Innovation Hub USA

Andrew Wilson – President & Chief Executive Officer of Quiet Professionals

ANDREW WILSON, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF QUIET PROFESSIONALS
Quiet Professionals Logo

SUPERIOR SKILLS,
PROVEN PERFORMANCE

ANDREW WILSON, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF QUIET PROFESSIONALS

ANDREW WILSON, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF QUIET PROFESSIONALS

Andrew Wilson currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Quiet Professionals, LLC. He is married to Cindy Wilson and has three children and three grandchildren. He is an accomplished inventor holding a current patent on innovative navigation technology. He is a valorous combat decorated retired Sergeant Major of the United States Army, with 20 years of service working as a Senior Special Operations Non-commissioned Officer, 14 of which were served in 1st Special Forces Operation Detachment – Delta. Andrew also has over 10 years of proven Executive Leadership in various positions.

After military retirement, Andrew established a company to provide specialized subject matter expert services to the Department of Defense and commercial customers. He successfully obtained a government facility security clearance for two of his companies to facilitate sourcing cleared personnel for classified contracts, conducted business development and strategic planning, and successfully grew his first company. With just over two years in that business his company reached more than seven million dollars in gross annual revenue. Andrew successfully negotiated and completed the sale of his personal membership interest in his first defense contracting business.

One year later, Andrew launched Quiet Professionals, LLC in order to continue providing opportunities for seasoned experts in the defense industry field and to meet the ongoing demands of both the US Government and the commercial industry for a qualified and competent professional workforce. Since starting Quiet Professionals, the company has enjoyed more than 100% annual growth consecutively since 2013.

Q and A with Andrew

What inspires you?
The single most inspirational part of my life is living in a country that affords me the freedom for limitless growth in innovation and opportunity. I am mostly inspired by listening to the tremendous accomplishments of others in their personal and professional lives. I am inspired by the speed of technological advances in everything from transportation to modern medicine to the advancement in space initiatives.

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?
As a retiring Sergeant Major who had primarily performed in an operational role, transitioning to civilian life was both exciting and terrifying. Trying to translate a lifetime of government military service into the commercial space was challenging. I quickly learned that I was a serial entrepreneur. I knew I wanted to be in business for myself and was challenged every day to learn new things. I find great satisfaction in both giving back by mentoring other transitioning service members and bridging the translation gap between commercial and defense industries.

What would you say is a single achievement or contribution to the community you find the most rewarding? Why?
Standing up the Tampa Satellite Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) was one of the achievements I am very proud of. There is no doubt that Tampa will be a leading city for innovative unmanned systems technology. Assisting to educate local government, commercial industry, local academia and the defense industry with the latest international initiative in all things unmanned will certainly pay dividends to the successful economic growth in our region.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Trying to self-teach the art of starting and building a successful business.

What did you do to try to solve this challenge?
Know that you must learn something new every day. Understand that you will be knocked down…a lot. Standing back up when you have been knocked down and learning from the experience. Giving back to others the lessons that you learned the hard way. Never quitting and always taking the hard
right instead of the easy wrong. All of these things brought me through the hard path that led to building great businesses.

Quiet Professionals, LLC
2701 North Rocky Point Drive, Suite 175, Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: (813) 902-3557
Email: andy@quietprofessionalsllc.com
linkedin | facebook
www.quietprofessionalsllc.com

Jim Barnish, Jr. Thought Leader of Morgan Hill Partners

JIM BARNISH , JR. OF MORGAN HILL PARTNERS

JIM BARNISH, JR.

OF MORGAN HILL PARTNERS

JIM BARNISH , JR. OF MORGAN HILL PARTNERS

Biography

Jim Barnish is a strategic change leader with over 15 years of leadership experience in global and integrated operations, M&A, and strategic go-to-market planning. Over the course of his career, Jim has successfully worked with companies undergoing roll-up mergers and acquisitions, accelerated business development, process improvement, change management, and operational transformation initiatives – guiding organizations in the effort to reinvent themselves and spur growth.

As General Partner and Founder at Morgan Hill Partners, his responsibilities include:
Productization of the Path to Value playbook, client delivery, operations, and partnerships from StartUp to ScaleUp, talent recruitment, and development, as well as business development through digital marketing and sales optimization.

The World of Technology

“I started working in strategy [acquisitions] and operational roles at an early age and continued down that path throughout college. After college, I worked as an operational district manager before making my way into the coalescing world of technology and consulting at Tribridge. This is where I really hit my stride. Starting out in a strategy role in the Human Capital Management division evaluating acquisitions and improving business processes, my role soon evolved into a corporate role, working for the CFO to create new solutions, evaluate new workloads, and drive additional strategic initiatives.

Working in a high-growth technology environment at Tribridge, I became obsessed with leveraging innovation and technology to improve strategy and business processes. When the opportunity to build and run the investment strategy at Florida Funders was offered to me, I was excited to dive in because this was my chance to create scalable processes and find innovative technology companies to invest in.

Speaking with hundreds of early-stage companies at Florida Funders, I began to see the challenges that run rampant in that ecosystem. This led me into my next two endeavors: StartUp Solutions and Morgan Hill Partners.

StartUp Solutions was my independent consulting company that was centered around helping tech startups put the right strategy and processes in place to raise capital.

The Learning Journey

Morgan Hill Partners (MHP) is the evolution of my effort with StartUp Solutions, teaming up with two other serial entrepreneurs. The vision of MHP is utilizing a proven “playbook” and executive talent to help startups predictably build, innovate, and accelerate growth. We started MHP in early 2018 and have already assembled an experienced team of executives combined with some of the top young consultative talent throughout the country.

To sum it all up, success to me has been the “learning journey” to get to where a person wants to be in their life. My learning journey is above, but the biggest takeaway is the success of being comfortable and excited across every aspect of life.

My Mantra

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential, these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence” – Confucius “Trust the process” – A phrase that has become popular in sports, but is applicable to any organization. Building out and truly living by an organizational process is key to success. If you don’t have a roadmap (playbook) for your company in place, how can you expect your people to follow it?

“Be your own client” – Morgan Hill was built from the perspective of a startup. As the company evolved, the vision we were working towards remained the same: “As an early-stage company, what would the ideal partner look like?” Morgan Hill’s key differentiators (from other consultancies) are our Path to Value playbook, pricing model (cash, deferred cash, and equity) and fractional executive expertise, which were all formed on the basis of that question.

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – This quote is integral to any person trying to build a business. Surrounding one’s self with a brilliant team will yield exponential results. Self-awareness and knowing your gaps allow you to hire and partner with the right people to drive success at anything you do.

Why we chose St. Petersburg Florida

St. Pete has been a great place to build out a business. The local startup ecosystem has allowed Morgan Hill to align ourselves with mutually beneficial partnerships, driving a lot of value for all parties. Referrals to exciting, tech/ tech-enabled startups have resulted in a system that propels growth for both the Tampa/St. Pete ecosystem as well as Morgan Hill Partners.

linkedin: jimbarnish
twitter: jimbarnish?lang=en
https://angel.co/jim-barnish-jr

JR Griggs – Founder & President of Red Wall Marketing

JR Griggs Red Wall Marketing - Headshot

A BORN INNOVATOR

FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT JR GRIGGS - RED WALL MARKETING

JR Griggs Red Wall Marketing - Headshot

I’ve had a passion for startups and innovation for a very long time. Actually, ever since I was just a little kid I’ve had that entrepreneurial spirit. I was the kid selling candy at school and mowing lawns on weekends and during summers. I always knew I would own a business someday, and am a huge fan of anyone starting a business or innovating in any way.

I believe in people following their passions and solving problems. We have amazing people in this world with great ideas. A business exists to solve a problem or fill a need, and this is how we are able to grow as a society.

I say often that in today’s world, you really need to be starting something, or be a part of starting something. We grew as a nation with people either doing something or being an apprentice to doing something. Businesses solved problems and filled needs. You learned the skills so you could do it yourself someday. We’re getting back to that in many ways, except it’s a much bigger playing field now with so much more capability.

You don’t have to be stuck in a cubicle at a company where you feel like just a replaceable number. It’s a time like no other. The tools and resources available are infinite! You can now start a business, have a website, invoicing system, and office tools all in the same day, and for free or ridiculously cheap. You can broadcast to tens of thousands of people, also for free or ridiculously cheap. Yes, it’s not necessarily easy, but it is possible.

I started my company while painting garage floors. I worked for two bad companies in a row and decided I’d had enough. I began doing anything I could to learn: listening to podcasts and audiobooks, reading marketing materials while waiting for a floor to dry, staying up as late as I could to work on my business. If I wasn’t doing my day job, I was working on building a business. I used any free time I had, and found all of the amazing resources available to start my business.

Too many people complain about their life, or something they want, not existing. There’s no excuse not to go out and do something you want or have a passion for. If you’re not happy and want to start your own thing, go and do it. Make it happen! If you see a problem no one is solving, go and solve it. Now is your time.

Stop looking for permission. It’s time to start something, innovate, solve problems, make the world a better place!

RED WALL Marketing logo JR Griggs

500 E Kennedy Blvd #307
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-530-1122
RedWallMarketing.com

Alex Sink – Tampa Bay WaVe

Alex Sink
Alex Sink

"TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE TAMPA BAY THRIVE"

ALEX SINK

What we see in our startup community is so inspiring. There are so many entrepreneurs building companies with exciting technology and creative thinking. Problems are being solved and doors being opened. Tampa Bay is a community of great opportunities and wonderful people. It is the community that I have called home for 30 years and it is a community that is ambitious and growing.

For many years, my passion has been to work diligently to help raise the level of economic opportunity across the state and right here in Tampa Bay. One thing that I have seen in that time is that communities, like ours, grow when there is innovation, diversity, and collaboration.

Investment in Innovation
Tampa Bay has not historically invested in innovation-driven or technology-based businesses. Despite being home to companies like TechData and Jabil Circuit, our community has been primarily built around tourism and the real estate market. In 2008, our local economy came to a dead halt as a result of the Great Recession. We certainly don’t want to see history repeat itself so we must build a more diverse economy.

This is why we need to encourage our investor community to engage in our technology ecosystem. There are many opportunities for traditional investors to participate in the growth of our technology community. We need our investment community to diversify and part of that diversification needs to be a focus on technology.

Diversity is an Asset
One of the things I love about Tampa Bay is how varied we are as a community. If you look around our region, you can see how each city and town is a little different from the next. Each area has a unique history and culture and we enjoy them because they are different from our own. There are so many wonderful and creative things happening around the Bay that would not exist without diversity.

I believe that diversity goes well beyond the cultural, gender, and racial definitions we apply to it. Diversity gives us different perspectives and it gives us the space for new ideas. Diversity is vital to an innovation-driven economy and we need to actively curate it. Diversity is an asset because it creates value. I also believe that if we nurture it, diversity can bring us all together.

Collaboration is Currency
Across our community, I see a need for even greater collaboration. We need to get involved and we need to be more engaged. Our ecosystem is on the rise and Tampa Bay is being recognized as an emerging market for technology and innovation. We need stronger partnerships and closer communication in order to tackle the challenges ahead. Participation and commitment on the part of the government, higher education, nonprofits and the private sector will be critical to our long-term success.

As our community continues to grow, I see a remarkable opportunity for Tampa Bay to become a dynamic and diverse 21st-century economy. If we bring our resources together, we have the potential to make Tampa Bay one of the leading innovation hubs in the United States.

Please join me in this effort. Find a way to get involved and contribute. If you are already engaged, thank you. I look forward to working together with you.

Tampa Bay Wave logo - Alex Sink

500 E. Kennedy Blvd, Suite 300
Tampa, Florida 33602
Phone: 866-928-3066
facebook/twitter: tampabaywave
linkedin: tampa-bay-wave
www.tampabaywave.org

Dr. Jacqueline Darna – Nomo Nausea

Dr. Jacqueline Darna inventor of NoMo Nausea bands

NOMO NAUSEA

DR. JACQUELINE DARNA

Dr. Jacqueline Darna inventor of NoMo Nausea bands

As a medical professional, Dr. Jacqueline Darna was aware of copious antiemetics. However, when they didn’t work after her surgery, she knew she needed to find an alternative relief. Inventing NoMo Nausea bands, not only allowed her to hold her sweet baby girl, but to help moms in the same position. Although perhaps initially difficult to encourage people to try something “untraditional”, NoMo bands have flourished. Clinical trials and hospital partnerships have expanded the reach of NoMo Nausea bands and their soothing power. Now with 5 product lines and products in 12 countries, Dr. Darna knows people are getting the help they need. People are not just imagining a day without nausea they are experiencing a full, adventurous and healthier life with NoMo Bands.

Vision Statement
I was in the hospital having my second child. The resulting joys of childbirth took a turn when my emergency C-section left me sick, nauseated and vomiting for three days. With no relief from traditional medication, I tried aromatherapy and acupressure, which worked! But, my search for a similar product combining these two powerfully soothing agents turned up empty. So, I created my own. After all, if it helped me, how many other people can it help?

NoMo Nausea Bands and other all-natural remedies will undoubtedly continue to develop a sense of open-mindedness, adventure and healthy living in the Tampa Bay Community. If people can imagine a healthier life, they can achieve so much more!

Open-mindedness
Tampa has a culture of trying new things, making it a beautiful breeding ground for entrepreneurs. From unique restaurants to water bikes,  open-mindedness is key. By being open to different possibilities, like all-natural remedies, people can experience their life to the fullest!

Adventure
Travelers come to Tampa from all over the world, whether by cruise, plane or car. Products that increase the fun during an adventure and take away motion sickness, like NoMo Bands, will certainly succeed here in Tampa.

Healthy Living
Everywhere parents and individuals worry about medicine’s side effects, dosages and timing, pregnant and breastfeeding moms especially! So, the proliferation of organic, all-natural and healthy lifestyles are sure to popularize these products. Tampa’s culture is the perfect prescription for increased access to all-natural, innovative products, whether people are seeking a healthier daily lifestyle, comfortable pregnancy or just a fun vacation.

Dr. Jacqueline Darna NoMo Nausea - logo

Write Us: info@nomonausea.com
Call Us: 813-528-8877
facebook | twitter | instagram
www.NoMoNausea.com

Brian Moyer – Nashville: Your Creative Tech Destination

Brian Moyer

"NASHVILLE: YOUR CREATIVE TECH DESTINATION"

BRIAN MOYER, PRESIDENT & CEO, GREATER NASHVILLE TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Brian Moyer
Brian Moyer President & CEO Greater Nashville Technology Council

A creative culture fosters an ideal environment for growth and innovation. The Nashville area is a welcoming, cooperative ecosystem that actively nurtures both new and existing tech companies. The community is a magnet for new tech talent from other markets and is aggressively expanding its own tech talent pipeline.

At the start of 2018, the Greater Nashville area was home to 2,617 tech companies, up 11% from the previous year. Our tech workforce totaled 41,300, earning more than the average non-tech worker in Nashville, for a total economic impact of $6.1 Billion. The tech sector spans all our major industries serving as the enabling force driving innovation and growth in healthcare, music and entertainment, manufacturing, finance and others.

In the last 12 months, Money Magazine ranked Nashville as the 8th hottest city for tech jobs, and Forbes ranked us as the 7th in the U.S. for growth of tech jobs.Business.org ranked Nashville 6th in the nation for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups, and Kaufman ranked us 4th in the country for Entrepreneurship Growth.

The Nashville region is defined by a diverse economy, low cost of living and low barriers to conducting business, a creative culture and a well-educated population. Cultural diversity, unique neighborhoods, a variety of industries and a thriving creative community make Middle Tennessee among the nation’s best location for relocating, expanding and starting companies.

With Nashville’s growth, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for finding work, especially for tech workers who enjoy a 66% higher wage than the average wage earner in Middle Tennessee. Our unparalleled creative community – with a mashup of musicians, artists, writers, developers and designers – translates into a tech scene unlike any other in America.

So, the next time you visit Nashville, whether it’s for work or play, we invite you to join us at Tech Hill Commons to experience Nashville’s Creative Tech
Community.

nashville technology council BRIAN MOYER, logo

Tech Hill Commons, 500 Interstate Blvd S.,
Suite 200, Nashville TN 37210
Phone: 615-873-1284
twitter: @nashtechcouncil, @bdmoyer
linkedin
www.technologycouncil.com

Chuck Papageorgiou – CEO of International Screening Solutions

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - UT Pitch Room

“TAMPA BAY INNOVATORS SIMPLY NEED TO CONTINUE CHALLENGING THE “WHAT IS”, LEVERAGE THE, EVER EXPANDING, RESOURCES OUR REGION HAS TO OFFER TO DELIVER THEIR VISION OF “WHAT IT CAN BE;” TRY NEW THINGS. BE WRONG. LEARN FROM IT. AND ALWAYS LOOK FOR BETTER SOLUTIONS.”

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU, ENTREPRENEUR, CEO OF INTERNATIONAL SCREENING SOLUTIONS, MANAGING PARTNER OF IDEASPHERE PARTNERS.

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - UT Pitch Room

For many years, I never really considered myself an innovator because I was the operator, the solver, the builder, or the fixer, but not the “idea guy”. Then a professor friend of mine pointed out that finding creative ways to solve big problems, was doing just that. After all, being an innovator means shaking things up from time to time, and always looking for improvements. Now that I look back, I’ve been doing this for most of my life.

It started early on when, as a 16-year-old student, I built my first FM radio transmitter. I followed the process, mostly, and applied for a license for a 10W school radio station based on an old military design. I decided to modify the design to boost one of the factors, and ended up building a 1,000W station, which messed up other local signals for a couple of weeks, baffling the local authorities, until they figured out what was going on and called my school. I got into a little trouble over that, but my love for technology endured and I continue building electronics and writing software.

Chuck is an operator. From building and leading his own successful company, International Screening Solutions, to taking on turnarounds of global companies with thousands of employees. He is a mentor for entrepreneurs and inventors, both at the University of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Waveand volunteers his time annually to the St. Petersburg College Business Plan competition. Life balance and finding time for family and self is important to Chuck. In addition to spending time with his wife and two beautiful daughters, Chuck finds time to meditate, practice Martial Arts, fish the Tampa Bay waters, and enjoys time in his woodworking shop, designing and building furniture pieces.

Fast forward a few decades; past my tour as a Sergeant in the Cyprus Army, in special services, a couple of attempts at a corporate career, a couple of startups, leading transaction for over $9Bn in M&A, and driving some major turnarounds all over the world, and I ended up back building some cool technology for the global risk space, WorldWatch Plus® (www.worldwatchplus.com), with my company International Screening Solutions (www.intlscreening.com).

Of course, as much as I love the field, technology, and innovation by themselves don’t always make commercial sense, and over the years I had my share of failures. But being occasionally wrong is also part of the fun. It’s where change happens. People need to realize that being an innovator simply means refusing to accept the status quo, being open to looking at problems and challenges from multiple angles, and willing to try things even if it means being wrong. Becoming a successful innovator also requires going beyond this and being curious, pursuing continuous learning across many disciplines, and learning to use the tools that can translate ideas into plans, strategies, products, and solutions.

I love the Tampa Bay region and have been actively engaged in building our ecosystem for over a decade. And it has been a great base for me, ISS, and Ideasphere. I have built friendships with many of the local innovators, who are always willing to bounce ideas around that help me improve our products. And when, for the first time ever, I decided to raise outside capital for ISS, the lead investors where all local. This region is becoming a hotbed of innovation and I am thrilled to be part of it!

CHUCK PAPAGEORGIOU - Ideasphere logo

E-mail: c.papageorgiou@ideasphere.com
twitter: @chuckPapaG

Manik Arora – VIP Thought Leader | Arora Engineers, inc

Arora, Manik Portrait

"A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ENGINEERING FIRM SPECIALIZING IN DESIGN, PROGRAM AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

MANIK ARORA, PE IS THE PRESIDENT & CEO OF ARORA ENGINEERS, INC.

Arora, Manik Portrait
Manik has over 25 years of specialized experience, including the design and construction management of aviation, transportation, education, and government projects. He is a registered Professional Engineer in over 30 states.

Historical to Modern Infrastructure
Philadelphia is the birthplace of our country and home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern infrastructure. However, with its rapid development over the years, the number of users is quickly exceeding the original capacity of its built environment. In response to this roadblock, two of our major transportation hubs, Philadelphia International Airport and 30th Street Station, are striving to renovate and revitalize their infrastructure to accommodate growth.

This need creates an incredible opportunity for our industry to improve the quality of life in our city by rethinking infrastructure. As we work to modernize and expand our built environment, we can change how we approach the design to make it smarter, safer, more efficient, and better equipped to serve both operators and end-users.

How can we make a building like a beating heart?
While we have that opportunity, this is the time to really design a facility to react and condition itself according to its needs. Different elements of movement, situational awareness, and facilities management can now be monitored and maintained through technology. Therefore, Arora is incorporating components like geo-positioning and movement analytics into the infrastructure, which can alert us to what the building needs to address and solve at a specific point in time. As a result, building operators will be able to manage a facility more efficiently and incorporate more sustainable solutions, which can significantly improve how facilities function, while also decreasing operational costs. 

Manik Arora Designed Digital Signage at Philadelphia International Airport

This type of innovation will also enhance the user experience for all, particularly within transportation. Whether you are a passenger who is disabled, an unaccompanied minor, or traveling with a family, advancements in a facility’s interactive digital signage, wayfinding, and mobile applications can put the control back in the hands of the user and significantly improve one’s travel experience. No matter who you are or what your situation is, more intelligent infrastructure can now meet your needs and help you make your own decisions throughout your journey.

I truly believe the spirit and passion of this great sports city drives innovation and inspires us to provide more intelligent solutions for the world around us. As Philadelphia follows a growing trend and continues to invest in major infrastructure improvement, Arora Engineers is excited and prepared to apply these innovative solutions and improve the lives of everyday people in the process.

Manik Arora - Arora Logo

61 Wilmington West Chester Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
1600 Market Street, Suite 1630
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Contact person: Adam Oliver
Email: aoliver@aroraengineers.com
Phone: 610-459-7900
instagram | facebook | twitter | linkedin
www.aroraengineers.com

Geoff Gross, Founder & CEO – Medical Guardian

Geoff Gross CEO of Medical Guardian

"A RICH HISTORY OF INNOVATION AND GROWTH IN PHILADELPHIA"

GEOFF GROSS, FOUNDER AND CEO - MEDICAL GUARDIAN

Geoff Gross CEO of Medical Guardian

For many, the American Dream involves an opportunity to create your own success, no matter your financial, educational, or ethnic background. After all, America’s story began with a scrappy bunch of dreamers who wanted the opportunity to build a better country. In that regard, it seems safe to say that Philadelphia is the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest startups—the American democracy. With that legacy coursing through the veins of the city, Philadelphia has been able to quietly grow its startup ecosystem over the years, which has attracted a variety of dreamers, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Philadelphia is known for “Eds and Meds,” as it is home to world-class educational institutions and some of the most progressive medical hospitals and training facilities nationwide. University City is the neighborhood in West Philadelphia that houses University of Pennsylvania, which has been ranked among the Top 10 Best Colleges by U.S. News, and Drexel University, which has been ranked among the Top 25 on the “Most Innovative Schools” list for National Universities. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has also made U.S. News’ Honor Roll for the nation’s best children’s hospitals. The sense of innovation in Philadelphia isn’t just contained to University City—it’s started to seep into other neighborhoods throughout the city, providing opportunity for those with big ideas.

Geoff Gross is the Founder and CEO of Medical Guardian, one of the nation’s leading providers of personal emergency response systems (PERS) which protects and provides peace of mind to over 100,000 older adults nationwide. Geoff has been named a 2018 Top CEO by Glassdoor, featured in Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO’s” list, a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Smart CEO Magazine’s “Future 50,” and a “40 under 40” by Philadelphia Business Journal and Direct Marketing News.

Just a mile east of University City is downtown Center City, a booming neighborhood known for some of the fastest-growing companies in the country, including the only medical alert solutions provider in the city, Medical Guardian. As a one-stop personal emergency response systems (PERS) provider, we’re dedicated to helping people take on the next chapter of their life head-on through our innovative, first-of-its-kind technology; empowering older adults nationwide to truly live a life without limits.

And you can’t talk about first-of-its-kind technology without talking about the new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, which is located just a block away from Medical Guardian. As the Comcast Center’s sister space and Comcast Corporation’s global headquarters, Comcast Innovation and Technology Center is the tallest skyscraper in the city, and ninth tallest in the U.S. Designed specifically for tech startups, engineers and software architects, the Center is an incubator for technology-based business, comprised of a ‘state-of-the-art’ accelerator space.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia and never considered moving anywhere else to launch my business. I launched Medical Guardian from my Center City apartment and within two years had moved into a Center City office space with a team of 10 people. Five years after that, Medical Guardian had grown so much that I had to move into a bigger office space. Today, we occupy two floors at 1818 Market and employ a team of over 300. I don’t think we could have accomplished this type of growth anywhere other than the city of Philadelphia.

Looking ahead, I believe the biggest opportunity awaiting leaders is investing in people. More than generations past, people are now choosing to forgo moving to the suburbs to have families and are staying in the city—and businesses need to accommodate that. Philadelphia is growing its entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem largely because of its collaborative community-oriented spirit, diversity, and unrelenting desire to succeed. After all, it’s part of our history.

Geoff Gross Medical Gaurdian Logo

1818 Market St.,
Suite 1200
Philadelphia 19103
Phone: 215-977-8000
twitter | youtube | facebook
linkedin: medical-guardian
www.medicalguardian.com

Sue Daugherty – Manna Thought Leader

SUE DAUGHERTY, CEO OF MANNA
SUE DAUGHERTY, CEO OF MANNA

“WHEN IT COMES TO PHILADELPHIA’S OUTSTANDING
HEALTHCARE AND UNIVERSITY ECOSYSTEM, ONE
THING IS CLEAR: INNOVATION HAPPENS HERE.”

SUE DAUGHERTY, CEO OF MANNA

But often overlooked is the talent drawn to the region’s well-established and innovative nonprofit sector, which continually adapts to meet the growing needs of a city that sadly tops the charts in rates of chronic disease and poverty. As the CEO of MANNA, a community-based organization delivering medically tailored meals to people battling life-threatening illnesses, I witness the magic that happens when the healthcare sector and the nonprofit sector come together to meet the nutritional needs of our most vulnerable community members.

The population of people we serve face tremendous barriers to accessing the specific diet they need to manage complex diseases, ranging from poor supermarket access to low culinary literacy to inadequate energy levels needed for cooking. Our clients not only need Philadelphia’s highly trained healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat their illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS, but they require specialized nutrition services alongside their medications and treatment plans that enable them to heal. At MANNA, our dedicated volunteers and talented staff prepare more than one million medically tailored meals per year to meet this need, all completely free of charge for our 3,300+ clients.

We use food as medicine to improve health, and our regional healthcare system is catching on; we’ve created one of a kind partnerships with local payers like Health Partners Plans, Aetna Better Health, Keystone First, and United Healthcare to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare
utilization and costs by providing services for their members. These payers understand the value-add of our services, which quantified in healthcare cost savings in a published, peer-reviewed research study. When compared to a matched control group, MANNA clients’ average monthly healthcare costs were $13,000 less, the rate of hospitalization was 50% lower, and clients were 23% more likely to be released from the hospital to their homes, rather than a subacute care facility. Early outcomes from our health insurance partnerships mirror these findings, providing undeniable evidence that nutrition is a critical part of care when treating serious illnesses.

It excites me to see the progress made at the intersection of Philadelphia’s food and healthcare systems – organizations like the Food Trust and the Coalition Against Hunger have done tremendous work educating consumers, healthcare leaders, and policymakers about the connection between food and health. We have a long way to go until the nutritional needs of all individuals are met throughout all phases of health and illness, but there is no better mix of talent across industries than the mix here in Philadelphia, and I am honored to be a part of it.

manna logo 2012

420 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 215-496-2662
www.mannapa.org