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Bioheart Announces that Mike Tomas has been Appointed CEO


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Bioheart, Inc., the company that helps monitor, diagnose and treat heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases announced that Mike Tomas has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Dr. Karl Groth, who has been Bioheart’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will retain his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Tomas (44) has been President for the past nine years of The ASTRI Group, an early stage private equity investment company in Florida with an investment in Bioheart since 2001. From 2003 to 2008 he served on Bioheart’s board as the independent representative of The ASTRI Group. Mr. Tomas will continue to serve as President of The ASTRI Group. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Miami and a

Bachelors degree from Florida International University.

Mr. Tomas asserted, “I am confident that Bioheart’s products will save the lives of thousands of people with congestive heart failure, and it is my mandate to bring these to fruition.”

Dr. Groth stated “I am looking forward to working with Mike to make Bioheart the success it will be. Bioheart is positioned as the global leader in advancing regenerative medicine, and we have set the scientific and clinical standard for all others to follow.”

Peggy Farley has resigned as Chief Operating and Financial Officer effective July 1, 2010. Ms. Farley will retain her seat on the Board of Directors. A new Chief Financial Officer is to be announced shortly. Bioheart also announced today that its founder, Howard Leonhardt, will return to the board.

Mr. Leonhardt founded the company in 1999 and presently serves as Bioheart’s Chief Scientific and Technology Officer, and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. Mr. Leonhardt will continue his focus on enhancing the Company’s existing technologies and strengthening its position as the leader within the cardiovascular arena of the stem cell therapy industry. Mr. Leonhardt will take the board seat vacated by Ms. Lee Jones as a result of her resignation from the nine member board of directors.

Mr. Leonhardt stated, “Mike is one of the most diligent and disciplined businessmen with whom I have worked. We served together on the board of advisors of Florida International University's Eugenio Pino & Family Global Entrepreneurship Center where Mike is the Chairman. Mike brings to Bioheart impressive credentials in business leadership and an intellect in biotechnology which is the formula at this juncture to take Bioheart to the next level.”

Tomas started his business career at the age of 17 with MCI and his success was the foundation for his career in business. After 17 years with MCI, he joined WorldCom where he was Chief Marketing Officer of Avantel, the $1 Billion joint venture between WorldCom and Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival (now Citibank). In his time there, he was known for his ability to create effective marketing strategies and lead diverse teams to success.

A native of the Caribbean and a U.S. citizen living in Miami, Florida, Tomas has been recognized for his outstanding achievements in business and entrepreneurship. A seasoned businessman, he joined other retired MCI executives and helped raise $40 million in venture capital to form Ineto, an integrated customer communications software solution company, that was successfully sold in 2001.

A board member of numerous organizations, Tomas continues to make an impact on enterprise in South Florida. He sits on the boards of Perimeter Internetworking (SaaS which provides secure transfer of information systems for medical and financial institutions), Avisena (revenue cycle management for medical practices), and Total Home Health (Medicare-certified home care provider). He is also a founding coach and mentor at the University of Miami’s Launch Pad entrepreneurship program at the Toppel Center.

Mr. Tomas’ extensive strategic development and board experience enhances the Bioheart Board of Directors’ skills in developing and planning the company’s growth. Dr. Groth became Chairman and CEO of Bioheart in August of 2009 and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since January 2009. He is co-founder, along with Ms. Farley, of the Ascent Medical Technology Funds and since May 2000 has served as President and CEO of Ascent Private Equity, the General Partner of the funds, which is focused on investments in medical device, life science and biotechnology.

Ms. Farley, who joined Bioheart’s Board of Directors in 2007, will continue to work with Dr. Groth and Douglas Owens, Bioheart’s Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, as well as the Bioheart staff to develop Bioheart’s Centers of Excellence throughout the world. The centers provide Bioheart’s cell technologies to patients with cardiovascular diseases. She and that team will also drive the REGEN trial, the first US FDA approved clinical trial of a combination cell and gene therapy.

Bioheart announces that the date for its annual meeting of shareholders has been moved to November 17, 2010 in Broward County, Florida. Time and location will be released closer to the event.
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