Press Release

2020 StarFish Group honors for outstanding contributions

December 17, 2020

2020 StarFish Group honors


VICTORIA, British Columbia and TORONTO, Ontario, December 12, 2020 – The 2020 StarFish Group honors for outstanding contributions to company success were presented to Ian Chen, the Canadian Emergency Ventilators team, Kenneth MacCallum and Alen Isaac at virtual holiday parties in Victoria and Toronto. Nominations are submitted by company employees and cite a variety of achievements and outstanding performance for each award.

Chris Denny Memorial Award for Innovation

Chris Denny was a longstanding high innovator in our company who had a huge impact on our success. He passed away a few years back. Each year employees nominate colleagues who have immersed themselves deeply in a technical problem to find a brilliant solution to the design challenge, as-stated, or more deeply. Scott Phillips selects the recipient.


Ian Chen

Ian Chen

Ian Chen, ViVitro Labs Engineering Manager, received the Chris Denny Memorial Award for Innovation for his work on the Accelerated Wear Tester (AWT) project at ViVitro. “Ian immersed himself deeply in the project and has come up with a brilliant solution. The problem was very technical, as no one has perfected opening and closing a valve at high-speed. But there were also numerous other challenges he overcame, including finding creative ways to work around very restrictive patents from our competitors, dealing with ambiguous requirements, changes in leadership, and getting a brand new team together.  Ian is most deserving of this award because he is able to disseminate his knowledge and understanding to the rest of the team. Therefore, the project was able to move forward quickly and efficiently. He was able to identify and test the key risks of the project as early as possible to ensure the project would not be stopped by surprises late in the game.”


Keep Calm and Carry On

The Keep Calm and Carry On award honours an employee who rises to challenging times with compassion and grace, making employees, customers, and leadership feel more confident, positive, and well looked after.

Director of Operations CEV

The entire Canadian Emergency Ventilators team received the Keep Calm and Carry On award. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie. The people that composed this team lived out this quote and delivered. Thanks to each of you.”

Reach for the Stars

The Reach for the Stars award honors an employee whose process, innovation or idea has helped StarFish and/or our clients get better.

Kenneth MacCallum

Kenneth MacCallum Engineer P.Eng., Principal Engineering Physicist, received the Reach for the Stars award for the Data Acquisition System (DAQ). “Kennth pushed very hard for the creation of the StarFish DAQ, and succeeded with little support from the company. The StarFish DAQ has allowed us to quickly prototype hardware and firmware for multiple projects and we will likely be using it for ViVitro’s new AWT. He is always looking for ways to improve StarFish’s capabilities and development platforms.”

Above and Beyond

The Above and Beyond award is presented to a Toronto team member who has gone beyond their roles and responsibilities to make a StarFish project a success.

Alen L. Isaac

Alen L. Isaac, Assembly/Service Technician, received the Above and Beyond award with six nominations:

“Alen is an integral part of the Toronto renovation.  He spent many, many extra hours of his time ensuring things were going smoothly. Also, he was the only TO employee to consistently be at the office throughout all of the pandemic. He has smoothly taken on additional work (e.g. equipment maintenance).  I think he is very deserving of this award for Toronto.

For being one of the few people remaining on site in the Toronto office during the entirety of the COVID pandemic, keeping the on site business moving forwards, implementing all the new safety protocols as required, training team members to work in the COVID environment, being a major player in the TO renovations and all while doing it with a smile (under the mask of course).

On site everyday keeping the renovations moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the year Alen has been a consistent foundation in so many important Toronto initiatives. He’s been involved in pushing forward the microfluidics lab, setting up equipment, learning how to use them, training others on how to do so – not to mention the CNC and laser cutter! He even helped out in hosting dozens of students visiting and learning about StarFish before the lockdowns kicked in. Alen literally held down the fort while everyone else worked from home, supporting intermittent IS/IT functions and juggled many of the contractor interactions throughout the renovation when in-person support from Victoria was not available.

I think Alen, over all, is just a super amazing person. But I think he should be recognized for working through the first lockdown and all through the construction of the office (mostly all by himself). He literally sits with a smile on his face and is quick to laugh while there is hammering, drilling and walls being erected all around him. He is always juggling a few things at a time. Nothing seems to faze him. There is nothing that is too big of an ask for him. He is a team player through and through. I am new to StarFish and he made me feel extremely welcomed and available to help and answer all of my questions, and there have been quite a few!

For all the work he’s put in to get the Toronto Office Renovation done and being available to help with just about anything.”

Empowering Medtech Innovation ™
StarFish Medical is a full service Medical Device Design company offering design, development, and manufacturing services based in Toronto and Victoria. We use our Pathfinder™ process to reduce wasted effort and increase success for medical device product definition, technical engineering, and product development. Prototype and volume production are delivered within an ISO 13485 certified Quality Management System, manufacturing and clean room facility.

StarFish Medical media contact:

Mike Camplin
250.388.3537 x210
[email protected]



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