By Christopher Cussat
Raymond F. Vennare is an accomplished, biotech entrepreneur, investor, and senior executive with more than two decades of hands-on experience creating, launching, and building biotechnology and information technology (IT) companies across diverse markets.
Acting on behalf of shareholders, boards of directors, and senior executives, Vennare plays a key role in company formation, capitalization, business development, and the evaluation and execution of commercialization opportunities. These interactions enable investors, companies, and organizations to preserve capital, reduce risk, expedite time-to-market, and efficiently implement relevant growth or exit strategies.
He co-founded ThermalTherapeutic Systems, Inc. (Medical Device) where he served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Director. Vennare is also the past Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoSite (Diagnostics); Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for TissueInformatics (Bioinformatics); and Partner and President of VS/Interactive (IT).
Although business, biotechnology, and IT are fundamental and important parts that comprise Vennare as a professional, his personal portraiture is even a more complex, diverse, and creative picture.
In fact, according to publicist, Karen Kern, “While dedicating a significant and successful portion of his life and career to business, entrepreneurship, and science, Vennare’s essential orientation is humanistic.” She adds that he is exquisitely aware of the inter-relatedness of all things and that this ability to intrinsically see and understand how disciplines overlap and coincide is Vennare’s distinctive gift. “He is at home in the intersections of business, culture, art, and science, and uses interconnectedness as a catalyst for finding novel ways to forge bonds across disciplines and solve human problems,” Kern adds.
Vennare has always been driven to express his way of seeing the commonalities of the world. This is clearly reflected in the lifelong diversity and range of his pursuits—through his work as an academically trained art historian, in the numerous businesses he has brought to life, and as a multi-disciplinary artist (painter, writer, musician, and commentator). Vennare is also an innate teacher and passionate speaker who is perpetually eager to share his experiences and views, along with the desire to mentor and shape new generations of thinkers and creators. “He is a nurturer of humankind, and devotes his energy to enhancing human endeavor across a variety of fields,” notes Kern.
In his own words, music, art, and writing have always been a passion for Vennare. “I suspect, for the same reason that entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology commercialization are inspiring.” He explains that these disciplines are, in essence, creative outlets. “They provide me with an opportunity to express novel thoughts, pursue imaginative solutions, and produce something that has never been created before.”
As far as Vennare’s creative expression, he has been painting and playing music since he was a kid. “Although I studied painting and art history quite seriously for a number of years, I can barely read music or chord charts—not surprisingly then, my paintings are fairly well-structured and steeped in artistic tradition, if not technique, while my music (blues and jazz primarily) is much more improvisational and free form.”
His current artistic offering is a richly textured memoir entitled, “My Father’s Shoes,” which Vennare is also adapting for stage and audio performance. This vibrant anthology celebrates the capacity of one person to make a lasting difference in the lives of others. “This collection of short stories was originally written as a Christmas gift to my father shortly before he died, but since then, it has taken on a life of its own,” says Vennare. With humorous reflection, clanking dishes, wafting aromas, and loving tenderness, it vividly reminds us how we ultimately transfer our human energy through the stories and memories we create and leave behind. Future projects include two more books as well as a play, “SenzaMemoria,” which is based upon some of the characters in the stories of “My Father’s Shoes.”
Vennare believes that creativity, whether in business or the arts, springs from the same well. “It is really about self-expression—the need to create and the way in which those creations are expressed.” He explains that both depend entirely upon one’s passion, desire, and commitment to solving problems, realizing a vision, or translating ethereal (artistic), conceptual (business), or theoretical (science) thought into tangible reality.
He also feels that there is very little difference between brining a character to life in the telling of a story, interpreting a piece of complex music, or launching a company around a novel technology. “All rely upon finding the essence of that ‘thing,’ taking the complexity out of the process, and bringing a unique perspective to that particular objective.” In other words, making these things more accessible to any particular audience—whether they are presented in a boardroom, an art gallery, or a music hall. “It is to realize that which George Bernard Shaw once hypothesized, ‘Some men see things as they are and ask why—others dream of things that never were and ask why not,’” he adds.
Vennare says that at some point in his life he decided to blur the line between who he is and what he does, and to resist the notion that artistic expression and professional interests were somehow incompatible or necessarily divisible. On the contrary, he contends that they not only co-exist, but that one informs the other. “Since I have never allowed personal interests nor professional endeavors to define me as a human being, I have never had to choose between the two—I simply do what comes naturally—whether writing a book, painting a canvas, playing music, or building a company.”
With his expansive and eclectic body of work, and his ceaseless curiosity for new connections of value for the human community, Vennare is clearly leaving a lasting legacy through his own life. He has served as a board director, board advisor, or board observer for diagnostic, therapeutic, medical device, and software development companies, and is frequently in demand as a speaker on issues related to entrepreneurship, innovation, technology commercialization, and strategic thinking. For more information on his company please visit: www.Vennare.net. To learn more about or order a copy of his new book, “My Father’s Shoes,” due out in January 2013, visit: www.myfathersshoes.net or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.