Direct Allergy Management Team and Board of Advisors
Robert Schultz is the Founder and President of Direct Allergy, LLC. Mr. Schultz has been a leader and innovator in business development, strategic management, sales management, marketing and business alliances for over 25 years. During this time-period, Mr. Schultz has been recognized for numerous professional achievements including recognition for becoming a 3-time National Pharmaceutical Regional Manager of the Year. In June, 2011, Mr. Schultz founded his own consulting firm; Innovative Management Solutions, Inc. (IMS, Inc.). IMS, Inc. spearheaded the commercial development of Direct Allergy, LLC. Today, Direct Allergy operates in 5 states and planned growth for years 2017 through 2019 is rapid. In 2014, Mr. Schultz was recognized by a division of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) for the Innovation Development of Direct Allergy, LLC. BFTP not only supported funding for this venture, but joined the organization by taking an equity position which represented a very rare event for the Commonwealth and a significant business achievement for Direct Allergy, LLC. In 2015, Direct Allergy received the 2015 Best of Erie, PA Award and most recently, in February, 2017, Mr. Schultz himself was named to Strathmore’s 2017 class of Who’s Who, a national publication and registry honoring successful individuals within the fields of Business, Arts and Sciences, Law, Engineering and Government. Inclusion is limited to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their occupation, industry or profession. Mr. Schultz’s proven leadership qualities, uncompromising integrity, and keen insight of market dynamics has aided him in his relentless pursuit for building “a-best-in-class” medical service organization business model. His diverse business expertise was nurtured and developed with highly regarded organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly & Company, NDC Health, Reliant Pharmaceuticals-GSK, and the Ford Motor Company.
Dr. Gruhlkey has been a primary care physician in Austin, TX for over 10 years. He provides allergy services (AIM therapy) within his practice. Dr. Gruhlkey is the President of the Pan American Allergy Society and a faculty member of the National Procedure Institute (NPI) where he has trained over 1,500 primary care, internists, pediatric physicians, and ENT Specialists in discipline of Allergy Testing & Treatment. Dr. Gruhlkey e is a well-known and respected figure in the Allergy and Immunology industry and has been the recipient of numerous leadership awards throughout his career. Dr. Gruhlkey graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and an MD degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Houston, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Gruhlkey received the Mead Johnson Award for Graduate Medical Education in 2000 and AMA Foundation Leadership Award in 2003. He is married to a highly reputable pediatrician, and resides in New Braunfels, TX.
A senior level executive with more than 30 years of experience in diverse functional business areas of the pharmaceutical and data (health information) industries. Mr. Zajac was instrumental in the successful development of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, LLC where he served as the company’s Vice President of Corporate Operations from 1998 to 2008, and assisting with the sale of that organization to GSK. Joe is a well-known and highly respected expert in the discipline of business analytics and decision support. Most recently, Joe was with XenoPort, Inc. responsible for building a new sales organization to support their initial commercial operations. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Sales Operations and Business Analytics at Reliant Pharmaceuticals-GSK. Mr. Zajac has been steadfast and resolute since joining the Direct Allergy, LLC founding team in 2012, guiding Direct Allergy Management in building a best in class business model for “Point of Care” Specialty Allergy Care. His Bachelor of Arts is from Princeton University, and he graduated with an MBA from Lehigh University.
Mr. Foss has been working within the business sector for many years. He has held a variety of leadership roles including General Manager for a Minor-League Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chief Financial Officer for an internet media agency and Controller/CFO for a global automotive supplier. As a consultant and outsourced vendor, Mike works to assist start-ups, acquisition and other traditional environments in the areas of financial management, budgeting and control, accounting and reporting, human resources, IT, insurance and contract negotiation. Mike Foss received his MBA from Cleveland State University and BS from Slippery Rock University and is a member of Institute of Management Accountants.
A senior level executive with over 30 Years of successful Sales, Marketing, Training and Business Development experience with Fortune 500 companies; assisting CEO’s, VPs, Directors and Managers in all aspects of business development and implementation of executive coaching, new product training, management development, recruiting and business plan introduction. Mark has been involved in over-seeing the successful launches on new start-up organizations and excels in the execution side of business planning. His expertise is very broad within the medical services and pharmaceutical industries ranging from Business Strategy & Planning, Business Operations, Human Resources, Internal Communications, Sales, Marketing & Public Relations. Mark was a Division 1 Basketball Player. He started out his career in Education where he received the “Distinguished Education Leader” award from Eastern KY University. Mr. Green also received the Gold Medal for the United States Junior Olympic Basketball Coach – AAU. Mark received his B.A., Biology & Physical Education from Transylvania University, his Masters of Arts in Secondary Education from Georgetown College, his EdS in Administration & Supervision from Eastern Kentucky University, and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Administration from Kennedy Western University. His has numerous awards recognizing his corporate leadership achievements with Johnson & Johnson and within the pharma and medical device industries.
Julie Lewis is a Principal of Evolutions Consultants, LLC. Julie and her highly reputable company have been retained by Direct Allergy, LLC as a 3rd Party Administrator to assist Direct Allergy in Billing/Coding Training, to manage the Reimbursement Analysis in-concert with a Direct Allergy, LLC Client-Prospect during the Pre-Contracting Phase, and manage a Q&A hotline, should a Direct Allergy Client’s Billing Department need to ask a question about Allergy Testing and Treatment Billing and Coding. Evolutions Consultants operate out of two locations in the San Antonio Metro Area. It was founded with the mindset of assisting medical practices with the foundations that would help assure success and growth. Their Corporate location is New Braunfels, Texas, in the heart of the Hill Country and they service clients of all sizes multi-regionally. Evolutions specializes in New Medical Practice Set-up, 3rd Party Medical Billing & Collections, Medical Code & Billing Audit, Electronic Health Record Conversion, Physician Credentialing, Medical Practice Audit, Medical Practice Contracting, Medical Practice Management & Administration, Worker’s Compensation Billing, e-Rx E-Prescribing), and Training & Development of Client Staff in all areas name above.
Pam has specialized in allergy care since 1977 when she joined the office of Dr. James Willoughby, M.D. Over the next 21 years, she tested, trained and taught SET (serial endpoint titration) as well as Provocative Food testing with one of the nation’s pioneers in allergy. While working with Dr. Willoughby, she taught all aspects of allergy to many members of the AAOA, the Pan American Allergy Society and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. In addition to SET, Pam has taught other allergy techniques including: MQT (modified quantitative testing), SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy) and RAST-based immunotherapy. Her expertise is sought and contracted by physician practices across the country.
Marc has been a registered nurse for forty years. Upon graduating from nursing school, he worked in an emergency room in Zanesville, OH, and then in Southeastern Ohio Otolaryngology, where he developed their allergy department, all the while mentoring with many of the pioneers in the field of ENT allergy. He worked in the ER in the evenings while managing the allergy department through the day clinically and from the business side. By 1989, he was only working occasionally in the ER and his focus was entirely on allergy. He continued to attend courses sponsored by the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy as well as the Pan American Allergy Society, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology. After overseeing the allergy department for S.E.O.O. Inc. for twenty-three years, where they offered inhalant, food, chemical, and insect allergy testing and treatment to their patients, he went on to work with Antigen Laboratories, an FDA licensed allergy extract manufacturer. After an initial time in sales, as the Midwest Regional Manager, he became Antigen’s Clinical Science Liaison and continued in that capacity until their closure in 2013. He has helped set up and train many offices around the country since 1980 and continues to work as an Independent Allergy Nurse Consultant. He is well versed in all aspects of allergy from the clinical perspective to the regulatory and business side. His expert knowledge continues to be sought by physicians and companies throughout the country.
Rebecca Barraclough has been a part of the Direct Allergy team since August 2013. She was part of the initial success with the pilot program and since has come on board as a Regional Trainer supporting our National Nurse Trainers and Chief Medical Officer. Rebecca was recognized in her nursing class and awarded from faculty with “The Bridget Nestor Christenson Spirit of Nursing Award” which recognizes her with a true passion for nursing and patient welfare. Prior to coming on board with Direct Allergy Rebecca worked in NYC at Manhattan Physicians Group a very high volume faced paced multi-specialty hospital group.
Current Board of Advisors
Investor and Chairman of the Direct Allergy Board of Advisors – Dr. Aigner is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inspirion Delivery Technologies. He is also co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inspirion Pharmaceuticals LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to providing patients with safe, efficacious, and affordable therapeutic solutions. Dr. Aigner has more than twenty years of broad healthcare industry experience. Dr. Aigner was previously Executive Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Alpharma, Inc., where he was responsible for transforming the company’s specialty pharmaceuticals business precipitating its acquisition by King Pharmaceuticals for $1.6 billion in 2008. Prior to Alpharma, Dr. Aigner was co-founder of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a private equity backed specialty pharmaceutical company. During his tenure at Reliant, Dr. Aigner was a key driver in building a fully integrated specialty pharma infrastructure with more than 1,300 employees. Dr. Aigner also held the position of Executive Vice President of Business Development and Scientific Affairs. During his seven-year tenure with Reliant, Dr. Aigner led the company through multiple product acquisitions and in-licensing transactions with aggregate deal value in excess of $1 billion. While at Reliant, he was part of the management team that successfully raised over $750 million in multiple private equity and venture capital funding rounds. Reliant was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007 for $1.65 billion. Prior to co-founding Reliant, Dr. Aigner was a Senior Consultant with The Wilkerson Group, a specialty healthcare consulting firm in New York. Dr. Aigner graduated summa cum laude with a medical degree from the University of Erlangen, Germany. He has over ten years of broad clinical experience including four years of postgraduate OB/GYN experience at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. Dr. Aigner is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Cipher Pharmaceuticals and several privately held companies.
Medical Board of Advisors
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy’s Board of Managers and Chief Medical Officer (Medical Advisor Board). William Reisacher, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist and allergist, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of airborne and food allergies in children and adults. Dr. Reisacher received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University in 1990 and graduated from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1994 with Distinction in Research. He completed two years of General Surgery training at St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC in 1996, and completed his Otolaryngology residency at The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary in 2000. After five years of private practice in the Hudson Valley region of New York, Dr. Reisacher returned to academic practice at Weill Cornell. Dr. Reisacher is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. He has published numerous chapters and research papers, and is currently engaged in funded basic science and clinical research. He has presented his work on local allergy diagnosis at both national and international meetings and has been a member of the Allergy & Immunology Committee and Board of Governors of the AAO-HNS. He has also served for the past seven years as an oral examiner for the AAOA Fellowship exam and is a member of the Fellowship Exam Committee as well. Dr. Reisacher has been on the Board of Directors of the AAOA for the past three years. He has been an instructor and mini-seminar moderator for the AAO-HNS Annual Meeting as well as an instructor for the Academy U program. Dr. Reisacher has appeared on national and local news broadcasts, providing commentary on ENT/allergy topics, and is actively involved as a scientific advisor to two early-stage biotechnology companies in New York City, Allovate and Immunovent, which are developing allergy-related technologies Dr. Reisacher developed while at Weill Cornell. Dr. Reisacher is currently on the full–time faculty of the Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Department at Weill Cornell Medical College / New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, where he is an Associate Professor and the Director of Allergy. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team and Chief Medical Officer (Medical Board of Advisors) – William Esper, MD is a board-certified internist and cardiologist, specializing in non-evasive cardiology. Dr. Esper has been practicing medicine for over 30 Years and is the Founder and Principal of Osteopathic Cardiology Associates. He is adjunct Professor at LECOM, one the fastest growing Medical Schools in the United States. His undergraduate degree is from University of Pittsburgh, 1973. He graduated medical school from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1977 and completed his residency training at Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1980. From 1980 to 1982, Dr. Esper completed his fellowship training at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he served as Chief Fellow. Dr. Esper has many certifications, affiliations, published many articles within the science of cardiology, and has been an investigator participating in many clinical trials. He is very involved in his community and community causes and serves on various boards such as “The Children’s Advocacy Foundation” and the St. Paul’s Mission Clinic” Dr. Esper resides in Erie, PA with his wife Sabena (Susie) Esper.
Practice Operations Board of Advisors
Advisor to Direct Allergy’s Board of Managers – Currently a Practice Director for a large Cardiology Group in Erie, PA; Osteopathic Cardiology Associates, Angela has over 30 years of successful experience in healthcare management over-seeing operations for multi-specialty groups, specialty groups, and primary care. Angela holds multiple certificates and credentials and has contributed in developing and managing several multi-million dollar practices. As a General Manager/Practice Director she has proven expertise in the ever-growing complexities of Practice Management; Human Resources, IT, Facility Management, Marketing, Strategic Planning, Outsourcing Management, Purchasing and Expense Management, Accounting, Billing, Claims, & Accounts Receivable, Legal: OSHA, ADA, EOE, FMLA, CLIA, COLA, JCAHO, FACTA, HIPAA, Stark I, II & III, fire safety, emergency management, making sure risk management policies are being followed and alerting malpractice carrier to any potential liability issues immediately, and making sure medical records are being stored and released appropriately. Despite Angela’s long and successful career, staying current with the Healthcare System’s constant changes remains one of her top priorities. Therefore, attending continuing education sessions via face-to-face conferences, webinars, podcasts, and online classes is an on-going activity. As Direct Allergy’s newest Board of Advisors, she monitors Corporate Office activities.
Sales & Marketing Board of Advisors
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team – A senior level executive with more than 26 years in the healthcare industry. Currently, Jay is Chief Experience Officer (CXO – Head of Customer Experience & Outcomes) at Intarcia Therapeutics, a cutting edge biotech company in Boston, MA. Previously, Jay has served in executive leadership roles at 1-800 Doctors (President), Novartis (Senior VP), Sunovian; formerly Sepracor (Executive VP), and Johnson & Johnson (Executive Director). His experience also includes start-ups with a focus in biotech and consumer healthcare initiatives. Jay resides in the Boston, MA area with his family. Areas of strength include customer experience, direct sales and sales leadership, brand marketing, launch planning and execution, commercial strategy, operations, managed markets, and alliance management.
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team – A senior level executive in the allergenic extract industry for over 25 years. Positions held include Director of Sales and Marketing at Bayer Allergy Products (Hollister-Stier Laboratories); Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Greer Laboratories; Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Antigen Laboratories, and Vice President for Allergy at QmedRx Compound Pharmacy. He has comprehensive knowledge of how allergic disease is managed in all care settings and specialties, as well as full understanding of the commercial tools available for conducting that management.
Co-Founder, Investor, and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team – A senior level executive with over 30 years of pharmaceutical and medical device leadership expertise within the sales, marketing and operational areas of Novartis, Fournier Pharma, Reliant-GSK and Cardionet, Manny has built high performing national sales forces with both Fortune 100 and start-up organizations. He has a proven track record for aligning companies’ strategic goals with financial performance. Due to his astute business acumen, Manny has also been retained to assist the Founder & President of Direct Allergy, LLC and the Direct Allergy Board of Manager’s with critical organization decision-making on key corporate matters and initiatives. He has an undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology and an MBA from New York University. Manny lives in Boston, MA with his wife, Joanne, and has three daughters.
Financial Board of Advisors
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team – A founding partner of Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company, P.C. Matt serves as the principal in charge of managing the tax-related services to many his firm’s larger clients. He ensures that all clients receive top-quality, proactive tax consulting and compliance services. Matt earned his B.S. degree in Accounting from Gannon University. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1989 and a Certified Valuation Analyst in 1999. He earned his Accredited Business Valuation designation in 2007. Previously, Matt was associated with a “Big 4″ international accounting firm. He was a senior manager in the tax consulting department. Matt has provided tax consulting and compliance services to business and industry, including large, publicly traded companies and privately held businesses for more than 25 years. He has extensive training in corporate and individual tax related matters. This training is coupled with significant experience in corporate and individual tax planning, representation of taxpayers under IRS examination, mergers and acquisitions, and estate and personal financial planning. Professionally, he is a member of the American Institute and Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy Management Team – Michael is a Partner in Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP’s Health Care Services Group, as well as the Coordinator of Nonprofit Client Services. With twenty-five years of experience in public accounting, his background includes providing assurance and advisory services to clients within the health care industry. Michael serves as the Audit & Accounting Coordinator for the Firm, which included monitoring the Firm’s quality control system. In addition to his roles for Arnett Carbis Toothman, Michael also serves as Secretary for Total Practice Management, LLC, providing physician billing and practice consulting services. Michael has extensive experience auditing health care organizations and adding value throughout the audit process, specifically relating to complex accounting transactions, financial reporting, and internal controls. He regularly makes presentations to boards of directors and professional groups, and has written articles on a variety of topics affecting the health care industry. Michael is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He also represents the Firm as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), and the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC). He is a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of HFMA and is currently serving as the Regional Executive of Region 3 of the HFMA. He is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
Operations Management Board of Advisors
Investor and Advisor to Direct Allergy’s Board of Advisors – After retiring from the chemical industry, Dr. Kosco spent the last 10+ years seeking out, funding and mentoring promising startup companies in the Erie PA area through Ben Franklin Technology Partners (a state organization whose purpose is to fund opportunities to initiate and grow businesses). He also assisted promising companies in raising millions of dollars in startup capital. One company, first recognized and funded by Ben Franklin, won the Amazon Web Services worldwide business plan contest (2000 applicants from 22 countries). That company had a successful exit. Prior to Ben Franklin, Dr. Kosco earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, and then joined Engelhard Industries as a bench chemist. His work eventually led to a role in manufacturing where he rose to Director of Manufacturing Technology, heading a group responsible for developing and commercializing on a large scale both internal technology and external toll manufacturing of products for major chemical and pharmaceutical companies. He was also responsible for technical liaison and transfer of technology to international subsidiaries. Duties included house account manager for German licensed technology that was sold to three major U.S. based chemical companies. He devised a predictive inventory control system to manage $1 million per month in precious metals. Dr. Kosco had major director roles in technology development, interfacing closely with sales/marketing at Degussa corporation and Mallinckrodt corporation. Groups under his oversight successfully developed and commercialized over 100 products in 30 years. He became General manager of the Chemical Catalyst U.S. division at Degussa, where he oversaw a turnaround of a business with a raw material throughput of $80 million per year. For two years Dr. Kosco was a consultant to a chemical startup business in Princeton N. J. funded by an Italian industrialist. He was responsible for setting up the manufacturing process, recruiting, and hiring of technical staff. That business was successfully sold to a Russian entrepreneur.
Former Direct Allergy LLC Executives
Emeritus Status: Direct Allergy’s 1st Chairman and CEO from December 2013 through December 2014
Current Investor. Direct Allergy wishes to acknowledge and thank Lt. (Ret.) General William “Gus” Pagonis for serving as Direct Allergy LLCs 1st Chairman and CEO from December 2013 through December 2014. His world-renowned dynamic leadership successfully brought Direct Allergy through beta site testing and operations planning which laid the groundwork for Direct Allergy’s to establish a stable platform for continued growth and success in an under-served market.
Background: General Pagonis is an elite figure in the U.S.A. He is world renown and co-authored a best seller; “Moving Mountains – Lessons in Leadership,” which is recommended by several universities and colleges for students studying either business logistics or managerial leadership. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal for Business, interviewed over 2,000 times on prime-time news, and is widely recognized for his logistical achievements particularly during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. When it comes to expertise in logistics and overall leadership in management of very complex projects and organizations, few people are better qualified than Gus Pagonis, a retired three-star U.S. Army Lieutenant General. Lieutenant Pagonis is widely recognized for his logistical achievements particularly during Desert Shield/Desert Storm where he commanded over 150,000 soldiers (largest in history). After successfully masterminding logistics for the Gulf War and winning high praise from his boss, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Pagonis left the Army in 1993 and joined Sears, Roebuck and Co. – President of the Sears Logistics Group. Most recently, General Pagonis served as the past Chairman for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s CEO Task Force. He is Vice Chairman of Genco (Logistics-Based Organization in Pittsburgh. PA), past Chairman of Rail of America and is on or leads several well-known boards. Today, General Pagonis is widely known on the corporate speaking circuit as he is sought out for his unique expertise on Supply Chain and Managerial Leadership; Lessons from the Gulf War.