Board of Directors
Tauqir Rathor. – Chairman
Tauqir “Toki” Rathor brings to the Foundation over 20 years of senior business executive experience in managing and building profitable businesses in Orange County, California. Mr. Rathor is currently an Assistant Vice President and Relationship Banking Manager of Opus Bank. He has held retail banking management positions with JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Prior to entering the banking field, Toki’s business activities included Business Development Officer for the Riaz Group, and founder and CEO of Digital Imaging Systems where he built the company from inception to $5 million in annual sales. Toki’s solid background in banking, finance, and business management will help guide the Foundation to new growth and development.
Mr. Rathor holds a BS in Marketing from California State University, Long Beach; and an MBA from West Coast University.
Norman Valz, Esq.
Norman received his first cornea transplant for his left eye (due to an injury) in 1983. He has since endured a series of these procedures with diminishing success. He has personally sought contact with new organizations which are pursuing alternatives to the traditional cornea transplant methods now in use.
Norman is a practicing attorney presently based in Philadelphia, but with a substantial New York and International practice. He is licensed in the state and federal courts of New York and Pennsylvania as well as being on the Roll of Solicitors for England and Wales. His law practice has encompassed many matters relating to banking, securities, corporate governance, and intellectual property negotiating royalty sharing, technology transfer, and marketing agreements with various companies and entities in the Pacific-Rim area. Over the past five years, he has negotiated with Attorneys in Poland, Bulgaria, France and Costa Rica on behalf of clients involved with international investments.
Born in Charleston, West Virginia, he attended Kenyon College graduating with a degree in Political Science, followed by brief careers in journalism and speech writing for a U.S. Senate campaign. He then attended the University of South Carolina where he obtained his law degree. In the early-mid 1990’s he served as CEO for PLAUR Corporation which sought to commercialize a technology developed in the P.R. China for the surface alloying of metals. His interests and hobbies include skiing, squash, rowing, mountain biking, and painting. He has also co-produced three theatrical/modern dance productions in Philadelphia.
James F. Socks, OD, MBA
Dr. James Socks serves as the CEO of LinCor Biosciences, a biotech company developing a bioengineered cornea to address the worldwide shortage of human corneas for corneal transplants. Prior to LinCor, Jim held several senior positions at AcuFocus, a corneal inlay company.
Dr. Socks has over 40 years in the ophthalmic field where he has held clinical, research, marketing, and senior management positions. Prior to LinCor Biosciences, he was a Corporate Officer of AcuFocus, Inc. an early stage ophthalmic company developing and commercializing a corneal inlay for presbyopia where he held the positions of Chief Regulatory Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs. His ophthalmic career includes Alcon Laboratories (acquired by Novartis) where he held several management positions including Director of International Marketing. His executive management experience also includes that of founder and CEO of Rainbow Eyecare Centers, an ophthalmic healthcare venture in China which included an eye hospital and chain of optical shops. Jim lived in China for four years through the company’s development. Following, his return to the US from China, Dr. Socks was Vice President of Clinical Operations at Valley Forge Pharmaceuticals before joining AcuFocus.
Jim holds a Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry, a Master of Science in Bioengineering from the University of California at San Diego, and an MBA from the University of New Haven.
Joann Gordon – Secretary
Ms. JoAnn Gordon is currently an Ecclesiastical Notary with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Tribunal. She also has extensive experience in public administration, being a current member of the City Council of the City of River Oaks, Texas and the current President of the Economic Development Corporation for the City of River Oaks. Ms. Gordon has also served three terms as Mayor ProTempore. Ms. Gordon assisted in establishing the creation of a Regional Economic Development Board consisting of city, county and state officials to coordinate efforts to build the regional economy and currently serves as the President.
Ms. Gordon attended the University of Texas at Arlington majoring in accounting. Ms. Gordon has managed diverse types of organizational offices and provided strong leadership to the organizations with which she has been associated.
Norman Chwang, MS
Norman Leh-Min Chwang is a serial entrepreneur in the seafood industry. He is the Managing Director of Shrimp Mart Thai Co. Ltd, Songkhla, Thailand, and Ocean Blue Resources, Ltd. in Hong Kong. The company provides crabmeat, squid, shrimp, specialty seafood, and shell of crab and shrimp for chitin, chitosan, ossein, glucomsamine, and marine protein for aqua feed.
Prior to the above positions, Mr. Chwang was responsible as the Founder and Managing Director at a number of leading providers of seafood products in Asia including Aquastar Food Shanghai, China; Taixing Jiangmei Biotech, Co Ltd; China; Aquastar, Thailand, and several others. He provided technical expertise to the shrimp aquaculture industry throughout Asia.
Mr. Chwang was on the Advisory Board of the International Business Program at Loyola University, Baltimore, MD and he is the founding President and Honorary President of the Taiwanese Merchants Association in South Thailand.
Mr. Chwang is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, and Thai.
He received his B.S. in Biology from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland and has earned a M.S. in Marine Biology from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.