Board of Directors
Gary Kohler - Director
Mr. Kohler has over 20 years of experience in portfolio management, including venture capital and small cap publicly traded equities. He is currently Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager with Blue Clay Capital. He was formerly with Whitebox Advisors for 11 years, most recently as a partner and Portfolio Manager. Previously, Mr. Kohler spent 13 years with Okabena Investment Services that manages the Dayton-Hudson family assets. Mr. Kohler earned a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Cornell University's Johnson School with concentrations in marketing and finance.
Gordon Sprenger - Director
Mr. Sprenger is the retired President and CEO of Allina Health System, an integrated healthcare system comprising 13 hospitals and 42 clinics. Mr. Sprenger had been a hospital administrator in the Twin cities for more than 35 years. Named in 1992 to head HealthSpan, Mr. Sprenger had been President and CEO of LifeSpan, Inc., parent of Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Inc., in Minneapolis since 1982. He became President and CEO of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 1975, serving as CEO until 1993. Mr. Sprenger is currently the Chair of the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Global Market of Minneapolis. Mr. Sprenger was previously Chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees and served on the Board of the Joint Commission Resources/Joint Commission International. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Medtronic, Inc., the St. Paul/Travelers Insurance Corporation, the Bush Foundation and St. Olaf College. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Thomas, McNerney & Partners venture capital group. He was Chair of Midtown Community Works and Co-Chair of the Phillips Partnership. Mr. Sprenger is a past Board Chair of Voluntary Hospitals of America, and served on the Board of Trustees of Intermountain Health Care from 1985-1994.
Mark Strefling - Director
Mr. Strefling joined Whitebox in 2008 and serves as the firm's General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer. He is responsible for all legal and compliance matters for Whitebox Advisors and each of the investment funds managed by Whitebox. Previous to his position with Whitebox, Mr. Strefling was a Partner in the Investment Management Practice at the law firm of Faegre & Benson LLP in Minneapolis, MN and was head of the firm's Hedge Fund Group. Mr. Strefling joined Faegre & Benson in 1999. In this position, Mr. Strefling represented hedge fund managers and investors in connection with the formation of onshore and offshore fund structures, compliance with federal and state securities laws, including the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, distribution arrangements, and complex tax and ERISA matters. Mr. Strefling holds a BA, cum laude in Finance and Accounting from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN; a JD, magna cum laude from Creighton University, Omaha, NE; and an MBA in Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
Robert Van Tassel, MD - Director
Dr. Robert Van Tassel received his undergraduate degree and Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Minnesota. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He served two years as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. Dr. Van Tassel is a board certified cardiologist and served as a Senior Consultant in Cardiology at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota until his retirement in 2010. He is a founder of the Minneapolis Heart Institute and Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and past President of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He holds fifteen patents in the medical device arena and has been a founding member of seven medical device companies and is an active board member of numerous emerging medical device companies. Dr. Van Tassel founded AngioMedics in 1983 which was purchased by Pfizer in 1986 and was also a founder of AtriTech which was subsequently purchased by Boston Scientific in 2011. He has authored over sixty scientific publications and written multiple book chapters. He remains active in the community activities of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.