Fred Colen, President and Chief Executive Officer
Fred Colen is a seasoned business executive with years of experience leading small, medium and large medical device businesses throughout the world. Fred has been a successful business innovator in commercialization of new medical technology products. He was President/CEO of BeneChill, a brain cooling company and President of the Boston Scientific Cardiac Rhythm Management Group. Furthermore he has served as Boston Scientifics’ Chief Technology Officer for eight years. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he obtained a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering with specialization in BioMedical Technology from the RWTH Aachen, Germany. He has served on several Boards: Mölnlycke Healthcare, Middle Peak Medical and College of Science & Engineering at the University of Minnesota.
Christopher Clark, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Clark has almost 20 years finance and accounting experience in public practice and in public and private companies, most recently focused in the medical device sector. Previous experience includes financial leadership roles with large automotive and telecom firms in which he developed deep expertise in the development and management of sophisticated financial systems. A highly sought after consultant for biotechnology startups, Mr. Clark accepted the role of Chief Financial Officer at Neovasc and was instrumental in the initial and ongoing development of Neovasc as a publicly traded company. He received his designation as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and articled with KPMG before moving to Canada from England in 1998. He has an honors degree in Economics from Swansea University and a post graduate diploma from Keble College, Oxford.
Aaron J. Chalekian, Vice-President of Product Development & Manufacturing Engineering
Aaron J. Chalekian has been in the medical device industry for nearly 15 years with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Aaron’s experience includes early and late stage product development cycles for coronary stenting systems, transcatheter heart valves (TAVR & TMVR), surgical heart valves & repair technologies, along with numerous other catheter based and imaging technologies. Prior to Neovasc, Aaron has served in various roles, including management roles within Research & Development and support of Manufacturing activities at Oakriver Technology, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical. In addition to his role at Neovasc, Aaron has actively served on the ISO 5840 committee (Surgical and Transcatheter valves) for nearly a decade as a committee member and most recently, a leader of a task force as it relates to the TMVR space.
Vicki Bebeau, Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs
Vicki Bebeau has been a leader in the planning and execution of clinical trials for more than 18 years, fulfilling leadership roles with multinational cardiovascular device firms such as St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic. Having planned and directed numerous successful clinical studies of prosthetic heart valves and other cardiovascular devices in support of IDE, PMA, and post market programs to support regulatory approvals, Ms. Bebeau’s efforts have contributed to the adoption of some of the industry’s most novel devices in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bethel College, Ms. Bebeau is a Registered Nurse whose specific areas of clinical research have included heart valves (open heart and percutaneous), vascular access and closure devices, FFR, OCT, renal denervation, and hypothermia.
John Panton, Vice-President of Quality
John Panton has over 30 years of engineering experience spread over the Total Product Life Cycle, in small, medium and large organizations and across different industrial sectors; medical devices, semiconductor, oil and gas, telecommunications, consumer electronics and military avionics. In England, John held various engineering roles of increasing responsibility specializing in New Product Introduction; in R&D, product and process design and development, manufacturing engineering, process engineering and product engineering. In 2005, John started his Canadian career as a Quality professional, as the Quality Assurance Manager of a start-up company serving semiconductor Fortune 500 customers. He then moved to a Class 2 reusable medical device company initially as Quality and Regulatory Manager and then later to Global Director of Quality Systems, where he had responsibility for sites in Canada, US, Europe and Australia. John joined Neovasc in May 2015 as Director of Quality Systems and moved to VP of Quality in November, 2017. John holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Microelectronics Technology and Applications from Middlesex University, and a Higher National Diploma in physics from Portsmouth Polytechnic.
Prof. Shmuel Banai, MD, Medical Director
One of Israel’s leading interventional cardiologists and a productive researcher, Professor Shmuel Banai was Medical Director of Neovasc Medical Ltd., one of the predecessor companies to Neovasc Inc., where he now fulfills the role of Medical Director. Since 2006, Dr. Banai has been the Director of Interventional Cardiology in the Cardiology Department at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel. This unit performs more than 5500 cardiac procedures annually, including coronary, valves and structural heart disease interventions, carotid artery intervention, RF ablations and pacemaker implantations.
Prior to joining Tel Aviv Medical Center, Professor Banai was a senior interventional and clinical cardiologist and Head of the Clinical Unit in the Cardiology Department at the Hadassah, Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem. Before taking on the role at Hebrew University Medical Centre, he served as the Director of Interventional Cardiology, Associate Director General of the hospital and Associate Director of the Department of Cardiology at the Bikur-Cholim Hospital in Jerusalem from 1992 until 2003. Between1988 and 1991 he was a visiting post-doctoral scientist at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, of the National Institutions of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Professor Banai is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, and a Professor of Cardiology at the Sackler School of Medicine at the Tel Aviv University. His main interests are vessel wall biology and physiology, atherosclerosis, vulnerable plaque, pharmacological treatment of restenosis, anti-thrombotic therapy, and device-based therapy for refractory angina.
Professor Banai is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, as well as more than 300 abstracts, and has participated in many clinical and pre-clinical research studies in the field of cardiology, interventional cardiology, and pharmacotherapy.