About Us
HISTORY

Altaviz was founded in 2012, by an experienced team of medical design engineers whom collectively had a passion for working in a creative environment, unencumbered by legacy products and bureaucratic processes that stymie innovation.  The Altaviz Team’s focus was to design and manufacture products that improved patient safety and enabled medical practitioners to improve their practices.  The name “Altaviz” was chosen to represent the company’s vision.  “Alta” for a commitment to high standards and “viz” for visibility into what is needed to solve the challenges, and meet the objectives, of our clinician, surgeon, patient customers.

Today Altaviz’s customers range from startups to multi-billion dollar medical device and pharma companies. Our commitment to producing enhanced medical devices that improve medical procedures, and ultimately patient care, remain the foundation of our continued success.

WORK

Altaviz develops and manufactures platform technologies for single-use implant inserters, drug injectors, and auto-injectors.  We empower clinicians and surgeons to better care for their patients with highly effective devices and instruments improving efficacy, safety, and work flow efficiency.

We introduce next-generation products, backed by effective, novel, technologies delivering better solutions to the challenges and objectives of enhanced patient care.  Our team is rooted in the core competency of medical device design and high volume manufacturing process development fortified by knowledge of market drivers and customer needs.

We partner with top industry leaders and practitioners from product concept through development and into commercialization.  Altaviz relies on its in-house proprietary platforms and intellectual property, and in some business cases, will co-develop products based on customer requirements.

SUCCESS

The foundation of the Altaviz success is our team of proven and accomplished medical device design engineers.

Our team collectively has a history of producing over 300 issued and pending patents in the medical device market.

The Altaviz team of engineers comes from an experience base of successful product development introducing over 100 products to the market, with combined sales revenues in the billions of dollars.

Our business success is based on the extraordinary commitment, expertise and ingenuity of our team and the trust we earn from our customers.

Vision
Altaviz’s vision is to form strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, implant, and ophthalmic product companies to develop customized injection and insertion systems, based on CIRRUS Vapor Drive System technology, to enhance the delivery of their products.  We strive to be best-in-class innovators and to provide the fastest time to market for new products.
Key Staff Members
Jack Auld
Jack Auld

Jack is a Co-Founder of Altaviz and well known in the ophthalmic surgical device and instrument market. Jack’s passion is leading high performance teams to solve surgical problems with creative and innovative solutions that yield effective, high-demand products.

Jack is a Co-Founder of Altaviz and well known in the ophthalmic surgical device and instrument market. Jack’s passion is leading high performance teams to solve surgical problems with creative and innovative solutions that yield effective, high-demand products. Prior to founding Altaviz, Jack worked extensively with retina surgeons to deeply understand their objectives, identify their needs and translate those needs into current market-leading, state-of-the art handheld surgical instruments by motivating and guiding teams of talented engineers. 15 successful years in motorsports and specialty vehicle design and development with the Toyota off road racing team and MillenWorks taught Jack to flourish in fast-paced environments and to solve challenging problems. He currently holds 14 US and 7 European patents.

Jack graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He is married with two children, active in the outdoors and has a passion for ultra light backpacking.

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John Huculak
John Huculak

John Huculak is a technology leader and market visionary with a strong R&D background and a demonstrated track record leading technical teams in the release of market successful products. John strives to understand customer needs by learning their desires, objectives and current challenges.

John Huculak is a technology leader and market visionary with a strong R&D background and a demonstrated track record leading technical teams in the release of market successful products.  John has 40 years industry experience with 11 years start-up and 29 years corporate contribution and has led R&D product development teams, totaling as many as 50 engineers, in the planning and execution of multiple simultaneous product development projects with successful regulatory approvals and global market introductions.  John is a creative problem solver and inventor with 56 U.S. patents with several applications in review.

John graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He has been married for 34 years and has 3 sons.  Personal interests include mountain biking, photography and tinkering with cars, trucks, and mountain bikes.

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Anura Welikala
Anura Welikala

Anura carries 25 years of industry expertise bringing medical products from concept to mass production. Anura co-founded APEC, a medical devices manufacturer located in Baldwin Park, California and Shenzhen, China. In 2008, APEC was acquired by Helix Medical, a division of Freudenberg, Germany.

Anura carries 25 years of industry expertise bringing medical products from concept to mass production. Anura co-founded APEC, a medical devices manufacturer located in Baldwin Park, California and Shenzhen, China. In 2008, APEC was acquired by Helix Medical, a division of Freudenberg, Germany. Anura has supported several very successful projects launched by large medical device companies across a full range of medical devices including retractable syringes to heart valve delivery systems.

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Matt Flowers
Matt Flowers

Matt has enjoyed a rewarding career as an engineer in the medical device industry for nearly ten years. He spent the first years of his career designing and testing implantable products for neuromodulation devices. Matt then transitioned to the ophthalmic space, developing consumable instruments for vitreoretinal surgery.

Matt has enjoyed a rewarding career as an engineer in the medical device industry for nearly ten years. He spent the first years of his career designing and testing implantable products for neuromodulation devices. Matt then transitioned to the ophthalmic space, developing consumable instruments for vitreoretinal surgery. He has received several patents for inventions in both neuromodulation and ophthalmology. Matt is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Westmont College where he earned undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics. He also holds a masters degree in Bioengineering from UC San Diego. In his free time, Matt enjoys the Southern California outdoors, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. Matt and his wife Evelynn have a daughter, Elane and son Edward.

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Matt McCawley
Matt McCawley

Matt has eleven years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer, eight of which have been spent designing and developing innovative instruments in the ophthalmic field. He currently holds five patents for novel inventions in the ophthalmic space.

Matt has eleven years of experience as a Mechanical Engineer, eight of which have been spent designing and developing innovative instruments in the ophthalmic field. He currently holds five patents for novel inventions in the ophthalmic space. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Matt and his wife Jenna have three daughters- Kara, Allison and Sadie. Matt enjoys spending his free time with his family and serving in the College Ministry at his church.

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James Lescoulie
James Lescoulie

James has 11 years experience as a biomedical engineer with direct leadership responsibility for introducing multiple medical devices to the market. James had project leadership responsibility for the Altaviz altaGas Mxr and altaPexy.

James has 11 years experience as a biomedical engineer with direct leadership responsibility for introducing multiple medical devices to the market. James had project leadership responsibility for the Altaviz altaGas Mxr and altaPexy. He has a deep expertise in next generation ophthalmic illumination devices. James has a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California. His personal interests include beach volleyball, kayaking, basketball, lobster diving and traveling.

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Patrick Y. Lee
Patrick Y. Lee

Patrick is the founder and principal of KLP Tax & Financial Group, Inc. and has over 26 years of experience in providing professional accounting, tax and financial planning services. His clients have ranged from entrepreneurial start-ups to established multinational corporations

Patrick is the founder and principal of KLP Tax & Financial Group, Inc. and has over 26 years of experience in providing professional accounting, tax and financial planning services. His clients have ranged from entrepreneurial start-ups to established multinational corporations

Patrick is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) serving high net worth clients in tax planning, estate planning, investment planning, charitable giving, wealth preservation and asset protection strategies.

Prior to KLP, Patrick was a tax manager with Ernst & Young specializing in tax planning services, mergers and acquisitions, tax examinations and appeals, due diligence, transaction structuring, financial accounting for income taxes, buyer and seller side representation, and international tax planning.

Patrick earned his undergraduate finance degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison and his Master in Accounting Science degree with concentrations in Taxation and Information Systems from University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.

He is committed to actively contributing to the community and various non-profit organizations. Patrick is currently a board member at the Orange County Heritage Museum. He was the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for 2-1-1 Orange County, a non-profit organization that offers a comprehensive information and referral system (via the toll free number 211) linking Orange County residents to community health and human services and support.

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Steven Ziémba
Steven Ziémba

Steven Ziembé Steve joined Altaviz after more than 30 years in ophthalmology and eye care. During his time with industry leaders such as AMO, Allergan Surgical, Staar Surgical, Hoya Surgical Optics and Synergeyes, Steve managed global clinical studies leading to the regulatory approvals...

Steven Ziembé Steve joined Altaviz after more than 30 years in ophthalmology and eye care. During his time with industry leaders such as AMO, Allergan Surgical, Staar Surgical, Hoya Surgical Optics and Synergeyes, Steve managed global clinical studies leading to the regulatory approvals and introduction of more than 30 new Class II and Class III medical products in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Steve has also successfully managed more than 35 FDA and ISO compliance audits in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Singapore. As the President of American Operations for Hoya Surgical Optics, he was responsible for start-up activities and sales of the first preloaded intraocular lens injector in the United States.

Steve is the named inventor on two patents and has authored over 50 professional publications, medical presentations and white papers. He has also consulted with several firms in orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, general surgery and dental products. He holds a BS in Biology from Cal State Long Beach and a MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. In his spare time, Steve mentors teens and enjoys Central Californian wines and fine cigars.

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Bob Barron
Bob Barron

Bob is a Co-Founder of Altaviz and a serial entrepreneur with a strong operating background. He has led businesses from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies, and co-founded a private placement investment firm. Bob has led four successful M&A transactions, a “spinout” business from a public company, and has been in executive management at eight additional companies.

Bob is a Co-Founder of Altaviz and a serial entrepreneur with a strong operating background. He has led businesses from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies, and co-founded a private placement investment firm. Bob has led four successful M&A transactions, a “spinout” business from a public company, and has been in executive management at eight additional companies. Bob has held several positions on private company boards of directors. His P&L experience began in 1986 as a Group V.P. of a public company.

Bob has international business experience, including joint ventures and technology transfers in China, Europe and India. He has led 15 successful system level product developments and market introductions. Bob has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MBA from Santa Clara University. His personal interests include skiing, flying, diving and mountaineering.

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Paul Heckler
Paul Heckler

Paul recently finished his studies in Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo during the Spring of 2014. While at Cal Poly, he spent three years contributing to the Microcirculation and Vascular Regeneration Laboratory.

Paul recently finished his studies in Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo during the Spring of 2014. While at Cal Poly, he spent three years contributing to the Microcirculation and Vascular Regeneration Laboratory. There he focused on studying microvascular topology and intravascular endovascular endothelial cell labeling in the gracilis anterior muscle of Balb/C mice. Following this, his focus shifted to developing an active contact lens and culminated in a paper he coauthored and presented at the 36th International IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology conference. Paul is an avid tennis player.

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Nick Welche
Nick Welche

Nick has been working in the medical device industry for over 10 years holding various positions in R&D and Manufacturing at Alcon, Allergan, BBraun, LenSx, and Ellipse Technologies.

Nick has been working in the medical device industry for over 10 years holding various positions in R&D and Manufacturing at Alcon, Allergan, BBraun, LenSx, and Ellipse Technologies. Nick graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration. He also holds PMP and Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. Nick has worked in numerous device spaces: bariatric, orthopedic, ophthalmic, and drug delivery. In his spare time, Nick enjoys spending time with the family, playing drums and guitar, running, swimming and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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Cesar Leyva
Cesar Leyva

Cesar Leyva has worked in medical device design to manufacturing technology transfers for 9 years, specifically in class 3 implantable devices.

Cesar Leyva has worked in medical device design to manufacturing technology transfers for 9 years, specifically in class 3 implantable devices. He has helped gain regulatory approvals and introduce products into several geographical markets including U.S., EU, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan. Cesar has led cross-geographical teams in his design to manufacturing transfers as the projects have been between the U.S. (design) and Mexico (manufacturing). Cesar graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Monterrey Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from CETYS University both in Mexico; on the operations side, he is certified as a lean/six sigma Black Belt. He dedicates all his free time to his wife and three boys.

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Advisory Board
Charlie Atlas
Charlie Atlas

Charlie has over 25 years of experience in medical device manufacturing and management. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Plastics Engineering from the University of Lowell and he holds 8 patents.

Charlie has over 25 years of experience in medical device manufacturing and management. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Plastics Engineering from the University of Lowell and he holds 8 patents. He worked for American Hospital Supply, Baxter Healthcare, Cardinal Healthcare, and Allegiance Healthcare as an R&D engineer, manufacturing engineer and manager, Director of R&D and Director of Operations with multiple manufacturing plant and marketing responsibilities.

Charlie was co-founder, President and CEO of OxyTec Medical, a start-up company which designed and developed an innovative and industry leading portable oxygen concentrator for respiratory patients. When OxyTec was acquired by Respironics Healthcare, Charlie assisted with the transition and establishment of the product in the market place. He currently works with several small and innovative companies and enjoys living in Southern California with his wife Joan and 2 daughters.

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Wolfgang Buehler
Wolfgang Buehler

Wolfgang is the president of both Organic Milling and Magor Mold in San Dimas, California. Prior to his current roles, he founded Apec, a custom molding company servicing the medical industry. In 2005 Wolfgang expanded Apec operations with a clean room facility in Shenzen, China and them sold the company to Helix Medical in 2008.

Wolfgang is the president of Organic Milling and the former president & owner of Magor Mold, Inc. in San Dimas, California. Prior to his current roles, he founded Apec, a custom molding company servicing the medical industry. In 2005 Wolfgang expanded Apec operations with a clean room facility in Shenzen, China and them sold the company to Helix Medical in 2008.

Wolfgang has studied tool making, mechanical engineering, plastics technology and process technology. He has been asked to present at various conferences on the topic of molds for the medical industry.

Wolfgang married his wife Marion in 1986 and together they have 3 children. He enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, traveling (mostly to Europe) and horseback riding. He is also involved with multiple charities including Heart for Africa and Child Fund International.

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Dr Stanley Chang
Dr Stanley Chang

Stanley Chang, MD, is the K.K. Tse and Ku Teh Ying Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Stanley Chang, MD, is the K.K. Tse and Ku Teh Ying Professor of Ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. From 1995-2012, he was Chair of Ophthalmology at the Edward Harkness Eye Institute, and now remains an active faculty member. Dr. Chang has developed and pioneered several revolutionary surgical approaches to treat complicated forms of retinal detachment, improving outcomes for patients worldwide. He was the first to use perfluoropropane gas in the management of retinal detachments caused by scar tissue proliferation (PVR) on the retina. He developed perfluorocarbon liquids, a ‘heavy liquid’ used in flattening retinal detachment, and the related surgical techniques for vitreoretinal surgery. In collaboration with Avi Grinblat, he developed a panoramic viewing system and led in the worldwide adaptation by retina surgeons to this technique. He is the recipient of several honors including the Hermann Wacker Prize from the Club Jules Gonin, Helmerich Prize from the American Society of Retinal Specialists, the Lifetime Achievement Honor Award and the Charles Schepens Lecture from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Jackson Memorial Lecture and the Alcon Research Institute Award. Consistently named as one of America’s best doctors, Dr. Chang was selected as National Physician of the Year by the Castle Connolly Guides in 2008.

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Robert J. Cionni, MD
Robert J. Cionni, MD

Dr. Robert J. Cionni, Medical Director of The Eye Institute of Utah is a world renowned authority and pioneer in the field of modern cataract surgery. Dr. Cionni has established himself at the forefront of advanced cataract surgery by pioneering numerous techniques and technologies in the field of ophthalmology.

Dr. Robert J. Cionni, Medical Director of The Eye Institute of Utah is a world renowned authority and pioneer in the field of modern cataract surgery. Dr. Cionni has established himself at the forefront of advanced cataract surgery by pioneering numerous techniques and technologies in the field of ophthalmology. He is frequently invited to speak at national and international meetings including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is currently serving as the 30th President of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He has authored numerous manuscripts, and textbook chapters that are read and viewed worldwide. He travels throughout the world teaching eye surgeons about advanced technology IOLs including those designed to reduce presbyopia and astigmatism.

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Peter Bliss
Peter Bliss

Peter has over 30 years’ experience in medical device and industrial gas equipment design and manufacturing. He holds 15 patents and is an author of six studies published in peer reviewed medical journals as well as numerous abstracts and conference presentations.

Peter has over 30 years’ experience in medical device and industrial gas equipment design and manufacturing. He holds 15 patents and is an author of six studies published in peer reviewed medical journals as well as numerous abstracts and conference presentations. He is currently a principal in the consulting firm Techniflow Inc. Peter received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has been Project Engineer with the industrial gas equipment firm Minnesota Valley Engineering (now Chart Industries), Chief Engineer and President of the custom valve manufacturer Wair Products Inc, and partner in the consulting firm Valley Inspired Products. Peter was co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of the start-up device firm, Oxytec Medical which introduced an innovative and industry leading portable oxygen concentrator for respiratory patients. After acquisition of Oxytec he stayed on as Principal Engineer with Philips Healthcare for 7 years.

Peter lives with his wife Joan and three children near Minneapolis, MN.

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Ahmet Tezel
Ahmet Tezel

Ahmet is currently the Vice President and Head of Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) R&D for Alcon, a Novartis Company. In this role he is responsible for all R&D activities from concept to launch for Alcon’s >$1B IOL franchise.

Ahmet is currently the Vice President and Head of Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) R&D for Alcon, a Novartis Company. In this role he is responsible for all R&D activities from concept to launch for Alcon’s >$1B IOL franchise. Prior to his current role he was with Allergan, Inc for 10 years in roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of R&D for the company’s medical device division. He has an extensive background in medical devices over a diverse range of medical specialties including dermatology, plastic surgery, drug delivery, bariatrics and ophthalmology. Ahmet holds 19 patents and is an author on 14 peer reviewed publications. He is also a free diver and scuba instructor. Ahmet lives with his wife and 2 daughters in Fort Worth, Texas.

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