Philip Gregory Ralston, Jr., of McKinney, Texas, passed away July 4, 2015, at the age of 70. He was born July 7, 1944, in Evergreen Park, Illinois, to Philip Gregory Ralston, Sr. and Marie (Sklom) Ralston. Philip married Viki Lee Stimpson on July 27, 2006, in Salt Lake City, Utah, LDS Temple. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Phil spent more than 40 years in the life science industry as a senior executive, inventor, company founder, venture capitalist and business coach. He represented companies in public, private and non-profit sectors. Phil held 18 patents on various medical products, including drug delivery, monitoring and cardiovascular devices.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur in medical-related businesses, he served as director of biomedical engineering at Baxter Healthcare where he was part of a corporate level group focused on strategic projects, product development and technology commercialization. A proven team-builder, he was known for his “teamthink” approach to employee development and started several programs to accelerate team-based product commercialization.
Since leaving Baxter, Phil started five companies, had been the senior operating executive of two mid-size medical device companies, and for the last decade was a business coach for several Fortune 500, mid-size and start-up clients. He had significant hands-on knowledge and experience in all facets of operations and marketing for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and biomedical products from start-ups to mature manufacturing entities.
Highly effective in assessing risk and viable probability for start-up life science companies and products, Phil successfully operated a new technology accelerator at Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and designed the Center for New Enterprise Development in the same community. He frequently spoke on “passing attack” product development, an effective, concurrent engineering process for moving ideas from proof of feasibility to proof of efficacy; and “customer delight” or how to achieve outstanding customer loyalty. A true team player, Phil had always placed a high priority on the development of his and his client’s teammates. He was committed to helping an organization’s human capital achieve its highest potential in performance driven cultures.
In 2006, Phil was recruited by Texas A&M University to take a new drug through clinical trials and on to efficacy and then buyout. It is currently in a phase III clinical trial.
Phil held a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Brigham Young University. He was a charter board member of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association and currently served on the advisory board of the Houston Technology Center. Phil was a Director and Senior Business Advisor with the North Texas Enterprise Center. He was also an executive committee member of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University. He had taught Small Business Growth and Management at the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University.
Phil is survived by his wife, Viki Lee Ralston; sons, James P. Ralston and wife Rachel, Michael C. Ralston and wife Melanie all of McKinney, Texas, and Blake J. Ralston of The Woodlands, Texas; son-in-law, Jared Oakes of Plano, Texas; step-daughters, Monica Murray of Austin, Texas, and Diana Pardue and husband Clay of Richardson, Texas; nine grandchildren, Madison, Jacob, Ethan, Emma, Zoe, Caden, Katie Grace, Zane and Annabelle; sisters, Patricia Fuhriman and husband George of St. Louis, Missouri, Kathleen Ralston of Springville, Utah, Cynthia Holmes and husband James of Orem Utah, Theresa Olesen and husband Gary of Spanish Fork, Utah; brother, Eric “Rick” Ralston of Orem, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter Krista Ralston Oakes.
Phil, or Flip as he was fondly called, was a loving grandfather, father, brother, uncle and husband. His family will miss his award-winning apple pies, his love of family gatherings, football, fishing, kitchen gadgets, and road trips. Phil was always present at games, recitals, competitions, award ceremonies and the theater productions of all his grandchildren. He loved gaining knowledge and always supported his family in their endeavors. He will be forever missed.
Memorials may be contributed online to Humanitarian Aid Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by visiting www.ldscharities.org; or sent to Humanitarian Services directly at: Humanitarian Services c/o LDS Philanthropies, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, 15 E. South Temple St. #2E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 11, 2015, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2801 West Eldorado Parkway, McKinney, Texas. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park in Allen, Texas. The family will receive friends during a visitation viewing Friday, July 10, 2015, from 6:00–8:00 p.m. at the church.