Leadership

Meet our Executive Leadership and Board of Directors

Leadership Team

Sonex Health brings together a well-respected and experienced team of individuals who know how to create, develop and market medical technologies that can change the lives of millions of patients. Now, working as one, we’re tapping into the power of ultrasound guidance and innovation to transform the patient experience and improve healthcare.

Executive Leadership

J. Robert Paulson, Jr.

President and CEO

Mr. Paulson is president, CEO, and a director of Sonex Health. He has extensive experience leading medical technology firms, most recently serving as president, CEO and a director of VentureMed Group. Prior to that, from 2009 until its acquisition by Boston Scientific in 2018, Mr. Paulson was president, CEO, and a director of NxThera.

Mr. Paulson served as president, CEO and a director of Restore Medical from 2005 until the company’s acquisition by Medtronic in July 2008. Before that, he was CFO and vice president of global marketing for Endocardial Solutions, which was acquired by St. Jude Medical in 2005. Mr. Paulson’s career also includes serving as senior vice president/general manager of Advanced Bionics, and holding executive positions with Medtronic, including vice president/general manager of the Surgical Navigation Technologies business, vice president of corporate strategy, and director of corporate development. Mr. Paulson previously held senior positions in marketing, corporate development, legal and finance at General Mills, and practiced corporate, M&A and securities law with the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.

Mr. Paulson currently serves as a director of Spineology and VentureMed, is vice chair of the Luther College Board of Regents, and a member of the Vanderbilt University School of Law Board of Advisors.

Mr. Paulson received his juris doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law, an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating cum laude, from Luther College, with majors in accounting, economics, and political science.

Dr. Darryl Barnes

CTO and Founder

Dr. Barnes is the chief technology office and co-founder of Sonex Health and a co-inventor of UltraGuideCTR™. In 2018, Dr. Barnes was honored as the Medical Devices CEO of the Year – Upper Midwest USA and the Most Outstanding Health Tech Innovator – Upper Midwest USA by CEO Monthly. He has a long and fruitful history of innovation in the medical device industry, having been awarded numerous patents for technology currently used nationwide. Some of his inventions have been licensed to Tenex Health, another company dedicated to providing minimally invasive treatment options.

Dr. Barnes served as medical director and president of the Medical Staff at Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea-Austin, Minnesota, and has served as a member of the Medical Advisory Board and held the position of associate medical director of education at Tenex Health. He formerly practiced non-operative orthopedics and sports medicine.

Dr. Barnes received his residency training at the Mayo Clinic and completed his fellowship training as a Clinical Mayo Scholar at the Cleveland Clinic. He holds a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.

Dr. Jay Smith

CMO and Founder

Dr. Smith is one of the co-founders of Sonex Health and a co-inventor of UltraGuideCTR™. He currently serves as the chief medical officer for Sonex Health.

Dr. Smith is a world-renowned expert in ultrasound-guided procedures and has authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles related to musculoskeletal ultrasound. Drs. Smith and Barnes previously collaborated to develop the TX1 device (Tenex Health), which is used for minimally invasive treatment of tendon and other soft tissue disorders.

Prior to becoming the CMO for Sonex Health, Dr. Smith was the professor and vice-chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he had joint appointments in the departments of radiology and anatomy. He is board certified in both physical medicine & rehabilitation and sports medicine.

Mona Dahdah

Vice President of R&D, Operations, Quality Assurance and Regulatory

Ms. Dahdah joined Sonex Health in May of 2022. A versatile and energetic leader with 25 years of product development experience from early-stage concept development to full scale commercialization. She has expertise in research and development, process development, strategic and operational planning, operations, and business development. Over the years, she has managed cross functional teams and implemented operational structures, clinical and regulatory strategies, and quality systems. Much of her career was spent in program management ensuring that company’s objectives were predictably met.

Ms. Dahdah has experience working in large organizations and small startup environments. Prior to Sonex Health, she was at Boston Scientific as Director of R&D in the Urology Pelvic Health division. This experience came with fresh global perspectives on medical device, leading large multi-national teams and bringing new acquisitions into the Boston Scientific portfolio.

Her startup experience began with NxThera in 2009 as a Program Manager prior to first human use through 2018 as Vice President of R&D and Operations when NxThera was acquired by Boston Scientific. Prior to NxThera, she was a Program Management consultant at multiple medical device companies in the Twin Cities. Additionally, she held positions in R&D at American Medical Systems and process development in cardiology at Boston Scientific.

Ms. Dahdah completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas.

Cindy Grabowski

Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Ms. Grabowski joined Sonex Health in January of 2022, bringing more than 25 years of extensive clinical operations and leadership experience to her role.

Prior to joining Sonex Health, Ms. Grabowski was with Boston Scientific, where she served as Director, Global Clinical Infrastructure & Programs. In this role she was responsible for managing and optimizing Boston Scientific’s extensive portfolio of clinical technology as well as overseeing their catalog of global policies and the global program management office.

Ms. Grabowski joined Boston Scientific following the acquisition of NxThera, where she served as Vice President, Clinical Affairs. In this role she led the design, development, and execution of NxThera’s pilot studies and IDE randomized controlled trial pivotal study, which led to FDA clearance and received a Category I CPT code for the Rezūm BPH procedure.

Prior to joining NxThera, Ms. Grabowski held leadership clinical positions at Cardiovascular Systems, Endo Pharmaceuticals/American Medical Systems and First Circle Medical. She began her MedTech clinical research career at Heart Technologies in 1996.

Bjorn Larsen

Vice President of Marketing

Mr. Larsen has more than 19 years of marketing leadership experience in medical device companies, including Boston Scientific and Cardiovascular Systems. His track record includes successful product launches that develop new markets and drive commercial adoption.

Throughout his career, Mr. Larsen has developed successful marketing strategies and teams that drive performance through vision, leadership, and tactical execution. His skills include strategy development, market expansion, product and technology development.

Tom Michal

Executive Vice President of Market Access, Health Economics, & Reimbursement

Mr. Michal has over two decades of global healthcare experience with an emphasis on market access, health economics, reimbursement, and global health policy. He is a recognized expert in coding, coverage, and payment initiatives in start-up environments, as well as enterprise-level biomedical firms. As a specialist in market access and early commercialization, Tom has been responsible for guiding company efforts in key global markets in an effort to drive innovative technology adoption.

Prior to joining Sonex Health, Tom has held leadership positions with multi-national corporations, as well medical device start-ups – these organizations include: Intrinsic Therapeutics, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy, Moximed Inc., Allina Health Systems, and Deloitte Consulting.

Mr. Michal completed his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree. He later earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Rice University in Houston Texas, with a concentration in both Marketing and Finance.

Roy O’Hanley

Vice President of Sales and Training

Mr. O’Hanley is a top-performing leader with 22 years of experience in sales, management, leadership, and entrepreneurship. He has held medical device sales leadership positions in U.S. Surgical, Acclarent, and NxThera.

Mr. O’Hanley’s strengths include vision and strategy development and implementation, product launch execution, leadership and sales training, recruiting, compensation and quota development, performance management, sales forecasting, and scaling organizations.

John Savage

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Savage joined Sonex Health as the company’s first CFO in July 2022. He previously served as a consultant to the company. Mr. Savage’s 25 years of financial and executive leadership experience, including supporting multiple financings and acquisitions, spans organizations ranging in size from early stage to Fortune 100.

Prior to joining Sonex Health, Mr. Savage was the CFO at Key Surgical, a global provider of consumable medical products used in sterile processing, operating rooms, and endoscopy clinics, where he helped lead the sale of the business to a private equity firm.

Prior to Key Surgical, he was the Vice President and Controller at Healthland, a private equity funded national provider of comprehensive healthcare information systems for rural community and critical access hospitals. While with Healthland, Mr. Savage helped lead the sale from its private equity sponsor to a competitor. He also held multiple leadership positions at Best Buy and UnitedHealth Group.

He began his career as a certified public accountant at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he served a number of the firm’s marquee clients.

Mr. Savage received his Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from the University of St. Thomas with a major in Business Administration.

Board of Directors

J. Robert Paulson, Jr.

President and CEO

Mr. Paulson is president, CEO, and a director of Sonex Health. He has extensive experience leading medical technology firms, most recently serving as president, CEO and a director of VentureMed Group. Prior to that, from 2009 until its acquisition by Boston Scientific in 2018, Mr. Paulson was president, CEO, and a director of NxThera.

Mr. Paulson served as president, CEO and a director of Restore Medical from 2005 until the company’s acquisition by Medtronic in July 2008. Before that, he was CFO and vice president of global marketing for Endocardial Solutions, which was acquired by St. Jude Medical in 2005. Mr. Paulson’s career also includes serving as senior vice president/general manager of Advanced Bionics, and holding executive positions with Medtronic, including vice president/general manager of the Surgical Navigation Technologies business, vice president of corporate strategy, and director of corporate development. Mr. Paulson previously held senior positions in marketing, corporate development, legal and finance at General Mills, and practiced corporate, M&A and securities law with the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum.

Mr. Paulson currently serves as a director of Spineology and VentureMed, is vice chair of the Luther College Board of Regents, and a member of the Vanderbilt University School of Law Board of Advisors.

Mr. Paulson received his juris doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law, an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating cum laude, from Luther College, with majors in accounting, economics, and political science.

Greg Garfield

Sr. Managing Director, KCK Medical Technologies

Mr. Garfield is the Senior Managing Director of KCK Medical Technologies and serves as a Board Director for numerous private and public healthcare companies. His experience spans more than 25 years in the medical technologies industry in a variety of key operational, business strategy, and investing roles.

Originally an attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop, Mr. Garfield began his medical technology career at Guidant Corporation, where he held a number of executive-level legal and business development positions in different Guidant operating companies. Following Guidant's acquisition by Boston Scientific in 2006, he joined Acclarent, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Corporate Development and subsequently as Chief Operating Officer through the acquisition and integration of Acclarent by Johnson & Johnson.

Mr. Garfield has a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University and a Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

Karen Long

Managing Director, KCK Medical Technologies

Ms. Long is a Managing Director at KCK Medical Technologies, which focuses capital investment on commercial and growth-stage medical device companies. She serves as a Board Director on multiple KCK portfolio companies. Additionally, she holds several independent Board Director positions.

Ms. Long has spent more than 20 years in medical devices and diagnostics, developing and marketing novel, market-leading products focused on improving quality of life. Prior to KCK, Ms. Long was President and CEO of Nuelle, a women’s consumer health company. She has held a series of key roles in consumer diagnostic companies, including ChemTrak, Inverness Medical, and LifeScan. In 2007, she joined Acclarent, Inc. as World Wide Vice President of Marketing, where she helped spearhead rapid growth leading to the company’s 2010 acquisition by Johnson & Johnson.

Ms. Long began her career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker after receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees from San Diego State University.

Kim Rodriguez

Board of Directors

Ms. Rodriguez has over 20 years of commercial and operational leadership roles building standard of care medical technology portfolios, exceptional management teams, demonstrated execution and world-class company cultures.

Most recently Ms. Rodriguez served as the President, CEO & co-founder of Acessa Health, that was acquired by Hologic in August of 2020. Previously, she served as Halt Medical’s President & CEO, where she led the transition to sell its assets to Acessa Health. Prior to Acessa and Halt, she was Senior Vice President of the Vascular Intervention business unit at Spectranetics, a publicly-traded cardiovascular company acquired by Royal Philips for $2.2B. Prior to Spectranetics, Kim served in a series of global senior leadership roles across sales, marketing, therapy development and general business management at Johnson & Johnson, Blockade Medical acquired by Balt International, Concentric Medical acquired by Stryker Neurovascular, Guidant Corporation acquired by Abbott Vascular and Microvena acquired by ev3.

Over the course of her career in cardiology, radiology, vascular surgery, neurology and women’s health, Kim has been involved in the commercialization of dozens of innovative medtech technologies and M&A transactions. Kim has held the position of Advisor or Independent Board Director at several companies.

Ms. Rodriguez received her Executive MBA at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and BS in Management from Pepperdine University.

Mark Wagner

Board of Directors

Mr. Wagner has more than 30 years of global executive leadership experience in the medical device industry. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Minnesota-based Celleration, a company commercializing a therapeutic ultrasound platform for wound treatment. In 2015, Celleration was acquired by Alliqua Biomedical, whereupon Mr. Wagner joined the company’s board of directors.

Prior to Celleration, Mr. Wagner co-founded and served as Board Chairman for Orasi Medical. He has served as President and CEO for both Reshape Medical and ProVation Medical and as Chairman and CEO of Survivalink. His experience also includes a number of executive leadership positions at Nellcor Puritan Bennett. Mr. Wagner began his career at GE Healthcare, where he worked in marketing, business development, and finance.

In addition to completing executive leadership and corporate training programs, Mr. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.