President & CEO
Dr. Kirchner brings to SynergEyes more than 35 years of experience in the optometric community both in private practice and in other optometric business ventures. He is ideally suited to guide the company in delivering life-changing vision products and focusing on the practice of optometry and the commitment to independent eye care professionals.
Dr. Kirchner previously served as the senior vice president of clinical and professional relations at SynergEyes. He provided professional leadership of product development and product management. He also represented SynergEyes within the ECP community.
Most notably, he was the founder of EyeCare Specialties, a multi-doctor, multi-office optometric practice in Lincoln, Nebraska where he was the senior partner and Chief Strategic Officer before he sold his interest in 2010. His practice was focused on Primary Care Optometry, with an emphasis in contact lenses and the treatment of eye diseases.
Prior to joining SynergEyes, Dr. Kirchner was Chief Professional Officer for Eyefinity, a VSP Global company. He has also been President and CEO of multiple startup companies, many outside the ophthalmic industry.
Dr. Kirchner has taken an active role in state, regional and national optometric association volunteerism throughout his career. He is a Past-President of the Nebraska Optometric Association and the North Central States Optometric Council; a ten state regional Optometric Association. Dr. Kirchner served as Chair of the American Optometric Association’s Communications Group Executive Committee for four years. He had previously Chaired the AOA’s Vision USA committee as well as chairing numerous AOA committee’s and task forces. Dr. Kirchner has served on the Nebraska Board of Optometry, the licensing and regulatory agency of the Nebraska Department of Health. He served as Chairman of the Board for three years.
He was named “Optometrist of the Year” in 1996 by the Nebraska Optometric Association. Most recently in 2008, Dr. Kirchner was honored by receiving the Nebraska Optometric Association’s “Distinguished Service Award” for lifetime work and achievement on behalf of the profession.
Chief Financial Officer
Carolyn Maduza brings to SynergEyes more than 20 years of successful experience in publicly traded and privately held companies with revenues ranging from start up to $100 million and multi-national in scope. Carolyn will be responsible for growth strategies for SynergEyes, fund raising and capital management, and performance improvement.
Carolyn’s industry expertise includes medical diagnostics, biotech, healthcare IT and enterprise software. Her early career includes systems design, accounting and auditing (CPA), Wall Street corporate banking and investment banking. She has also served as Audit Committee Chair and Financial expert for various Boards of Directors in similar sectors.
Most recently, Carolyn consulted as strategist and interim Chief Financial Officer for Biomatrica, NanoCellect Biomedical, GenMark Diagnostics, and Helixis.
Prior to consulting, Carolyn served as Chief Operating Officer for Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Alteer Corporation and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Stratagene.
Carolyn holds a Master of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management, a B.A., Business Administration, from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a Certified Public Accountant, State of Illinois.
Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing
Bob Ferrigno brings to SynergEyes multi-disciplinary expertise in contact lenses and medical devices, as well as broad business management experience. In this integral role for SynergEyes, Bob will be responsible for the leadership and ongoing development of high performing Sales and Marketing teams worldwide.
With more than 20 years’ experience, Bob joins SynergEyes most recently from CooperVision where he served as President of North America. Formerly of Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology company, he has held numerous global positions during his extensive career in sales, marketing and Research & Development.
Vice President, Professional Services
Dr. Achenbach brings to SynergEyes more than 14 years of industry experience and 16 years of clinical practice experience to her new role at SynergEyes, Inc.
Dr. Achenbach will be responsible for representing SynergEyes to the ECP community, developing programs to capture the voices of various key opinion leaders and increasing the company’s presence and support within the profession.
Prior to joining SynergEyes, Dr. Achenbach was Chief Medical and Academic Strategist at Contamac, Ltd. She also served as Senior Director of Professional and Medical Affairs at J&J, Vistakon and as Manager of Worldwide Clinical Research at Bausch & Lomb. Dr. Achenbach spent 16 years in private practice in various group practices across the United States and in solo private practice in New Jersey. She co-founded a biotech company that conducted research in HIV and cancer and participated in pharmaceutical drug development, regulatory affairs, clinical studies management and fund raising. She is a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry.
Vice President, Finance
Nick Brown has more than 20 years of financial experience, including seven years as Controller for SynergEyes. He was part of the team that launched the initial SynergEyes products. Prior to SynergEyes, Nick was Controller of LEGOLAND California, a family-based theme park. Previously, he was Controller of Baxa Corporation, a medical device company that specialized in providing fluid handling and delivery systems.
Nick started his career as a tax accountant for and worked in public accounting for John Hansen where he earned his CPA. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Indiana University.
Vice President, Marketing
Louise Curcio joined SynergEyes in 2011 and is responsible for strategy, product management and marketing for both the Vision Correction and Irregular Cornea Division for the company.
Louise brings over 20 years of experience in marketing and product development in both large and small companies. She understands the nuances of working in a multi-faceted environment of private practice optometry… where the needs of the independent practice exist within the context of a much bigger marketplace dominated by very large players.
Prior to joining SynergEyes, she managed the growth and development of brands as Vice President of Marketing and Digital Development at Upper Deck and Vice President of Marketing at Mattel. She has worked in ventured-funded companies, private companies, Fortune 500 companies as well as advertising and public relations agencies.
Louise holds a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters in Business Administration from University of Southern California.
Vice President, Corporate Development
David Fancher has been a consultant to SynergEyes since 2008 in the areas of domestic and global sales, and business development.
Prior to his association with SynergEyes, David spent 14 years with CooperVision, Inc., at Vice President levels in marketing, domestic and global sales. He retired in 2007 as President, CooperVision Surgical.
Vice President, MIS , Logistics and Customer Service
Vishal Mehta brings to SynergEyes 19 years of experience in the Automation, Manufacturing and IT industries. He previously has held positions in project engineering, project management, logistics and IT management for Honeywell, Johnson controls, Polaris Software and most recently Trend Technologies.
Vishal’s vast exposure to various business processes in the manufacturing industry, coupled with an in-depth understanding of IT, enables him to provide leadership and direction to the SynergEyes Operations and IT Groups.
Vice President, International Business
Tina Sharp was appointed to the position of Vice President, International Business in the 2nd half of 2013 where she is in charge of all the International Sales & Distribution for SynergEyes. This includes all sales outside US & Canada where she is responsible for establishing strategy and policy relative to the International Distributor Partners. She reports to the President/CEO of SynergEyes, Dr. James Kirchner. Prior to being promoted to this position, she held positions with the company as Global Sales Support Manager and Director of International Relations.
Prior to joining SynergEyes in 2007, she was the Global Sales Support Manager for Kinetikos Medical, Inc., from 2000 to 2007 where she was in charge of all support functions both the Domestic Direct Sales Channel as well as the International Distributor Partners. From 1996 to 2000, she held the position of Senior Sales Representative for Helix Medical.
Vice President, Manufacturing Operations
Neal White joined the SynergEyes team in 2005; his background includes extensive experience in manufacturing soft, rigid and hybrid contact lenses. Prior to SynergEyes Neal held various positions in the Technical Services and Engineering departments at the Hydrocurve / Barnes Hind Contact lens Manufacturing facility in San Diego. While at SynergEyes Neal has held the positions of Sr. Process Engineer, Manager of Engineering and Director of Engineering leading to his current position as Vice President of Manufacturing Operations.
Senior Director, Corporate Sales Development
Patty Breckenridge was recently appointed to the position of Senior Director of Corporate Sales Development and has held numerous management roles during her tenure at SynergEyes. She joined the team in 2010 and is responsible for creating and managing the National Peer to Peer advocacy program consisting of 35 Key Opinion Leaders across the US. Patty also created the SynergEyes training program and is responsible for the continued education, training protocols and sales analytics for the domestic sales force.
Patty brings 20 years of experience in the Medical Sales field in both large and small companies. She has a diverse background and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the overall sales process, analysis, management and development areas.
Senior Director, Marketing: Vision Correction Division
Heidi Noorany joined SynergEyes in 2014, bringing over 25 years of strategic marketing, brand and business building experience to the team. Prior to joining SynergEyes, Heidi held marketing leadership positions in multiple industries, with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Most recently she served the optometric community as Director of Marketing for Carl Zeiss Vision. Heidi also drove focal businesses at WD-40 Company and Nestle, as well as within the wireless and technology industries. She is a passionate believer in leveraging customer insight to drive the delivery of impactful customer and patient experiences.
Heidi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Senior Director, Clinical Services and Training
Dede Reyes has been with SynergEyes since early 2007. She has held various positions within SynergEyes as Clinical and Field Consultant, Product Specialist, Consultation Team Manager and was recently promoted to Senior Director of Clinical Services and Training. Dede brings to SynergEyes 27 years of contact lens experience in fitting and education.
Prior to joining SynergEyes, Dede was the Co-Director of the Contact Lens Service at UC Davis Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences and Manager of the Vision Correction Service.
She is a Fellow Member of the Contact lens Society of America. She has authored multiple articles on contact lenses and is a practiced lecturer.
Director, Quality Assurance
Karen Kincade joined SynergEyes in 2012 and brings more than 30 years Quality Assurance/Control functions experience to the team. In her current role she holds the responsibility for creating, monitoring, and providing continuous improvement of the FDA/ISO regulated quality systems.
Formerly of Hydrocurve/Sola-Barnes Hind, in addition to her experience in the contact lens industry Karen worked for several FDA regulated Class III medical device companies all of which were used in the treatment of heart disease. The range of devices included atherectomy (for sclerotic arteries), angioplasty, stent delivery systems, atrial fibrillation, and percutaneous delivered heart valves.
Karen’s experience has afforded her the opportunity to learn about the human factor of the individuals who utilize the medical devices. The experience has carried over to SynergEyes where a contact lens, for some individuals is not just a daily wear lens, for those that suffer from irregular corneas it is their connection to the world.
Director, Research and Development
Rosa Lee brings to SynergEyes over 10 years of experience in contact lens product development. She is responsible for design concept, product development and clinical testing of SynergEyes hybrid contact lenses.
Rosa’s expertise lies in the full product development life cycle, from voice of customer through post launch follow-up. She is a Six Sigma certified biomedical/optical engineer. Her previous experience spans 15 years of design, process, and optical engineering with Bausch + Lomb and Corning Incorporated.
Rosa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Optics and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester.
Director, Clinical Studies
Dr. Sonsino brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge and clinical skills to SynergEyes. In a consultative role, Dr. Sonsino will lead SynergEyes’ clinical studies by engaging patients within his practice and by networking with other colleagues around the country when a large number of patients are enrolled in clinical studies.
Previously Dr. Sonsino was faculty at Vanderbilt Eye Institute for 12 years. As an assistant professor, he was the division chief of optometry, founded the Center for Sight Enhancement, was the director of the Scleral Lens Clinic, authored 9 patents on vision-related medical devices, authored multiple papers, and lectured internationally on contact lens technology.
A council member of the American Optometric Association’s Contact Lens Section and a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lens and Refractive Therapies Section of the American Academy of Optometry, Dr. Sonsino is in private practice with his wife, Michele Sonsino, O.D., in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Sonsino graduated with research honors from the New England College of Optometry, Boston and is well known in the optometric profession as a true leader and innovator in contact lens fitting and care.