Letter from the MTS Board Chairman

It is with mixed feelings that I announce our president and CEO, Dean Kappel, has made the difficult decision to retire from MTS in January 2016. For nearly 29 years, Dean has successfully led MTS with visionary leadership, compassion and a focus on saving lives through excellence in organ and tissue donation.

Dean joined our team as Director of Operations in 1986, and in a few short years was named president and CEO. During his time with MTS, Dean has grown the organization from three to more than 170 employees. Dean’s accomplishments have given the organization national stature for breakthrough innovations that have changed the way the industry operates and helps save lives. Below are just a few of the many “firsts” for MTS under Dean’s leadership:

– In 2001, we became the first OPO in the United States to enhance quality control and better preserve organs by creating an onsite surgical suite for organ recovery.

– First OPO to win the highest quality award given by a state as a two-time winner of the Missouri Quality Award, which acknowledges organizations using quality as a vital element to enhancing operational performance.

– First OPO to implement comprehensive quality initiatives in line with the Malcolm Baldrige quality criteria for performance excellence.

Dean has also built collaborative partnerships and provided the vision behind the creation of several national organizations, including:

– Founding Member and Chairman of the Board of the Leadership and Innovation National Collaborative (LINC), established in 2014 to identify best practices that enhance the quality of organ and tissue donations as well as to identify organizational efficiencies among four leading OPOs in the United States.

– Current Chairman and Founding Member of AlloSource, one of the largest tissue networks in the country dedicated to honoring the gift of tissue donation by developing and distributing lifesaving and life enhancing allografts.

– One of the Founders and First Chairman of the Board of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance (ODTA), established in 2006, a consortium of OPOs and healthcare organizations focused on meeting the increased demand for organ transplantation.

– Founding Board Member of LifeLogics, a technology company established in 2006 to create an electronic donor record system meeting federal and industry quality standards.

As a prudent leader, Dean has notified us of his intention in sufficient time to allow for a national search to identify a successor who has strong leadership skills, who shares our mission, and appreciates our unique culture. The board has hired a highly recognized national recruitment firm to lead our search. I am optimistic we will find a leader who will continue to innovate and grow MTS so that we can continue our important work of saving lives.

Please join me in thanking Dean for his remarkable contributions to MTS and for 29 years of relentless compassion, dedication and innovation to fulfill our vision that organs and tissues are always available to those in need.


Robert Bezanson

MTS Chairman of the Board