The medal ceremony is set for 10:30 a.m. in the Rubin Arena of the Greene Complex for Sports & Recreation, 1100 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. The ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information, call (561) 803-2025.
A visionary in the field of health information technology, Michele Kang founded Cognosante in 2008 to disrupt and challenge the status quo in the U.S. healthcare system. Leveraging a unique set of business, data and technical expertise in a fundamentally different way, Cognosante provides innovative solutions central to carrying out national healthcare transformation. Under Kang’s leadership, Cognosante has emerged as one of the most trusted partners of key federal and state health agencies, while growing rapidly over the past 10 years.
To further her goal of transforming the healthcare system in a fundamentally different way, Kang, who resides in Palm Beach and Washington, D.C., established Cognosante Ventures to provide seed money to promising startups in the health IT field. By investing in and mentoring these companies, Cognosante Ventures supports the development of technologies that will fundamentally change the way we experience healthcare.
Kang also established philanthropic and economic sustainability initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and increase opportunities for veterans, under-resourced young adults and disabled Americans. With a mission to promote the dignity of work, Cognosante Foundation, established in 2012, focuses on supporting members from underserved communities as they pursue financial independence through meaningful careers. She is also actively engaged in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies and careers for girls and women.
In recognition of her entrepreneurial success and philanthropic efforts, she received numerous accolades, including 2015 EY Entrepreneur of The Year® for the Washington, D.C. region and the U.S. Award for Services. She was elected along with U.S. senators, high-ranking government officials and top executives of Fortune 500 companies as an inaugural member of 100 Women Leaders in STEM in 2012 and one of the “Top 100 CEO Leaders in STEM” in 2016.
Prior to founding Cognosante, Kang served as vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Health Solutions division and as a management consultant helping global information, technology and telecomm companies formulate and successfully execute profitable growth strategies.
Kang is a member of the board of governors for the American Red Cross, a member of the board of directors for Northern Virginia Technology Council, an American Enterprise Institute National Council committee member and a champion of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in public and private management from Yale School of Management.
American Free Enterprise Day is a tradition at Palm Beach Atlantic since the first celebration took place in 1984. Previous medal recipients include George T. Elmore, president of Hardrives, Inc.; David C. Novak, co-founder retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands Inc., 2017; Kenneth Langone, founder of Invemed Associates and co-founder of The Home Depot, 2016; Leo A. Vecellio, Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Vecellio Group, Inc., 2015; Arthur L. Williams, Jr., A.L. Williams & Associates, 2014; Tim Gannon, a co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc., 2013; Brian P. Burns, BF Enterprises Inc., 2012; H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr., Huizenga Holdings, Inc., 2011; Edward M. Kobel, DeBartolo Development, LLC, 2010; John D. MacArthur, insurance and real estate entrepreneur, 2009; John M. Gregory, SJ Strategic Investments, LLC, 2008; Karl H. Watson, CEMEX, 2007; Stuart W. Epperson, Salem Communications Corporation, 2004; Sam Moore, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2003; Joseph R. Gregory, Kingsway LLC, 2002; Lester J. Woerner, Woerner Holdings, Inc, 2001; Rich DeVos, 2000, Orlando Magic; John J. Brogan, 1999; Thomas R. Pledger, Dycom Industries, 1998; Carl DeSantis, Rexall Sundown, Inc., 1997; Lowell “Bud” Paxson, Paxson Communications Corp., 1996; Richard S. Johnson, Johnson Investment Group, 1995; David Mahoney, Charles A. Dana Foundation, 1994; William G. Lassiter, Jr., W.G. Lassiter Co., Inc., 1993; Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., The Dreyfoos Group, 1992; S. Bradford “Skeet” Rymer, Jr., Magic Chef, 1991; S. Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A, 1990; Stewart Morris, Stewart Information Services Corp. and the Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, 1989; Frederick M. Supper, Alexander Proudfoot Co., 1988; Henry J. Rolfs, Downtown/Uptown West Palm Beach, 1987; Theodore R. Johnson, United Parcel Service, 1986; Marshall E. Rinker, Sr., Rinker Materials Corp., 1985; and Sir John M. Templeton, Templeton World Funds Ltd., 1984.
Photo: The University will present its American Free Enterprise Medal to Y. Michele Kang, founder & chief executive officer of the healthcare technology company Cognosante.