Anatomy of a Business Venture


Anatomy of a Business Venture

Three entrepreneurs reveal their lessons learned

Hosted by the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Raytheon Room, Egan Science Center, 120 Forsyth Street

5:30 p.m. Reception & Networking
6 – 8 p.m. Panel presentations; questions and answers

This on-campus program will bring together three Founders to share their extensive knowledge and to network with professional colleagues, Northeastern University alumni and faculty, and graduate students.


Carl LeBel, PhD
Dr. LeBel has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) experience including significant leadership expertise in critical areas such as product development, preclinical and clinical research and regulatory strategy. His career has spanned multiple life science companies, including a 14-year tenure with Amgen that was marked by multiple product successes and key clinical trial innovations. While at Amgen, he guided the successful execution of the registration programs for both Prolia® and Xgeva™. In addition, Dr. LeBel is credited with the design and deployment of an innovative data capture platform that supported Amgen’s efforts in global clinical trial tracking and management.

Since joining Otonomy, Dr. LeBel has spearheaded the company’s R&D activities including the advancement of the OTO-104 and OTO-201 development programs. He has built a world-class R&D team with vast expertise in the development of preclinical ear disease models, as well as conducting human clinical trials for both inner and middle ear disorders. Dr LeBel is a steering committee member of the Health Sciences Entrepreneurs and a HSE mentor.


Kathleen F. Hagan
Founder and President; Hagan & Company

Kathleen Hagan is Founder and President of Hagan & Company, an international marketing and management consulting firm. She has 30 years of leadership experience in international business, strategic business development, marketing, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, government relations and higher education.

Kathleen has held a number of senior executive positions including: Executive Vice President for the Entrepreneurial Resources Group, a consulting firm that advises growing entrepreneurial ventures; Founding Director of the Northern Ireland Technology and Development Center, a venture center for leading technology companies from Northern Ireland; Director of International Programs at Babson College and Executive Director of the MIT Enterprise Forum, an entrepreneurship education program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delivered in 25 cities in the U.S. and around the world as well as Executive Assistant to former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke in charge of the Senate Massachusetts Office handling a full range of policy issues including economic development and federal regulatory issues.

Kathleen holds an MBA cum laude from Boston University and a BA from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. She has taught Global Marketing Strategy at Northeastern University and Babson College. She is an author and frequent speaker on international topics and has testified before Congress on small business and international trade issues. Ms. Hagan sits on several corporate, professional, and non-profit boards.

Joseph D. Sansone, CPS'74
Founder, Chairman and CEO; Pediatria HealthCare, LLC

Joseph D. Sansone is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Pediatria HealthCare, LLC, (PHC) a privately held company focusing on day treatment centers for medically fragile children and pediatric private duty home nursing services. PHC has offices in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

In 1989, Mr. Sansone founded Pediatric Service of America, Inc. (PSA) and held the positions of Chairman, President and CEO until 2004. There he coordinated a management buy-out and led a successful initial public offering in 1994. Under his leadership, a niche was carved that led to PSA’s growth to the nation’s largest pediatric home healthcare organization with over 3,000 employees in 28 states. Mr. Sansone is also Founder and past Chairman of Pediatric Physician Alliance, Inc., now operating as Orion HealthCorp, Inc.

He dedicated his career to the healthcare services industry after training at The University of Chicago and becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Mr. Sansone received a BS degree, with High Honors, in Healthcare Administration from Northeastern University in 1974 and received his MBA from Georgia State University in 1979.

Mr. Sansone has been the recipient of many leadership awards including: National Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997 in the field of Health and Life Sciences, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business Entrepreneurship Award in 2007 and the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from Georgia State University. He serves on many boards including the Georgia State University’s Foundation Board as well as the Chairman of that University’s School of Nursing and Health Professions Advisory Board. He has also served as a Regional, National and World (2005) Judge for the Entrepreneur of The Year Awards and is active with children’s charities.

Steve Picheny, E'64
Founder and former president; Stepic Medical

After graduating from Northeastern with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Steve Picheny says he wanted a job “that would make a difference in the world.” By founding a company that specializes in selling high-tech medical devices to doctors and hospitals, he did just that. “The devices we brought to market really revolutionized health care,” says Picheny. A Brooklyn native, Picheny chose Northeastern in 1959 because of the co-op program. He did three co-ops at Pall Corporation, a manufacturer of filtration and purification devices, and another at aircraft and aerospace company Grumman.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Picheny returned to Pall to help start a medical-devices division, selling filters that removed clots from transfused blood. But he wanted his own business—and he knew manufacturing companies like Pall were increasingly moving into high-tech health care.

In 1974, Picheny opened Stepic Medical with $20,000 borrowed from his father. Over the years, Picheny’s tech-oriented sales force got many helpful devices, principally those related to anesthesia and intensive care, into wide use. Stepic sold Pall filters. It also sold the pulse oxymeter, which quickly and accurately determines oxygen levels in the blood, and a blow dryer–like device that keeps patients warm after surgery. By the time Picheny sold his company in 1998, it was getting $48 million worth of equipment into the marketplace annually. And he’d achieved what he’d set out to do—make the world a better place.

These days, Northeastern is a family affair for the Picheny clan. Picheny’s brother and older daughter are also NU Huskies, and his younger daughter is a current Northeastern student.


$10 Northeastern alumni/a
$20 guests and friends of Northeastern
Free to current Northeastern students with Husky ID

If you have any questions, please contact Julie Norton at or 617.373.4838.

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Julie Norton

Date & Location

Date: 5/30/2013
Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Raytheon Room
Northeastern University
Egan Science Center
120 Forsyth Street
Boston, Mass.