News

Virginia Bio Association Announces the Election of Six New Board Members

The Board expands from 24 to 30 Directors to bring more diverse expertise and insight from Virginia’s Life Science Ecosystem.

Richmond, VA (December 30, 2021) – The Virginia Bio Membership has elected six new Directors to the Virginia Bio Board. Joining the Board are: Gerry Brunk, Managing Director of Lumina Ventures; Jessica Foley, CSO of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation; Craig Gill, Director of U.S. Government Relations at Pfizer; Nikki Hastings, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of QDS Capital; Conaway Haskins, VP of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at the  Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation; and Garry Warren, President and CEO of ivWatch. The new Directors’ 3-year terms will begin in April 2022. The Members also voted to expand the Board from 24 to 30 Directors.

 “Virginia Bio has been fortunate to serve an active and engaged membership for 30 years,” said John Newby, CEO of Virginia Bio. “With recent and continuing growth in our sector, we have fortunately seen more ecosystem interest in serving on our Board. The new Directors bring years of experience, leadership, and relationship in the life sciences industry to help Virginia Bio further its mission and vision.  And we are also excited for the expansion of our Board to bring more representative voices into the Commonwealth’s life science leadership in the future.”

“It’s an honor to join the outstanding group of leaders on the Virginia Bio Board of Directors,” said Jessica Foley, a new board member. “Virginia Bio has been such a supportive partner to the Focused Ultrasound Foundation for many years. I’m so appreciative of this opportunity to give back and share my time and expertise to help the organization continue to support and grow the life sciences industry and community in Virginia and beyond.”

Notably, the election of  Foley and Hastings brings the number of women Directors on the Board to eight, one of the several ways Virginia Bio continues to foster broader representation in our industry’s leadership.  

Members also re-elected the following Directors to new three-year terms:  Rob Day, Chief Operation Officer, TechLab; Kolaleh Eskandanian, VP & Chief Innovation Officer, Children’s National Medical Center,  Mark Gignac, Executive Director, Institute of Advanced Learning and Research; Michael Perham, Director, Innovations & External Relations, HHMI Janelia Research Campus; Denise Toney, Director, Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory; Elaine Horn-Ranney, CEO & Co-Founder, Tympanogen; and  Warren Martin, Partner, Hibiscus BioVentures.

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Gerry Brunk, Managing Director at Lumina Ventures has been an entrepreneur, consultant and leader in the life sciences industry for almost three decades. Brunk has helped build life sciences companies at all stages of development. He focuses on investments in a range of therapeutic areas in the biotechnology and medical device sectors, including infectious diseases, neurology, cardiovascular disease, gene therapy and medical robotics. Brunk has invested in and served on the boards of directors of over twenty life science companies.

Jessica Foley, CSO of Focused Ultrasound Foundation. Dr. Foley guides strategy, development and implementation of scientific and research programs for the Foundation, and aligns these with business operations, communications and development activities. She leads alliance-building efforts with external stakeholders including governmental policymakers, regulatory agencies, and disease-specific foundations whose interests complement those of the Foundation. She is a representative and advocate for the Foundation, and the focused ultrasound community among  various stakeholders. Before the Foundation she spent several years in the medical device industry (Insightec, Medtronic) and was a 2011-2012 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. She holds a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington. 

Craig Gill, Director of US Government Relations at Pfizer, with over 30 years’ executive experience and demonstrated performance excellence with the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. Craig has expertise in general commercial management, strategic planning, Government Relations, and consultative selling. His career achievements include consistently meeting or exceeding performance expectations, building and developing top-performing teams, identifying and executing new market opportunities and developing strong internal, and external relationships.

Nikki Hastings, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, QDS Capital, is an investor and creative business leader with a strong scientific background, strategy and operational expertise. She is passionate about improving human health through the biotechnology industry, high performance & high growth organizations, culture & change management, and building strong entrepreneurial ecosystems. She has developed and led a myriad of projects and programs that resulted in the regional biotechnology ecosystem growth. Nikki is returning to Virginia Bio, where she previously served as an Advisory Board member. 

Conaway Haskins, VP of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), has spent nearly 20 years helping public and private sector organizations navigate economic development, public policy and strategic management challenges and opportunities at the local, state, and national levels. He currently serves as Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems at the VIPC where he provides strategic vision and operational results for the organization’s new Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Division. . He began his career as an economic and workforce development researcher at the Aspen Institute.

 Garry Warren, President and CEO at ivWatch, has championed the development of non-invasive biosensors that fulfill a huge patient safety need in health care. Warren brings over 30 years of experience with high-technology companies with a proven track record of creating successful organizations in rapidly emerging markets. Over his career Warren has had executive experience in developing and managing high-growth technology and venture-backed private companies with focusing on product management and delivery in small start-up companies, large public companies, and government programs. He has a multidisciplinary background that includes a 14-year career as a research scientist at NASA in aerospace and computational fluid dynamics. In addition, he was a President & CEO of AppForge a leading enterprise mobile software provider,  Managing Partner and founder of IPX Partners, Inc., and a Senior Vice President at Symantec Corporation where he was responsible for numerous programs.

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About Virginia Bio

Virginia Bio is the  statewide nonprofit trade association for life science innovation and commercialization comprising  life science companies, research institutions, healthcare providers, and the professionals who enabled them to succeed. We promote the considerable scientific, economic, and social impact of the life sciences industry in Virginia, and advocate before state and policymakers for policies that support innovation and entrepreneurship, help the industry thrive, and bring improved health, medical care, agriculture, fuels and environment to the state, nation and world. Virginia Bio is an affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), AdvaMed, and Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), and collaborates closely with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). To learn more, visit vabio.org. 

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