Stuart Berger, MD
Tom P. Aufderheide, MD
John C. Amato is President and CEO of WorldPoint, whose mission is to advance healthcare training by providing innovative products and outcome based curriculum to healthcare instructors. WorldPoint is driven by a vision that providing most memorable service to every customer by listening to them, understanding their needs, and delivering solutions promptly, attentively, and completely helps our customers save more lives. In short, WorldPoint strives to be a trusted and reliable advisor to our customers.
John has been working with the American Heart Association (AHA) and their Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Division since 1996, helping to grow and strengthen AHA’s critical mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. John has also served on the AHA Metro Chicago Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012 and was Chairman of the Board from 2007 through 2012. At the national level, he served as Co-Chair on the American Heart Association’s Vision for Volunteerism Initiative and the Citizen CPR Foundation Board of Directors, Committee Chair for the 50th Anniversary of CPR and the 2006 Survivor Celebration.
John holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Dr. Bradley is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He has over thirty years experience as an emergency physician, 9-1-1 dispatcher and firefighter/paramedic.
His responsibilities include serving as the program director for the fellowship in Emergency Medical Services that will prepare future medical leaders in Emergency Medical Services and the emerging field of Homeland Security. Before this assignment, he accumulated seven years of experience as Medical Director or Chief of Service at two major hospital Emergency Centers in Houston. Dr. Bradley is a 1990 graduate of Santa Clara University. He completed his medical training at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1994. Before graduating from college, Dr. Bradley accumulated ten years’ experience as a firefighter, paramedic, and 9-1-1 dispatcher. Since graduating from medical school, he has completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Stanford-Kaiser Combined Emergency Medicine Program and a Fellowship in Emergency Medical Services with the Houston Fire Department. Dr. Bradley served as the Assistant Medical Director of the Houston Fire Department for eight years. He has fourteen years of experience in the Air National Guard, where he holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is assigned to the 147th Medical Group in Houston. He has completed two active-duty tours of duty, serving as the senior Critical Care Air Transport Physician in Iraq for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and in Germany with forward deployment to Afghanistan for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He also has extensive experience in Disaster Medicine, and currently has additional duties as Associate Director for EMS Preparedness for the UT Health Science Center at Houston’s Center for Biosecurity and as Public Health Preparedness and as Medical Team Manager for Texas Task Force One, a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team. His deployments include the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, and Hurricane Katrina. Short bio: Dr. Bradley is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Chair, Site Selection Committee
Chair, College of Fellows, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch
Marc Gay is Executive Director for an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center in Sherbrooke Québec.
He currently chairs the College of Fellows and the Dispatch CPR committee for the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch. He has served as chair of the ECC committee for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada from 1996-2003 and was a member of the AHA BLS subcommittee from 1996-2005.
David Hiltz is Director of Innovation and Customer Experience at Code One Training Solutions, LLC. In this position, he works to ensure responders are ready, willing and able to act when faced with a medical emergency. David is committed to helping organizations improve their systems of care for cardiac arrest. David has an extensive background in cardiac arrest response through his work at Code One and nearly two decades with the American Heart Association where he was responsible for education, implementation, strategy development, and helping responders achieve improved outcomes.
In addition to his work at Code One, David is an active volunteer with several organizations including the American College of Cardiology and the Citizen CPR Foundation where he serves as the Director for their HEARTSafe Community initiative.
Chair, Survivor Committee
James (Jim) Niskanen served as a park and recreation professional for 35 years in several cities in Northern California. A sought after trainer and speaker, Jim was teaching when he was struck with Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Jim survived SCA due to the quick work of students who performed CPR and applied an AED. Today, Jim is a strong advocate of community based CPR and placement of AEDs.
James E. Niskanen is the Retired Director of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods for the City of Modesto, California. Other positions he has held include: Interim City Manager; Interim Deputy City Manager; Interim Community and Economic Development Director and Interim Public Works Director. Jim also served as Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Modesto; Program Manager/Recreation Supervisor for the City of Sunnyvale, CA; Recreation Supervisor for the City of Alameda, CA; and Recreation Program Coordinator for the City of Sunnyvale. He received his B.S. degree in Recreation Administration and Leisure Services from San Jose State University (1976).
Some of his professional affiliations include: California Park and Recreation Society, Inc.; Golf Course Superintendents of America; National Institute of Golf Management; National Recreation and Park Association; Neighborhoods USA; and U.S. Golf Association. Awards and honors he has received are: Member, Chair, Building Strong Neighborhoods Impact Council of the United Way of Stanislaus County, 2004-06; Club Service Director, Modesto Sunrise Rotary, 2004-07; Trustee, National Institute of Golf Management (since 2002); Chair, National Institute of Golf Management (2000); Chair, Chair-elect and Past Chair, National Institute of Golf Management (1999); and Past President, California Park and Recreation Society, Inc., District IV (1988-89); Fellow, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (since 2000).
Since retiring in June 2009, Jim has been a highly sought after national speaker on telling his story of surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest in August 2008. He also is the Community Chair for the American Heart Association Heart Walk – Modesto in September 2010.
Jim also enjoys spending time with his wife of 34 years, Valeri, and their four children, spouses and two grandchildren.
Robert Niskanen has been active in biomedical engineering for almost 40 years with primary professional interests centering on resuscitation, emergency medicine and cardiovascular disease. As the founder of Resurgent Biomedical, Bob has consulted for several medical device companies related to improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest and other time-sensitive emergencies. Prior to starting Resurgent, Bob was a Senior Principal Scientist at Physio-Control in Redmond, Washington for more than 25 years. As the Director of Research and then VP of Clinical Research, he was involved in both technical and clinical research in CPR, defibrillation, ventilation, acute myocardial infarction triage, and medical data management. Bob is also Cofounder and past Chairman of the Board for Take Heart America™ Sudden Cardiac Arrest Initiative, pioneering the systems-based approach to improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Bob earned his MSEE at the University of Washington. He and his wife Judy live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where they enjoy their five young grandchildren and three grown kids either at home, on the river or at the cabin.
Chair, Local Planning Committee
San Diego Project Heart Beat
Maureen O’Connor is the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program Manager for San Diego Project Heart Beat (SDPHB) and has been in the field of emergency services for eighteen years. SDPHB is one of America’s first defibrillation programs to offer such a unique opportunity for public and private venture.
SDPHB was recognized by the National Center for Early Defibrillation (NCED) as best Large Community Program of the year in October of 2003. Most recently SDPHB received the 2009 Heart Safe Community Award PAD Program, Large Community from the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association’s 2009 SCAA Public Service Award. Maureen takes great pride in her involvement with the development of this internationally recognized program since its inception in 2001.
Maureen has served the communities of San Diego County as an Emergency First Responder in many different facets. Maureen has worked on some of San Diego Cities busiest paramedic units for San Diego Fire-Rescue, served as a Firefighter for the City of Poway and worked as a Ranger/Diver for the City of San Diego.
Maureen’s passion for life saving PAD programs is apparent in the success of San Diego Project Heart Beat. Maureen and her team members have helped bring the dream and foresight of Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) and Early Access Defibrillation programs into fruition within the communities of San Diego County saving 80 lives to date (March 2011) and deploying over 6500 Automated External Defibrillator’s (AED’s). Maureen won the San Diego Business Journal’s Annual Women Who Mean Business Award in October of 2004, for her success and accomplishments with the regional PAD program. She was also recognized by her department as EMS Administrative Support Person of the Year during National EMS Week in May 2005 and has been a recipient of VFW Post 3788’s 2005 Paramedic/EMT of the year award and 2008 – 2009 Outstanding Achievement Appreciation Award from the San Diego County American Heart Association Chapter. Maureen also served as Co-Chair of the Local Planning Committee for ECCU 2010.
Dr. Rea is Medical Program Director for King County EMS and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Rea has published widely on cardiac arrest and resuscitation and is very involved in ongoing research and evaluations programs. He is director of the HeartRescue program which aims to improve survival in participating states and communities.
David Saltzman is the Senior Manager of Strategic and Corporate Accounts at Philips Healthcare, Emergency Care and Resuscitation Division. In this position, as a member of the Philips Leadership Team, David works to ensure enterprise clients and strategic accounts are supported in their efforts to combat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) with comprehensive AED solutions.
David has an extensive background in cardiac arrest response and defibrillation through his 15 years of work at Philips Healthcare and, prior to that, his five years with Laerdal Medical. As a Philips Emergency Care and Resuscitation sales representative, David achieved the prestigious Pinnacle Award, the top sales honor within the organization, six of his ten years in that position. He has been responsible for some of the largest AED programs implemented both locally and nationally and currently supports global implementations in dozens of countries around the world.
Additionally, David has vast experience supporting grass roots efforts toward combating SCA with numerous foundations, municipalities, school systems, PAD programs, youth sports organizations and first responders.
David is married and the father of three boys and currently resides in Sea Cliff NY. His passion is his family and friends, and interests include the New York Yankees, live music, Peloton and, of course, saving lives!
Vice President of R&D at Stryker Emergency Care
Erik leads the Stryker global R&D team for Defibrillators, AED’s, Mechanical CPR, Data Solutions and Patient Transport Solutions. In addition, he is also Chairman of the board for Avidicare AB, developing a unique system for ultra-clean air for operating theaters, and BiBB Instruments AB, that develop innovative biopsy instruments to improve cancer diagnoses.
Erik has over 29 years of experience from leadership roles in the Medtech industry. Before Stryker Erik served since 2004 as CEO for Jolife AB. During his leadership the company developed the LUCAS CPR device to a market leading product and divested the company to Physio-Control in 2010. Since the transaction Erik transitioned into the role as GM Circulatory Solution at Physio-Control. Before this Erik was the CEO of Jostra AB, a global company developing heart lung machines and ECMO devices. This company was divested to Getinge/Maquet in 2003. Prior to this Erik served in several leading positions in Sweden and Japan at Gambro AB. He has also served as Communication Officer in the Swedish Royal Navy.
Erik holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Lund University and an Executive MBA degree.
Dennis Schuler is Vice President of Global Marketing for Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) programs at the American Heart Association (AHA). In this role, Dennis is responsible for activities related to conceptualizing and implementing market strategies and plans in support of achieving ECC’s targeted objectives. This includes driving customer preference for AHA products and services, overseeing communications and digital marketing as well as industry-focused business development and strategy in the Healthcare, Corporate and Community market segments. During his twelve-year tenure at AHA, Dennis has consistently sought to leverage AHA’s expertise in high-quality resuscitation and first aid science and training to help build its global brand. During this period, the business has consistently met its professional and lay responder training goals. Dennis maintains a strong passion for the organization’s aspirational goal that no one die from a cardiac arrest. Dennis brings extensive experiences working with healthcare manufacturing and distribution companies to his position at AHA. Prior to joining the non-profit, he held a variety of marketing and business development positions with American Hospital Supply, Baxter Healthcare and Cardinal Health. Dennis holds a Bachelor of Business degree with a concentration in Marketing and an MBA degree from Adelphi University in New York.
Jody P. Wacker brings more than 20 years’ experience to her position as Chief Marketing Officer, Field at the American Red Cross. As the marketing lead for the Red Cross Training Services portfolio, Wacker oversees all facets of marketing, specifically developing and executing marketing strategy, communications, programs, advertising, and events.
Prior to joining the Red Cross, Wacker served as Vice President of Marketing for Cellebrite, a digital forensics corporation, where she oversaw global marketing for the company’s North American, Latin American and South American operations. Prior to that, Wacker held positions in the Customer Success division for Cloud products and services at Oracle Corporation.
Wacker’s career has included additional Vice President of Marketing and Sales positions for several management/technical consulting firms. At Apropos Technology, she managed the marketing organization from startup through a successful IPO. She began her career as a technologist and marketing executive with AT&T.
Wacker holds a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University and a Master of Business Administration with a specialty in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Neil Weber is President of Laerdal Medical, North America. Laerdal is a pioneer and world leader in the field of resuscitation and simulation education with a long-standing mission of helping save lives. Laerdal serves healthcare providers and educators with products and services for medical simulation, CPR training, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, medical procedures and patient care, airway management, immobilization, and medical education. Our vision is that no one should die or be disabled unnecessarily during birth or from sudden illness, trauma or medical errors.
Neil has spent over twenty years in the medical device and healthcare IT industries in a wide range of environments. He has developed growth strategies at start-ups as well as both new growth and turnaround strategies at Fortune 50 companies. Previous roles include commercial leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, BD (Becton Dickinson), and Salient Surgical Technologies. His responsibilities at different times have included organizational leadership, corporate strategy, brand management, product management, business development, marketing and sales.
Neil holds a BSE degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. White was named President of the ZOLL Resuscitation division in October 2018. He joined ZOLL as Vice President of Marketing in 2012 with responsibilities for the global marketing and strategy of the company’s resuscitation portfolio. Prior to ZOLL, Mr. White led North American marketing efforts at Haemonetics. Earlier, he held general management and marketing leadership positions at Orthofix and Medtronic cardiology.
Mr. White has also served as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy and holds an MBA and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Manager, Stakeholder Engagement and Special Projects
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Sandra Zambon is Manager, Stakeholder Engagement and Special Programs with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. She brings over 18 years experience in developing partnerships with North American and international stakeholders and collaborating with resuscitation researchers, EMS professionals, educators as well as corporate partners.
Sandra’s main focus is on community development, engagement and advocacy to help build programs aimed at increasing awareness programs strengthen the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s mission to help the public and communities become ready, willing and able to take action when a cardiac emergency occurs.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics
Laerdal Medical Corp.
Tore Laerdal is Chairman of the Board of the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine, which since 1980 has provided financial support to nearly 2000 practically oriented research projects. (www.laerdalfoundation.org)
Mr Laerdal is also Chairman of the Board of the Laerdal Medical, a world leading company within training material and therapeutic equipment for acute medicine. www.laerdal.com
Mr Laerdal serves as Chairman of the Board of three external research foundations in Norway. He holds a degree from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and has received a Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University in Hertfordshire in the UK.
Retired – President, Laerdal Medical Americas
David Johnson retired from Laerdal Medical in January 2020 after 32 years of service. He served as President and Regional Director for Laerdal Medical, Americas from 2010. Laerdal is a pioneer and world leader in the field of resuscitation and simulation education and is most widely known for the introduction of Resusci Anne in 1960.
David was instrumental in many of the company’s product development and marketing activities over the years and served as Vice President of Sales prior to taking the role of President. David served on the CCPRF Board from 2012 – 2019. He was also a Public Member on the Board of Directors for the National League for Nursing (2014-2018) where he was inducted into the Academy of Nursing Education Fellows (2018). David holds a B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance and Marketing from Susquehanna University (1981).
While retired, David remains active supporting the efforts of the CCPRF Strategic Development Committee as well as advising several other companies and organizations.
Director of Prehospital Education
Stony Brook University School of Medicine
In 2014, Ed celebrated his 47th year in the field of Emergency Medical Services. He started as a Basic EMT in 1967 in the New York City EMS System and served as a Combat Medic in Vietnam in 1968-69. Ed became one of the first paramedics in the New York City EMS System in 1975. He went on to become one of the first EMS Educators in the New York City EMS system. From 1989 to 2005 Ed served on the National Basic Life Support Committee for the American Heart Association and co-authored the Basic Life Support Textbooks from 1997 to 2004 in his capacity as BLS Science Editor. During his career Ed co-developed a large number of unique educational programs including five EMT and Paramedic programs in the New York City region and the first Associates Degree program in New York State at LaGuardia Community College. He has conducted numerous scientific studies related to Emergency Cardiac Care and EMS and has authored over 120 scientific and educational works including textbooks, journal articles, videos, interactive CDs, student workbooks, and instructor guides. Today Ed is active in the development of cardiac arrest response systems for both in-hospital and pre hospital care. Ed routinely lectures throughout the world on EMS, education, and emergency cardiac care. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Halla-Stony Brook Emergency Medicine Center in Jeju Island, South Korea.