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News and Press: MichBio News

February 'On the Road' with Stephen Rapundalo

Thursday, February 19, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Trevathan
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 Stephen Rapundalo

It’s been a very busy few weeks since my last update, mostly hunkered down here at the office working on a couple of strategic initiatives.

The statewide Bio-Industry Strategic Roadmap 2015 effort continued over the last few weeks both in the form of several Steering Committee meetings, as well as working with the project manager to develop stakeholder lists, preliminary recommendations, and best practices. [Read more here.]

Concurrently, staff and I toiled hard to prepare for a Strategic Retreat of the MichBio Board of Directors on February 12. The session was a culmination of a comprehensive review over several months of MichBio’s programs, services, communications, and resources. In other words, what is the organization’s value proposition and how well are we delivering it? Given much Board turnover, the review was useful particularly to the new Directors who were not as familiar with MichBio’s operations and member features. Not surprisingly, the Board focused keenly on how best to define member value and deliberated where MichBio’s efforts were best directed. We plan to conduct a comprehensive value validation exercise near term to help guide enhancements to our assets and deliverables. In time, you’ll see even more, if not all, member-only benefits. So stay tuned as we endeavor to build an even better and impactful organization to support Michigan’s biosciences industry.

In between the aforementioned initiatives, I did find some time to get away from the office and make several visits. During the first week of February I stopped by meet with Dr. Nader Najafi, President and CEO of Integrated Sensing Systems (ISSYS) in Ypsilanti Township. The company, launched in 1995, is probably the most innovative MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) company in the country, especially in applications to implantable device sensors. Its foundry services division has partnered with more than 100 MEMS and nanotechnology companies worldwide, to provide high quality wafer fabrication services, prototype development, and contract manufacturing.

Last week I caught up with Duane Day, President and CEO at Molecular Innovations in Novi. Founded in 1990, the company is a primary manufacturer of research antibodies, proteins and ELISA kits, especially in the coagulation and thrombolysis space, though not exclusively. Heck I used them back in my Parke-Davis/Pfizer drug discovery days… always quality products and great service, right here in our backyard.


Just a mile or so down the road, I met with Dr. Steve Shaya, President at J & B Medical Supply in Wixom. The company was established in 1994 and since has become one of the fastest growing and most successful medical distribution companies in the world. In actuality it is a group of 16 family-owned businesses spanning a spectrum of services in the healthcare space… think Dan Gilbert in our industry.

This week was the occasion for the annual PhRMA Legislative Briefing for State legislators. I led off the session by providing a background of the biosciences industry here in Michigan, its economic impact, distribution, key assets, and opportunities for growth. Given a high turnover in the Legislature, it was a great opportunity to educate a great turnout of both freshmen and incumbent legislators. The briefing also featured a presentation on the contribution of the biopharmaceutical industry to healthcare delivery, and as a result many of the major manufacturers were well represented.

Speaking of briefings… don’t forget to join our Policy Call-In on Monday February 23 when we host Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN). He has been the leader in the House of Representatives for repeal of the medical device tax. This year is the best and likely opportunity to succeed in that regard and you’ll be able to address Rep. Paulsen directly with your questions on the topic.

Creating Value
by delivering business-critical resources & bottom line savings
Building Networks
by connecting Michigan's bio-industry one member at a time
Growing Talent
by creating opportunities that develop people & build organizations
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