison is a managing partner at Charter Life Sciences, a clinical stage life sciences venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, California. He is currently a director of EnteroMedics, CoRepair, Kendle International, UMD, Inc., AtriCure, and Medical Education and Consultation. Prior to their successful acquisitions, he was director of InControl, EP Technologies, and SciMed. He was also a founder, or co-founder, of EP Technologies, Vesta, AtriCure, and two life science incubators, Bio/Start and Venturi Group. Dr. Harrison received a B.S. in Chemistry from Birmingham Southern College, an M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and an honorary Doctor of Law from Birmingham Southern College. He received his training in Medicine and Cardiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital of the Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health.
President and CEO, Enable Medical Technologies, LLC
Mike has over 27 years of experience in the medical device industry in a broad variety of business, technical and clinical areas. He is the founder of three medical device companies and holds over 80 issued and pending US patents.
Enable Medical Technologies is a start-up company focusing on opportunities in minimally invasive procedures. The privately held company raised an initial round of financing in January, 2007.
Mike is the Founder, and a Director of AtriCure, Inc. AtriCure is a Medical Device company that is focused on developing technology for Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Cardiothoracic Surgeons have rapidly adopted the AtriCure system to treat AF, the world’s most common cardiac rhythm disease and a major cause of stroke and heart failure. AtriCure has grown rapidly to become the market leader, with over 50% market share and over 40,000 procedures performed. AtriCure completed a $52MM Initial Public Offering on August 5, 2005, and currently trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol ATRC. Recently, AtriCure was recognized by Deloitte and Touche in their “Fast 500” as the third fastest growing medical device company in North America.
Mike previously held positions as the Chairman and CEO of AtriCure, where he raised $26MM in venture capital, and the Founder and Chairman of Enable Medical, a surgical device manufacturer that was acquired by AtriCure in August of 2005. Prior to Enable he was Director of Product Development at Ethicon Endo-Surgery from 1988 to 1994 where he had responsibility for all in-house product development and supervised a staff of 200 engineers. Mike held Engineering positions in pacemaker and lead development at Siemens/Pacesetter from 1986 to 1988 and at Cordis Corporation in neurosurgical products from 1981 to 1986. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
John O. Huston
During his 30-year commercial banking career, John’s positions at banks in five states ranged from Chief Lending Officer to Chief Credit Officer to CEO. Upon retiring from banking in 2000 he commenced his business angel activities, forming USPrivateCompanies, LLC which has provided equity to over two dozen of Ohio’s most promising entrepreneurs.
John has been a member of the Ohio Venture Capital Authority since its inception in 2003, currently serving as its Vice Chairman. By making $150 million of professionally managed early stage capital available to the state’s most promising entrepreneurs, the Authority’s Ohio Capital Fund seeks to generate high paying high-tech jobs across the state. Fourteen Ohio and three national venture capital firms have already received funding via this program.
In 2004 John launched the Ohio TechAngel Fund, which is a founding member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA). Ohio TechAngels has grown to be one of North America’s largest angel groups, with three funds and 218 members. John is an active member of three other angel groups: ARCHAngels (Akron), The North Coast Angel Fund (Cleveland), and The East Central Ohio TechAngels Fund (Zanesville), and serves on the Executive Committee of the last two.
John has taught finance at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, and is a frequent lecturer and business plan judge at Ohio’s colleges and universities. In addition to managing the Ohio TechAngels he devotes time to the Ohio Venture Association and the boards of several start-up ventures. Nationally, John is the current Chairman of the ACA, and a Director and recent Chairman of the Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF).
He attended the University of Virginia on a Navy ROTC scholarship, graduating with a BA in economics. While stationed as a navy pilot in Georgia he obtained his MBA from Georgia Southern University. John and his wife, Liz, reside in Columbus, Ohio. Their two children (and two grandchildren) live in Cleveland and San Francisco.
In increasing order of difficulty, John’s most exciting experiences to date have been bungee jumping, skydiving, aircraft carrier landings, and angel investing. He’s convinced that growing high paying technology jobs is the key driver of a sustainable, vibrant economy. As a private investor John seeks to spark such job growth across Ohio. In his roles as a Director of the ACA and ACEF he hopes to provide training and research to more angels, angel groups and entrepreneurs worldwide.
Dr. Poll is a well respected minimally invasive surgeon and the Director of Robotic Surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital, in Columbus, OH. He has formerly served at Riverside as the Chief of Urology, Chief of Surgery, and as its Chief of Staff. He has served on the OhioHealth Board and currently serves on the Board of The OhioHealth Foundation. He is also the Medical Director of Clinical Innovation.
Wayne has previously started and led several business ventures in the medical services sector, and has consulted and launched medical devices with a number of worldwide companies. He has travelled extensively domestically and internationally teaching and performing laparoscopic procedures. He has extensive experience with clinical research, having previously founded and operated a clinical research company, and also as Principal Investigator in a number of cancer vaccine trials.
In 2004 Wayne won the Columbus Dispatch award for Top Urologist in Columbus. He was the 2007 Business First Health Care Innovator of the Year, and then in 2007 won the “TopCAT” award for Inventor of the Year.
Wayne graduated from Duke University in 1977 with a BS in Chemistry. He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in 1981 and completed his Urology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was an instructor of surgery at The Harvard Medical School.
Mr. Rutherford holds a BA in Economics from Denison University. He has extensive experience in the information technology sector serving in senior executive positions.
1968-1976: System Software Engineer for various companies in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio .
1976-1992: Goal Systems International, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. Co-founder. Goal Systems was a computer system software company specializing in large-scale IBM system software. It began as a private company; an IPO was issued in 1989. In 1992 the company was sold to Legent, Inc. Mr Rutherford served as COO 1976-1987, CEO 1987-1990 and Chairman 1990-1992.
1994-2005: CIBER, Inc., Denver, Colorado. Director. Ciber is a NYSE listed information technology services company. During this period, the company grew from about $50 million to about $1 billion in sales. Mr. Rutherford served as the audit committee chairman for seven years.
1996-2003: Frontstep, Inc., Columbus, Ohio. Director. Frontstep was a NASDAQ listed manufacturing software company that was sold in 2003 to Mapics, Inc.
For the past 15 years, Mr. Rutherford has served as an investor and director of numerous small and startup companies in the information technology, financial services and medical technology sectors.
Mr. Rutherford currently serves as trustee and member of various committees for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University Physicians, Inc. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of Case Western Reserve University, and has been a trustee of the Center of Science and Industry and the New Albany Foundation. Mr. Rutherford has also been very active with the Columbus Foundation.