by Joe Runge, UNeMed | January 9, 2019
Ron Allen was a statue of a man. Tall and broad shouldered, he had the resume of an international man of action: medical device executive, decorated veteran, Ph.D., scientist, engineer, football coach and referee, and internationally renowned expert on vital and life-saving technology.
Ron was a living action figure; a man of imposing accomplishment.
Ron Allen died earlier this year after a brief illness.
His partners at Chrysalis Medical, a UNeMed licensee, gently informed me of his passing. Mixed in with the grief of losing a friend was a sense of bewilderment. Chrysalis’s remaining partners are all experienced professionals, yet, bringing a new medical device to market without Ron seems daunting. Even with all the data compiled and all the reports formatted, everyone just felt a little better about themselves and more confident in the difficult task with Ron in the same room.
Ron brought out the best in people. It was his easy laugh. His complete lack of air or pretense.
He was warm and genuine and so generous. Ron would make time to discuss regulatory strategies for new projects, often sending me notes and links after walking me through his thoughts on the phone. Ron loved to talk with graduate students and entrepreneurs, and would be visibly excited by even the most harebrained scheme or sketchy startup.
Ron’s accomplishments, which could fill three full lives, were not just a bullet list on a resume. They were the results of a life lived in that generous and open state of mind. I am grateful to have met him and for all I learned about the FDA and design controls. I hope that his generosity and excitement will stay with me longest.