“Gwen is a highly respected executive in the medical device sector who brings outstanding entrepreneurial skills to the Misonix Board as well as a proven, long-term track record of success in mergers and acquisitions at Teleflex,” stated Stavros Vizirgianakis, president and CEO of Misonix. “The ongoing execution of our cohesive strategy to grow Misonix’s leading ultrasonic surgical product platform is providing the company with a solid foundation to continue expanding market share domestically as well as abroad. As we pursue the next phase of inorganic and organic growth for Misonix, we are confident Gwen’s presence on the Board of Directors will be tremendously valuable in helping the company achieve our goals for sustainable revenue growth and profitability, as well as the enhancement of long-term shareholder value.”
Watanabe has over 24 years of financial and executive management experience in the medical device industry. She presently serves as the vice president of global corporate development, strategy, and strategic partnerships for Teleflex Incorporated, a global provider of medical technology products, where she also serves as a member of the executive leadership team, reporting to Teleflex’s CEO. In her role at Teleflex, she is responsible for worldwide corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to Teleflex, Watanabe served as president and CEO of medical device startup Hotspur Technology Inc., where she led the company from initial idea and design concept in 2009 through commercial release before negotiating the successful sale of the business to Teleflex in 2012. From 2004 to 2009, Watanabe served as chief business officer and chief financial officer of Nellix Endovascular Inc., a medical device startup that she co-founded, where she successfully raised venture capital financing and led a broad range of strategic initiatives that resulted in the acquisition of the company by Endologix. Earlier in her career, she served as a business development manager at Bacchus Vascular Inc. (acquired by Covidien) and a project engineer at Aneurx Inc. (acquired by Medtronic). In addition, Watanabe was a general partner at Saratoga Ventures V L.P. and Saratoga Ventures VI L.P., which were all medical device venture funds.
“I am very excited at the opportunity to join the Misonix Board of Directors and be part of a company that is leveraging its proprietary ultrasonic technology to bring to market medical devices that deliver demonstrated clinical benefits and improve patient outcomes," Watanabe said. "I look forward to sharing the experience and business relationships built over my career working with medical device startups and large public organizations to offer sound business counsel to Misonix as the company continues to pursue its strategic growth initiatives and expand its leadership position in the ultrasound medical device industry.”
Watanabe earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She obtained her master of science degree in mechanical engineering, design division from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University. She formerly served on the Board of Directors for Hotspur Technologies, Catharos Medical, NovaSom (formerly Sleep Solutions), Axis Surgical, Tibion, American Red Cross of Hawaii and the Gift Foundation of Hawaii.
“I want to thank John Gildea for his many contributions and service to the Board and the company over the last 14 years. His leadership and financial expertise were instrumental in guiding Misonix through a period of significant change and positioning the company for continued growth in the future,” Vizirgianakis said.
Misonix Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets ultrasonic medical devices for the precise removal of hard and soft tissue, including bone removal, wound debridement and ultrasonic aspiration. Misonix is focused on leveraging its proprietary ultrasonic technology to become the standard of care in operating rooms and clinics around the world. Misonix’s proprietary ultrasonic medical devices are used in a growing number of medical procedures, including spine surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, cosmetic surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and other surgical and medical applications.