Deceased July 25, 2021
Marty Smoler was born on September 4, 1941 to Harriet and Fred Smoler in Kenosha, WI. Scholastic achievement was emphasized in the Smoler family—particularly since Harriet was one of the first women to graduate from the University of Wisconsin law school. Marty earned a B.S. and M.S. in biology from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA (with honors) from Northwestern University. He continued to be a student of business.
Marty spent his early career years at GD Searle and then the Surgikos Division of Johnson & Johnson, where he was the youngest member of the Board of Directors. He was responsible for the introduction of 120+ new products. In 1986 he became a partner at Ventures Medical where he was responsible for the creation/funding of several companies. He commercialized technology from KU Medical Center earning the largest tech transfer return in KU Med Center history. He later served on KU Med Center’s Research Institute’s Board of Directors.
In 1990 Marty founded American Echo later renamed Medical Positioning. He helped create unique products for cardiologists and radiologists. The company earned 20+ US and international patents. The Company was recognized by INC magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America.
One of Marty’s passions was teaching and learning. He was Adjunct Faculty at Avila University teaching Entrepreneurial Leadership. But, he most enjoyed helping other entrepreneurs achieve success. He served on several Boards of Directors of companies in Kansas City. He particularly enjoyed meeting with a group of entrepreneurs monthly (The Forum Group) and discussing their business challenges. He was a mentor to several start-up companies.
Marty enjoyed getting together with his family most Sundays for lunch, traveling with friends, playing tennis and was an avid football fan—particularly the KC Chiefs. He loved being the ‘Commissioner’ of a fantasy football league, Wonderdog. He also enjoyed investing, and belonged to two investment groups and was the previous president of the Kansas City Securities Corporation.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Suzanne Shank, his sisters Mary-Anne Thompson (Gordon), Joyce Smoler and his brother Bill Smoler (Cinde). He was especially close to his sons Andrew Shank (Nadia) and Michael Shank and granddaughter Jordan Shank.
Marty was grateful for the wonderful medical care he received at the Mayo Clinic and at KU Med Center particularly from Mark Wetzel, MD and Mirielle El Ters, MD (transplant physician).
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel on August 5, 2021 from 5 to 7 pm.
The family requests no flowers. Donations may be made in his memory to Martin Smoler Scholarship Fund, Conservatory, UMKC Foundation, 5100 Rockhill Road, K.C, Mo, 64110 or the Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 1st Street, Rochester, MN 55905 or the organization of your choice.