Dr. Alpert is a health care industry executive with a unique background of regulatory, clinical, business, and technology experience and a solid history of working at the interface of government and industry, both within early-stage, small start-ups, and large-scale mature initiatives. She is an advisor to a variety of organizations involved with technology, regulatory, and business innovation aimed at improving health care quality, cost-effectiveness, and safety. Dr. Alpert has taught for many years in entrepreneur programs at a variety of universities in the US and abroad, mentoring students and faculty as well, on working in the healthcare industries. Her emphasis is on the approach and work needed to place novel technologies into the US healthcare market. In addition, her consulting practice is focused on healthcare technology startups and assisting them in developing the data needed for gaining marketing authorization in the US.
Dr. Alpert retired from Medtronic where she served as senior vice president and chief regulatory officer. Prior to joining the device industry, she spent 13 years at the FDA where she worked in drug, medical device, and food safety regulation.
Lawrence Cho is the chief strategy and growth officer at Allina Health, a leading not-for-profit health system, based in the Twin Cities. In this role, he oversees strategy, business development and innovation across the health system.
Prior to joining Allina Health in 2021, Lawrence was a member of Mayo Clinic’s executive team. At Mayo Clinic, he held positions of chief operating officer for Mayo Clinic International, where he focused on expanding Mayo’s model of care internationally and chair of Corporate Development, where he led enterprise-wide strategic partnership and merger & acquisitions initiatives. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Lawrence held various finance, strategy and business development positions in industry-leading organizations of Medtronic, McKinsey & Company and General Mills.
Lawrence earned an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business, where he graduated with high distinction. During that time, he led health care projects in multiple emerging markets while working with the William Davidson Institute. He also completed a B.S. from the University of Michigan in Neuroscience and Economics.
Past board memberships include the Make-A-Wish Foundation (Executive Board member), Wolverine Venture Fund (Healthcare Board member) and Mu Performing Arts (theater and arts – Executive Board member and CFO).
Paul Gam is CEO of Zurich Medical, a cardiovascular device company and serves on the Board of Trustees of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Gam was Vice President, International Development at St. Jude Medical (now part of Abbott Laboratories), where he led mergers and acquisitions, developed strategic alliances, and drove other business development initiatives for the International Division. He established the company's first Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise in China and served as its Legal Representative and Board Chair. Before that, Gam was Medtronic’s Finance Director for the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business, and then head of Global Internal Audit.
Gam served as an advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was the Board Chair of the Minnesota World Trade Center and an advisor to gubernatorial international trade missions. He also served on the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and the Board of Judicial Standards.
A Carlson School alumnus, Gam is a W.K. Kellogg National Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow, a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, and an NACD Governance Fellow.
Thomas Gunderson was a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, following medical technology companies. In more than 20 years as an analyst, Gunderson has been recognized by several industry publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, Thomson Reuters and First Call. Most recently he was named by StarMine as the 2014 "No. 1 Stock Picker in Health Care Equipment & Supplies." He is on the Board of Directors for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, a member of the AHA's Science and Technology Accelerator Committee, and a member of the National Industry Council for the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, and has served on the local chapter of the American Heart Association's Executive Leadership Team and on the Board of Directors for the Children's Hospitals of Minnesota Foundation. Gunderson holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College and graduate degrees in cell biology and business administration.
Bill Knutson is a senior healthcare executive and consultant with extensive experience in strategy formulation, physician integration, campus development, service line formation, and operational performance. Knutson held numerous leadership positions in the HealthEast system in Minnesota; most of his 20 years working at St John’s Hospital achieving the role of Vice President/Administrator. His numerous consulting projects in hospital and senior services include developing/implementing: a neurologist/hospital call system, a medical tourism hospital, senior living campus, geriatric physician practice, payer contracting for a national primary clinic group, critical access hospital strategic plans and has served as an advisor to medical device startup companies. Currently, he is developing a virtual ACO in rural Minnesota, CEO of a Care Choice Cooperative, owner of a wound care startup, and partner in a physician practice and consulting group for post-acute services. Knutson has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Randall Nelson was the Senior of Business Development at Heraeus Medical Components. He was previously the founder and President of Evergreen Medical Technologies, Inc., a contract development and manufacturing company for medical devices located in St. Paul, MN. Nelson is also President of PhysioTest, an independent test lab providing contract testing services for medical devices.
Nelson has been responsible for the development of medical devices for over 30 years at both emerging and larger medical device companies. He has held management positions at St. Jude Medical Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, Angeion Corporation; and Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.
Nelson has 13 issued patents in the field of medical devices. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and an Economics degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. From 2009-2015, Nelson was an Adjunct Faculty member of the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, where he taught a graduate level course in the valuation of new medical innovations.
Laura Rehfeld is the Senior Director of Strategy at Kaiser Permanente.
Laura applies her energy and expertise to bring clarity to the dynamic health care industry. Since 2012, she has led strategic consulting for a wide range of important efforts at Kaiser Permanente that span the full enterprise and serve 12.3 million members and 68 million people in our communities. She has contributed to the development of enterprise strategies under three CEOs along with several high profile strategic special projects. Most recently, she supported enterprise readiness and response to COVID-19.
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Laura spent eight years in the healthcare strategy practice of ECG Management Consultants (formerly Kurt Salmon Associates.) She worked on engagements for 35 different providers or integrated care organizations in academics, children’s, and community hospitals.
Laura holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two boys, and two cats.
Dane Stimart completed his Carlson MBA in 2016, during which he took the Valuation Lab in Palo Alto and Stockholm Sweden, as well as competed in and won the annual National MBA BAHM competition which utilized the Valuation Lab format. Additionally he is on the Carlson Alumni Relations Board and chairs the Engagement Committee. Stimart holds a BS & MS in Mechanical Engineering and has 12 years of Medical Device industry experience across numerous engineering, marketing and business functions.