June 17, 2021 – Toronto-based executive search and talent management solutions provider Bedford Consulting Group has helped to place John Simmons, former general manager of Abbot Diagnostics, as the new chief executive officer of AceAge Inc. “John is a proven leader with a track record of delivering outstanding results in senior roles with an extensive background in medical devices,” stated Kym Anthony, AceAge’s board chair. “His significant business development and partnership experience, and track record in building businesses and successful teams will be a tremendous asset for AceAge.”
Mr. Simmons brings over 30 years of healthcare experience to AceAge. He had overseen the Canadian business operations of Abbot Diagnostics since 2018. A proven medical devices executive with a core skillset in growing and commercializing Canadian, US and global businesses, Mr. Simmons brings particular strengths in developing clear strategies, building teams and identifying and building relationships with stakeholders across various markets. He holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University and is a current board member for MedTech Canada.
Easing the Aging Process
“I am thrilled to join AceAge at such an exciting time,” said Mr. Simmons. “AceAge addresses a growing global preference of individuals aging at home. I look forward to working with the board and our team on our goal of making medication management as simple as possible and providing better quality of life for patients and caregivers globally.”
AceAge is a healthcare technology company creating intuitive products to ease the aging process and improve health outcomes. AceAge’s product, Karie, is a smart pill companion that organizes, schedules and delivers pills, ideally suited for those needing to manage three or more medications simultaneously. Karie was designed to make medication management as simple as possible to ensure user independence and wellness, while providing caregivers with peace of mind. Since 2020, AceAge Inc. closed a CA $5 million Series A financing round and $1.5 million in FedDev Ontario repayable contribution, supporting their aggressive global growth strategy.
The Bedford Consulting Group, led by co-founders and brothers Steven Pezim and Howard Pezim, is a privately held executive search and talent advisory firm. Its services span the spectrum of talent management, including leadership assessment, coaching and development, and compensation advisory, as well as executive, managerial and senior technical recruitment. Established in 1979, the Bedford Group has three offices in Canada: Toronto, Oakville (Ontario) and Vancouver, all of which consult with clients throughout North America and globally.
Steven Pezim is managing partner. For the past 25 years, he has managed executive search assignments for a broad range of Canadian and international clients from early-stage companies to global Fortune 1000s. His sectors of specialization include technology/media/telecommunications, retail, consumer hard goods/soft goods, financial services, and real estate. In addition to his role with Bedford, he serves as chairman of the Americas for Transearch International, a top 10 global executive search organization operating worldwide. He is based in Bedford Consulting Group’s Toronto office.
Howard Pezim is the firm’s managing director. His particular areas of specialization include retail, consumer products, financial services and life sciences. Prior to founding the Bedford Group, Mr. Pezim managed a recruiting firm in the Toronto area. His current customer base includes a composite of multinational and privately held organizations; he has completed a broad range of C-level assignments for those clients.
A Challenging Time
In a previous interview with Hunt Scanlon Media, Steven Pezim spoke about how the Canadian market “pretty much mimics the U.S., but at 10 percent of the scale.” He said what is most attractive about Canada is its resiliency, but he said that was challenged during the pandemic. “Many of our competitors experienced a dramatic decrease in business in 2020,” he said. “While many search firms were downsizing and slashing bonuses in Q2, we felt this was exactly the time to let our staff know that we are in this for the long game,” and that they were safe, and their jobs protected. “People have long memories of how they are treated,” he said.
“We were quite fortunate that our business grew double digits” last year, he added. “We were off to a very strong start in January, with senior executive hiring in the technology (TMT), health sciences, financial services, non-profit, and education sector all enjoying rising demand.” He said his firm expects to see a full market recovery sometime this quarter.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media