Medical simulation product architect introduces the president & founder of The TEKMILL, Inc. as its new Chief Executive Office as part of a strategic partnership

PEORIA, IL – SIMnext, LLC (SIMnext), a medical simulation research and development company based in Peoria, Ill., has announced that Gary Durack, the founder and president of The TEKMILL, Inc. (TEKMILL), a design & fabrication company based in Champaign, Ill., has assumed the role of SIMnext’s Chief Executive Officer effective immediately.

Gary Durack

Mr. Durack is a biomedical engineer, inventor, and successful technology entrepreneur. He began his career in 1979 at the Coulter Corporation, a world leader in IVD instrumentation. Until 2013, he served as CEO and CSO for iCyt Visionary Bioscience, a biomedical design engineering and product company which he founded in 1995. In 2009, iCyt was acquired by the Sony Corporation and renamed Sony Biotechnology. Mr. Durack is an angel investor in technology startup companies and serves as a Business Mentor with the Chicago Innovation Mentor program.

Mr. Durack is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and served several years as a Technical Counselor for the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry, which presented him with their Distinguished Service Award in 2014. In 2015, he received the Carleton and Sigrid Stewart Award from the Great Lakes International Image and Flow Cytometry Association.

Over his 36-year career Mr. Durack has edited a book, written multiple book chapters, and authored several peer-reviewed publications in the field of cytometry. He has 29 issued US patents and more than a dozen pending patent applications. He attended Purdue University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Mr. Durack has recently served as adjunct bioengineering faculty at the University of Illinois and taught classes in entrepreneurship for the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the School of Engineering at the University of Illinois.

“The addition of Gary to our team is a significant step in the growth of our company,” said John Vozenilek, MD, FACEP, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Simulation for SIMnext. “He brings a proven expertise that enhances our core ability to work with clinicians and institutions around the world to create portable simulation and training solutions. He has a deep knowledge of innovation process management, as well as lean manufacturing and product distribution methodologies. With him driving the vision for our team, we are poised to accelerate and expand the role SIMnext plays in the healthcare simulation industry.”

SIMnext is undergoing a period of rapid growth fueled by the global launch of multiple products worldwide, as well as increased awareness for the value simulation training is bringing to the global healthcare industry. As the demand for SIMnext products and services continues to grow, Mr. Durack will add deep commercial, strategic, and operational experience to the executive management team. As part of the strategic alignment, TEKMILL will provide additional product engineering bandwidth, leveraging its product development, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities, accelerating the introduction of several new simulation products.

“I am very excited to join the SIMnext team. The opportunity to help drive the strategic vision for this truly unique business model is a distinct honor,” said Mr. Durack. “Our focus is on further establishing SIMnext as the industry leader in portable simulation training solutions while expanding our network of clinical, engineering, manufacturing, sales, and distribution partners. Because the clinical hub of OSF HealthCare, one of our members, is headquartered in Peoria, SIMnext is ideally positioned to leverage resources from Peoria, Champaign, and Chicago. From this fast-growing ‘Healthcare Innovation Triangle’ SIMnext will deliver simulation and education products and services to hospitals, academic institutions, and simulation centers around the world.”

SIMnext’s corporate offices are based in Peoria with the core of its product development and manufacturing capabilities located in Champaign near the campus of the University of Illinois. The company also holds a chair as a member of the MATTER healthcare incubator ( in Chicago.

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