Inspiring Leaders: Derek Herrera - Rebuilding Mind, Body and Business

Sep 20 2016

Being an entrepreneur takes resilience, perseverance, determination - all qualities that a decorated, Marine Special Operations Team Leader would embody. Meet Derek Herrera, Marine Captain turned entrepreneur - a man who epitomizes the idea of turning a problem into an opportunity, and a truly inspiring leader. In June 2012, after a six year career building and leading teams of Marines all over the world, Captain Herrera was shot and paralyzed by enemy small arms fire while leading his Marine Special Operations Team on patrol in Afghanistan. Derek returned to work just 7 months after his injury, and 4 months after that completed his first para-triathlon.

In true entrepreneur fashion Derek "pivoted," and after pursuing an MBA from UCLA founded Spinal Singularity, whose first product, the Connected Catheter™, is the world's first semi-permanent, fully internal, smart catheter system. Derek has led the Spinal Singularity team to win numerous business plan competitions including being a top 20 finalist in the MedTech Innovator program and winner of the primeUC competition.

Join us for a fireside chat with Derek and experience the lessons he's learned about selflessness, resilience and recovering from seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Inspiring Leaders series provides unrivaled access to been there done that industry leaders in an intimate and unique setting. The highly sought after, featured speakers share their forecasts and vision for the future as well as lessons learned from the trenches. The series is designed to be an interactive and highly educational experience for all who attend.

Derek Herrera | CEO, Spinal Singularity read bio»
[interviewer] Kareen Bacinski | Director, Business Development, J&J Medical Devices New Growth Platforms read bio»

11:00 AM | Registration Opens
11:30 AM | Presentation, Interview and Q&A
12:45 PM | Lunch & Networking
1:30 PM | Program Close

$35 | General Public
$20 | Academic/Student Rate
$45 | At the door

4th Floor Multi-purpose rooms
255 Main Street
Cambridge, MA

Speakers' Biographies:

Derek Herrera | CEO, Spinal Singularity
In November 2014, Captain Derek Herrera medically retired from Active Duty in the US Marine Corps after 8.5 years of service as an Infantry and Special Operations Officer. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2006, he has spent his first six years in the Marine Corps building and leading teams of Marines, Sailors and Soldiers all over the world. In June 2012, Derek was shot and paralyzed from the chest down while leading his Marine Special Operations Team on patrol in the Helmand River Valley, Afghanistan. He's received numerous personal decorations including the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Bronze Star (with combat distinguishing device), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Captain Herrera graduated from the UCLA Anderson School of Management where he earned an MBA, with a certificate in Entrepreneurship in 2015. While at UCLA, Derek was awarded the John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowship for exceptional leadership and was recognized by Poets and Quants as one of the top 50 EMBA students of 2015.
Recently, he founded Spinal Singularity, a company that designs medical devices to improve the quality of life for people with Spinal Cord Injury and Disease (SCI/D). In May 2015, Derek led the Spinal Singularity team to win the UCLA Knapp Business Plan Competition and the UCLA Student Engineering Venture Competition. Spinal Singularity was a finalist in the MedTech Innovator program (top 20/292 companies) and won the Johnson & Johnson Innovation sponsored primeUC Award.
Derek has shared his story with the hopes of advocating for the Special Operations and Paralysis communities and has spoken for many different groups and been featured on National Media Outlets. He has also worked to support non-profit organizations that he's passionate about including involvement on the Boards of The MARSOC Foundation, American Technion Society and Renovating Hope.
Connect with Derek:   Connect on LinkedIn   Follow on Twitter

Kareen Bacinski | Director, Business Development, J&J Medical Devices New Growth Platforms
Kareen's life mission is to improve health & health care delivery globally. She is a Director in Business Development for J&J Medical Devices New Growth Platforms. In this role, she assesses new strategic options and identifies potential targets and structures to enter new spaces. She brings to this role a background in Global Strategic Marketing, Regional Marketing & Sales Management at J&J and Zimmer.
Prior to joining J&J, Kareen was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company, an equity analyst on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs, and a health policy & reimbursement consultant with The Lewin Group in Washington, DC. Kareen has an MBA with Honors in Healthcare Management & Finance from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and her AB, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard in History & Science.
Kareen is an avid endurance athlete and completed her first IRONMAN Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) in 2014. She is an All-American Ranked Age-Group Triathlete. Along the way she has completed many marathons (including qualifying for both Boston & NYC), half iron distance triathlons, and even attempted to ride her bike across the Pyrenees in France in 5 days.
She is married (her husband is also an active triathlete & Boston-qualifying marathoner) and a proud mother of 2 beautiful girls. Weekends are spent training & playing with her kids & applauding them in their various pursuits.