Western manager spurs Diasonics sales effort

May 22, 1991

Diasonics revamped its U.S. regional operations and is hiringmore staff to strengthen the sales muscle behind its high-endSpectra radiology ultrasound system. The vendor has divided the U.S. into three sales regions: eastern,midwestern and western.

Diasonics revamped its U.S. regional operations and is hiringmore staff to strengthen the sales muscle behind its high-endSpectra radiology ultrasound system.

The vendor has divided the U.S. into three sales regions: eastern,midwestern and western. Western sales were targeted last month,with the hiring of a nine-year ATL veteran as western sales director.

Steven Kaska opened a regional sales office in Seattle thismonth, from which he will recruit a staff of 12 sales representativesand seven applications specialists. Each of the three U.S. regionswill be equally endowed with sales and applications personnel,he said.

Stronger direct sales efforts will not interfere with successfuldealer relationships, however. Diasonics will continue to mixdealer operations with its own sales.

Kaska was the last of several managers assigned over the lastsix months to guide ultrasound sales. Other appointments includethe following:

  • Gary Anderson, also a former ATL manager, was hiredlast December to head up the eastern sales region;

  • Vic Panza, a nine-year veteran of Diasonics, directsthe midwest region; and

  • Ed Yochum, a former Diasonics manager, rejoined thefirm six months ago as vice president of sales. The three regionaldirectors report to Yochum.

Although Diasonics is based on the West Coast, the westernstates have not been the vendor's strongest performing region,Kaska said.

"I was brought on both to recruit good talent and to makeuse of my sales and marketing skills to help bring the West upto where it should be," he told SCAN.

Diasonics enhanced the performance of Spectra with its SpectraPlus upgrade late last year and now needs to improve the technology'svisibility, he said.

Kaska's last position at ATL was senior marketing manager forcardiology. Prior to that two-year stint, he managed ATL's easternsales region, where he sold equipment for radiology, ob/gyn, vascularand cardiology applications, Kaska said.

Diasonics has a strong growth opportunity in the vascular ultrasoundmarket niche, he said.

"More (vascular) clinics are buying ultrasound, and hospitalbudgets have been freed up for vascular purchases," Kaskasaid. "Diasonics has not been in vascular (sales) to theextent it wants to be. This is a unique market niche for us."

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • American Shared Hospitals Services of San Francisco promotedMarla R. Thomas to the position of president and COO this month.Dr. Ernest A. Bates, founder and major shareholder in the imagingservices company, continues as chairman and CEO. Bates was previouslychairman and president.

Thomas has an MBA degree from Harvard University and a backgroundin investment banking. She took a seat on the ASHS board of directorsin 1988 and joined the firm as vice president of corporate developmentlast year.

As COO, Thomas will attempt to improve the operating performanceof ASHS and develop profitable imaging services in areas suchas magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography,Bates said. The chairman will be freed up to complete a debt restructuringeffort and engage in strategic planning for continued growth ofthe business, he said.

ASHS missed an interest payment on subordinated debt due lastmonth (SCAN 5/8/91), but announced last week that this paymenthas been made. ASHS also released financial results for the firstquarter of 1991 (end-March), which included a $2,074,000 gainfrom the repurchase of debt at a discount in March.

The firm had a loss of $66,000 in the first quarter withoutthe extraordinary gain, compared to a profit of $16,000 in thefirst quarter of 1990. Revenues were up 4% for the quarter from$15.2 million in the first three months of 1990 to $15.8 millionthis year.