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Who We Are

JRF Ortho specializes in providing orthopedic surgeons with the highest viability, most widely available cartilage solutions in the industry. Our goal is to provide innovative solutions for allograft joint repair to orthopedic surgeons who specialize in helping patients regain movement and improve their quality of life; thus, JRF Ortho is redefining the standard for allograft joint repair and maximizing the gift of donation. Our unique member relationship with AlloSource® and Community Tissue Services® (CTS) enables us to offer the largest selection of specialized high-viability fresh osteochondral grafts, tendons and menisci in the industry. Through innovation and a commitment to clinical results and positive outcomes, JRF Ortho is redefining the standard for allograft joint repair.

Our mission is to improve quality of life through innovative solutions for allograft joint repair.
Our Beginning
1980 - 1992
University of California- San Diego (UCSD) recovers and transplants live cartilage
2001
AlloSource begins processing of viable osteochondral allografts (OCA) grafts for treatment of focal cartilage lesions
2005
In collaboration with leading surgeons and scientists in the field of cartilage restoration, Community Tissue Services (CTS) and AlloSource discuss the formation of an OCA graft joint venture
2006
Joint Restoration Foundation (JRF) is formed as a new joint venture to provide viable cartilage, tendons and meniscus to the orthopaedic community
2009
In conjunction with thought leaders in shoulder surgery, JRF introduces viable distal tibia OCA grafts for glenoid loss
2012
Testing and implementation of enhanced preservation media and antibiotic yields higher quality tissue and increases graft availability
2014
JRF distributes 10,000th fresh viable OCA graft, remaining one of the oldest and largest fresh viable OCA organizations in the world
2015
Joint Restoration Foundation (JRF) is renamed JRF Ortho
Today

Why We Are Different

At JRF Ortho, we provide innovative solutions for allograft joint repair to orthopedic surgeons who specialize in helping patients regain movement and improve their quality of life. Through our unique member relationship with AlloSource and Community Tissue Services, we offer the largest selection of specialized high-viability fresh osteochondral grafts, tendons and menisci in the industry. Our approach to joint restoration maximizes tissue safety and availability for elective procedures. Through our commitment to superior clinical results and positive patient outcomes, JRF Ortho is redefining the standard for allograft joint repair and maximizing the gift of donation.

Our Team

Jim Czepiel, Executive Director

Jim Czepiel, Executive Director

Spend any amount of time with Jim Czepiel and you’ll quickly realize that he’s a numbers guy. Jim’s motto could easily be “In God we trust, all others bring data” – William Edwards Deming. This applies to business, as well as fantasy football, where analytics and negotiations rule.

 

Jim has a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Carnegie Mellon University. After 25 years in chemicals and energy businesses in Houston, Jim made a career switch to tissue banking, working for AlloSource in Strategic Development before coming to JRF Ortho as the Executive Director several years ago.

 

He is extremely proud of JRF’s accomplishments in 2015, where Revenue Growth of 20%, a successful Cartilage Forum with 13 top surgeons in attendance, and the launch of a New Order Management system were among the highlights.

 

Jim has been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 35 years and has two daughters.

Keith Byers, Director of Distribution and Marketing

Keith Byers, Director of Distribution and Marketing

Keith Byers rarely travels in straight lines.  “The twists and turns are what make it interesting” and this applies to running, cycling, as well as his career path.

 

The twists and turns in Keith’s career began after earning a BBA in Business & Marketing from Southern Adventist University in Chattanooga and include starting two small businesses, copier and pharmaceutical sales, allograft tissue recovery & suitability review, and since 2010 several roles within JRF Ortho.  Maybe it is all the cycling he does, influence of the church youth group he volunteers with, or just ADD that has contributed to the nonlinear route, but the variety has provided unique experiences and valuable perspective. 

 

Constantly looking for the next challenge and corner in the road has led Keith to train for and complete many endurance cycling events, marathons, and triathlons. The new 'endurance challenge' began in November (2016) with the birth of his son, Luke.

Dina Pasquino, Director of Business Operations

Dina Pasquino, Director of Business Operations

Dina Pasquino’s favorite phrase is “Will Do”, which means you can take it to the bank that she will accomplish any assignment. Dina has been at JRF Ortho for over 12 years, and as a fun but firm leader, she is one of the key reasons that JRF Ortho has grown at such a nice pace.

 

Achieving a degree in Neuroscience from the University of Colorado, Dina has always held an interest in the medical field, as reflected by her previous occupations in a research lab for childhood diabetes, a blood bank, a vet clinic, and a hospital ER, before finally settling down at JRF Ortho. The ability to help others, be it colleagues, customers or patients, keeps her focused on the task at hand.

 

Dina loves to read and would make a great copy editor in her next life (while living in London!). An avid animal lover, she has a rescue Basset hound and spends her days wiping drool off her colorful walls. She is artistic, detail-oriented, honest and loyal. With a black belt in sarcasm, her witty nature keeps everyone on their toes. 

David Wilke, Director, Business Development

David Wilke, Director, Business Development

A high handshake, enthusiastic kind of guy who likes hugs, David Wilke’s “green” energy strives to problem solve for those around him. He excels at big picture company analyses to ensure JRF Ortho progresses for the future.

 

David has 25 years in medical sales and sales management. Of those, he has 20 years of experience in orthopaedic sales and sales management including 13 years in orthobiologics. He has worked in orthopaedic spine, reconstructive, trauma, extremity, and rehab markets at companies such as: Smith and Nephew, Biomet, CryoLife, Synthes, and finally at JRFOrtho for the past 6 years.

 

An ardent University of Nebraska sports fan, David loves reading, baking, cooking and grilling. He participates in sprint triathlons, wrestled in college, and won two Atlanta doubles tennis titles. Working out of Atlanta, GA, he always provides breakfast for the team whenever he travels to Denver. Due to his penchant for coffee, he has more than enough energy to work on several projects at once.

Matt Fretzs, Product Manager

Matt Fretzs, Product Manager

The epitome of a native Coloradan, Matt Fretzs loves the outdoors and the mountains, where he is an avid skier, waterfowl hunter, and a mountain biker. He values his family, is driven, and has a strong work ethic, which lends very well to the culture at JRF Ortho.

 

Matt joined JRF Ortho in 2011 after working as a JR processing trainer for four years at AlloSource, a job which helped him gain an extensive knowledge of fresh grafts and tendons. Matt majored in Environmental Biology, but found himself selling ski boots and working for the Forest Service during summer months in Breckenridge. In 2004, he landed his first “real job” at AlloSource.

 

Known for his wealth of knowledge on his beloved Avalanche and everything Colorado, Matt can also tell you anything about tendons, tissues, and various surgical techniques. He is thorough and methodical and a great resource both within and outside of JRF Ortho.

Christopher Byczko, Marketing Manager

Christopher Byczko, Marketing Manager

Bringing a great attitude to work every day, Christopher Byczko is always enthusiastic about meeting the challenges he faces on a daily basis head on.   

 

Christopher brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience working in both the medical and financial services industries. He has a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and an M.B.A. in Marketing from DePaul University. He has volunteered with Taproot Foundation over the past several years, providing professional services to non-profit organizations. Christopher helped rebrand JRF Ortho, launch the new website and posts the latest in orthopedics on social media.

 

Living in Colorado, he stays active skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and most recently, rock climbing. On any given day, you might find him exploring foreign lands, scaling a 14,000-foot mountain, or showing guests around town. His natural curiosity, and perhaps even general restlessness, has inspired him to journey all over the United States and throughout the world. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that through his trekking, and all he has learned about geography, landmarks, languages and people, Christopher has become an amateur Rick Steves. 

Aaron Moreng, Business Analyst

Aaron Moreng, Business Analyst

Aaron Moreng is the Business Analyst at JRF Ortho, providing both business process modeling and development within our ERP system. He earned his B.S. in Biological Science with a minor in Biomedical Science from Colorado State University.

 

Organized, efficient, direct, and motivated, Aaron is a problem solver who excels at analyzing data, system development, process improvement, and providing key insights.

 

In his free time, Aaron produces music, enjoys working out and any caffeine drinks. You can always count on Aaron to make you laugh and provide you with random, useless tidbits or facts of the day.

Sean Jacoby, Satellite Office Supervisor

Sean Jacoby, Satellite Office Supervisor

Sean Jacoby is an anomaly in that he grew up playing hockey in Northern California. As a defenseman, he would not let anything stop him, much like his role at JRF Ortho. Sean’s strong mind and willingness to please customers makes him the perfect fit as the Tracy office supervisor.

 

Spending his formative working years in the customer service field with such companies as Avis and Longs Drugs, Sean found a true passion for training people while working for Motorola.  When he first started working for JRF Ortho, he was hard pressed to tell you the difference between a condyle and a flux capacitor, but his desire for learning new things quickly resolved that. If you’ve got a tendon question that needs answered, Sean is your guy.

 

Quick witted, with a dry sense of humor, Sean eases the mood whenever he’s in the office. He takes pride in doing things correctly and on time, and always puts the customer first.

Jef Toon, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Jef Toon, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Being a self-proclaimed Fantasy Football Guru, and an avid Buffalo Bills fan, Jef Toon brings the same dedication and loyalty to JRF Ortho. He is light-hearted and fun, while going all out to fulfill the needs of his customers. Jef is located in our Tracy, CA office and has been with JRF Ortho for six years.

 

Jef finds solace through his love of exercise, smoked BBQ and sports, particularly professional wrestling (when in town, stop by to check out his vast assortment of wrestling collectibles).  In his “spare” time, he enjoys taking his dog Gunner Nelson Toon for a walk around town along with Taco Truck Toon, his rescue pup. Don’t forget to ask Jef why there is only one “F” in his first name!

Ron Watters, Customer Service Supervisor

Ron Watters, Customer Service Supervisor

Ron Watters is a delightful, customer service oriented member of the JRF Ortho team, who is also a bit of a neat freak. His comedic demeanor is always on display when he is on and off the phone, just as long as a graft is not being returned.

 

Ron has worked in various roles at JRF Ortho and AlloSource since 1999, ranging from shipping to inventory to accounting and now as an ASC. He has a proven track record of exceling under pressure and for his reliability.

 

A huge sports fan who loves to root for The Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys. Ron enjoys playing competitive softball and spending time with his family.

Jeff Krska, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Jeff Krska, Allograft Service Coordinator II

As a father of four, Jeff Krska holds a gold medal in extreme multitasking.  Stricken with an inability to be mediocre, he is always quick to provide innovative solutions and can be counted on to solve nearly any problem.

 

Jeff has a diverse background, which is the cumulative product of an education melded from exercise science to architecture, as well as working in a vast array of roles from sales to procuring and processing donor tissue; all of which have made him an “unofficial” resume writing professional.

 

Jeff enjoys the comradery and comedic discourse that is paramount at JRF Ortho, even though he is aware of the probability that he will be the eventual target. At home or in the office, he is a true conservative at heart, which is proven by his subscription to the egg timer as a water regulating tool. Jeff is happily married to his college sweetheart, a lifelong Husker football fan, he's active and always up for a run.

Ashley Nelson, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Ashley Nelson, Allograft Service Coordinator II

A self-proclaimed independent soul who is a wanderer and a wonderer, it is the “why’s” in life that keep Ashley Nelson engaged. This is especially evident at JRF Ortho, where she is attentive and continually solving problems for her customers.

 

Ashley was born and raised on the East Coast where her love for science and medicine led her to a degree in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry, and ultimately helped her land a position as an ASC at JRF Ortho in 2011.

 

Ashley is a mother of one little munchkin (Harper) with whom she loves sharing experiences and making memories. She is into rodeos, horseback riding and archery (and also has a weird interest in steer skulls). She loves anything involving the outdoors, food, and friends. 

Ellen Keaveny, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Ellen Keaveny, Allograft Service Coordinator II

As one of the newer members of JRF Ortho, Ellen Keaveny brings an infectious laugh and energy to JRF Ortho, as well as tissue processing experience and an eclectic background.

 

Ellen was born and raised in St. Louis, MO but attended college in Durango, CO where she received a B.S. in Environmental Biology and a B.A. in Spanish.  She has been living in Denver for two years and worked for AlloSource over the last year and a half cleansing and packaging human tissue for transplantation.

 

Camping, running, snowboarding and biking are some of her hobbies, but her true passion is traveling. She saves her money so she can travel to places such as: Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Alaska. Before moving to Denver, she worked at a bike shop in Guatemala for three months where she also happened to break her clavicle. Adding to her list of injuries, she has two front teeth that are fake due to a rollerblading incident in the third grade.     

Ryan Baczurik, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Ryan Baczurik, Allograft Service Coordinator II

Always on the go due to his many interests, Ryan Baczurik was also in several roles at AlloSource before becoming one of the newer members at JRF Ortho.

 

Ryan joined the operational group at AlloSource six years ago as a tissue processing technician. After moving through all the technician levels, and gaining a broad knowledge about tissue, he moved into a management role and eventually managed three different departments within operations. He also possesses a B.S. in Biology from Western State University in Colorado.

 

Ryan enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, surfing, and traveling. He is Avalanche Safety I Certified and brews his own beer. A true David Hasselhoff, Ryan doesn’t just smell like a Lifesaver, he is one after saving a couple of fellow surfers by breaking into a hut with his father in Mexico and grabbing sea kayaks so they could free the two trapped in a riptide. Don’t Hassle the Hoff!

Jennifer Brownlee, Clinical Marketing & Research Coordinator

Jennifer Brownlee, Clinical Marketing & Research Coordinator

While Jennifer Brownlee disguises herself as the Clinical and Marketing Research Coordinator at JRF Ortho from 9-to-5, outside of the office she dons her monocle and top hat taking on the role of Denver’s Monopoly (wo)Man purchasing her second home at the age of 28.

 

Jennifer was born and raised just south of Denver and grew up enjoying many of the activities Colorado has to offer. She opted to stay in-state and attend college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley where she received a B.S. in Biology. Shortly after graduating, she began working at AlloSource as an Intermediate Tissue Processing Technician for the next three years. Thereafter, she switched gears and moved to the Quality department before taking on her current role at JRF Ortho. She also possesses a Master’s degree in Criminology.

 

Her commitment to her family, friends, academic studies, and home stands sound; however, her desire to purchase a rusted, red American truck birthed decades ago to haul around her furniture refurbishing projects remains unsatisfied. Jennifer aspires to travel internationally and become a dog owner. But for now, she loves learning how to cook and bake and also to refinish furniture.

Christian Bezenar, Regional Mgr, Central U.S. & International

Christian Bezenar, Regional Mgr, Central U.S. & International

At 6’6”, Christian Bezenar takes his larger-than-life height to new levels by including the thoughts and ideas of those around him and cultivating a team environment. He lives by three philosophies - Be kind. Be respectful. Work hard. -  which are reflected in his work. He loves educating and helping partners and colleagues succeed by serving in whatever capacity necessary.

 

He has been in the tissue banking industry for over 15 years, eight of which were at AlloSource, in various roles including National Allograft Manager. Christian possesses a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science and German from California Lutheran University and Bowling Green State University, respectively. He is currently finishing his Executive M.B.A. program from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.

 

Christian is the father of two beautiful daughters and a husband to an incredible wife. Collectively, he has spent about five years living abroad (Germany, Austria and Japan). His favorite movie growing up was “Strange Brew” and, to this day, his high school friends call him “Hoser”. As 3rd cousin second removed from the most interesting man in the world, Christian proudly brings masculinity to all situations showing others how he writes the rule book one eloquent word at a time.

Katie Hanzlicek, Business Coordinator

Katie Hanzlicek, Business Coordinator

Katie Hanzlicek might be better known as the organizing super-human who thrives on bettering inefficiencies, as exemplified by her contemplation of how to better organize the parking spaces at the office.

 

Katie was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska where she stayed in state and received her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Driven by her interest in the biotech world, Katie drove west soon after graduating and began her career at AlloSource in 2012 as an Intermediate Processing Technician. When she was not processing tissue she could be found moonlighting in R&D and Engineering helping develop new products and processes.

 

She loves to compete in intermural sports, such as dodgeball, kickball and sand volleyball. Her bucket list includes a goal of visiting all 50 states. In her free time, Katie enjoys camping and hiking and is obsessed with dogs (yes, the one at the park that pets every dog).

Testimonials

A Real Life Fairytale

Dan is a rep from Boston who provided firsthand insight into what it takes to make someone’s dreams come true.

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Wedding Wish Comes True For Allograft Recipient

Ellie discovered that she had a condition called “osteochondritis dissecans.” Many questions came to mind, but the most important one brought her to tears: “I’m getting married in September. Please can I walk down the aisle? Will I have my surgery by then?” She left the appointment with many unanswered questions.

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Meniscus Transplant Helps Provide New Beginning For Recipient

 “I know my transplant was different than a heart, liver or lung, but to me this is as important as any of those,” she said. “I can honestly say without this transplant, I would not be up and walking. I wouldn’t be able to get out at all and watch my kids play soccer and run around the playground or even go to the store.” 

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Donation Comes Full Circle For Tissue Recipient Turned Doctor

When Rachel met with Dr. Brian Cole of Rush University Medical Center, she learned she was a candidate for a meniscus transplant. Since donor meniscus tissue is matched to the recipient by size, she was placed on a waiting list. Three weeks before starting medical school, she received her match.

Now an orthopedic surgery resident at Rush University Medical Center, Rachel works alongside Dr. Cole, the surgeon who helped her heal. Many of her research projects involve allograft applications and her experience as an allograft recipient provides a unique connection to her patients in need of a tissue transplant.   

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Spare The Scalpel: A Surgeon’s Perspective on the Future of Orthopedic Medicine

Dr. Brian Cole from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush discusses the evolution of orthopedic/sports medicine and the role of regenerative medicine and medical technology...past, present and future.

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Allograft Changes Recipient’s Outlook on Life

For Kyle Oliverio, sports were important growing up because it was about family. When thinking about what the donor tissue meant to Kyle and how it changed his life, he finished with this thought: “It changed my attitude on life, appreciating every day, living in the moment, accepting the way things are and not trying to change that. It really changed my life.”  

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Active Father Finds Healing After Tissue Transplant

Though he lived with pain for several years after his first surgery, his wakeup call came in early 2014 when Phil and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby boy. He knew he needed to take action. 

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Tissue Recipient Honors Donor

During her recovery, Jen set a goal for herself: she wanted to run one final marathon as a tribute to her meniscus donor.  She accomplished her goal in October 2014, completing her fourth and final race. She sent her finisher’s medal to her donor’s family to express her gratitude.

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Three-Sport Athlete Gets Back in the Game

Jake’s life was never without sport: as one season ended, another began. Soccer became basketball, basketball became track, and he enjoyed the athletic challenge of each sport. However, constant knee pain threatened to put Jake on the bench.

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Gold Medal Gift

May is a world-class martial arts competition medalist and school teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. May teaches twenty-five hours a week while preparing for competitions.

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Iron Woman Inspired by Her Experience

Rachel was an athlete during her undergraduate years and like most competitors, she was determined, focused and intense. When a knee injury jeopardized her ability to finish her final soccer season, she simply played through the pain. Inspired by her experience, Rachel chose orthopedics as her field of specialty in medical school

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A Small Miracle

At the beginning of summer, five-year-old Elizabeth, began complaining about an ache in her arm. The big sister of a newborn, Elizabeth’s parents wrote it off to the “typical” behavior of an attention-seeking sibling. But when the pain in her arm started waking her up at night, her parents we knew that this was not typical at all.

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