Power Moves: Transamerica names head of innovation, STAR Academy has a general manager - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Nov. 30, 2018 2:20 pm

Power Moves: Transamerica names head of innovation, STAR Academy has a general manager

Plus, a legal software firm positions for growth. It's our roundup of tech hiring news from around the region.

The Baltimore skyline.

(Photo via Wikimedia user Nfutvol)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us.


Transamerica named Timothy Jones as head of innovation. In the role, Jones will be leading development of new uses of technology that can help the Baltimore-based life insurance and retirement company create new products and experiences for customers.

Jones has worked for more than 30 years in tech leadership positions at technology and financial firms, and served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow for The White House and the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Tim is an excellent fit for the role of chief innovation officer due to his track record of building high-performing teams and uncovering new opportunities through his positive and energetic management style,” David Hopewell, Transamerica’s Chief Data and Innovation Officer, said in a statement. “Transamerica’s momentum continues to grow, and Tim is the right person to lead our innovation efforts into the future.”

Legal software company TrialWorks named David Wagner IV as COO and head of its Owings Mills–based Needles platform.

Needles offers legal case management software for plaintiff-focused law firms. It’s one of two platforms offered under holding company TrialWorks LLC.

Wagner previously served in a vice president role at fleet management software company Omnitracs, which has more than 1,000 employees.

“David’s experience was critical in accelerating Omnitracs’ growth and technology development, and we are excited for him to bring his skillset to Needles to help streamline our operations and processes, thereby better positioning us for high growth,” Trialworks Managing Director Ryan Pakter said in a statement.

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At Needles, Wagner enters amid a software development phase, and will oversee tech, research, marketing, sales and customer support. He also joins as the company has plans for growth in 2019. A statement said “major company news” is expected in the first quarter.

David Wagner IV.( Courtesy photo)

David Wagner IV.( Courtesy photo)

Michael Leavy was hired as general manager of STAR Academy, the Timonium-based youth center offering a chance to experience building drones, robots and video games, which got up and running last year.

Leavy will oversee day-to-day operations and marketing efforts. A former fourth grade teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools, he was involved in the pilot of the district science office’s Next Generation Science Standards curriculum. Additionally, he brings science education to fun events with “Professor Mike’s Science and Magic Show.” He’s also served in marketing manager roles at Beth El Congregation, Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles and Lee’s Ice Cream.

“Mike has a passion for getting students excited about science, and creating fun, hands-on learning experiences,” said Tim Rhode, cofounder of STAR Academy. “That, blended with his marketing insight, make him the ideal individual to guide us as we continue to shape STAR Academy’s programming and promotions.”

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Laura Miller joined The Maryland Proton Treatment Center as chief administrative officer.

Miller will lead investor relations, regulatory affairs and marketing at the University of Maryland BioPark–based center, which uses proton therapy to treat cancer. From 2001-15, she served as vice president of operations for Windsor Healthcare Equities, a Baltimore-based private equity firm, and also served as  vice president and portfolio manager at Baltimore-based Capital Funding Group. She most recently started GPS Life Transition Partners, which guides older adults to senior market resources to help them age well.

“Laura is an exceptional talent with deep knowledge of the health care industry and business operations,” CEO Leigh T. Howe said in a statement. “She will play a key role in the development and growth of MPTC as we continue to use our state-of-the-art proton therapy to treat patients in the region and from around the world.”

Laura Miller (Courtesy photo)

Laura Miller (Courtesy photo)

Baltimore-based wound tracking startup Tissue Analytics added a wound care executive to its board. Rafael Mazuz, the managing director of Diligence Wound Care Global, will bring expertise from the industry to the downtown startup.

“For years, I have seen industry management struggle with challenges related to strategic direction, sluggish execution, product commoditization, geographic expansion, reimbursement pressures, as well as slow, expensive, and under-impressive clinical outcomes data,” Mazuz said in a statement. “The more opportunities I had to assess and later work with Tissue Analytics to address such client needs, I concluded that all serious wound and skin care players–regardless of size–stand only to gain from being part of this best-in-class ecosystem.”

The company, which makes a platform that uses computer vision and machine learning to analyze wounds and integrate with workflows, closed a $5 million Series A earlier this year.

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As previously reported, Owings Mills–based BurnAlong added two new board members with experience scaling companies. Joining the health and fitness startup’s board are Pernille Spiers-Lopez, the former global head of HR for IKEA and president of the retailer’s North America division, and Josh Fidler, founding partner of Chevy Chase, Md.–based Boulder Ventures and COO of Chesapeake Realty Partners. The company also closed a $1.3 million seed round as it looks to expand its workout and wellness platform in corporate wellness.

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