October 1, 2020
Monty Montoya pursues the worldwide elimination of corneal blindness by 2040 with a passion. For those in the global arena of corneal transplantation and eye banking, he is considered a true social humanitarian for working tirelessly to achieve that mission for the past 20 years.
As CEO of CorneaGen, Monty is dedicated to transforming the cornea ecosystem by driving innovations in research, products, prevention and policy to help the 10 million living with treatable corneal blindness.
Monty joined SightLife in 1997, when he was hired to turn the organization around from a period of financial struggle. Under his determined leadership, SightLife’s growth scaled from a modest $1.9 million to more than $30 million in 10 years, with nearly $10.5 million reinvested back into sight-related programs for low-income populations domestically and abroad. In 2017, he shifted his focus to solely lead CorneaGen.
He has been honored with prestigious awards for his vision and service, including the Ernst & Young 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Pacific Northwest Life Sciences category and the Eye Bank Association of America’s coveted Heise Award. This award is given to a non-medical individual who has made the greatest contribution to advancing the cause of eye banking.
Monty holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and an MBA from Duke University.
October 1, 2020
As Chief Operating Officer for CorneaGen, Bernie is responsible for ensuring we provide our surgeon partners with the highest quality tissue for transplantation procedures. Over his career, he has been responsible for the distribution of more than 100,000 sight restoring grafts to nearly 50 countries worldwide.
He oversees our business development efforts to drive organizational growth through partnership with other donation organizations. Additionally, Bernie is integral to developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining the organization’s strategic initiatives that drive success and innovation.
Bernie began his career in eye banking in 1995, when he joined SightLife as an eye bank technician. In 2003, he was promoted to his current role as Chief Operating Officer overseeing all operations, including clinical services and quality assurance.
He serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), which creates and revises the medical standards that govern eye banking, and was a long-time Inspector on the Accreditation Board, which determines EBAA accreditation status of eye banks. In 2016, Bernie was honored by the EBAA with the Leonard Heise Award for his outstanding devotion to the field of eye banking.
Bernie is a member of the American Association of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery course faculty for Femtosecond Laser Keratoplasty.
Bernie received his master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Washington and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, also at the UW.
October 1, 2020
John Guckes is CorneaGen’s Chief Commercial Officer. In this role he leads USA and International Sales and Marketing. John has over thirty years ophthalmic industry experience. He joined CorneaGen in 2016.
John is a former executive with Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, NY). He served in a variety of senior leadership positions which focused on commercial business development and geographic expansion in N. America, Asia and Europe. These included Vice President- Global Cataract Strategy, Vice President- Global Cataract and Vitreoretinal Equipment, Vice President and General Manager Global Instruments and Vice President Asia Pacific Commercial Operations.
John is recognized for his integrity and strong strategic and tactical leadership, for initiating and growing global businesses and the development and mentoring of ophthalmic business leaders throughout the world.
He serves on the Board of Directors for the Life Long Vision Foundation and the Advisory Board for the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ internationally recognized Global Business Institute. He is a former board member for the Eye Bank Association or America.
John holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Magna Cum Laude) and Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
October 1, 2020
Gretchen currently serves as Chief Talent Management Officer. She comes to CorneaGen with more than 20 years of human resources experience, and since 2009 has served in the same capacity for SightLife.
With previous roles at companies such as Starbucks and Doubletree Hotels, Gretchen is an expert in supporting and setting corporate office policy, employee benefits and relations, as well as supporting international operations and development.
Gretchen received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Washington and a Master’s of Science in Human Resources Management from Chapman University in California. She is certified in both PHR, SPHR, and SHRM-SCP.
October 1, 2020
As Chief Financial Officer of CorneaGen, David is responsible for both the finance and technology services teams. In his role, he will use his financial expertise to ensure the company has a strong balance sheet and the financial capabilities to accelerate its mission to eliminate corneal blindness worldwide by 2040.
Previously, Rostov served as CFO at Donuts Inc., a provider of services for digital identity management, where his efforts resulted in accelerated year-over-year growth with high EBITDA profitability and a successful sale to a private equity firm.
Rostov also held the CFO role at Avalara, which offers a cloud-based software solution for transactional taxes, and at Infospace, a publicly traded internet services company. He was responsible for increased efficiency, certain key acquisitions and helped support dramatic annual revenue growth for both organizations. Rostov also was part of the management team that launched drugstore.com, helped grow the business and took the company public. Rostov has also taken a personal interest in cause-related ophthalmology for many years.
Robert “Bob” J. Stevens
October 1, 2020
Bob Stevens joined CorneaGen in August 2017 as the Chief Technology Officer. Leveraging his extensive background in the ophthalmology industry, Bob oversees all research and development efforts.
Previously, Bob worked at Novartis/Alcon Laboratories for nearly 35 years. During his tenure, he spent more than 20 years leading all research and design for surgical products in the field of ophthalmology. The technology he helped bring to market significantly impacted the practice of medicine and positioned Alcon as the leading company in manufacturing of ophthalmic surgical products. Bob introduced several industry-leading innovations, including a proprietary intraocular lens material, AcrySof, along with proprietary intraocular lens designs, Viscoelastics and surgical instruments for both anterior and posterior segment surgery.
Bob’s experience in eye banking dates back to 1991 when he received the Thoth Award for his role in developing a plan to support U.S. eye banks during a crisis involving cornea preservative storage media. The storage media used by 80 percent of the market was recalled due to bacterial contamination, but the plan Bob developed with partners prevented a shut down of the corneal transplant business in the U.S.
His early work experience was at Harborview Medical Center as a microbiologist. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in medical technology and a master’s degree in clinical microbiology from the University of Washington.