Mr. Sima has more than 25 years of experience in launching successful science-based companies where he has demonstrated a passion and the highest regard for quality data, responsive timely information, and trustworthy relationships. He currently serves as President and CEO of Cogent Professionals, which he founded in 2005 and has grown the company from 4 to 40 employees.
Prior to starting Cogent Professionals, Mr. Sima held several executive leadership positions with Semafore Pharmaceuticals in Indianapolis, which he helped start. He guided this organization to in-license a PI-3 Kinase pathway inhibitor, an important cell signaling pathway involved in the progression and regulation of several cancers, hematological malignancies and inflammatory/autoimmune disease. He also helped raise $40M dollars over ten years to secure proper financing and oversaw the operations of patents, safety data, manufacturing, and clinical operations.

Mr. Sima began his entrepreneurial career with the founding of SIMALABS International in 1989. He grew this environmental analytical laboratory from one facility in Indiana to four facilities located in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana. SIMALABS International was one of three laboratories in the State of Indiana that was certified to do Federal RCRA analysis of Federal EPA RCRA Sites. In 2003, SIMALABS was acquired by Microbac Laboratories headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Sima graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.


Raul Zavaleta has over 30 years of international experience in life sciences. Since 2000, he has been a partner at Volatus Advisors LLC, an enterprise development consulting firm for entrepreneurial companies. In this role, Mr. Zavaleta has helped emerging companies with strategic visioning, business planning, and capital structure.

Mr. Zavaleta has started several companies. In 1986, he moved from Los Angeles, California, to start his first venture in Indianapolis, Indiana. This venture, SciCor, now Covance, Inc. (NYSE:CVD), recently acquired by LabCorp (NYSE: LH), quickly became the leader in the pharmaceutical industry for laboratory services. In 1991, Mr. Zavaleta moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he led the expansion of SciCor to Western and Eastern Europe.

He has also guided the growth and successful exit of several life science technology enterprises including Performance Assessment Network (PAN), the leading web-based system for the distribution, administration, and analysis of professional assessments, tests, and surveys, acquired by Talx , itself acquired by Equifax (NYSE:EFX); and Maaguzi, a leading provider of software, services, and the power of the Internet for the electronic collection of patient reported outcomes in late phase clinical research conducted by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with its powerful suite of product offerings (OutcomeLogix and SleepLogix), acquired by Phase Forward, which was later acquired by Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). . He recently completed a stint as CEO of Indigo BioSystems, Inc., a provider of scientific software automation solutions for expert processes in analytical laboratories, which he helped position as the leader in the industry. Prior to beginning his entrepreneurial career, Mr. Zavaleta worked for Dow Chemical, American Hospital Supply, and Smith Kline Beecham Laboratories.

Mr. Zavaleta received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).


As the Director of Business Development at Cogent Professionals, Bill Shaw is responsible for identifying Life Sciences companies that can benefit from Cogent’s unique workforce solutions model. Bill has more than 20 years of experience in the Life Sciences industry helping companies scale their staff to fit the needs of their growing organization.

Prior to joining Cogent Professionals, Bill worked for one of the largest Life Sciences staffing companies in the United States, where he rose through the ranks from Recruiter to Account manager and, later, Regional Vice President. In his most recent role, Bill served as the Vice President of Operations with oversight of the day-to-day sales, leveraging business development strategies that allowed the organization to offer a unique value proposition that helped secure key accounts.

Bill’s extensive experience allows him to take a consultative approach with organizations to understand their needs and design a solution that reduces cost while increasing retention and productivity.

Bill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati.


As the Director of Workforce Solutions, Liz Kelley is responsible for identifying and assisting customers in designing and implementing innovative strategies that best suit our customer needs. Ms. Kelley has 20 years of experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Workforce Development. Over the past 20 years, she has helped organizations, large and small, find the right talent for their teams, develop workforce attraction and retention strategies and develop long term strategies for future human capital attraction and stability.

Prior to joining Cogent Professionals, Ms. Kelley worked for two of the largest staffing companies in the country. There she developed as a highly trusted business development executive, helping companies solve temporary staffing solutions. She was promoted to Regional Manager where she was responsible for Laboratory workforce solutions in six different states. With her dedication she led her team to the top of the company for percentage of revenue growth.

Besides her business development experience, Liz was able to grow the local Indianapolis market place by 31% within a 9-month period. During this time, she also increased brand revenues by 157%.

Ms. Kelley began her career as a Laboratory Analyst for a pharmaceutical excipient supplier. Through her four years, she gained experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing and the business side of laboratory operations.

Ms. Kelley has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.


As the Manager of Finance and Operations, John Sima Jr is responsible for the administrative, accounting, operational, human resource. and financial reporting of the company.    Mr. Sima has 3 years of experience in financial consulting and restructuring.  During this time, he helped prepare financial analyses for multi-billion dollar litigations, not-for-profit organizations, and served as the controller during the restructuring of an energy technology company.

Mr. Sima has Bachelor’s of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Business Administration from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.  Mr. Sima also holds a Certified Public Accountant license.


In her position of the primary recruiting professional for Cogent, Ms. Bridges brings with her over 17 years of recruiting and staffing experience in the scientific, engineering, and healthcare industries. She has assisted hundreds of professionals with starting and expanding their careers. Angela’s goal is to serve both her candidates and clients with excellence by understanding their needs and engineering a way to meet them.

Angela has served as a recruiter and talent acquisition manager for two of the largest staffing firms in the United States. She has developed and implemented talent acquisition strategies with many Fortune 500 companies. Angela supported her team by resolving technical and client-related issues and coached them to consistently meet and beat client and company expectations. She has implemented detailed recruiting plans, specific to each individual customer, increasing candidate visibility and attraction.

Before beginning her recruiting career, Angela worked as a chemist for five years in the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Indiana State University.


Phone: (317) 454-8080
101 W. Ohio St, Suite 1500
Indianapolis, IN 46204


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