President & Chief Product Development Officer – Dermazone Solutions
Deborah Duffey has a passion for entrepreneurial pursuits and more than three decades of experience in leading and growing businesses. She’s held management and executive positions that encompassed responsibilities including feasibility analysis, start-ups, product and brand development, operations and strategic growth and planning. Duffey currently serves as president of Dermazone Solutions, Inc a product development and manufacturing company for skin care products; president and chief product development officer; and COO of the startup company NuVessl, Inc a product development and licensing company focused on enhancing the quality of life through encapsulation science.
Previously she was the product development director and then sales and marketing director for Fountain Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Before moving to Florida she worked for Applied Strategic Planning, implementing business development solutions for clients in and outside the USA.
As a recognized leader and speaker in her profession and the community, Duffey speaks to women nationwide with behind-the-scenes insight about the personal care industry today. She sits on an advisory board for the Personal Care Products Council, is a former Director for the CEO Council of Tampa, and was a founding member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the ARCS Foundation. She also belongs to the American Botanical Council, American Chemical Society, CEO Council of Tampa, and the Chamber of Commerce in St. Petersburg. Duffey was a finalist for the 2012 Business Woman of the Year: Iconic Women of St. Petersburg with Vision Award, an award recipient in 2011 for Company Most Supportive to Women in Business eWomen Network, and a finalist for the 2010 Tampa Bay Business Journal Woman of the Year. Duffey is also an Ambassador for the Life Science cluster for Tampa Bay.
Deborah has two teenage daughters and has been married to her husband for 22 years. She enjoys weight training and horseback riding. Her favorite charities are Pet Pals of St. Petersburg, Operation Helping Hands of Tampa and Operation Care Package. Originally from the Boston area and a graduate of Stonehill College, she has lived in Tampa Bay since 1992.
President, Dermazone Skincare Division
Kit is an accomplished leader in the CPG industry with a keen focus on the beauty category. In her three decades of experience, she has most recently held executive positions in Revlon, L’Oreal, Unilever and Luzern Skincare. She has successfully grown these businesses through product development, marketing expertise and proven sales results.
Her distinguished career is hallmarked by solid accomplishments in driving brand awareness and sales growth in highly competitive retail markets. Kit is a skilled strategist adept at developing and executing high-level initiatives impacting benchmark performance in key areas of business and sales operations. She is a catalyst for innovation and growth with a track record of consistently exceeding performance goals. She is a proactive leader and team builder who excels at fostering teamwork and building strong collaborative relationships across all organizational levels.
In addition to the beauty industry, Kit’s portfolio of companies where she has led teams includes Unilever (food), Diageo and Ralston Purina. She has also managed large accounts on the Advertising/Promotional Agency side with award winning performance. Her experience is rounded out by a successful career in the Private Brand sector where she led a team focused on all non-food categories with $2.7B in sales. She has been an international speaker on the power and impact of Private Brands in the CPG industry.
Kit has two sons – Nicholas, who resides in Houston and Christopher, who lives in Connecticut. She is an avid tennis player and sailor. Her favorite charities are American Cancer Society and several smaller ones that support young women in business. Originally from Washington DC and a graduate of the George Washington University, she has lived in Connecticut for 25 years and has relocated to St. Petersburg, FL.
Michael W. Fountain, PhD, MBA
Scientific Advisor & Innovator of Lyphazome® Nanotechnology – Dermazone Solutions
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship - University of South Florida
Dr. Fountain currently serves as the Founding Director of the University of South Florida’s (USF) Interdisciplinary, Cross-Campus Center for Entrepreneurship, where he directs the University-wide Undergraduate and Graduate interdisciplinary programs in Entrepreneurship, the Interdisciplinary USF Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and the Master of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies and graduate training programs in entrepreneurship for business, engineering, medical and sustainability students. He also serves as the faculty Director for the USF Student Innovation Incubator. He holds faculty senior faculty appointments in the Colleges of Business (John and Beverley Grant Endowed Chair), Medicine (Professor), Pharmacy (Professor), Engineering (Professor) and the Institute for Advanced Discovery and Innovation (Professor). Under Dr. Fountain’s direction, the Center for Entrepreneurship has developed national and international prominence as evidenced by top United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) national awards (Model Specialty Program, Innovative Pedagogy and Innovative New Course) in 2004, 2005, and 2006, the USASBE Conference Pillar Award in Pedagogy in 2009 and national ranking by Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the nation’s top graduate entrepreneurship education programs for the past consecutive 11 years. In 2017, The Association for the Advancement of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB) selected the Entrepreneurship Education Program at USF as one of the top 15 entrepreneurship educational programs in the world in the Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge.
In 2009 Dr. Fountain was honored as one of the top 100 business leaders in Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay CEO. Dr. Fountain has served as the Director of the National Consortium for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Kauffman Foundation. He served for 4 years as the Vice President for Development of USASBE, 2 years as a Board Member-at-Large. He served as the National Director of the National Consortium for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship from 1999 until 2004, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and as a member of the Board for the Kauffman Fellows Program prior to becoming the Founding Center Director at USF. He is a pioneer in the development and adoption of Life Sciences Entrepreneurship as a sub-interdisciplinary specialty in entrepreneurship education linking the disciplines of science, medicine, engineering, sustainability and business. He was honored by USF receiving the university-wide Excellence in Research and Innovation Award for 2014, was selected as a 2015 Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors and selected in 2016 as a Justin Longenecker Fellow of USASBE.
Dr. Fountain has focused the past thirty-five years on creating, financing, growing and harvesting biotechnology, medical device and life science companies. In his career prior to coming to USF, Dr. Fountain founded or co-founded eleven new ventures, three of which became publicly traded companies. These corporate ventures include The Liposome Company, Cooper Biomedical, Lipogen, DFW Technologies, Inc., and Fountain Pharmaceuticals among others. During his corporate career he has served in a variety of leadership roles including Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Dr. Fountain was a pioneer in the field of development and application of the use of phospholipids in micro- and nano-particle technologies for drug encapsulation. He has successfully patented and commercialized numerous innovative medical and diagnostic products for the domestic and international marketplace, including sustained release anti-cancer drugs, genetically engineered diagnostic products for autoimmune diseases, microencapsulated dermatologic products and advanced subunit vaccine products for prevention human and animal infectious disease. His research efforts have yielded over 70 peer-reviewed publications, over 70 United States and International issued patents. His patented technology platforms are currently utilized in over 100 products worldwide. He currently serves as the Founder and Managing Partner for Fountain Technologies International, Board of Directors of Global Safety Management, Founder and Board of Directors of UVentures, Scientific Advisor of Dermazone Solutions, Inc and NuVessl, LLC. In addition, he serves on the Research Advisory Board of Auburn University.
Dr. Fountain received his Honors BS from Samford University, his MS and PhD from Auburn University and his MBA from Bristol University. In addition, he completed advanced studies in Education Theory at the University of South Florida.
Senior Director of R&D - Dermazone Solutions
Jeff has supported many phases of drug product development including early phase pre-IND to phase I/II/II clinicals, and life cycle management and post approval support. He has worked with small, medium, and large companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Coty, Tergus Pharma, and KIK Custom Products. He is co-inventor on three patents, a number of patents-pending. He has co-authored one article. Jeff is recognized as an expert in quality by design as it pertains to formulation development and manufacturing, which led to his being interviewed for an article on the topic. His professional experience includes research and development of many types of pharmaceutical dosage forms including, solid and semi-solid dosage forms across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas (dermatology, GI, CNS, URT). Jeff brings a broad base of practical knowledge and experience with close to 35 years of professional experience combined with a strong academic background, which enables him to drive for solutions in both the scientific and management arenas. He has a baccalaureate degree in chemistry and a masters of business administration. Jeff is a member of the AAPS, the SCC, and Delta Mu Delta as well as having served as an executive board member for the aerosol products division of the CSPA.