Captain Derek Herrera, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) andJeff Richard, Executive Vice President, American Technion Society
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Captain Derek Herrera, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) was commander of a Special Operations team in Afghanistan in 2012 when a sniper's bullet entered his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. Determined to walk again, he found the ReWalk Robotics™ exoskeleton - created by a Technion graduate.
When the exoskeleton was approved for personal use by the FDA in July of 2014, Derek was the first person in the USA to purchase the device. During his time in the service, Derek was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with combat distinguishing device), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Purple Heart. Derek is working to launch his own startup in the coming months with the hopes of utilizing advancements in medical technology to help people dealing with Spinal Cord Injury and Disease (SCI/D). Derek currently serves as a member of the American Technion Society Southern California Chapter board of directors. Check out www.ats.org/walkagain for more information on the ReWalk Robotics™ exoskeleton.
Mr. Richard has more than two decades of experience in fundraising for higher education and the Jewish community. Prior to joining the ATS, he was the Vice President for University Development at Columbia University, playing a key role in Columbia’s current $6 billion campaign. Among the other positions he has held are Deputy Vice President for Columbia University’s Professional Schools and Programs; Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; Director of Development at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies; National Coordinator for Major Gifts for the United Jewish Communities; and Associate Director of Development and Annual Campaigns at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston.
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