Tony Paquin | Co-founder & CEO
A serial entrepreneur, industry pioneer and international healthcare consultant, Tony has been in leadership positions his entire life; and intimately understands the unique opportunities, challenges, thrill, frustration and loneliness often associated with being an industry game-changer. Over the past three decades, he has founded and led numerous public and private companies and organizations and is a recognized expert in a broad range of markets, not the least of which is Retail Healthcare, an industry he is credited for pioneering.
In his industry disruptive book, The Retail Healthcare Revolution, Tony contended that U.S. healthcare institutions must embrace fresh, new business models that incorporate retail products and services — particularly in light of increasing financial pressures caused by sweeping national healthcare reform — if they are survive and prosper. Thus, in 2005, Tony and his brother Gary founded Paquin Healthcare Companies, Inc. to inspire and educate the U.S. healthcare industry on precisely how to benefit from new, innovative and profitable possibilities for engaging patients through enterprising retail strategies and technologies.
Tony began his professional career at the young age of 21, founding Sun Mailing Company, a direct mail company serving small and mid-sized businesses in the Detroit metropolitan market. Self taught to write computer code, he later started a computer consulting company, writing custom software programs that allowed small, local business owners to operate their companies more efficiently and profitably. In the mid-1980s, he led the creation of the Arizona Software & Industry Association, which later merged with the Arizona High Tech Industry Cluster in 2002 to become the Arizona Technology Council (ATC). Today, the ATC is recognized as the driving force behind the state of Arizona becoming one of the fastest growing technology hubs in the nation.
In 1990, Tony originaly teamed with his brother Gary to form Agency One, an advanced technology company focused on providing proprietary software solutions to underserved independent insurance agencies nationwide. Leveraging knowledge and lead generation experience gleaned from Tony’s direct mail marketing days at Sun Mailing Company, Agency One succeeded in expanding its national customer base from a few dozen clients in its first year of operation to virtually tens of thousands by the Company’s fifth anniversary. In fact, the Company, later relocated from Arizona to Idaho, grew to become the nation’s largest provider of computer programs to the independent U.S. insurance sector, and, in turn, attracted the attention of industry titan CNA Financial Corporation, which acquired the Company in 1995.
After spending a year aiding in the integration of Agency One into a merged entity of Agency Management Solutions (AMS) and CNA’s technology unit, Tony was again presented with the opportunity to reimagine his life and professional aspirations. Not one to sit idle for long, he formed the Idaho Technology Association (ITA), working with federal, state and local legislators to champion the growth of the State’s technology ecosystem. This member-driven organization has since evolved into the Idaho Technology Council and remains actively engaged in helping technology companies in the State to “start, grow and thrive,” thereby promoting job creation and fueling economic growth and stability of Idaho’s local cities and communities.
While working on the development of ITA, Tony was approached by the Republican and Libertarian Party Leaders and asked to consider running for the U.S. House of Representatives. He agreed. Despite a rigorous campaign and close race, Tony’s incumbent opponent prevailed. Nonetheless, he used the experience to identify opportunities to use cutting-edge web-based technology as a means to improve the management and execution of political campaigns. After designing and developing a suite of proprietary software programs for this purpose, he formed Netivation, Inc., a Company he then took public on the Nasdaq in 1998, raising tens of millions of dollars to fund development and expansion of the firm’s technology offerings. Under Tony’s leadership and based on his belief that the impact of technology on the healthcare industry would profoundly redefine how medical institutions operated, Netivation later brought to market several highly innovative software solutions for hospitals, diagnostic centers and physician practices. In 2000, the Company’s name was changed to Medinex Systems, Inc. and over the next couple of years focused on establishing market dominance in the area of enabling medical institutions and practices to comply with newly enacted HIPAA rules, standards and regulations. In 2004, the Board of Directors of Medinex chose to privatize the Company and Tony departed to pursue his next big idea: Retail Healthcare.
Having earned notable experience and expertise in helping to bring the business of healthcare into the 21st Century through the delivery of turnkey health and wellness products, services and technologies, Tony is now speaking to industry groups nationwide, generously sharing his knowledge and perspective on a wide range of topics. He has participated in panel discussions at the Naval War College relating to the role of high technology in terrorism, lent his thoughts and opinions on ecommerce and telehealth to industry leaders at Qualcomm’s annual healthcare technology conference, and presented to groups of all sizes at numerous financial and healthcare conferences worldwide.
In 2010, Tony confronted perhaps his most difficult challenge when he was diagnosed with advanced stage prostrate cancer. Like all other hurdles that he has faced head-on, Tony tackled beating cancer with the same vigor and resolve. As a consequence, he is cancer-free today and living a life that remains focused on endless possibility and purpose.