Management Team





Michael Franz

Founder and C.E.O

Michael Franz is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and a Manager. He has built and led successful teams in both large corporations and start up enterprises. He has a deep experience in international ventures with an emphasis in Asia. Mr. Franz is accomplished at achieving high growth results against larger and stronger competitors and consensus building in diverse environments.


Prior to founding PreferUS, Mr. Franz was the CEO of the Texas Back Institute, which is one of the world’s largest multi-disciplinary spine institutes. Prior to Texas Back Institutes he has had a wide range of experiences and successes in his career. Mr. Franz founded and grew Murata Business System to $264 million in its first 48 months of operations, taking them from the 16th ranked fax company in the US to number one in four years. Upon joining Sprint, Mr. Franz served as President of Sprint Wholesale, a business unit that he started and grew to $1.2 billion in 24 months. He then served as both President, Sprint Wholesale and Chief of Staff, Long Distance Division. His last assignment at Sprint was as President of Sprint Business where he was responsible for the $6 billion, eight thousand person organization, that provided voice and data communications products and services to all business and government customers of Sprint’s long distance division. During his tenure as a partner in Chardan Capital, a merchant banking venture that employed a dual strategy of investment banking and advisory/consulting services for China based companies, Mr. Franz led efforts on a successful Series A fund raise while also establishing the China side support team. During his tenure, the group was successful in completing multiple transactions and taking three Chinese companies public to the NASDAQ exchange. Mr. Franz has also served as consultant Chairman and CEO to several companies, focusing on successfully establishing sources of funding, redirecting the management teams, and completion of the business plans. Mr. Franz graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in General Humanities and a Masters of Business Administration. Mr. Franz has served on numerous boards including the National Paralysis Foundation, where he served as Chairman of the Board, The Dallas Rehabilitation Institute, The Texas Back Institute Research Foundation and The Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City.









Ken Howell

Executive Vice President of China Operations

Ken Howell is Executive Vice President of China Operations. Mr. Howell has over 25 years of senior Healthcare leadership experience. This experience includes leadership of a large integrated health care system, as well as hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) roles in a diverse range of settings. Mr. Howell has expertise in strategic planning, hospital acquisition, hospital joint ventures, new facility start up, and distressed facility operational improvement. Prior to joining PreferUS, Mr. Howell served as President and CEO of the Abrazo Health System based in Phoenix, Arizona. In this role, he had leadership oversite of an integrated healthcare system comprised of 6 hospitals, 2 managed care plans, and multiple physician offices and ambulatory sites.  Prior to this role, Mr. Howell held various Hospital CEO roles, as well as Regional Vice President roles, in the health care industry.  Mr. Howell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.  He also holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Grand Canyon University. 






Tony Chen

Vice President, Business Development

Tony Chen is the Vice President of Business Development and possesses working experience in both China and the United States. Mr. Chen joined PreferUS in 2008 and has been instrumental in the positive evolution of the Company. Mr. Chen has played a key role in developing the strategic vision and execution plan for the company and has been the China “go to” person as we have launched our proof of concept efforts. He has significant experience in dealing with our China business partners and has established solid relationships with senior orthopedic professors in China. He understands the China health-care reform history and has developed strong relationships with health-care officials in China. Mr. Chen served as CEO Assistant with EMS Corporation of China for two years before going to the U.S to secure his graduate business degree. He was responsible for supporting the CEO of the company, communications between corporate departments and dealing with certain local government issues. Mr. Chen has been educated both in China and the United States. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Education and Psychology in Shanghai and received his MBA from the University of Connecticut. He is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.









Mingbo Han


Senior Director, China Operations


Mingbo Han is the Senior Director of China Operations. Mr. Han has 10 years of healthcare experiences in both US and China. He has a broad range of healthcare experience including strategic planning, project management, financial forecasting, new hospital commissioning, process engineering, and hospital information systems. Prior to joining PreferUS, Mr. Han served as financial analyst and internal consultant of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was responsible for projects including financial budgeting, cost control and management, charge capture improvement, and process redesign. Mr. Han then served as operations manager and the head of Project Management Office for DeltaHealth China, a Fidelity invested healthcare provider group. He was responsible for the start-up and commissioning of a multi-specialty clinic and a 200 beds greenfield cardiovascular focus general hospital. Mr. Han holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He also received a Master’s Degree in Health Administration and a Master’s Degree in Information Management from Washington University in St. Louis. He is fluent in Mandarin, English and Taiwanese.



Dawna L. Cato, PhD., RN

Vice President, Clinical Care Services

Dr. Dawna L. Cato is Vice President of Clinical Care Services for PreferUS Healthcare. In addition to this role, she is also the Lead for the Arizona State Education Practice Collaborative (EPC) to advance the Institute of Medicines Recommendations (2010) and help to implement Nurse Residency Programs. She is a member of the Education Committee to advise the Arizona State Board of Nursing and has been appointed to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commissioner on Accreditation. 

Dr. Cato’s teaching experience has involved a variety of courses and content in the practice and academic arena using effective modes of delivery such as; online, simulation, traditional classroom, precepting and clinical instructor. Her background brings a full range of perspectives to nursing education and is involved in several local, state and national organizations.

Dr. Cato has obtained her BSN and Master’s in the Science of Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. In 2013, she received her PhD with a specialization in Nursing Education from Capella University.

Dr. Cato plays an integral role in delivering the western management protocols to the PreferUS China hospital partners. She assists in identifying U.S. hospital groups for visiting Chinese doctors, nurses and administrators to fulfill their training requirements within the PreferUS Clinical Operation & Management Training Program.  







David Franz

Director, Marketing & Training


David Franz is the Director for Marketing and Training at PreferUS Healthcare. Since PreferUS’ inception in 2008, David has been with the company serving as both Executive Assistant and Project Coordinator until assuming his current position in July 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports & Recreation Management from Northwest Missouri State University. Additionally, he has completed Masters Degree courses in Sports Management from the University of Central Missouri. 

 

David is responsible for PreferUS advertising, marketing and promotional activities including website and social media development. In 2015, he assumed responsibility for creating and implementing the PreferUS Healthcare training program. This program provides comprehensive training opportunities to our China healthcare partners at a PreferUS U.S. or China based training site. David also has responsibility for the development and execution of our U.S surgeon China rotation program to include the recruitment and logistical coordination of our surgeons’ China efforts. His over seven-year involvement in the company gives him a unique perspective as PreferUS enters its execution stage.








Sophie Xu

Manager of Finance 


Sophie Xu is Manager of Finance for PreferUS Healthcare’s China side management team. Ms. Xu has more than 10 years’ experience in financial management in foreign manufacturing, the FMCG industry, including SAP, financial team establishment, accounting standard process and financial outsourcing She has also experience in the medical industry. Prior to joining PreferUS Healthcare, she worked in several foreign companies such as; Firmenich (China) Co., LTD., PepsiCo (China) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (China) Co., LTD.  Ms. Xu served as financial manager of the Asia-Pacific Region, Bristol-Myers Squibb (China). She was responsible for the company's Asia-Pacific financial general ledger business, financial center construction and financial process optimization. 
 
Ms. Xu holds a bachelor's degree in accounting. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in accounting from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.







Sunny Chen

Clinical Services Coordinator


Sunny Chen is the Clinical Services Coordinator for PreferUS Healthcare’s China side management team. Ms. Chen has more than 14 years of experience in clinical nursing and management. She possesses a deep knowledge for nursing management and the cultural differences in nursing between China and the United States. Ms. Chen is responsible for primarily assisting in on-site clinical interpretation and coordinating the company’s foreign medical specialists’ work during their visit to China. Additionally, Ms. Chen works closely with the company’s U.S. management team in obtaining all documentation from the Chinese partners who will travel to the U.S. to receive medical training at all four PreferUS Healthcare training centers.

 

In 2017, Ms. Chen played a key role in assisting a visiting U.S. Nursing Management Specialist as part of PreferUS’ nurse management training project with their China partner, Yinchuan Guolong Hospital. The one-month training program has proved to be a major success and will lead to future on-site training from visiting U.S. healthcare professionals.

 

Prior to joining PreferUS Healthcare in 2016, she worked in the Shanghai public hospital system and Parkway Health Group. Ms. Chen obtained her degree from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.   







Kejia Liu


Certified Medical Translator and English Instructor


Kejia Liu is a Certified Medical Translator and the English Training Program Instructor for PreferUS Healthcare. Ms. Liu joined PreferUS in 2016 and brings an extensive knowledge in both medicine and education to the company. She was an intricate part in helping to create a new service line for PreferUS, which focuses on the training of the Chinese physician partners in English medical dialogue and simplified conversation. Ms. Liu designed and executed the first-ever 2-month English training course in October 2016 to prepare 5 visiting doctors from the Guolong Medical Group for their 4-month observation at a PreferUS training center. In addition to instructing the English training program, Ms. Liu’s responsibilities consist of initial accounting and data entry, assisting in translation of key projects and office management.


Prior to coming to the United States, Ms. Liu held both physician and management positions within the China healthcare environment. She served as a physician in the Shanghai First Maternity & Infant Hospital as well as Director of Medical Education at Shanghai Sub-Center for Family Planning Education & Communication. Ms. Liu has served as a Manager of International Marketing of Boron Fine Chemicals and a General Manager of Boron’s Shanghai Branch. 


Prior to joining PreferUS, Kejia Liu served as a Certified Medical Translator in Children’s Mercy Hospital and The University of Kansas Hospital in the Greater Kansas City area. 


Ms. Liu holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science from Harbin Medical University in China and a Master’s degree in Communication from the University of the Philippines Manila.