Richard DeSimone is an award-winning entrepreneur and business executive with nearly four decades of experience building successful businesses in the healthcare and technology arenas. During this time, he created, launched and succeeded in dozens of businesses, serving as CEO, a member of the executive leadership teams and Boards of Directors, and as a financial advisor and investor.
Mr. DeSimone is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Directors of Hackensack University Medical Center (HackensackUMC) in Hackensack, NJ. (www.HackensackUMC.org). HackensackUMC is recognized as one of the top 50 hospitals in the United States and has been recognized in 10 major categories as one of the nation’s leading medical centers. HackensackUMC is one of the first 27 hospitals in the US to form an Accountable Care Organization and its with 11,000 patients, its ACO is one of the first to earn shared savings from Medicare.
Mr. DeSimone chairs the medical center’s board overseeing board committees for HackensackUMC’s Heart & Vascular Institute, John Theurer Cancer Center, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, Emergency and Trauma Department, as well as the medical center’s marketing, facilities and innovations committees. In his role as Board Chair, Mr. DeSimone has also initiated a number of population health initiatives and has participated in the development and approval of the Medical Center’s 2012 and 2013 strategic plan and key strategic initiatives.
Mr. DeSimone is the current Chairman of the Board and Managing General Partner of Roxiticus Ventures (www.RoxiticusVentures.com) and the Roxiticus Valley Funds, a family of private equity investment partnerships that provides the guidance, launch resources, and capital to develop new businesses in the healthcare, education, and healthcare technology sectors.
Among his other current endeavors, Mr. DeSimone is an investor in and board member of three entrepreneurial companies in the health and wellness, technology, and specialty pharmaceuticals and neutraceutical fields. He is also currently serving as Executive Chairman of CarpeVITA, Inc. (www.CarpeVITAinc.com).
Mr. DeSimone is a founder of, and served from 2005 to 2010, as a member of the Board of Directors, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and advisor of EKR Therapeutics, Inc., a stand-out specialty pharmaceutical company focused on critical care pharmaceutical products. During his term of leadership at EKR, the company grew from a concept to more than $250 million in annual sales and more than $90 million of operating earnings within three years of launch.
EKR was founded in 2005 and launched in 2006 when it was recognized as “Early Stage Company of the Year” in NJ. The company was also recognized as “Private Company of the Year” in 2009. Mr. DeSimone was the leader of the team that completed three pharmaceutical product acquisitions, four rounds of equity financing, and two rounds of debt financing to facilitate the growth of EKR. Mr. DeSimone was honored by the New Jersey Technology Council as “NJ CFO of the Year” in 2009, after having been voted runner-up for that same award in 2008.
During his service with EKR, Mr. DeSimone was responsible for the teams involved in a wide range of the company’s business functions from finance, operations and human resources, medical, safety and quality assurance, business and product development, and sales and marketing. While at EKR, Mr. DeSimone completed the acquisition of critical care pharmaceutical products and commercial business of a public biotechnology business, and was responsible for turning the struggling acquired business into one of best performing businesses in the industry, yielding 2009 pharmaceutical business high water marks for return on equity, return on sales, and return on investment, and sales per employee.
To effect the turn-around of the acquired business, Mr. DeSimone restructured the commercial organization and redesigned the management and board governance model that had led to the seller’s break-up, activist shareholder lawsuits, management team defections and marketing team failures. Mr. DeSimone also reviewed and restructured supplier relationships, refocused the organization on patient outcomes, patient safety, and service to its healthcare provider customers, as well as the important strategic partnerships that advance the cause of patient success. Under Mr. DeSimone’s management, EKR restarted and completed safety and efficacy programs with partners like the Cleveland Clinic to study the relative benefits of stroke and hypertension products and standards of care. Mr. DeSimone also supervised the team that completed the development of new, safer, pre-mixed formulations of the company’s lead product, Cardene IV®, a standard of care in stroke patients. During this time, Mr. DeSimone was interviewed by financial and industry publications on topics ranging from the future of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and the transformation of pharmaceutical sales force and marketing strategies.
Mr. DeSimone has invested, through his investment partnership called Roxiticus Valley Life Sciences Fund, in each of four rounds of equity financing for EKR, including providing the seed money and growth capital for the business. EKR was sold to Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRTX) (www.crtx.com) in 2012, returning the entire Roxiticus Fund together with a significant return to investors.
In 2001, Mr. DeSimone founded Roxiticus Ventures and the Roxiticus Valley Funds, investment partnerships providing seed money and advisory services to early stage businesses. These included ESP Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company, where Mr. DeSimone served as an advisor and investor, developing the initial funding and supporting the initial acquisitions that formed the company in 2002. ESP Pharma was sold for approximately $500 million to PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) within three years of starting operations, returning more than 10 times the original investment to early investors. Mr. DeSimone continues to serve as the Managing General Partner of Roxiticus today.
Mr. DeSimone is also currently a member of the Board of Directors of LD Resource Group, LLC, a business founded in 2001. LDR advises families of students with learning disabilities identifying the programs and resources that offer the best academic support for their learning styles and academic needs.
In 1998, Mr. DeSimone founded Planet Technology Solutions and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until the company was sold in 2001, returning four times the original investment to shareholders. The company is now part of California Amplifier (NASDAQ:CAMP). Planet specialized in wireless networks, technologies and applications for businesses and organizations in retail and healthcare industries. Planet’s clients included fortune 1000 companies, including healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies. During his tenure with Planet Technology, Mr. DeSimone was featured as “Entrepreneur of the Month” by a New Jersey newspaper and media outlet. In 1992, he was honored by the American Society of Quality Control for his contributions related to technology in support of quality programs and was engaged to provide consulting and advisory services to businesses and trade associations on quality and customer satisfaction. Mr. DeSimone and his wife, Dawn, have each been recognized by schools and local communities for their service to education, and he has been singled out for developing the bond issue to support technology implementation in the school systems in his community.
In the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s Mr. DeSimone provided mergers and acquisitions and financing advisory services to hundreds of businesses and accounted for dozens of financing and M&A transactions. Mr. DeSimone is currently advising numerous healthcare providers and health and wellness providers on their strategic options for combinations and acquisitions.
Mr. DeSimone is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, customer satisfaction, quality and safety, process improvement, and on the uses of technology to improve our lives and businesses.