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Phthisis Diagnostics Welcomes New Sales Director and Controller

Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, May 14, 2012
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Appointment of Betty Polk and Robert Owen to Company’s management team.

Phthisis Diagnostics of Charlottesville, VA has recruited two new members to its management team. Betty Polk joins the company as Business Development and Global Sales Director and Robert Owen as Controller.

According to company President and Chief Science Officer Crystal Icenhour, PhD, “Phthisis is excited to welcome Betty and Robert to its team! Betty brings a wealth of clinical laboratory and diagnostic sales experience. And Robert’s business and financial background strengthens our corporate structure.”

Betty Polk, M (ASCP), RM (NRCM) brings more than 40 years of experience in microbiology and biotechnology to her new position.

Well respected in the industry, she has supervised hospital labs, owned her own independent reference lab, and managed national sales for several companies.

Her niche has become combining science with sales, a challenge she enjoys (“The joy is in the hunt”), especially when the company is young and developing and she has the opportunity to be creative.

She has now worked with four start-up companies, including one where she played a key role in developing sales revenues from zero to a million dollars per week over a seven-year period.

Ms. Polk’s experience has included positions with Gibco Diagnostics; Sigma Chemical Co., Cell Culture Division; TechLab, Inc.; Gen-Probe/Prodesse, Inc.; and bioMerieux.

She holds a B.A. in Microbiology from the University of South Florida, is a Registered Microbiologist with the American Society for Microbiology’s National Registry of Certified Microbiologists, and is a Technologist in Microbiology with the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

As the company’s new Controller, Robert Owen, CPA, looks forward to leveraging his expertise to impact its development: “I love to feel that strong, direct connection between my work and the company’s growth.”

Mr. Owen, who has broad experience in public accounting, also has developed special expertise in biotechnology grant accounting. He sees his abilities in budgeting and grant accounting as key skills that will play an important role in the company’s further development.

As a Controller, Mr. Owen followed the development of a new anti-depressant drug (Viibryd®) through various company ownerships to the drug’s FDA approval in 2011. Another drug being developed as a vasodilator for use in cardiac stress testing (Stedivaze) was in Phase III clinical trials.

He has also been Controller at PGxHealth, LLC, a division of Clinical Data, Inc. (NASDAQ-CLDA) and at Adenosine Therapeutics, LLC until it was acquired by PGxHealth; Trovis Pharmaceuticals; and Dogwood Pharmaceuticals.

He is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a B.S. degree from Concord University in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.

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