B. Sonny Bal, MD, JD, MBA
Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer & President
Dr. Sonny Bal is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Missouri, Columbia, specializing in joint replacement surgery and ceramic bearings. He also is an Adjunct Professor of Material Sciences at the University of Missouri at Rolla. Dr. Bal is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. He is a life member of the International Society of Technology in Arthroplasty, and serves on the editorial board of several peer-refereed orthopaedic journals. He has published extensively on the biomedical applications of silicon nitride ceramics, and continues that work, with presentations at scientific forums worldwide.
Dr. Bal received his M.D. from Cornell University, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University, a J.D. degree from the University of Missouri, and achieved fellowship in joint replacement at Harvard University. He is also a licensed attorney who co-founded the BalBrenner law firm in North Carolina.
Chief Commercial Officer
Chris Whitfield serves Amedica as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Whitfield came to Amedica in November of 2013 with over 17 years of commercial experience in the medical device sector. Prior to joining Amedica, he held the position of Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Pioneer Surgical (now RTI Surgical). Chris has also served in senior Sales Management and Marketing roles for Zimmer Spine (formerly Abbott Spine/Spinal Concepts). He began his career as a Field Sales Representative with AcroMed (now Depuy/Synthes Spine) and Medtronic Sofamor Danek. Chris graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Marketing.
Bryan J. McEntire
Chief Technology Officer
Bryan J. McEntire has served as Vice President of Manufacturing since August 2004 and as our Vice President of Research since December 2006. Mr. McEntire has more than 30 years of experience in advanced ceramic product development, quality engineering and manufacturing.
Prior to joining AMEDICA, Mr. McEntire served as a Senior Director of Supply Chain Management at Applied Materials in Silicon Valley from April 1998 to August 2004, where he managed a portion of the supply chain. This segment included the negotiation of supply contracts and supervision of vendor production of various parts, including precision ceramic components, which were integrated into the capital equipment made and sold by Applied Materials.
Prior to joining Applied Materials, he was General Manager of Norton Advanced Ceramics, a division of Saint-Gobain Industrial Ceramics Corporation, from 1993 to 1998. Here, he managed four ceramic product manufacturing plants in the United States, including the largest US-based production facility for precision Silicon Nitride bearing components.
From 1987 to 1993, Mr. McEntire served in various positions for a joint-venture between Norton Company and TRW, Inc., including Vice President and Technical Director. The purpose of this joint- venture was to explore the use of Silicon Nitride-based ceramics in automotive and turbine engine applications. During his tenure with the joint-venture, Mr. McEntire managed several multi-million dollar R&D contracts for the U.S. Department of Energy.
From 1978 to 1987, Mr. McEntire was successively promoted from Manager of Ceramic Production and Development to Plant Manager for Ceramatec, Inc., a small innovative producer of ionic-conducting and structural ceramic components in Salt Lake City, UT.
Mr. McEntire holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering, and Operations Management, respectively, both from the University of Utah. He is an author or co-author of over 30 technical papers on ceramic materials, processing and characterization, and served as an invited short- course lecturer on Forming of Ceramics at the Annual Meeting of the American Ceramic Society from 1986 to 1995.
Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Davis joined AMEDICA in 2009 as a Business Development Consultant, where he focused on strategic positioning and costing of AMEDICA products and has served as Vice President of Business Development, President of AMEDICA’s manufacturing division, and currently as the Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Davis was the Chief Financial Officer of Nevada Chemicals, Inc., a publicly-held sodium cyanide chemical manufacturer. Prior to his position with Nevada Chemicals, Mr. Davis worked for NPS Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-held biopharmaceutical company, where he served as Assistant Corporate Controller. Mr. Davis graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting.
Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer & Corporate Secretary
Kevin Ontiveros is the Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary of AMEDICA. Kevin has over 20 years of experience serving as in-house and outside corporate counsel for publicly traded and privately held medical device and biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. Before joining AMEDICA, Kevin served as the Vice President- Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for ImaRx Therapeutics, Inc. (IMRX) and Vice President-Corporate Law and Assistant Corporate Secretary for NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NPSP). When not serving as in-house corporate counsel Kevin has worked in private practice focusing exclusively on providing seasoned and experienced strategic legal counsel to the life science industry. Kevin has provided legal and business counsel on a wide range of matters including technology licensing transactions, corporate financing opportunities including public and private equity and debt offerings, public company SEC reporting compliance, and clinical trial, manufacturing, distribution, and research and development agreements. Kevin also advises on corporate governance matters including advising public and private company boards and committees and overseeing the maintenance of corporate minute books and records.
Kevin earned his earned his J.D. from University of Utah School of Law, his LLM Taxation from University of Florida and his B.A. from University of Arizona.
Principal Accounting Officer
Gordon Esplin joined AMEDICA in 2007 as our Controller, and has served as our Vice President Finance since November 2012. Mr. Esplin has more than 18 years of financial and management experience working with both public and private companies, with responsibilities for business planning, budgeting, forecasting, and internal controls. Prior to joining AMEDICA, Mr. Esplin served in a variety of financial roles, including Corporate Controller, with NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: NPSP) from 2004 to 2007. Mr. Esplin began his career with Arthur Andersen in Houston in 1994 and later worked as an audit manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Salt Lake City, Utah and Phoenix, Arizona offices, as well as a three year assignment with the PwC Silicon Valley high-tech practice in San Jose, California, where he specialized in working with start-up companies in the software and internet space.
Mr. Esplin holds a B.S. in accounting and an M.S. in business information systems and education from Utah State University, and is a certified public accountant.
Senior Vice President, Global Sales
James Abraham joined Amedica in January 2013 and brought with him over 27 years of experience in Orthopedics, holding several senior positions in Sales, Marketing, and Business Development on a Global basis. Mr. Abraham was an Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for IsoTis Orthobioligics, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Regeneration Technologies Inc. and most recently, held several leadership positions at Stryker Orthopedics including General Manager, Area Vice President and Sales Development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Abraham was one of the founders of Encore Orthopedics and simultaneously held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Mr. Abraham has an extensive track record of building and leading teams that drive above market growth. His experience managing the complexities of healthcare sales and marketing across varied medical device markets is a tremendous asset to Amedica.
Mr. Abraham holds a Bachelor of Science Business Administration from Creighton University (Omaha, NE) where he graduated with honors after majoring in Finance and minoring in Philosophy.
Vice President, Marketing
Vytas Rupinskas is the Vice President of Marketing for Amedica, a position he has held since January 2013.
In this position Mr. Rupinskas has global marketing responsibility for all of Amedica’s products.
Mr. Rupinskas brings more than twenty five years of experience in the orthopedic, spinal and neuromodulation medical device markets. Most recently, he was the Director of Product Management for Leads & Accessories for the Neuromodulation division of St Jude Medical. Previously, he held various senior global marketing and international sales management positions at DePuy Orthopedics, DePuy International and DePuy Spine.
Mr. Rupinskas is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (Chicago) and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (Champaign-Urbana).