Our Team

SPRIG delivers a team, not just a PowerPoint deck. Our extensive healthcare industry experience leverages functional backgrounds in:

MARKETING   •   BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT   •   ENGINEERING   •   SALES   •   CLINICAL

Katie Arnold
Founder

SPRIG Consulting, LLC is led by Katie Arnold, a strategic marketing professional with 20 years of healthcare experience. Katie has worked with medical technology companies ranging from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Throughout her career, Katie has focused on the entire spectrum of marketing needs: from early stage market development strategies to downstream launch execution and commercialization efforts.

Prior to founding SPRIG, Katie was an independent marketing consultant working on projects that ranged from business plan refinement & market opportunity assessments to development of marketing strategies that included corporate/product positioning and brand development. Katie has demonstrated an aptitude for delivering flawless launch execution and commercialization strategy implementation in the US, EU and AP geographies. During her tenure, Katie is proud to have named numerous medical companies, products and technologies.

Prior to consulting, Katie had a successful career with Guidant Corporation (acquired) and Kensey Nash Corporation (acquired) launching new, novel technologies, such as thrombus management catheters, embolic protection devices, and coronary stents. As Director of Marketing at Kensey Nash, Katie played a key role in establishing the company in the Endovascular space through a strategic corporate branding initiative and numerous product launches. At the end of her tenure, the division was sold to Spectranetics (SPNC). While at Guidant, Katie served as a Senior Global Product Manager where she successfully led the launch of the company’s first cobalt chromium stent for small vessels, the ML MINI VISION™. Katie also held positions in strategic corporate marketing as well as sales.

Katie holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management where she was awarded the Health Industry Management Scholarship for recognition of her leadership in the health industry. Currently, Katie is a Kellogg lecturer and teaches the course medical product commercialization to future healthcare leaders.

Prior to business school, Katie spent six years working in health care risk management for the medical malpractice divisions of CNA Insurance Companies and MMI Insurance Company. In her role, Katie worked directly with physicians, hospital administrators, health care systems, and managed care organizations. Katie holds a BA from the University of Vermont.

Carla Benigni
Consultant

Carla Benigni brings 15 years of medical device marketing, commercialization, sales strategy consulting and engineering experience to SPRIG consulting.

Prior to SPRIG, Carla worked for Boston Scientific, Guidant Corporation and Exactech, where she gained extensive experience in commercialization and product development in the cardiac rhythm management and orthopedic fields.

Carla led a successful sales career at Boston Scientific’s Cardiac Rhythm Management division that included launching new products and managing physician and administration customer relationships. Prior to her sales role, Carla was a sales strategy consultant and an internal consultant for Guidant’s Market Development Sales Organization. At Exactech, Carla led physician development teams for new products, including developing the company’s first upper extremity offering. This experience incorporated gathering voice of customer driven specification, engineering product, collecting customer validation, obtaining regulatory approval and launching products.

Carla holds a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a Masters of Engineering Management from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering where she majored in biotechnology, marketing and strategy & management.  She also has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science.

Natalie Casey brings over 10 years of experience in the medical device industry with extensive international exposure in both Europe and Latin America, working for firms in the interventional cardiology and interventional neuroradiology spaces.

Prior to joining SPRIG, Natalie worked for Stryker Neurovascular and Abbott Vascular where she led strategic marketing efforts and also managed downstream commercialization activities at the country, regional and international levels.

At Stryker Neurovascular, Natalie led the international marketing efforts for products in the hemmorhagic stroke and access portfolios and orchestrated multiple product launches across Europe, Asia and Latin America.  She also played a key role in identifying opportunities for share growth in mature markets as well as business development opportunities in emerging markets.

Prior to her role at Stryker, Natalie was part of the founding team of the Vascular division at Abbott in Brazil, where she built the affiliate’s marketing presence, including launching the full interventional cardiology product portfolio in the Brazilian market, forging partnerships with the national medical association, developing relationships with key opinion leaders, and leading promotional activities at trade shows, corporate events and in the field.  After successfully building Abbott Vascular’s brand footprint in Brazil, she led the division’s marketing efforts in Latin America, where she proactively managed the product portfolio in over 16 countries and launched a medical education program in the region.

Natalie holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Management at the University of Virginia and is currently pursuing an Executive Master of Science in Health Economics, Policy and Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College where she studied Business with a concentration in Finance.  Natalie currently resides in Paris with her family

Jennifer Fitzgerald
Consultant

Jen Fitzgerald is an engineer and marketing professional who brings more than 20 years of experience developing and launching products within the healthcare industry.

Prior to SPRIG, Jen worked for Vygon Corporation, Spectranetics, and Kensey Nash Corporation where she developed and marketed products in the fields of urology, vascular access, vascular closure, atherectomy (laser and rotational), thrombus management, embolic protection, enteral feeding, and infection control.

Jen has held director-level management positions in marketing and training at established public companies as well as small private start-ups.  At Vygon, Jen played a key role in establishing Vygon’s presence in the US through a series of new product launches and downstream commercialization activities. Prior to Vygon, Jen led the marketing and training departments for Spectranetics where she instituted a strategic corporate branding initiative and launched nation-wide marketing and training programs to support their key product category.  These market development programs allowed the company to realize substantial year-over-year revenue growth for the coronary division.  During her 12 years with Kensey Nash, Jen held numerous engineering and marketing positions.  In these roles, she launched the company’s first two endovascular products and led all aspects of the product development effort for several medical products, including the 6F AngioSeal® Vascular Closure Device.  To date, AngioSeal remains the worldwide market leader in the field of vascular closure.

Jen holds a Master of Science degree in Technology Management from PENN Engineering and The Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University.

Dan Heilbrunn
Consultant

Dan Heilbrunn has nearly two decades of experience in medical device marketing and business development including multiple senior management and board positions at start-up companies.

Prior to joining SPRIG Consulting, Dan worked for CeloNova BioSciences, Nexeon MedSystems, and Guidant Corporation where he developed and marketed products in the fields of coronary and peripheral stenting, embolic protection, stroke prevention, intravascular brachytherapy, stem cell injection systems, and carbon nanotube technology.

Before entering consulting, Dan was the head of coronary stent marketing for CeloNova where he rebranded the company’s core coating technology, developed new sales training programs, and led the European launch preparation for the next-generation stent platform. Prior to joining CeloNova, Dan was a vice president at Nexeon, a start-up accelerator developing physician invented technologies. In this role, he managed all marketing activities and business development efforts including a successful alliance with a NASDAQ mid-cap company. Dan led the company’s sales strategy including seeking out alliance partners and negotiating distribution agreements. Previously, Dan was Guidant’s lead marketing person for carotid stenting and embolic protection, directing the worldwide commercialization and managing the first-to-market launch of this new therapy in the U.S. Dan’s initial years with Guidant were in Japan where he assisted the company in establishing a direct sales subsidiary for the vascular intervention market. In Japan Dan developed launch strategies for the coronary intervention products and built new teams for the intravascular radiation therapy and neurovascular therapy markets.

Dan holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Japan Area Studies from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University where he majored in electrical engineering and economics. Prior to earning his MBA and entering the medical industry, Dan served as a project leader designing 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers for Mitsubishi Semiconductor America.

Charlene Herndon
Consultant

Charlene Herndon is a marketing professional with 15 years of experience in strategic marketing, commercial execution and product management within the bioscience and medical device industries.

Prior to joining SPRIG, Charlene worked for Cardinal Health, Medtronic, Harvard Bioscience, and Nova Biomedical where she gained experience in upstream product and market development strategies as well as downstream commercialization within the fields of vascular compression, enteral feeding, physiology, surgery and biomaterials.

Charlene was a Portfolio Director at Cardinal Health, joining the organization as part of the Patient Recovery divestiture from Medtronic.  In this role, Charlene managed a team that supported both commercial enablement and new product development for their vascular compression business.  With Medtronic, Charlene focused on commercial globalization and market expansion, leading downstream marketing programs and awareness initiatives for their vascular and enteral feeding portfolios.

During her years with Harvard Bioscience, Charlene held numerous roles including technical support, capital sales, product management and strategic marketing. She was responsible for the upstream product pipeline, successfully executed numerous global product launches and leading commercialization and training programs within various key product categories. Charlene also gained valuable business development experience, including the integration of several key corporate acquisitions.

Charlene holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bucknell University as well as minors in both Spanish and Sociology.

Dan Killian brings over a decade of strategic and creative marketing experience to SPRIG consulting, viewing communication challenges through the lens of social psychology, 1-1 marketing, and human-centered design.

Prior to joining SPRIG, as an Account Director at FCB Chicago, Dan led national creative initiatives for some of the largest CPG, service, and communication brands in the country (from State Farm Insurance to Cox Communications). Spanning TV, Radio, Email, Digital, and Direct Mail, he has received various Tempo Direct Response Marketing awards, notably from spearheading the email template redesign of one of the largest beverage brands in the world. His creative experience encompasses product creation and launch, subsequent campaign strategy, and product naming, tagline, and copywriting.

Additionally, Dan has been a speaker at the SXSW Interactive Conference, NBC, Groupon, the Chicago Tribune, as well as various agencies and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Providing a unique perspective on problem solving and communication, he speaks on how the tenets of improvisational comedy (in which he has a background) are the best preparation for anyone’s 9-5 job.

Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Davidson College and also holds a Minor in Spanish.

Yael Nir, MD
Consultant

Dr. Yael Nir brings to SPRIG over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Yael has experience in the fields of imaging, surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, nanotechnology, drug development and biomaterials.

Yael has been involved in various companies as a founder, board member, and a consultant on business development and go-to-market strategies. She has worked with start-ups to define clinical road maps, compose business plans, and assess commercial products in terms of market opportunity, positioning and strategic partnerships. She has been instrumental in new product launches in the US, Europe and the Far East. Her extensive personal relationships with key opinion leaders worldwide have led to the establishment of medical advisory boards and steering committees for clinical studies and commercial activities. Yael has helped in product pipeline expansion using the company’s core technology and is the inventor on several patents and patent applications.

Prior to SPRIG, Yael played a key role in senior level positions at medical device and biotechnology startups including Lifebond, NiTi Surgical Solutions, and Spectrum Dynamics where she lead the medical, clinical and pre-clinical teams. Yael holds a B.Sc. (Cum Laude) and an M.D. (Cum Laude) from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Yael is passionate about the healthcare industry both as a physician and a researcher; she was trained in internal medicine at the Carmel hospital in Israel and has been involved in women’s health research at the Stanford Research Center in Palo Alto, California. She is the author of many peer-reviewed articles and has been cited hundreds of times. Yael resides in Israel with her family.

Rebecca Raabe
Consultant

Rebecca Raabe has a diverse background of medical device marketing and venture investing experience working for both public and private medical device companies in various markets including interventional cardiology, orthopedics, aesthetics, and electrophysiology.

Prior to SPRIG, Rebecca worked for Abbott Ventures, Ulthera (acquired by Merz), Cayenne Medical, and Abbott Vascular where she gained extensive experience in both upstream product and market development strategies as well as downstream commercialization.

At Abbott Ventures, Rebecca helped manage Abbott’s equity investments as well as developed and executed new franchise strategies for the business. Rebecca held a leadership role in the conception and execution of the Abbott electrophysiology strategy, which included acquiring Topera Medical, placing a call option on ACT Medical, and performing detailed analysis on other electrophysiology opportunities. While at Ulthera, Rebecca was responsible for consumer marketing activities including the launch of the company’s national public relations campaign for their nonsurgical skin tightening procedure with placements in Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray, The View, Vogue, Marie Claire and WSJ. At Cayenne Medical, Rebecca successfully led the commercial launch of the company’s third product, a meniscal repair device, as well as managed product development and training program activities. While at Abbott Vascular, Rebecca was responsible for market intelligence activities including competitive assessments, market analysis, commercial modeling, and customer research.

Rebecca holds a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where she majored in health enterprise management and marketing. She also holds a BA in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University.

Steve Roller brings 15 years of medical device experience in strategy, R&D, program management, and manufacturing to Sprig Consulting.

Prior to Sprig, Steve worked for Medtronic where he had a successful track record of bringing new medical technologies to market.  His experiences spanned a variety of product lines including heart valve repair and replacement, perfusion systems for open heart surgery, as well as cardiac rhythm and neurological devices.  He also has experience consulting with universities on their tech transfer portfolios and startup companies.

As part of Medtronic, Steve led the design and development of a next generation transcatheter heart valve, taking it from concept selection to FDA approval.  He also led a cross functional team in the launch of a mechanical heart valve and was integral in the development and launch of two perfusion systems.  Since leaving Medtronic he has consulted with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, evaluating IP from university physicians and providing strategic direction, as well as go-to-market planning for university medical device startups.

Steve holds and MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and has his Master of Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering.  He also holds his Bachelor of Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in Mechanical Engineering

Jessi Swanoski
Consultant

Jessi Swanoski is a strategic marketing professional with experience working for private start-up and public medical device companies.

At SPRIG, she leads initiatives to prepare companies for commercialization and accelerate product adoption. Her expertise ranges from developing brands, messaging and positioning to launch planning and execution.

Prior to joining SPRIG, Jessi managed the marketing program at Sapheon (acquired by Covidien, now Medtronic), a start-up medical device company whose focus was a novel treatment for venous reflux disease. Jessi supported the international sales team to meet business objectives and played a key role in U.S. launch preparation.

Jessi began her career with AGA Medical (acquired by St. Jude Medical, now Abbott), where she developed marketing communications and led a cross-functional team to organize patient engagement events to strengthen the connection between employees and device recipients. When AGA Medical was acquired, Jessi helped integrate the marketing communications programs.

Jessi earned her MBA and BS in Business degree from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

Molly Traugott
Consultant

Molly Traugott is a healthcare marketing expert with a proven ability to develop and implement high-impact, value-based marketing strategy.

Molly comes from a wide variety of marketing experience with early-stage, middle-stage and Fortune 500 medical companies. Her focus includes providing reimbursement and market analytics for all payment pathways, including Medicare. Through comprehensive research and her extensive network, Molly designs individualized strategies for successful medtech product adoption. Molly’s most recent endeavor included teaming up with a provider-focused start-up to successfully transition hospitals and surgeons to value-based care by way of increased surgeon alignment, process redesign, service line analytics and advanced clinical support solutions.

At the Neocure Group, a highly specialized medical device reimbursement consulting firm based in Boston, MA, Molly was in charge of the marketing and product launch of the innovative marketing and reimbursement focused data analytics platform, FocusPro™ to position medtech companies for greatest market impact. This lead to the company’s acquisition by Intralign Health, a specialty healthcare company helping providers optimize service line performance through a unique combination of clinical services and operational tools and analytics. As corporate Marketing Director, Molly lead the growth and development of a start-up into an industry-recognized brand.

Molly holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the honors program at Providence College.

Our History

SPRIG celebrates 10 years. Founded in 2008 in Silicon Valley in response to the emerging needs of early-stage medical technology start-ups to navigate company development with limited resources and strict financial constraints. Since our inception, we have produced clear, measurable results for an exciting roster of clients – ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar organizations. We are honored and proud that our primary referral source has been word of mouth. This is a significant indicator that we are achieving our goals.

Our Experience

With experience across a broad range of therapeutic spaces, SPRIG brings industry knowledge which ensures a quick ramp-up and allows us to add immediate value.

  • AESTHETICS
  • CARDIAC SURGERY
  • DIABETES
  • DIGITAL HEALTH
  • ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY
  • ENDOVASCULAR:
    ARTERIAL & VENOUS
  • GENERAL SURGERY
  • HEART FAILURE
  • HEMODIALYSIS
  • HERNIA REPAIR
  • INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGY
  • INTERVENTIONAL PULMONOLOGY
  • INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY
  • MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY
  • MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS
  • NEUROMODULATION
  • OPHTHALMOLOGY
  • ORTHOPEDICS
  • PRENATAL DIAGNOSTICS
  • REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING
  • RENAL DENERVATION
  • RENAL FAILURE
  • REPROCESSING
  • ROBOTICS
  • STRUCTURAL HEART
  • VASCULAR ACCESS
  • WOMEN’S HEALTH