Meeting of September 13, 2017

Howard Root was our speaker today.
He told us a riveting tale of his run in with the Department of Justice and winning that encounter.

The meeting called to order by Jacob at 731am

Invocation by Ron L with one of my favorite quotes from Margaret Mead.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." ….. Let us be thankful for the small group of committed people who, with your help today, are changing the world one lunch, one polio vaccination, one dental filling, one community project at time. Let us be thankful for the opportunity to gather together for a good meal with friends. … Amen

• Jerald - Shane Haggerty of Citizens National Bank
• Scott - Howard Root … our speaker
• Jerald - Craig Palmer

--> Overview on Speakers in lieu of a Rotary Minute. <--

Therese spoke on the method of Speakers who come to our club.
--> Seven people on programming committee
--> club members request and provide speakers
--> brainstorming helps to identify speakers
--> other clubs speakers
--> sometimes we need more information
--> currently scheduled out for several months
--> posted a month in advance
--> political speakers not invited in an election year

Jacob summarized how our club tries to provide balance in our choice of speakers.
Each and every person in here is a good person, a community leader, and joined rotary for the selfless reason of ‘service-above-self.’

We pride ourselves on providing great speakers---like our speaker today.

Our speakers come from various sectors---education, business, politics, and non-profits. Part of being informed community leaders means hearing from decision makers—and elected officials. These talks have never been—and never will be—campaign rallies. Rather every elected official, D and R, provides us with legislative updates and tells us about their office. Past political speakers have included, this year, Secretary of State Steve Simon, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Sheriff Rich Stanek…in the past we’ve had Terri Bonoff, Tim Pawlenty, Erik Paulsen, and Jim Ramstad. At the Rotary International Convention, this summer Senator Bob Corker (R-TENN) was a speaker and gave an update on Congressional efforts to combat human trafficking. The Governor of Georgia, Mayor of Atlanta, and Trump Administration officials spoke. Andrew Young, who himself is not without controversy, spoke as well.

We have had speakers talk about controversial topics such as the virtues of light-rail and the building of the US Bank Stadium. We’ve had the boy scouts, speakers on immigration, and other non-profits some of which I am sure we agree with and some with which we do not. We have members in this room who don’t think we should be focused on polio anymore—and that is just fine…there are 60 members, 60 points of view, 60 unique community leaders.

We are business leaders and non-profit executives, democrats, republicans, and independents, we are Christians, Jews, and atheists. We, each and every person in this club, applied for, was voted on, and was accepted as a member of this club. We each bring our own strengths and talents.

We have NEVER promoted a specific group, ideology, or point of view. We have speakers that are interesting, informative, and speakers who are community leaders seeking to provide updates.

An important tie that binds us as a community and society—and that has been consistent in America and the western world—is free, open, and fair discourse and respectful debate on issues that affect our lives. I firmly believe that we must continue to foster discussion, listen to, and impact decision makers.

We have built a good club here. We are strong and we continue to grow. We do great work in our community. Our energy, faith, and devotion pays off. Tomorrow we will set a record in fundraising to help us ‘build responsible youth’.

We don’t need to all be best friends, but we all need to respect each other and understand that we are working toward the same goals in a club that is more fun than we want it to be!

Thank you.
Jacob Millner

--> Chris Carr…. I think its coming together … Fundraiser will be a success if everyone executes.
--> Jennifer … who is responsible for what list to be sent out
• she ran through the list… and asked for volunteers
--> Bob …. went through the golfers …. 68 to 78 and growing
--> Alexa … Future Roots project from Nicaragua
• We need Silent Auction items and other peoples money
• A golf outing meeting after this meeting
• Bylaws committee meeting Monday, September 18 at Eisenhower #213 @ 5pm
• Next week we will be inducting Floraine as a new member

Raffle …. Ryan won over $150 …. We like winners.

Happy bucks collected by Mac
• Bill - 33 anniversary
• Guy … for Alans 80th birthday
• Ron L …. going to the Hawaii 35th wedding anniversary
• Ryan - happy to see Rick Nagen this AM
• Nancy - on her trip to Honduras …. we live a blessed life in the US
• Roger … rode his motorcyle to the meetng
• Chris R - happy his daughter is driving …. daughter driving the wrong way not so much.
• Ben .. happy Ryan won he is on their foursome tomorrow
• Char …. Hiway 169 has concrete both ways .... they are going to finish early
• Cathy … "There's never just one right answer, and there's never just one right question."
• Bob… 40 year anniversary
• Chris … wife in Italy …. he is enjoying the children
• Mark Mar … Chanhassen club bought 10 tickets in supporting our fundraiser
• Jerald … Happy about Craig Palmer here
• Neal - happy 63 birthday
• Katie … school is started

Speaker Howard Root is introduced by Jacob
Graduate of the University of Minnesota / medical device entrepreneur / 100 new medical devices / retired at age 56 sold his company for $1B / Cardiac Arrest is his story and his book

Howard Root presented how this happened …. And beating the Department of Justice.

--> born NE Mpls
--> High School St Anthnoy
--> UofM … through law school
--> Dorsey & Whitney general council
--> worked as an employee of ATS Medical

Vascular Solutions …. Medical Device Entrepreneur with many products
--> First Product was DUETT, which seals artery
--> Jan 1997 raised $1.5M
--> next two years raised $24M
--> 2000 …. $48M… stock valued at $20
--> 2001 ….. St Jude entered the market …. stock dropped to $0.70 at announcement to diversified product offering
--> 2011 …. $10 stock with stable 10% growth … year on year

The Department of Justice gets involved.
--> 6/29/11 … Subpoena …. For the product VariLase used for treatment of Varicose Veins
--> specific FDA charge was for 10" unit short kit ….. only one of family
--> 0.01% of total sales of Vascular Solutions
--> two sales reps …. in Burbank CA …. went rouge

How did this subpoena start ?…. A whistle blower with nothing to lose.
--> created a $20M civil lawsuit
--> went from Civil suit to a criminal suit via justice department
--> Howard Root put out a Litigation memo saying do not destroy documents
--> the rouge sales rep destroyed documents …. then lied … and was then terminated

Department gave Rogue Sales Rep a choice
--> testify against Howard Root or face 20 years in jail potential
--> he signed with the threat pending even though it was untrue.
--> Others faced a Grand Jury
--> some answered truthfully
--> others via Prosecutor Threats submitted and signed
--> Threats … your answer will affect your children’s rights and privileges

Why didn’t he settle ?
--> $10M wasn’t the issue his company had $30M
--> Remediation details accompanied it ….
--> Howard Root would be terminated and career ended …. And it required him to throw others under the bus
--> Howard Root Connections … Greg William / US Attorney & Amy Klobuchar / US senator didn't come into play.
--> He awoke to the head line in the StarTribune … “MED Tech CEO Accused of Conspiracy”

15 months later the trial was held....
--> Three prosecution witnesses …. said nothing was amiss
--> Investigator was looking for facts not truth
--> Defense …. no witnesses because there was no prosecution testimony to refute.
--> Jury came back as not guilty in short order

Aftermath of the Trial
Press release after the trial … 2/26/16 from Howard Root follows:
--> "The company and I are vindicated by todays verdict, but outraged by the obscene legal process we were forced to endure."
--> $25M in legal expenses for Vascular Solutions
--> 15 months working as an indicted CEO running a indicted public company
--> the only case acquitted by this judge
--> DOJ pays bonus to employees who win big judgments
--> Book Cardiac Arrest $20

The meeting was adjourned at 835am … but no one left early.