AU Press Releases

AU alumni Mott and Rothwell to deliver Cutco Foundation Lecture

ALFRED, NY — Richard Mott, former president and CEO of Kyphon, Inc., and his sister, Elizabeth Mott Rothwell, a former vice president at Kyphon, will deliver the 10th annual Cutco Foundation Lecture on Entrepreneurial Leadership on Tuesday, April 14, at Alfred University.

Mott ’80, and Rothwell ’90, are graduates of Alfred University and are credited with helping make Kyphon a recognized leader in restoring spinal function through minimally invasive therapies. Kyphon was acquired last year by Medtronic, Inc.

Mott’s and Rothwell’s Cutco Lecture presentation, titled "Becoming More...Our Privilege, Our Responsibility, Our Opportunity,” will be delivered at 4 p.m. in Nevins Theatre.

Mott earned a Bachelor of Science degree in ceramic engineering from AU in 1980 and went on to graduate from Harvard University Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He joined Kyphon in 2002 as president and CEO, and under his leadership company’s sales grew from $36 million in 2002 to over $400 million in 2007. During Mott’s time at Kyphon, the firm established three platforms for growth in spinal fracture management and repair, disc disease diagnosis and therapies, and spinal motion preservation; and developed a sales presence in over 40 countries worldwide.

In 2006, Mott received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Frost & Sullivan Technology Leadership Award. He is currently a principle in Walkabout Consulting, in Los Altos, CA. Prior to working for Kyphon, Mott held several positions, including CEO, at Wilson Greatbatch Technologies, a developer of components for inflatable medical devices.

Rothwell graduated from Alfred University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in ceramic engineering. She earned a Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1992 and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Executive Development: Women Leading Business: Innovation and Success.

She joined Kyphon in 2002 after a seven-year tenure at Intercon, Inc., a contract-manufacturing firm in Forest, VA. At Kyphon, she held a number of leadership positions, including Vice President of Research and Development and Vice President of Operations and Quality. She was one of the six original executive team members post-IPO to develop and lead strategies growing Kyphon’s revenues to over $400 million in 2007.

Kyphon, headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, was founded in 1994. The firm develops and markets medical devices designed to restore and preserve spinal function and diagnose low back pain using minimally invasive technologies. The company's products are used in balloon kyphoplasty for the treatment of spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis or cancer.

In a kyphoplasty surgical procedure, an inflatable device called a balloon tamp is used to restore the height, shape and positioning of the affected vertebral body. The inflated balloon tamp creates a cavity in the vertebra, which is filled with a cement substance that, once hardened, strengthens the effected area of the spine.

The Cutco Foundation lecture series, sponsored by The Cutco Foundation and Alfred University, is made possible by a gift from Erick and Marianne Laine and the Cutco Foundation. Erick Laine is chairman emeritus of Alcas Corp. of Olean, NY, and Cutco Cutlery Corp., and is a former Alfred University trustee.

The Laines endowed the Cutco Lecture as a way to bring nationally prominent entrepreneurial leaders to campus to meet with students, faculty and friends of Alfred University.

Mott’s and Rothwell’s lecture is the 10th given as part of the Cutco Lecture series. Tami Longaberger, president of the Longaberger Company, delivered the first annual lecture, in 2000. She was followed by David Oreck, chairman of the Oreck Corp., in 2001; Peter Cuneo, then-president and chief executive officer of Marvel Enterprises, Inc., in 2002; Doris Christopher, founder and chairman of The Pampered Chef, in 2003; Andrea Jung, CEO and chairman of the board of Avon, Inc., in 2004; Richard Smucker, president and CEO of the Smucker Company, in 2005; James R. Houghton, chairman of the board of Corning Incorporated, in 2006; Joel Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Ceradyne Inc., in 2007; and Lance Shaner, chairman and CEO of Shaner, last spring.

Cutco is the largest manufacturer and marketer of high-quality kitchen cutlery and accessories in the United States and Canada. The Cutco corporate family consists of Cutco Corp., the parent company; Cutco Cutlery Corp., manufacturer of Cutco products since 1949; Vector Marketing Corp., marketer of Cutco products directly to consumers via sales representatives, KA-BAR Knives, Inc. the manufacturer and marketer of sporting and military knives – and Schilling Forge, Inc. a manufacturer of hot forged steel products.

Cutco products are produced in the Olean, NY, facilities where over 800 people are employed. The Vector Marketing subsidiary has over 600 offices nationwide. For 2009, sales for CUTCO Corporation are expected to be over $220 million.