A software pioneer in Oregon who understands the role of technology in the healthcare industry.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Semi-retired President, Software Association of Oregon
First job after Adelphi: A three-year hitch in the Navy, by way of Officer Candidate School in Newport Rhode Island. Thereafter, he spent two years on the destroyer U.S.S. Mansfield, “Jane’s Fighting Ship,” home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan, with primary operations off Vietnam.
Advice to students: Get into technology companies. They employ a lot more than just programmers and engineers, and it’s a great career path.
A Software Pioneer in Oregon
Computer technology has revolutionized the healthcare industry. No one knows that better than John Tortorici. In 1969, Mr. Tortorici moved to San Francisco and took a job selling mainframe computers for the Burroughs Corporation (today known as UNISYS).
“At the time, computer programming and applications were still in their nascent stages,” he says. “I was fascinated by the enormous potential of this new technology.”
For several years, he sold computer systems with Burroughs and then Raytheon, before joining the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 1979, he relocated his family to Oregon with plans to start his own software business.
Informedics, a company that he took from start-up to IPO in just four years, provided proprietary medical laboratory software to hospital clients in six countries. Under his leadership, it grew to more than 75 employees before merging with Mediware in 1998.
After the merger, Mr. Tortorici served as vice president and general manager of Mediware’s Blood Bank Division. Later, he served as vice president at WellMed, Inc., which was eventually acquired by WebMD.
Today, Mr. Tortorici is still involved in the development of new software businesses. As the former president of the Software Association of Oregon and a member of the board of directors of the Oregon Bio-Sciences Association, he is applying his expertise to the growth of the software and biotech industries as a vital part of Oregon’s economic cluster strategy.
Before embarking on his career in the computing industry, Mr. Tortorici set sail on a different journey. In his senior year at Adelphi, 1965, he received a phone call from the draft board.
“I wasn’t sure what would come next down the road for me,” he says. “One of my professors recommended the Naval Supply Corps as an officer training path, and it sounded interesting.”
He accepted a three-year commission in the U.S. Navy, which took him around the world, including extended time in Southeast Asia. He was discharged in 1969 and remembers coming home to a very different world from one he left in the mid-1960s.
Mr. Tortorici lives in Tigard, Oregon, with his wife, Cindy. Now semi-retired, he enjoys spending time on the racquetball court and the golf course. He is also a painter and sculptor.
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