Chief Executive Officer and President; Chairman of the Board
John Erb has served as chief executive officer and president of the Company since November 2015, as a director of the Company since September 2012 and as Chairman of the Board since October 2012. Mr. Erb has over 40 years of experience in the medical device industry, executive leadership, and financial management.
Previously, Mr. Erb served as chief executive officer (from 2007 to 2018) of NuAx, Inc. (formerly Cardia Access, Inc.), a medical device company involved in developing new devices for the treatment of heart disease; he was executive chairman of the board (during 2007) and chief executive officer (from 2001 to 2006) of the previous owner of the Aquadex FlexFlow System, which was also known as CHF Solutions, Inc., a medical device company involved in the development, manufacturing and distribution of devices to treat congestive heart failure; as president and chief executive officer of IntraTherapeutics, Inc., a medical device company involved in the development, manufacturing and distribution of peripheral vascular stents, from 1997 to 2001; and in various positions, including as vice president of worldwide operations at Schneider, a division of Pfizer, Inc., from 1991 to 1997.
Mr. Erb serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Osprey Medical, a public Australian company listed on the ASX. Mr. Erb previously served on the Board of Directors of Vascular Solutions (acquired by Teleflex in 2017), SenoRx, Inc. (acquired by CR Bard in 2010), and CryoCath Technologies (acquired by Medtronic in 2008).
Mr. Erb has a B.A. degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs & Healthcare Policy
Megan Brandt joined CHF Solutions in August of 2016 as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance. Prior to joining Sunshine Heart, Brandt served as Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI), a company focused on developing and commercializing innovative solutions for treating peripheral and coronary vascular disease. At CSI, she successfully facilitated numerous domestic and international clinical study submissions and secured multiple regulatory approvals including CE mark, multiple 510(k) clearances, and original PMA approval for their peripheral and coronary orbital atherectomy systems.
She currently serves as Co-Chair for Medical Alley’s Regulatory Advisory Board and is actively involved in multiple FDA working groups including Harmonization by Doing and MDEpiNet’s RAPID programs. In 2014, she was nominated by Minnesota Business Magazine as an Emerging Healthcare Leader. Brandt has held several leadership positions at multiple medical device and pharmaceutical companies including Medafor, Inc., and PDL BioPharma.
Brandt earned her B.S. in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Chief Commercial Officer
Jim Breidenstein joined CHF Solutions in April of 2017 as Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to joining Sunshine Heart, Mr. Breidenstein was President and Chief Operating Officer of Surgical Theater, a medical virtual reality software company. Prior to Surgical Theater, Mr. Breidenstein was Senior Vice President of Sales at Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI), a company focused on developing and commercializing innovative solutions for treating peripheral and coronary vascular disease, and GM/VP/Director of Sales at Kyphon, Inc, a startup company specializing in spine surgical instruments that was acquired by Medtronic in 2007. While at CSI and Kyphon, he was instrumental in helping these companies achieve rapid revenue growth and significantly increased market valuation. Mr. Breidenstein earned his B.A. in Business Studies from State University of New York College at Buffalo.
Claudia Napal Drayton
Chief Financial Officer
Claudia Drayton joined CHF Solutions in January of 2015 as Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Drayton spent the prior 15 years at Medtronic, Inc., a global leader in the medical device industry. During her tenure, she held multiple senior managerial finance positions in Medtronic’s Corporate Finance organization and its Cardiac Rhythm Management division, culminating with a two year assignment in Europe serving as Chief Financial Officer of the Peripheral Vascular Business and most recently, as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Finance Director of the Integrated Health Solutions business. In these capacities her responsibilities and experiences included profitability management, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, planning and forecasting, business integrations and implementation of financial best practices.
Before Medtronic, Ms. Drayton was an Audit and Business Advisory Manager at Arthur Andersen for seven years. She is a certified public accountant, graduated with a BS in Accounting from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
Vice President of Human Resources
Sandra Eayrs joined CHF Solutions in 2014 as Director of Human Resources and was appointed to VP of Human Resources in 2015. She is responsible for all aspects of human resources management for the organization and is an advisor to the leadership team in advancing organization capabilities and effectiveness.
Sandra brings more than 20 years of human resources experience in the medical device and other high-tech manufacturing industries. She has held various HR roles with increasing levels of responsibility within Rosemount, Graco, Boston Scientific, and most recently, St. Jude Medical. Additionally, Sandra launched a successful consulting practice utilizing her extensive HR experience and business acumen to consult with multiple clients from small to large Fortune 500 companies in a variety of industries.
Sandra received a Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Vice President of Operations and Engineering
Vitaliy Epshteyn joined CHF Solutions in January of 2018 as Vice President of Operations and Engineering. Prior to joining CHF Solutions, Mr. Epshteyn was Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director of Engineering for TE Connectivity’s Medical Business Unit. TE Connectivity is a company focused on providing interconnect and interventional solutions to key medical OEMs. Mr. Epshteyn was instrumental in leading organic and inorganic business strategies for TE Connectivity, resulting in rapid revenue growth. TE Connectivity successfully acquired and integrated AdvancedCath Inc and Creganna Medical during Mr. Epshteyn’s tenure. Prior to TE Connectivity, Mr. Epshteyn held several leadership roles at St. Jude Medical (now Abbott), a company focused on treating heart failure, structural heart, vascular, and neurological diseases. In his role as Site Leader and Senior Research and Development Director for CRM Division in Minnesota, Mr. Epshteyn was responsible for rapid development and commercialization of several key product lines including CRM lead delivery tools, electromagnetic navigation system, and renal denervation ablation catheter and generator.
Mr. Epshteyn holds two US patents for manufacturing methods and medical device development. He earned his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University of Minnesota and holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Senior Vice President of Research & Development
Mr. Lerner has held executive product and organizational development leadership roles at medical diagnostic device firms. Most recently, he was at Senseonics, Inc. as the Vice President of Engineering. Prior to that, he was Chief Technology Officer at Biomedix where he led the company’s development of hardware, software and web-based service solutions for the management of patients with vascular disease. Mr. Lerner was a co-founder and board member of Biomedix and served as the VP of Engineering from 1997 to 2002. During this time, he was instrumental in helping to develop the company’s original product line, including the Portable Vascular Lab, which has evolved into one of the company’s flagship products, PADnet™.
Mr. Lerner has also served as VP of Engineering and Technology for Image Sensing Systems, Inc. and Telex Communications, Inc. where he directed technical activity at multiple domestic and international locations with a strong focus on innovation and on-time delivery. He is the recipient of several device design patents and holds a BS in Electronics Engineering from the State University of New York, as well as an MS in Management and MS in Medical Physics from the University of Minnesota.