2018 OWL Awards Finalists | OWL Cary, NC | OWL

2018 OWL Awards Finalists

Visionary Leader

Alan Waterhouse
Full Bio
Alan (Al) Waterhouse is the President and CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of AcuFocus, Inc. He joined the company in 2015 as COO and brought with him more than 21 years of healthcare and medical device experience. Previously, Mr. Waterhouse held the position of Divisional Vice President, Global Operations at Abbott Medical Optics following the company’s acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Waterhouse served as President and CEO of Asteres, Inc. and President of PCI Services (Cardinal Health Company). Throughout his career, Mr. Waterhouse has played a major role in over a dozen M&A deals, raised significant venture capital, and been a part of management teams that have created over $4.5B in market value. Mr. Waterhouse received his MBA from Williams College of Business, Xavier University and is a member of the Otterbein University Board of Trustees.
Robert Dempsey
Full Bio
Robert Dempsey joined Shire in 2014 and is the Group Vice President and Head of Global Ophthalmics Franchise. Previously, Robert led Shire’s Ophthalmics Franchise in the US. He was instrumental in building and launching the Ophthalmics franchise and has extensive leadership experience in sales, marketing, medical affairs and business development. Under Robert’s leadership, Shire developed a diverse pipeline through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, and in July 2016, secured US FDA approval on its first product in the eye care space, Xiidra® (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5%. Robert is responsible for leading the commercialization strategy for dry eye disease, from launch preparation to in-market implementation, which has ushered in a new era for Shire in Ophthalmics. Shire’s activities in the space reignited the marketplace and helped establish the company in dry eye disease. Under Robert’s helm, Shire has successfully acquired four companies and contributed to the franchise and growing pipeline of early, mid and late-stage innovative ophthalmology candidates, aimed at improving vision-related quality of life. He continues to identify strategic and viable opportunities, looking to secure and expand Shire’s global footprint and overall commitment to the eye care community. Robert has over 25 years of diverse experience in the eye care industry and in August of 2018, joined the Board of Directors of SciFluor Life Sciences a subsidiary of Allied Minds. In addition, he served as Executive Director of Medical Science at Bausch + Lomb where he oversaw the creation and execution of medical strategy for commercial and pipeline pharmaceutical and surgical products. Prior to Bausch + Lomb, Robert held the position of Vice President of Ophthalmic Medical Affairs at Inspire. During his tenure at Inspire, he also held the positions of Senior Director of Ophthalmic Medical Development, Account Director of Managed Markets and Senior Regional Sales Director. Earlier in his career, Robert was a senior-level manager for specialty companies Muro Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Allergan, Inc. Robert is recognized for his knowledge and experience in the ophthalmology industry, and his strategic relationships with leaders and eye care professionals. Robert has been involved in the creation of successful commercial programs and launches of more than ten ophthalmology products. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Allison Shuren
Full Bio
Allison Shuren Co-Chairs the Life Sciences and Healthcare Regulatory Group at the law firm of Arnold & Porter. She advises a wide range of health care clients on regulatory, reimbursement and compliance matters with a particular focus on federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, and the representation of clients in government investigations and qui tam actions involving False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, and the Health Care Fraud allegations. She counsels on complex referral and joint venture arrangements, development of clinically-integrated networks, and coverage and payment for new technology. Her clients include large international manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biologics; emerging companies with early stage concepts; ambulatory surgery centers, diagnostic testing facilities; dialysis providers; physicians; physician practice management companies; and developers of mobile and digital health technology. Allison has a specialty practice in the ophthalmic area representing industry clients, physicians and private equity and venture firms investing in eye care. Before she began her legal career, Ms. Shuren was a practicing critical care pediatric nurse practitioner concentrating in pediatric cardiovascular disease and neonatal pediatric surgery.


Brad Fundingsland
Full Bio
Brad Fundingsland is an experienced, strategic medical education and communications executive with over 25 years in the ophthalmic industry. During his career, he has held leadership positions as a published clinical researcher, Editor-In-Chief of EyeWorld Newsmagazine, and Head of Medical Education for VISX and Abbott Medical Optics. Brad is currently President of The Fundingsland Group (TFG), a company he founded in 2013 to support compelling, compliant, data-driven medical education strategies with medical societies, leading physicians and industry. TFG’s society partners currently include ASCRS, ESCRS, APACRS and optometry, with near-term growth into retina and non-ophthalmic markets. Development and mentoring of rising professionals has played a significant role in Brad’s career. Brad has supported a number of OWL Directors, previous OWL award recipients and other professionals in various roles, from manager to colleague to client. The most rewarding element of Brad’s career has been helping others build the tools to look creatively upon the industry and their careers, inspire them to take the leap into disruptive areas others have not ventured into, and foster life-long relationships with a diverse network to make work both professionally and personally rewarding. Another key objective of Brad’s current role in TFG is to support a significant percentage of podium positions by female key opinion leaders. TFG is proud to have 28% of its current global podium positions filled by female physicians, and helps identify gender specific gaps from its broad physician surveys. Brad has been a proud member of OWL for over 10 years and has participated in a variety of roles for the organization. In 2018, he moderated a well-attended panel discussion on the future of peer-to-peer medical education and communications with the Southern California OWL chapter. In 2015, he, Erin Schallhorn, OWL Director, and Jan Beiting, OWL Past President, co-launched the first OWL Business & Leadership Trends Survey with 446 members of the ophthalmic industry to help identify education gaps for future OWL programming. He believes that OWL plays a pivotal, unique role for bringing together a diverse group of industry professionals that has enabled the advancement of countless professionals to date.
Candy Simerson
Full Bio
Candace S. Simerson (Candy) is the founder of iCandy Consulting, LLC located in Marana, Arizona. Previously she was President of Minnesota Eye Consultants, PA for 18 years. Candy is a Certified Ophthalmic Executive (COE), and a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE.) She is a past-president of ASOA and a past Chair for the National Board for the Certification of Ophthalmic Executives. In 2011 Candy was awarded the ASOA Pinnacle Award for Volunteerism in addition to becoming an ASOA fellow the same year. Candy is an advocate for advancing diversity in leadership and currently serves as a Board Member for Ophthalmic World Leaders (OWL.) She also serves as. as an Advisory Board Member on the Hawaiian Eye Foundation. Candy is a frequent lecturer at ophthalmic meetings and has published numerous articles regarding practice management trends
Casey Lind
Full Bio
Casey Lind is an experienced leader in Class II and III ophthalmic medical devices, with over 30 years of focused ophthalmic surgical device experience providing leadership in Manufacturing, Global Supply Chain, and Research & Development. Her background includes her current role as Chief Operating Officer, Presbia, Manufacturing Management in both Systems and Cleanroom Operations, General Manager for the Alcon (Infinitech) team in St. Louis, MO, internationally, as Director of Manufacturing, Materials Management & Site Integration, as well as in key Director-level leadership positions in ophthalmic surgical R&D. Prior to joining Presbia as COO in February 2018, Ms. Lind was with Alcon, a Novartis company where, in addition to her manufacturing leadership roles, she led global Surgical Product Support for Cataract, Retina, and Diagnostic systems and consumables, and established and led the early Surgical Glaucoma and Drug Delivery research teams, before completing her career (at Alcon) as Sr Project Head, Retina R&D. Ms. Lind has numerous issued patents focused on drug delivery, injection/dose control, MEMS based posterior segment drainage and flow, and key manufacturing processes. Ms. Lind is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a degree in Business, and received her MBA from Webster University. Ms. Lind has taken a very active role in Ophthalmic World Leaders (OWL). She is an ongoing OWL Champion Member and contributes at both the national and local levels, having recently accepted the national role of Membership Lead, Executive Marketing & Outreach Committee. Locally, she is recognized for leading, actively planning, and moderating the Southern California OWL chapter meetings. On a personal note, Ms. Lind’s passion is rescuing, training, and riding horses. She currently has seven equines, and will likely continue to add to the herd, whenever she can make a positive difference. She is married to Larry, her partner and husband of more than 32 years, and they have 2 adult sons – one of whom has significant visual impairment, which has ultimately guided her career, and life.

Rising Star

Abigail Markward
Full Bio
Abigail Markward has twenty years of experience in the ophthalmic industry. Abby is currently the National Director of Business Development for PentaVision, an ophthalmic publishing company. In addition, she works to coordinate the content and promotion for the Southern California chapter meetings of Ophthalmic World Leaders and volunteering for SightLife, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating corneal blindness worldwide. Abby received her MBA at the University of Memphis and began her ophthalmic career working on the advertising agency side with clients in medical device and pharmaceutical areas. She then transitioned to the corporate side and has extensive experience in marketing and product management working for companies such as J&J and Bausch + Lomb. Abby has been an OWL member since 2003 and has served as a member of OWL’s Development Committee since 2017, working to secure resources to ensure OWL’s success. She is honored and excited to be traveling to Nepal for a SightLife Women Advocate’s Trip and to assist in raising awareness of their prevention program. When she’s not traveling to various client locations and ophthalmic meetings, she spends her time at home with her family and two doggies, Zachary and Oliver. She loves reading, snowboarding, hiking and going to the beach.
Jennifer Loh, MD
Full Bio
Jennifer Loh, MD is a board certified ophthalmologist practicing in Miami, Florida. Her career interest is on refractive cataract surgery and she enjoys learning about and using new technologies in the field of ophthalmology. She is founder and medical director of her practice, Loh Ophthalmology Associates, which she started in 2016. Dr. Loh also spends her time as a clinical and surgical attending for the newly ACGME accredited Larkin Hospital Ophthalmology Residency program, where she and the residents perform charity cataract surgery cases every week. Dr. Loh graduated summa cum laude from Butler University and completed both her medical school training and residency at Indiana University School of Medicine. As a medical student, she was inducted into the IU chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which focuses on identifying students and physicians who exemplify compassionate care. Dr. Loh was also fortunate to serve as chief resident for both her intern year program and ophthalmology residency. Currently, she has been active in speaking at national ophthalmology meetings and in publishing articles in ophthalmology trade journals. She also serves on the executive committee of the Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) and Cedars Aspens. Dr. Loh has recently been honored with The Ophthalmologist Power List Rising Star Award in 2017, and the Alcon Outstanding Female Leader Award in 2016. On a personal note, Dr. Loh enjoys traveling, reading, and learning to ski and is proud to announce that she made it all the way down Ajax Mountain this year. Originally born in Canada, she grew up in several parts of the country, including Michigan, Texas and Indiana, before finding her way to Florida. She currently resides in Miami with her husband, who is learning to love ophthalmology as much as she does.
Kara Stephens
Full Bio
Recognized as a forward thinker, effective communicator, and master relationship builder, Kara Stephens thrives on creating meaningful conversations among members of the eye care community and beyond. In her current role as Senior Account Director at Pascale, Kara develops and executes high-level communication & PR initiatives that achieve ROI for clients while also focusing on business development, cultivating new partnerships with healthcare companies of all shapes and sizes. With clients spanning therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology, cardiology, radiology, dermatology, and more, Kara facilitates powerful physician-to-physician education through partnerships with trade media and advocacy groups. Since beginning her healthcare career in ophthalmology in 2010, Kara has been committed to strengthening connections between doctors, patients, and industry. Kara’s experience at AcuFocus, first as an intern and then as a valued member of their medical education and training team, ignited a passion for helping physicians bring sight-saving technology to their patients. She has a deep appreciation for the strength and bond among all involved in the ophthalmic community. Kara is an active member of the OWL Development Committee, a role which allows her to maintain strong connections throughout the industry. She also serves as a Guardian ad Litem with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County, serving as a voice for abused and neglected children in her community. In addition, Kara volunteers her time to the Human Rights Campaign, where she participates in fundraising and local advocacy campaigns, and Austin food pantries, transporting goods and handing out food in the community each month.