Gerald McGinnis

One of Gerald McGinnis’ recommendations for success is to spend 10 times as much time listening and reading as talking. That approach has served him and his industry well.

When it comes to Pittsburgh’s medical products industry, McGinnis is one of its founding fathers and most successful entrepreneurs.

He founded Respironics Inc. in 1976 with $13,000 in angel investment money to produce surgical masks and served as its CEO from 1977 to 1994. McGinnis currently is chairman of the board and advanced technology officer of the company, now a $760 million medical products producer based in Murrysville.

McGinnis holds 20 U.S. patents and continues to contribute directly to the development, design and manufacturing processes of Respironics. He also serves on the boards of Cardiac Telecom Corp., a Greensburg medical device manufacturer and independent diagnostic testing facility, and Renal Solutions Inc., a developer of products for the dialysis market.

McGinnis has returned a considerable amount of his good fortune to educational efforts to help develop talent for future business and scientific ventures. He endowed a $1.5 million professorship in bioengineering, started a venture competition at Carnegie Mellon University and contributed $1.5 million to the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at CMU.

How to reach: Respironics Inc.,