Leadership Team

Jason Herod

Jason Herod

Chief Commercial Officer – Europe

Jason joined Samsara Vision in August of 2021 and brings over 24 years Ophthalmic Medical Device, Pharmaceutical and OTC business experience. Jason has lived and worked in Canada, USA, Switzerland and Czech Republic. He has successfully held many roles of increasing responsibility in Sales, Sales Management, Country, Regional and Global Marketing, Country General Management, and as the Franchise Head for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia for Alcon. Jason is the winner of sales, marketing, and management awards including as the General Manager of the top market in the company for sales growth and expense management. Jason earned his Bachelor’s in Communications. from Saint Mary’s University in Canada and an MBA from the University of Toronto in Canada.

Faustino Vidal Aroca

Faustino Vidal Aroca

Head, Scientific Affairs, EUROPE

Faustino Vidal Aroca joined Samsara Vision in February 2022. After an academic journey in Molecular Genetics, Drug Development, and Proteomics, Faustino pivoted into Pharma and Medical Devices. Faustino held various leadership roles in Medical & Clinical Affairs worldwide, focused on clinical study design, developing centers of excellence, and strategical scientific support to HCPs. He created educational programs covering therapeutic specialties ranging from microbiology to oncology. Most recently, Faustino concentrated the last 12 years primarily on Ophthalmology.

Additionally, he brings expertise in mentoring programs and innovative project design as part of the pool of experts for the European Commission. Faustino holds an MSc in Genetics, an international Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain), and a Master's in Business Administration from Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy). Faustino's main hobbies include spending time with family & friends, wine tasting, and anything related to motorbikes and cars.

Konstantinos Kakoulidis, M.D., PhD, FEBO

Konstantinos Kakoulidis, M.D., PhD, FEBO

Senior Medical Director, EUROPE

Doctor Konstantinos Kakoulidis joined Samsara Vision in November 2021. DR. Kakoulidis received his medical degree from Comenius University, Faculty of Medicine, his specialization degree in Ophthalmology from Slovak Medical University in Slovakia, and his PhD in Ophthalmology from Aristotelian University Hospital in Greece before becoming a Senior Ass. Professor in Cyril & Methodius University Hospital, Ophthalmology Department, Bratislava, Slovakia. He was responsible for the department's clinical, academic (residency program), and scientific (clinical study protocols) development.

After more than 15 years at the Cyril & Methodius University Hospital in Slovakia, he relocated to China as an International Medical and Business Development Director for the HE Vision Group. At HE Vision Group, Konstantinos was responsible for increasing international popularity and the reputation of the Medical Eye Hospitals and the Industry Base of the Group. He developed the establishment of the Personal Development Ophthalmic Academy (PDOA), a unique theoretical, practical, and hands-on training base for young Ophthalmologists in China.

Konstantinos identified new business opportunities - including new markets, growth areas, trends, customers, products, and services. Worked strategically to carry out the necessary planning to implement operational changes and was responsible for developing and evaluating medical products for clinical/commercial use. Konstantinos also worked closely with International NGOs and engaged with various projects and countless KOLs in Europe, Asia, and the USA. Konstantinos enjoys historical literature and documentaries, playing tennis and the guitar, and mixing music. He is also fascinated by other cultures and civilizations, which he says helps him interact with patients and colleagues worldwide.

Maura Arsiero, PhD, MSc Eng, MoT CAS EPFL

Maura Arsiero, PhD, MSc Eng, MoT CAS EPFL

Head, Business Development & Marketing, EUROPE

Doctor Maura Arsiero joined Samsara Vision in October 2021. Dr. Arsiero's pull towards cutting-edge therapies has gained her nearly 20 years of experience in Neural Prosthetics, Biomedical Engineering, and Ophthalmology. In her career, Dr. Arsiero has held a range of roles with increasing responsibilities, first in Research & Development and later in Sales and Marketing. She is an expert in business development, KOL management, strategic marketing, product development, launch, promotion, and acquisition integrations. In parallel, Maura is an invited lecturer for the EPFL Neuroengineering courses and MoT-EPFL courses, where she contributes to science dissemination and teaching. Maura intentionally built a solid and unique scientific background: she obtained an MSc in Biomedical Engineering in Genoa, Italy; a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in Bern, Switzerland; and a MoT in MedTech and Pharma from EPFL – Lausanne, Switzerland. After spending many years abroad, Maura returned to Italy. She travels mostly for scuba dive safaris in her spare time, looking for big sharks, manta rays, and other colorful and fascinating creatures. When on dry land, she loves to discover new culinary treasures worldwide and dance Latin American dances. Her two favorite beings in life are her husband and dog.

Pedro Gonçalves

Pedro Gonçalves

Head, Practice Development, Referral, and Patient Advocacy, EUROPE

Pedro Goncalves joined Samsara Vision in February 2022. After graduating with honors in Medical Dentistry in 2006, Pedro practiced oral rehabilitation for eight years in several countries around Europe, including Switzerland and the UK. In 2015 accepted a leading role in medical affairs with an industry leader as Medical Advisor for Europe. Additionally, his entrepreneur side led him to co-found a medical device company that disrupted the old business model, leading the way for other companies to follow suit in adopting a new vision of addressing patients' needs and expectations.

Pedro brings his expertise in developing innovative programs on Practice Development from other medical specialties to the field of ophthalmology. When he is not participating in forums or sharing innovative ideas, Pedro's main hobbies are skiing, cooking, and enjoying time with family and friends.

Management Team

Juraj Kozak

Juraj Kozak

Head, Market Access, EUROPE

Juraj Kozak joined Samsara Vision in November 2021. Juraj entered the world of ophthalmic medical devices in 2014 after earning a double master's degree in International Management from EM Strasbourg Business School and the University of Economics in Bratislava. Over the years, he has worked on more than 20 projects in market research and market access in medical devices, drug delivery, and pharma for anterior and posterior eye segments. Juraj has previously held positions at Medevise Consulting as Market Access Manager and MedEuronet as Consulting Services Manager driving projects to help get medical innovations to those who would benefit most from them. While studying at university, Juraj worked for a non-profit organization where he managed a team of four.

Joachim Muthofer

Joachim Muthofer

Director, Commercial Operations, GERMANY

Joachim Muthofer joined Samsara Vision in July 2021. Joachim launched his professional career training as an industrial mechanic before switching to the sport-medical field in the 1990s. While earning his degree in sports medicine, Joachim founded and ran a successful health facility that he later sold in the early 2000s. In search of a new challenge, he transitioned to the field of ophthalmology, where for over 20 years, Joachim has consulted for various companies specializing in retinal surgery. He is a trained medical device advisor.

Matthias Benninghofen

Matthias Benninghofen

Senior Key Account Manager, Germany

After a two-year stopover in the Optician business, Matthias Benninghofen joined Samsara Vision in January 2022. Matthias began his ophthalmologic career in 2013, working with retinal chips for people affected with Retinitis Pigmentosa, where he managed accounts, supported surgeries and rehabilitation activities. He then moved into the world of intravitreal injections, where he was responsible for the ongoing support of Ocriplasmin in Germany. As a Senior Key Account Manager, Low Vision, Matthias will aid Valentina Carbone in focusing on the German market, supporting surgeries, educating patients, training clinicians, and developing a solid network.

Matthias is a passionate runner who dreams of running the Boston Marathon one day, and he enjoys spending time with his family and gardening.

Valentina Carbone

Valentina Carbone

Head, Key Account Management, EUROPE

Valentina Carbone joined Samsara Vision in December 2021. Valentina began her ophthalmology career in 2013, working with the artificial retina. As a top EMEA expert for patient selection, surgical support, and EMEA rehabilitation area manager, she created the largest world center of excellence in Italy with the most patients implanted. Valentina continued her career as a surgical specialist for cataract and vitreo surgery in the largest hospital in the north of Italy. As Senior Key Account Manager, Low Vision, Europe, Valentina will develop the European market for the intraocular telescope, build a solid rehabilitation network, support surgeries, assist sites with patient recruitment, and support sales and marketing around the EMEA market.

Markus Kleger

Markus Kleger

Director, Commercial Operations, SWITZERLAND

Markus Kleger joined Samsara Vision in November 2021 and brings almost 30 years of experience working various functions in the field of ophthalmo-surgery. Markus is proud to have developed the Kleger Manipulator, ArtiFix holding forceps, Vacufix system, and other ophthalmologic instruments. "Passion" is Markus's motto in life, and his fascination for ophthalmology continues unabated. Markus is energized by the Samsara Vision European team, where patients center his efforts. "I am happy to be able to contribute my share to the success and to do so with much passion."

Rana Zaimeche

Rana Zaimeche

Manager, Sales Operations, EUROPE

Rana Zaimeche joined Samsara Vision in April 2021 and brings over 10 years of experience supporting daily operational and office management functions, special projects, coordination, and planning with a high degree of efficiency. Rana is responsible for adequately managing the sales process, tools, technologies, and communication to support the Sales & Marketing team to achieve the commercial and financial goals. Rana has lived and worked in the USA and France and began her career in 2000 as an Office Manager and Staff Accountant with eDial, Inc. She served as a point person for managers, sales teams, clients, and vendors to ensure proper communication lines before continuing her career at Alcatel-Lucent USA. Rana earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire, USA, and an Associate degree in Computer Science from Hesser College, New Hampshire, USA.