Corporate Governance

Board Of Directors

Stephen C. Farrell, Chair of Audit Committee, Member of Nominating and Governance Committee

Mr. Farrell has served since 2011 as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Convey Health Solutions, a private equity sponsored technology-enabled healthcare business process outsourcer. Also, since 2012 he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Lineage Cell Therapeutics, formerly known as BioTime, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused in the field of regenerative medicine. From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Farrell served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Stream Global Services, a business process outsourcer. From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Farrell served as President of PolyMedica Corporation, a publicly traded provider of diabetes supplies that was acquired by Medco Health Solutions in 2007. From 2007 to 2014, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Mallinckrodt PLC in 2014. Mr. Farrell spent five years as a Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers auditing leading public companies from 1994 to 1999. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and earned a M.B.A. at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business.

Member of the Nominating, Governance Committee

Chair of the Audit Committee

Thomas G. Frinzi, Chair of the Board and Compensation Committee, Member of Audit Committee

From February 2017 through December 2019, Mr. Frinzi served as Worldwide President, Surgical, Johnson & Johnson Vision business, which includes a broad ophthalmology portfolio across the areas of refractive and cataract surgery. Mr. Frinzi served as Senior Vice President of Abbott Laboratories and President, Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) from January 2016 until February 2017 when Johnson & Johnson acquired AMO. Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Frinzi held a number of leadership positions in ophthalmology and medical device companies. He served as President and CEO of WaveTec Vision, a developer of surgical systems for eye surgery from September 2010 through September 2014 when it was acquired by Alcon. Thereafter, he served as Alcon’s Head of WaveTec Vision until July 2015. He also held senior positions in commercial operations, business development, and sales and marketing at Bausch & Lomb Surgical, Refractec, Chiron Vision, and Johnson & Johnson. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Tampa.

Member of the Compensation Committee

Member of the Audit Committee

Gilbert H. Kliman, MD, Member of Audit Committee and Compensation Committee

Dr. Kliman is a Managing Partner of InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm, where he joined in 1996. Dr. Kliman has served on the board of directors of Glaukos Corporation since 2007, with a brief hiatus from August 2019 through March 2020 relating to the Glaukos acquisition of Avedro, Inc. (an ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical technology where Dr. Kliman also served on the board of directors). He served on the board of directors of Epocrates, Inc. (acquired by Athenahealth, Inc.) from 1999 to 2011, and IntraLase Corp. (acquired by Advanced Medical Optics, Inc.) from 2000 to 2007. From 1995 to 1996, Dr. Kliman was an investment manager at Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Kliman served as an associate at TA Associates, a private equity investment firm. Dr. Kliman is a board-certified ophthalmologist and completed a retina research fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and residency training at Wills Eye Hospital. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Dr. Kliman currently serves as a director for private life science and healthcare companies, and serves as a director on the executive board of ORBIS International, a global nonprofit focused on preventing avoidable blindness. In addition to previously serving as a director of Avedro from 2015 until his resignation in August 2019 prior to its acquisition by Glaukos, Dr. Kliman also previously served on the board of directors of Restoration Robotics (Nasdaq: HAIR) from July 2007 until its acquisition by Venus Concept Inc. in November 2019.

Chairman of the Nominating, Governance Committee

Member of the Compensation Committee

Caren Mason, President and Chief Executive Office

Ms. Mason was elected to STAAR’s Board of Directors at its 2014 Annual Meeting, and she has served as STAAR’s Chief Executive Officer since March 1, 2015. From 2010 to 2012, Ms. Mason served as Chief Executive Officer of Verinata Health, Inc. (f/k/a Artemis Health, Inc.), a provider of non-invasive prenatal genetic sequencing tests for the early identification of fetal chromosomal abnormalities. In February 2013, Verinata was acquired by Illumina. Ms. Mason served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Quidel Corporation from 2004 to 2009, a publicly traded company engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of rapid diagnostic solutions at the professional point of care in infectious diseases and reproductive health. Prior to joining Quidel, Ms. Mason provided consultative services from 2003 to 2004 for Eastman Kodak Health Imaging as a result of the sale of MiraMedica, Inc., to Eastman Kodak. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer for MiraMedica, Inc., an early phase start-up developing computer aided detection software for breast cancer, from 2002 through 2003. Prior to her tenure with MiraMedica, Inc., Ms. Mason served as Chief Executive Officer of eMed Technologies of Lexington, Massachusetts, a teleradiology and picture archiving and communications systems business. Ms. Mason served as General Manager of the Women’s Healthcare business and as a General Manager in various capacities for the Services business of General Electric Healthcare from 1996 to 2000. Ms. Mason’s additional healthcare experience includes her tenure with Bayer AG/AGFA from 1989 to 1996 where she last held the positions of Senior Vice President for Bayer Corporate Health Care and Senior Vice President for the AGFA Technical Imaging Business Group. Ms. Mason began her career in healthcare with American Hospital Supply/Baxter Healthcare in sales, marketing and managerial roles from 1977 through 1988. Ms. Mason received her B.A. from Indiana University. Ms. Mason’s prior corporate governance experience includes both private and public boards with Verinata Health, eMed Technologies, MiraMedica and Quidel Corporation. She currently serves as a director on the Board of The Medical Device Manufacturers Association, MDMA, a medical device trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C., and on the Advisory Board for InDevR, Inc., a biotechnology company in Boulder, Colorado developing diagnostic and vaccine technologies. Ms. Mason also serves on the Board of Directors of the ASCRS Foundation and the ICO Foundation, both of which are global nonprofit organizations focused on humanitarian eye care and education.

Aimee S. Weisner, Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Member of the Compensation Committee

Ms. Weisner was the Corporate Vice President, General Counsel of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation from 2011 until her retirement in 2019. From 2009 to 2010, she was engaged in private practice and served as legal advisor to public pharmaceutical and medical device companies located in Southern California. Prior to this, from 2002 to 2009, Ms. Weisner served in a number of positions at Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (acquired by Abbott Laboratories), including Executive Vice President, Administration and Secretary. From 1998 to 2002, Ms. Weisner served in a number of positions at Allergan, Inc., including Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary. Ms. Weisner holds a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Ms. Weisner has served on the board of directors of Glaukos Corporation (NYSE: GKOS) since 2014, including as a member of its audit committee, on the board of Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:OYST), including as a member of its audit committee, since October 2019, and on the board of directors of Lensar, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNSR), including as a member of its compensation committee, since February 2021.

Elizabeth Yeu, MD, Member of Compensation Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee

Dr. Elizabeth Yeu, M.D., has been a Partner at Virginia Eye Consultants since 2014. She also currently serves as Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). Dr. Yeu is a nationally recognized ophthalmologist and educator. She has authored hundreds of articles and is a frequent lecturer in the areas of refractive cataract surgery, anterior segment reconstruction, ocular surface disease management and surgical management of astigmatism. Dr. Yeu was voted to The Ophthalmologist's Power List 2020, Top 100; Power List 2019, Emerging Leader; Power List 2017, Rising Stars; and 2015 Top 40 Under 40. She was identified as a Clinical Rising Star 2018 by the Ophthalmic Innovations Summit (OIS), was recognized as a Castle Connelly Top Doc 2016-2019 and received the Castle Connelly Exceptional Women in Medicine Award in 2017. Dr. Yeu earned her medical degree through an accelerated and combined undergraduate/medical school program at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Yeu completed her residency at Rush University Medical Center and fellowship in cornea, anterior segment and refractive surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Member of Nominating and Governance Committee

Member of the Compensation Committee

K. Peony Yu, MD, Member of Audit Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee

K. Peony Yu, M.D. brings more than 25 years of biomedical leadership, patient care, and medical device development experience with expertise in clinical and regulatory process, and with multiple prior successful product approvals for patients in multiple global regions, including US, Europe, China, Japan, and others. Dr, Yuserved as Chief Medical Officer, FibroGen Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company until December 2020. She initially joined FibroGen in 2008 as Vice President, Clinical Development. Prior to joining FibroGen, Dr. Yu served as Vice President of Clinical Research at Anesiva Inc, following roles of increasing responsibilities in Clinical Development at ALZA Corporation, Johnson & Johnson; Pain Therapeutics Inc. (now Cassava Sciences Inc); and Elan Corporation plc (now Perrigo Company plc). Earlier in her career, Dr. Yu was Head of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Dr. Yu received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Davis, and an M.D. from the UC Davis School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Corporate Officers

Caren Mason, President and Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Mason was elected to STAAR’s Board of Directors at its 2014 Annual Meeting, and she has served as STAAR’s Chief Executive Officer since March 1, 2015. From 2010 to 2012, Ms. Mason served as Chief Executive Officer of Verinata Health, Inc. (f/k/a Artemis Health, Inc.), a provider of non-invasive prenatal genetic sequencing tests. In February 2013, Verinata was acquired by Illumina. Ms. Mason served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Quidel Corporation from 2004 to 2009, a publicly traded company engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of rapid diagnostic solutions at the professional point of care in infectious diseases and reproductive health. Prior to joining Quidel, Ms. Mason provided consultative services from 2003 to 2004 for Eastman Kodak Health Imaging as a result of the sale of MiraMedica, Inc., to Eastman Kodak. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer for MiraMedica, Inc., an early phase start-up developing computer aided detection software for oncology, from 2002 through 2003. Prior to her tenure with MiraMedica, Inc., Ms. Mason served as Chief Executive Officer of eMed Technologies of Lexington, Massachusetts, a teleradiology and picture archiving and communications systems business. Ms. Mason served as General Manager of the Women’s Healthcare business and as a General Manager in various capacities for the Services business of General Electric Healthcare from 1996 to 2000. Ms. Mason’s additional healthcare experience includes her tenure with Bayer AG/AGFA from 1989 to 1996 where she last held the positions of Senior Vice President for Bayer Corporate Health Care and Senior Vice President for the AGFA Technical Imaging Business Group. Ms. Mason began her career in healthcare with American Hospital Supply/Baxter Healthcare in sales, marketing and managerial roles from 1977 through 1988. Ms. Mason received her B.A. from Indiana University. Ms. Mason’s prior corporate governance experience includes both private and public boards with Verinata Health, eMed Technologies, MiraMedica, Quidel Corporation, and HealthTell. She currently serves as a director on the Board of The Medical Device Manufacturers Association, MDMA, a medical device trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C., and on the Advisory Board for InDevR, Inc., a biotechnology company in Boulder, Colorado developing diagnostic and vaccine technologies.

Patrick F. Williams, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Williams joined STAAR in July 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. He brings over 20 years of financial and operational management experience with public companies. Mr. Williams was most recently at Sientra, Inc., a medical aesthetics company where he initially served as the Chief Financial Officer before transitioning to the General Manager of the miraDry® business unit. Prior to Sientra, Mr. Williams was Chief Financial Officer of ZELTIQ Aesthetics, Inc., a publicly-traded medical device company that was acquired in 2017. Mr. Williams has also served as Vice President at NuVasive, Inc., a San Diego-based medical device company, in strategy, finance and investor relations roles. Mr. Williams received a MBA in Finance and Management from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Scott D. Barnes, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Barnes joined STAAR in October 2017 as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Barnes joined STAAR after a distinguished 30-year career with the military, retiring at the rank of Colonel in September 2017. From 2004 to 2017, Dr. Barnes served as Chief of Ophthalmology Services, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Soon after he joined Womack, he was asked to serve as the theater ophthalmology consultant and surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan during 2005. In 2008, Colonel Barnes was awarded the Army Surgeon General's A designator, similar to the level of professor at a civilian institution. Dr. Barnes began his medical career in 1986 as a research assistant in the Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital in Boston and in 1991 became a general surgery intern at William Beaumont Army Medical Center. He went on to become a Special Forces (“Green Beret”) Battalion and Group Surgeon as well as the Deputy Surgeon for the US Army Special Operations Command. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the Wilford Hall/Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas in 1998. Colonel Barnes held numerous ophthalmology positions at a number of military bases and was asked to serve as the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services for all combat trauma, medical, veterinary, and dental care in Afghanistan during a 13-month deployment in 2011 to 2012. Dr. Barnes has given more than 200 presentations and lectures as well as led over 30 ophthalmology or refractive surgery research projects. He has been awarded Speaker of the Day at the Royal Hawaiian Eye Meeting ten times as well as numerous other awards and honors at industry meetings. In addition to earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, and his doctorate degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Dr. Barnes' post-doctoral training includes a Cornea Fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Hans-Martin Blickensdoerfer, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Director Markets Europe and China

Mr. Blickensdoerfer, who joined STAAR in January 2005, has over 20 years’ experience in the ophthalmic device industry. Initially, he served as STAAR’s Vice President, International Marketing from 2005 to 2010, then from 2011 through 2015 he served as President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In 2016, he became Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and China. In 2017, he became Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations for Direct Markets, Europe, and China. Prior to joining STAAR, Mr. Blickensdoerfer served from January 2003 through December 2004 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Milvella Ltd., an Australia-based medical device maker, where his duties included both regional and worldwide business planning, product launches and management of European clinical studies. He worked from 2000 through 2002 for Novartis-CIBA Vision, an ophthalmic surgical company, as the Commercial Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Between 1997 and early 2000 he worked for the Ophthalmic Surgical Division of Bausch & Lomb, Inc. as its Area Sales Manager for Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to that time, he worked in sales and product management positions in the Ophthalmic Surgical Division of Chiron Vision and at Chiron Adatomed GmbH. Mr. Blickensdoerfer received his diploma in Marketing and International Management from the University of Mannheim in Germany. He is based in our Nidau, Switzerland facility.

James Francese, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations North America and APAC

Mr. Francese joined STAAR in 2012 as Vice President, Global Marketing. In 2016 he assumed the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, North America and APAC. Mr. Francese has 30 years of experience in ophthalmology, including 14 years marketing surgical products with Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), formerly Advanced Medical Optics and Allergan. During his time at AMO from 1990 to 2012, Mr. Francese held several positions of executive level responsibilities, including Head of Marketing, Americas for all surgical, refractive and corneal products, Head of Global Corneal Marketing responsible for all consumer products, and V.P. of Asia Pacific Region where he had full P&L responsibility for cataract and refractive during his tenure. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, Master of Science degree from the University of Washington and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California.

Samuel J. Gesten, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Mr. Gesten joined STAAR in April 2012 as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. In May 2014, he assumed the role of Vice President of Business Development and Chief Legal Officer. In addition to these roles, Mr. Gesten serves as Chief Compliance Officer. From 2009 through 2011, he served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and as a member of the Executive Committee of Allergan, Inc. Prior to that, he spent 11 years at Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. in a variety of positions, including General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the Laboratory Products Group and Vice President, Deputy General Counsel. Prior to his work at Thermo Fisher, Mr. Gesten spent 11 years practicing law. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Brandeis University and a J.D. from Boston University.

Keith Holliday, PhD, Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Keith Holliday joined STAAR in August 2015 as Vice President of Research and Development. In March 2017, he assumed the role of the Chief Technology Officer. From 2007 to his arrival at STAAR, he served as Vice President, Research and Development at ReVision Optics where he oversaw the development of their corneal inlay technology that includes a hydrogel inlay for presbyopia correction, delivery devices and clinical methodologies as well as managing first-in-man clinical studies. Previously, he was Director of Laser Technology at Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) and Staff Laser Scientist at VISX. Prior to joining VISX, Dr. Holliday worked primarily in academia. He obtained his first degree in Physics and Electronics from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland and a Ph.D. from the Laser Physics Centre at the Australian National University. He spent three years at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he was primarily involved with the utilization of optically active polymers and crystals, to develop materials and techniques for very high density, holographic optical storage and computational systems. Dr. Holliday holds patents in excimer laser beam detection, control and profiling, and methods to correct presbyopia that synergistically take into account the epithelium’s response to corneal inlays, and he has also authored 37 peer reviewed publications in the scientific literature plus two book chapters and one single-authored book. He is considered an expert on presbyopia and served as a committee member for the International Society of Presbyopia.

Committee Composition

All of the directors listed in the chart are independent directors under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules, with the exception of Caren Mason, who serves as STAAR’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Committee Charters