As I end my term as Chairman, I would like to thank our members, board members, executive committee members, our sponsors and, most importantly our excellent professional staff (Sherri, Liz, Caron and Stephone) and, of course, our CEO Jeff Gallagher. Virginia Bio is a thriving organization constantly seeking to expand the value we bring to the community.
Many of us can remember 2012 and the process of hiring Jeff Gallagher as CEO. I always like to highlight that in Jeff, we have a leader who as an entrepreneur was involved in funding, developing and licensing a product that won FDA approval. This brings a tremendous perspective to Jeff’s role as he works on our behalf. Over the past four years, Virginia Bio has become Jeff Gallagher’s organization. He is the respected face of life sciences in the Governor’s office, the General Assembly, the commercial community, the academic network and nationally. Jeff’s thoughtful and caring style complement a competitive spirit and drive to build Virginia Bio into a significant and respected organization. We are in good hands!
Briefly I want to celebrate our achievements over the last two years. Jeff’s leadership educating the Commonwealth’s leaders resulted in the largest budget expansion of Virginia investment in the life sciences. Our capital formation initiative has elevated the profile of Virginia companies during the JP Morgan Healthcare conference and we are expanding our capital formation efforts. We have created significant events for our community with the THRIVE conference and built a focus on more regional outreach. One of the special aspects of this community is the opportunity to build valuable relationships among peers.
As we look to the future, our work is just beginning. The coming year will see a significant Women in Bio conference, another bi-annual Thrive event and the development of the Insights Thought Leadership series. We depend on the participation of our board members in the annual planning activities and in stepping forward to shape the future of Virginia Bio and I applaud their level of commitment. I would like to ask for the community’s commitment to expand the resources available to the Virginia Bio Foundation.
I am proud to be a member of this community. Jeff and the team are working diligently to support our needs and position Virginia for the future. Please join me in welcoming Crystal Icenhour, PhD into her new role as Chairman effective July 1st. Crystal brings tremendous energy and commitment to Virginia Bio and supporting Jeff Gallagher’s leadership.
Remember, this is your organization and we need your help to make it stronger.
Thank you and my very best regards,