Richard DeSimone, Chairman
Richard DeSimone is an award-winning entrepreneur, business leader and advisor with four decades of experience building and guiding businesses, and leading both for-profit and non-profit organizations to success. Mr. DeSimone is the founder of and serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CarpeVITA, Inc.
Mr. DeSimone is also a founder and has served as Managing General Partner of Roxiticus Ventures and the Roxiticus Valley Funds, investment partnerships providing capital and resources to entrepreneurial businesses. Roxiticus is the lead investor in CarpeVITA and its affiliate companies. Mr. DeSimone founded Roxiticus in 1994 and has successfully guided its investment portfolios to significant returns for two decades.
Mr. DeSimone launched and managed successful businesses in the technology, life-sciences, and pharmaceutical sectors, creating investment returns that have outpaced most private equity firms and stock indexes over that period.
In the 1990s, Mr. DeSimone founded Planet Technology Solutions, Inc. and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until the Company was sold in 2001, returning four times the original investment of shareholders. Planet provided professional services, innovative software solutions and network technologies to healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and businesses serving the healthcare and financial sectors. Planet’s investors and strategic partners included software and technology development partners, Dialogic Corporation and Intel, through Intel Capital. The Company is now part of California Amplifier (NASDAQ:CAMP). While serving as the CEO of Planet Technology Solutions, Mr. DeSimone was named “NJ Entrepreneur of the Month” by the Courier News, a leading NJ media outlet. He was also honored by the American Society of Quality Control for his contributions related to technology in support of quality programs and customer service.
In 2001, Mr. DeSimone and Roxiticus was the first investor and advisor to ESP Pharma, a start-up specialty pharmaceutical company. Roxiticus and Mr. DeSimone provided seed money funding, advisory services to launch and finance the business and acquisitions support as it acquired its portfolio of pharmaceutical products. ESP Pharma was sold for approximately $500 million to PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) within three years of starting operations, returning more than 10 times the original investment to early investors.
In 2005, Mr. DeSimone served as Executive Chairman of CentreReach, Inc. and financed its acquisition of Facsys, one of the originators of internet-based fax software. CentreReach was acquired in 2006 by Canada’s privately-held emFast Corp, returning more than three times the shareholder’s investment in the business.
Mr. DeSimone is a founder of, and served from 2005 to 2010, as a member of the Board of Directors, and as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of EKR Therapeutics, Inc., a stand-out specialty pharmaceutical company focused on critical care pharmaceutical products used in hospitals and academic medical centers throughout the Country. During his term of leadership at EKR, the company grew from a concept to more than $250 million in annual sales and more than $95 million of annual operating earnings within three years of launch. Mr. DeSimone also served as a consultant and advisor to EKR from January to December of 2011. When EKR was launched in 2006, it was recognized as “Early Stage Company of the Year” in NJ. The company was also recognized as “Private Company of the Year” in 2009. Mr. DeSimone was a leader of the team that completed three pharmaceutical product acquisitions, four rounds of equity financing, and two rounds of debt financing to facilitate the growth of EKR. In the midst of the financial crisis in 2008, Mr. DeSimone raised more than $150 Million in debt and equity financing to acquire the commercial assets of PDL BioPharma, a struggling biotech company, and within a year after the acquisition, EKR generated nearly $100 Million in EBITDA. Mr. DeSimone was honored by the New Jersey Technology Council as “NJ CFO of the Year” in 2009, after having been voted runner-up for that same award in 2008. EKR was sold to Cornerstone Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRTX) (www.crtx.com) in 2012, yielding a significant return to all investors.
In 2011, Mr. DeSimone’s commitment to Healthcare continued when he was recruited by, joined, and continues to sit on, the newly formed Advisory Board of Directors of Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ (HackensackUMC). Mr. DeSimone has recently completed a two-year term as the Chairman of that Board. HackensackUMC is a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, and is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state, comprised of 1,250 beds, nearly 10,000 employees and 2,700 credentialed physicians.
U.S. News and World Report ranks HackensackUMC as the #1 hospital in New Jersey. HackensackUMC is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, receiving ten national rankings in specialties, including Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; Urology. HackensackUMC has also received the “Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence” from Healthgrades for 11 years in a row and has been designated as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence. HackensackUMC’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is ranked as one of the “Top 50 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery” in the 2013-14 Best Children’s Hospitals. HackensackUMC is among “Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals” in five different areas – more than any other hospital in the state, is one of “Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals™” for eight years in a row, and received the “Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™” 12 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a “Leapfrog Top Hospital,” and received 23 “Gold Seals of Approval™” by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country.
Since Mr. DeSimone joined the board at HackensackUMC, the Hackensack Health Network has continued to grow through partnerships, affiliations, acquisitions, and pioneering business development approaches. The Hackensack Health Network now includes HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley, HackensackUMC at Mountainside and HackensackUMC at Palisades, each acquired in innovative for-profit/non-profit partnerships. In 2015, HackensackUMC announced its merger with Meridian Health System making Hackensack/Meridian NJ’s largest hospital system and health network. During 2015, Hackensack also announced a partnership with Seton Hall University to open the only private medical school in New Jersey.
In the last few years, Hackensack also made history by entering into an alliance with six other health systems, forming AllSpire Health Partners. AllSpire represents 28 hospitals and serves more than six million people, making AllSpire the largest healthcare consortium of its kind in the entire nation.
The Hackensack Health Network has also created the Hackensack Physician-Hospital Alliance ACO, LLC, which has been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Through the Shared Savings Program, Hackensack’s ACO works with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with high quality service and care, while reducing the growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination. At the time when Hackensack Alliance was selected, only 26 other ACOs had entered into agreements with Medicare to take responsibility for the quality of care furnished to individual beneficiaries in return for the opportunity to share in any savings with the Medicare program for improved care. The Hackensack Alliance shared savings program has been highly successful in its first year of operation, returning higher than anticipated savings.
Mr. DeSimone’s investing and advisory activities are aligned with his interest in creating the public and private partnerships that are focused on improving the healthcare and education systems in the US and in supporting the effort to develop entrepreneurial solutions, particularly in these important sectors. Mr. DeSimone has been honored by his hometown of Mendham, New Jersey for his contributions to education and for leading the effort to implement technology in the local school systems.