BEAVERTON, Ore., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Epitope, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPTO) today announced changes in the company's management. As previously announced, Charles E. Bergeron, Vice President of Operations, has become the company's Chief Financial Officer following the retirement of Gilbert N. Miller in connection with the spin-off of Agritope, Inc. Mr. Bergeron joined the company in August 1993 as President and Chief Executive Officer of its wholly owned subsidiary, Agrimax Floral Products, Inc. He was named Vice President of Operations -- Epitope Medical Products in June 1995. From 1978 to 1992, Mr. Bergeron was Senior Vice President - Finance of Freightliner Corporation, a Portland, Oregon truck manufacturer. Mr. Miller will now devote his full-time efforts to serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Agritope. J. Richard George, Ph.D., has been named Chief Scientific Officer of the company. In his new role, Dr. George will be responsible for the company's research and product development groups. Dr. George joined the company in March 1995. A career scientist, Dr. George previously served the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, which he joined in 1960. He held a series of management and technical positions at the CDC, becoming Chief, Developmental Technology, Laboratory Investigations Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS in 1988. John H. Fitchen, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will leave the company to pursue other interests. Cathleen M. McKay, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will also leave the company after a transition period. The company has initiated a nationwide search for her replacement and for qualified candidates for the newly created position of Vice President of New Business Development. "Now that we have completed the spin-off of our Agritope subsidiary, the company will shift its efforts from broad-based research and development to focus on expanding sales of medical diagnostic products in our current core markets and on pursuing new opportunities," stated John W. Morgan, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The management changes announced today are one component of our plan to drive the company to profitability." The company also announced changes to its board of directors. Mr. Morgan has been appointed to the board of directors to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Adolph J. Ferro, Ph.D. from the board in connection with the Agritope spin-off. Dr. Ferro will now devote his full-time efforts to his positions as Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Agritope. Richard K. Donahue and R. Douglas Norby have informed the company that they will retire from the board as of February 17, 1998, the date of the company's annual meeting of shareholders. The board's nominating committee has begun the process of selecting replacements for Mr. Donahue and Mr. Norby. Epitope, Inc. is an Oregon corporation that develops and markets medical diagnostic products. Its principal products, including the OraSure(R) oral specimen collection device, focus on the use of oral fluid to detect HIV infection and other conditions, and are marketed primarily in the life insurance and public health sectors.
Source: EPITOPE Inc.
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