Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a diverse team of experts highly experienced in business, finance, sales, healthcare, biotechnology, product development and research.

Their knowledge passed to our team management and staff is highly valued as they guide the company from its start up roots to a fully commercial entity.

Chair

Maxine Simmons

CNZM, MSc(Hons), CMInstD

Maxine is an experienced entrepreneur, company leader and director, having been actively involved in start-up and expansion stage private company development in New Zealand for more than 30 years. She founded one of New Zealand’s first biotechnology companies, growing that into a significant biotechnology export business as acknowledged by the NZ Biotechnology industry’s Distinguished New Zealand Biotechnologist Award in 2000.

Among numerous influential government appointed and industry roles, Maxine was a founding director of Industry New Zealand (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise); a director of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology; Director of Industrial Research Ltd prior to it becoming Callaghan Innovation; Chair of the NZ biotechnology industry organization, NZBIO. She also represented New Zealand on the APEC Business Advisory Council from 2010 to 2014.

Having established biotechnology consulting company, BioCatalyst, which advises early-stage biotechnology ventures on commercialisation and capital raising, Maxine serves as Executive Director for Cure Kids Ventures, a seed and early stage investment fund that invests in the commercialisation of healthcare innovations with potential to benefit child health. Currently, Maxine is on the board of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular BioDiscovery, is an advisory board member of the MedTech Core and director of a number of private companies.

Maxine holds a Master of Science degree in biological sciences from the University of Auckland, is a chartered member of the NZ Institute of Directors and was recently appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, particularly biotechnology.

Maxine was recently inducted into the Co. of Women’s Hall of Fame, celebrating her commitment to the early-stage biotech world as an entrepreneur, investor and trailblazing champion

 

Director

Dr. Jamie Platt

Ph.D.

Jamie brings 20 years of progressive leadership in genomics and molecular diagnostics, guiding teams in developing, validating, and commercializing more than 40 innovative, high-complexity molecular tests for US and global firms (both LDTs and IVDs).  

Jamie served as Chief Operating Officer at PGDx (acquired by LabCorp) and Inivata (acquired by NeoGenomics) leading development and operationalization of liquid biopsy products and completing two M&A exits in 2021 for a combined value of nearly $1 Billion US/$1.5B NZD ($965M USD/$1.45B NZD).  As Chief Operating Officer at Inivata, Jamie led the organization’s transition from research-stage through early commercialization, developing and launching two best-in-class liquid biopsy products, as well as establishing a $25 million equity investment with follow-on acquisition by NeoGenomics.  As Vice President of Genomic Solutions at MPLN/Geneuity and Director of Advanced Sequencing at Quest Diagnostics, Jamie introduced next generation sequencing (NGS) clinical assays and genomics products and line extensions.  

Dr. Platt earned her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from Oregon State University and completed Post-Doctoral studies at University of California at Berkeley.  She is founder and CEO of BRIDGenomics, a molecular diagnostic laboratory consulting firm and serves on the boards of Pictor, Ltd. and DxTerity Diagnostics.  

Jamie is passionate about leveraging her expertise in product development and clinical laboratory operations using Six Sigma methodologies to create innovative products impacting clinical markets.  She is an industry-recognized peer educator and speaker, holds multiple US and international patents and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications.

 

Director

Laurie Heilmann

Laurie is a veteran of the life sciences industry, with over three decades of leadership experience in healthcare technology developed and deployed across multiple markets including diagnostics, biotechnology, drug development, HCIT and medical devices.

 

She has a proven track record of global transformative strategies leading to revenue growth, profitability, and global brand awareness. She is an engaged board member who can have an immediate impact while building long-term strategy including financing, merger, acquisition, IPO and exit strategies for the company.  Laurie currently serves on global strategic advisory board for Lavaa Health, an early-stage preventive digital health platform. She works closely with the executive team on fundraising, strategy, and corporate development.   She is also a board member and strategic advisor for BioLizard a bioinformatics focused on drug development.

 

Laurie began serving on boards after leading Crown BioSciences, a tech enabled drug development platform, to successfully exit to JSR LifeSciences. She has served as a Board Director and Interim CEO for Notable Labs and as a Board Director for Agendia where she was Chair of the compensation and commercial sub-commitments.

 

Before joining CrownBio, Heilmann held senior positions in prominent drug and device development companies and was an executive director at Strong-Bridge Consulting, where she created the firm’s healthcare and life sciences practice. She also helped establish the for-profit division of the American College of Radiology in her role as SVP of Global Sales and Business Development at Image Metrix.  

 

In previous roles, Heilmann led global sales and business development initiatives for enterprise-wide software solutions in health care segments, two of which resulted in successful IPOs. She also restarted a global cardiovascular research core lab, increased its sales tenfold, and successfully positioned the company for sale. She co-founded and grew a niche Oncology CRO from five partners to 250 employees in less than five years and successfully sold the company which is now owned by a LabCorp division.

 

Heilmann’s synthesis of business, clinical research, and technological acumen is ideal for assessing needs and assembling strategically sound, high-value solutions for clients. Her multifaceted experience from concept to commercialization, and knowledge of life science technology, the FDA and sponsor requirements in the US, Europe, India, and Asia, is vital to strategic global growth, as well as its expansion in the preclinical and clinical services and HCIT market. She is an active member of numerous industry organizations and holds a bachelor’s degree in business.

Director

John Allen

Mr. Allen is a seasoned senior management executive and General Partner at Coddle Creek Capital, specializing in fostering growth and innovation across dynamic technology startups. With a notable track record across varied business verticals such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and financial services, he excels in de novo startups, strategic consulting, investment capital acquisition, team building, and steering companies through crucial phases of development.

Mr. Allen boasts a remarkable set of skills. His proficiency extends to securing investment capital and managing investor relations for successful ventures. With a proven track record in overseeing Board of Directors responsibilities, John offers thorough P&L oversight, crafting investment-grade revenue forecasts, and formulating corporate budgeting models. He is recognized for shaping corporate vision and executing strategic and operational plans that foster sustainable growth. Demonstrating success in establishing strategic business partnerships, John has spearheaded successful product launches in technology-driven services and products. His proficiency in developing corporate cultural strategies has steered organizations through transitional phases.

Mr. Allen’s career spans pivotal roles in various companies. As CEO of Vault Pharma and Bright Path Laboratories, he steered pre-clinical and clinical stage oncology drug development, resulting in successful IND campaigns and significant advancements in biologic compounds. His tenure as Chief Business Officer at Sun BioPharma led to evaluating in-licensing opportunities and supporting initial IND campaigns, contributing to strategic decision-making and capital developmental plans. Co-founding OPEN FINANCE NETWORK saw the closure of significant investment capital, development of technology platforms, successful mergers and acquisitions, and serving a vast clientele, achieving substantial asset management growth.

 

Has undertaken professional training in strategic planning, merger integration, and completed leadership programs at Thunderbird School of Global Management and the Centre for Creative Leadership.

Director

Dr. Lee Mathias

DHSc, ONZM

Dr. Lee Mathias has enjoyed a long relationship with the NZ health sector as a clinician, teacher, manager, academic and director including CHEs, H&HS, DHBs, ACC, HPA, and other directorships including as Chairman. She was a key leader in the transformational changes to primary maternity services in NZ as founder of Birthcare and in the structure of diagnostic services as a co founder of Labtests.
She continues her entrepreneurship, as a shareholder/director, through Pictor (Pictordx.com) which has developed technology to miniaturise and multiplex ELISAs, and Tend.nz, a full service primary care provider which uses a ground breaking digital support to its in-person clinics. Dr Mathias chairs Medicines NZ, the industry association for innovative pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Mathias is an NZRN, holds a BA (Soc.Sci.), MBA (Auckland) and DHSc from AUT. Her doctoral subject was “The Shaping of Decision-making in NZ Public Healthcare Services”.

Director

Marko Bogoievski

Marko retired as CEO of Morrison & Co in 2021 after leading the business for 13 years. He continues  to provide guidance for investments in telecommunications and digital infrastructure as Operating Partner. Marko is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.    

His 30-year career has been in the infrastructure and technology sectors in a variety of senior finance, operational and sales roles in the United States and New Zealand. Prior to joining Morrison & Co in 2008, Marko was CFO of Telecom NZ, responsible for corporate finance, M&A and group strategy. Marko is Chair of Vodafone New Zealand and a director of Tend.  

Director

Paul Kinnon

Paul is the CEO of Diadem and has held previous leadership positions with Transgenomic Inc., Arch Global Research, ZyGEM Corp., Thermo Fisher (Life Technologies), Guava Technologies and Cellomics. As President and CEO at Transgenomic, he was responsible for restructuring the Company via M&A activity; divesting two major business units and two product lines generating ~$10 million in non-dilutive funding while significantly reducing losses; maintaining NASDAQ status for over three years; while restructuring the company and strategically changing its direction.

Paul has a proven track record of transforming organizations large and small while driving commercial success and growth. His broad experience includes leadership, capital fundraising, M&A business development, commercial organizations, technology and product development in multiple sectors (oncology, discovery, clinical diagnostics, clinical development and platform development). Paul has also developed and implemented novel and successful commercial launches as the result of his exceptional mentoring and organization/leadership skills and global industrywide network of personal and business contacts.

Director

Champak Mehta

With formal training in the medical sciences, economics and business, Champak is a former physiology lecturer and NZ Army officer.  He spent nearly 9 years with Fonterra in a variety of strategy, business development, and general management roles in NZ, the US and Singapore.

Champak returned to NZ in mid-2011 to take up a senior management role at The University of Auckland, before re-entering the primary sector in Jan ‘13 as the inaugural CEO of Potatoes NZ Inc.
Since then, Champak has co-owned a large multi-office real estate business in Auckland, been the inaugural GM Sales & Marketing for Mataura Valley Milk and advised a number of companies on international sales, marketing and market access issues.

Most recently, he was the CEO of Mike Pero Real Estate Ltd, a position he left in August ‘22 to pursue his own business interests.

Director

Danny Chan

Danny is an experienced director with extensive accounting, finance and investment management and education experience. He holds a number of directorships with companies including Marlborough Wines Estate as well as numerous companies associated with his private investments both in New Zealand and Asia.

He is a member of the NZ China Executive Advisory Council and was a member of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – China Project Advisory Group and has also served as a member of the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal.