Commercial Consultants

To augment our Board’s expertise, the Centre has assembled an International Advisory Board with key members from North American business and commercialization sectors lending their wide expertise to aid in success to consult on future development opportunities and business plans.  Finally, CSii has built a robust Commercialization Committee with experienced members from the CSii Board, International Advisory Board, MDA, and guests invited from industry, finance and venture capital firms.

Dr. Mark Knudson, President, CEO and Chairman at EnteroMedics Inc.  Dr. Knudson is founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of EnteroMedics Inc., which was established in late 2002 to develop and commercialize a new therapeutic platform for treating a wide range of acute and chronic diseases that are mediated by the vagal nerves.  Prior to this, he served as the President at Johnson and Johnson Professional Diagnostics, following Johnson and Johnson's 1986 acquisition of Arden Medical Systems. He founded Arden in 1983 and was its Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Knudson has also held positions in Research and Development Management at Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc., (CPI-Guidant) and as a partner of an early stage venture capital firm.  His inventions have been the basis for the founding of nine companies, in several of which he served as founding Chief Executive Officer. Prior to their successful acquisition, Dr. Knudson founded and served on the Board of Directors of Arden Medical Systems, Inc., Integ, Inc., HeartStream, Inc., InControl, Inc, and was a Member of the Advisory Board at Artesian Capital. He was a member of the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine and is also a Fellow of the American Heart Association.  Dr. Knudson was the recipient of an Individual Post-doctoral Fellowship Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr.Knudson is the holder of over 40 United States patents. He holds a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Physiology from Washington State University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University.

Doug Ladd,  Chief Marketing Officer at EndoChoice. Previously Doug was the marketing director for Johnson & Johnson's Breast Care Division. In his current role, Doug is responsible for all aspects of the global marketing function for EndoChoice Inc., a venture-backed start-up company that has been on the Inc 500/5000 list for the last four years in a row. Doug Ladd is a sales and marketing leader with international experience in healthcare and service industries.   He is a results oriented performer with extensive knowledge in new business ventures, product development, strategic planning and marketing.


Joe Sardi, Senior Consultant, Healthcare. Joe completed a B.Sc.A & B.Eng degree in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal Quebec. He began his career with General Electric in 1968 through the Graduate Engineering Development Program. From 1969 to 1986 Joe held a number of different sales, marketing and management positions with a number of GE businesses. Joe was appointed Country General Manager – GE Healthcare, Canada in 1986 and has led the business for 22 years to a strong leadership position in the Canadian market. He was personally involved in driving the implementation of Six Sigma and Lean across GE Healthcare in Canada. He retired in 2008 after 40 Years with GE. Since his retirement from GE, He has been a Senior Consultant in Healthcare focusing on strategy development and execution for large infrastructure projects and the assessment and evaluation of new technologies for suitability in the healthcare environment. Joe is fluent in French, English and Arabic.

Sam Znaimer is a General Partner at Ventures West Capital, Vancouver, BC with 30 years of experience with early-stage technology companies.  As a long-standing partner of Ventures West Capital Ltd., he has extensive involvement in the selection, due diligence evaluation, negotiations and closing of many financing rounds as well as, guidance and mentorship of portfolio companies and the execution of merger and acquisition transactions. Mr. Znaimer’s deep knowledge of the lifecycle and developmental challenges facing emerging companies has helped steer CSii’s current business plan.