You meet a lot of guys in the world, but when Dr. Guy Levy and Allan Staley first met more than 25 years ago in the Jaycees, they had no idea that their friendship would form the foundation of a highly successful business partnership.
The two became fast friends when they worked together on a Jaycees community project. They adopted a 3.5-mile section of Warwick Boulevard to maintain, which gave them a lot of time to talk as they picked up trash. Little did they know that years later, they would come together to develop products that would help combat various health issues.
Levy and Staley, along with Linwood “Woody” Staub, are at the helm of Solsys Medical, which is the new wound care division of Misonix. Levy and Staley are co-founders of Solsys Medical, formerly known as Soluble Systems. Now, Staley is president and Staub is senior vice president of Misonix, leading the wound care division of the company. Their company sells its advanced wound care product under the brand name of TheraSkin®. This product helps healthcare professionals treat and heal advanced chronic wounds.
“TheraSkin is a human, living split-thickness allograft that harnesses the power and complexity of nature to provide wound healing. It contains all the relevant human biological components required to close and replace damaged skin in hard-to heal wounds,” states its website.
“It was Guy’s brainchild that started this whole process in 1997,” reflects Staley. Levy, who is also a dentist, was experiencing dry mouth, like many of his patients and wanted to find a solution. Their first product was TheraGauze®.
Says Levy, “I became interested in developing what became a polymer to help dental patients with their dry mouth. It became a delivery platform that we quickly realized had unique properties, in terms of controlling moisture, that could be used in a lot of different areas.”
“While it, (TheraGauze), was successful, it didn’t get us where we needed to be, so we adapted it as an entrepreneurial venture,” says Staley. TheraSkin became the key that propelled them forward.
The combination of TheraSkin and Misonix’s debridement solution further advances wound care for medical teams to produce more effective and efficient outcomes. TheraSkin continues to be a leading option in successful advanced wound treatment in the civilian, military and veteran communities across the country.
Staub attributes much of their success and growth to Staley. Says Staub, “Allan has a vision for this business of where it needs to be and where he wants it to be. He’s relentless at driving us foward to meet that vision. With great leaders, a great product and a great culture of helping folks, we can’t miss.”
Adds Levy, “Everyone who works here has a tremendous amount of respect for Allan, and we keep people because they love working with him. He has a tremendous business mind, an incredible vision and a huge following of people who respect him, which is why we were able to, without any outside venture capital, raise more than $17 million from Richmond to Virginia Beach.” Continues Levy, “However, the best thing Allan ever did, other than marrying his wife Katie, was getting Woody to join us.”
Staub left two companies he founded to join Staley and Levy in Newport News. Levy says with a laugh, “Woody joining our little growing company was huge — like LeBron James coming to play at Menchville High School!”
The great respect, admiration and friendship shared among Levy, Staley and Staub shines as brilliantly as their creative genius and great senses of humor. It’s hard to be in their presence and not smile. A genuine sense of camaraderie and respect flows throughout their offices as they highlight their tremendous sales team and staff, comprised of diverse professionals who either started with Solsys in its early beginnings or followed Staub when he arrived.
From its humblest of beginnings in Levy’s kitchen to now a public company on its way to becoming a billion-dollar enterprise, the three remain grateful and appreciative for their families, their team, the local business and medical community and everyone else who has helped along the way.
Says Staley, “What we’ve done here is built a business that is doing great while we’re doing well.” The proof is in the successful outcomes for people who once suffered with limited options and little hope when it came to advanced chronic wound care — people whose lives have been transformed for the good.
TO THE POINT:
Solsys Medical, a Misonix Company
Address: 600 Thimble Shoals Blvd., Ste. 200, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Allan Staley, president