“You need to create a record of success. Know what you are worth, and don’t doubt it.” – Ferolyn T. Powell, 1962-2015
The passing of Ferolyn Powell, a medical device pioneer, was a huge loss that deeply affected the medtech community and all of us here at the Fogarty Institute.
Ferolyn was not only an innovator at heart, but a phenomenal leader and mentor who inspired and touched all those who surrounded her. As a tribute to Ferolyn’s invaluable contributions to the medical industry and to the lives of all she knew, we are honored to host the Ferolyn Fund, which was established by her friends and family to benefit innovators who exemplify her spirit, with an emphasis on female entrepreneurs with strong leadership skills who embody her core values.
Ferolyn was best known as President and CEO of Evalve, a medical device company that was founded in 1999. At Evalve, she spearheaded the development and commercialization of MitraClip, a breakthrough technology that repairs leaky heart valves of patients with mitral regurgitation, a debilitating heart condition, without open-heart surgery.
“I had the privilege of working with Ferolyn for many years. When we founded Evalve and where looking for a CEO, we did not think she was ready for the position. She proved us wrong. Within six months of working at the company, she climbed her way to the top,” said Fred St. Goar, MD, founder of Evalve, and Vice Chairman of the Fogarty Institute. “Ferolyn was innovative, inspirational, a tenacious negotiator and always kept the end goal in mind – to benefit the patient. She is greatly missed.”
One of a handful of women CEOs in her field, she was generous with her time, mentoring young entrepreneurs via the Stanford Biodesign Program and here at Fogarty Institute for Innovation, where she played a crucial role in helping one of our companies-in-residence, Prescient Surgical, develop its technology. She also was instrumental in helping build the team and sharing her personal experiences as a CEO.
Currently we are in the process of creating an advisory board to oversee the direction of the Ferolyn Fund and select the inaugural women awardees who will receive support. Applicants will come from our incubators, the Stanford Biodesign Program and the biotech industry at large.
We invite you to donate to the Ferolyn Fund, to help ensure her legacy and spirit will live on and to ensure that more women have the opportunity and confidence to take on leadership roles, to “create a record of success” and make a lasting impact in the medtech field.