Our Founder: Manny Villafaña
  • Co-Inventor of the first lithium pacemaker and Founder of CPI/Guidant Corporation
  • Co-Inventor of the St. Jude heart valve and Founder of St. Jude Medical, Inc.
  • Co-Inventor of the ATS heart valve and Founder of ATS Medical
  • Co-Founder of the Lillehei Surgical Society
  • Recipient of the “Living Legend of Medicine” Award
  • USA Master Entrepreneur Award
  • 2003 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame
  • NY Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America Hall of Fame
  • Kips Bay Medical was his seventh IPO


Manuel (Manny) A. Villafaña founded Kips Bay Medical, Inc. in 2007. Mr. Villafaña has more than 37 years of experience in the medical device industry. He was the Founder of ATS Medical, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer from 1987 to 2001. He started his career with Medtronic, Inc., as its first international sales administrator. He was the Founder of St. Jude Medical, Inc. and served as its Chairman and President from 1976 to 1982. He was the Founder of Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. and served as its President and Chairman from 1972 to 1976. He was a Co-Founder of GV Medical, Inc. to develop, manufacture and market the LASTAC System. He served as the Chairman of the Board of CABG Medical, Inc. since January 2001; GV Medical, Inc. from 1983 to 1987; and ATS Medical, Inc. from 1987 to May 2004. Mr. Villafaña has received numerous awards and honors for his accomplishments, including the "Living Legend of Medicine" award from the International Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the Grand Prize Recipient - Mediterranean Institute of Cardiology; the Ernst & Young LLP; National Master Entrepreneur of the Year; the Top 100 Hispanics in USA; the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Hall of Fame; and induction into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. Mr. Villafaña attended Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx, New York.