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Greeting from John Newby, new Viriginia Bio CEO

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 30, 2019
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019

Members and Friends,

I bring you a hearty “Welcome!” from your Virginia Biotechnology Association! The welcome I have received from the Virginia Bio Board, our members and partners has been immensely enthusiastic, and the excitement around what we have accomplished and what we will do together is incredible. A special thanks to Alan Connor for his leadership of our Board, and also to immediate-past CEO Jeff Gallagher who remains engaged with our community and with me and the Association during this transition.

Perhaps the best way to look at life is through the eyes of a child. When I accepted the wonderful opportunity to lead Virginia Bio, my 10 year old daughter Jillian asked me “Dad, why Virginia Bio?” As is always the case with talking to the young (and young at heart) I had to answer in the most direct and simple way possible: “Because life science touches EVERYTHING!” From the care delivered by healthcare providers, to the medicines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices used to improve lives, to the food we eat, life science is of preeminent importance. Let’s continue to inform our neighbors of these truths, and attract youth and underrepresented groups into our life science community.

To this end, we look forward to you joining us at the 4th Annual Women Building Bio regional conference on Thursday, September 19th at the Inova Center for Personalized Health. The conference will spotlight women building our industry and create an enhanced opportunity for collaboration, networking and community building. The development of women in R&D and commercialization of bioscience is critical to all of our success. Patients are waiting, resources are limited, change is accelerating, and competition is global. We need to include, welcome and nurture all the talent we can to succeed as an industry and to best serve our patients and customers.

We are excited to have several national leaders in bioscience joining us, including:

Nancy Agee, CEO Carilion Clinic, Roanoke, currently Chair of the American Hospital Association and co-founder of the highly successful Virginia Tech Carilion public private partnership; and

Julie Gerberding, EVP Communications, Global Policy, and Population Health & Chief Patient Officer at Merck, Washington, DC. who last year was honored as the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association 2018 Woman of the Year;

Michelle McMurry-Heath, Worldwide Vice President for Regulatory, Preclinical, and Clinical Affairs and Global Head of Evidence Generation - Johnson & Johnson, and Vice President, External Innovation, Regulatory Science, and Executive Director Scientific Partnerships, JLABS@Washington DC at Johnson & Johnson.

You may find the agenda here. Register now, and contact Cassandra Isley to become a sponsor or exhibitor.

I look forward to seeing each of you at this and all future events, and around our great community. If I’m in your area, don’t be surprised to get a meeting request from me! And, as always, I am available to you at, 804.643.6360.

Yours in service,



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