Board of Directors

Rodger G. Ford, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ford is the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of ReliantHeart.  Mr. Ford is a serial entrepreneur and very successful in building profitable businesses. Prior to ReliantHeart, he served as the CEO of SynCardia.

During his tenure as CEO of SynCardia, Mr. Ford guided and directed the development of two new driver systems for powering the Total Artificial Heart. He guided the raise of capital that funded the development and launch of the Freedom portable driver, the world’s first wearable power supply for the Total Artificial Heart. Under his leadership, SynCardia installed modern and effective business systems, such as MasterControl, quality management system software that was also later selected by the FDA. In addition, he recruited an experienced management team that transformed SynCardia from a “science project” into a celebrated bioscience company.

John V. Soden

Mr. Soden is a Board Director for ReliantHeart. Mr. Soden has nearly two decades of experience in investment banking. He is a Managing Director of the Healthcare Group for investment bank Houlihan Lokey where he oversees the medical technologies, diagnostics, life science, and biopharma coverage efforts of the firm. Houlihan Lokey specializes in growth company and middle-market advisory; in 2012 it was ranked #1 in terms of the number of completed M&A assignments for transactions under $3 billion. Prior to joining Houlihan Lokey in 2010, Mr. Soden was a Managing Director in Healthcare with Thomas Weisel Partners LLC. Prior to that, he was a Director in both the Healthcare and Mergers and Acquisitions groups at UBS Investment Bank. Soden began his investment banking career as a Financial Analyst at CS First Boston. Mr. Soden received a B.A. in Economics with honors from Northwestern University.

Michael E. Gerber

Mr. Gerber is a Board Director for ReliantHeart.  Mr. Gerber is a well-known legend of entrepreneurship with forty years of experience in addressing the needs of business owners. Mr. Gerber created The Dreaming Room®, a business coaching program that has helped thousands of business owners to successfully transform their businesses into world-class operations. Mr. Gerber is the best-selling author of The E-Myth Revisited, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within, and numerous other business coaching books. The E-Myth Revisited, has sold over 5,000,000 copies in 29 languages, and E-Myth methodology is taught in 118 universities worldwide.

Dennis L. Winans, CPA

Mr. Winans has a successful, broad based experience as a CEO and CPA in finance, operations and team management, with a clear sense of purpose, focus and ability in diverse and difficult situational challenges in the operations of businesses and real estate projects today.  Mr. Winans is known for his abilities in dealing with complex organizational, financial and operational structures with specialties in accounting and tax matters, corporate and operational finance, mortgage banking, treasury, investor and banking relations, contract review and management and real estate expert witness testimony.  Mr. Winans received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Arizona.