Arizona BioIndustry Association names new CEO

October 19, 2007

By hammersmith

The Arizona BioIndustry Association has named a new president and chief executive officer to lead the growing statewide bioscience trade association. C. Robert (Bob) Eaton, who led a bioscience industry support organization in Maryland for 10 years, has relocated to Phoenix and began his new position on October 1.

As president of MdBio, Eaton helped to expand the nonprofit organization from a staff of two to eight with an annual operating budget of about $2 million. He managed the investment of approximately $4 million in more than 30 bioscience companies, and has worked closely with senior biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry leaders regarding state and federal regulatory and policy issues. Under his leadership, MdBio developed an array of programs to support the growth and success of bioscience companies, primarily in the areas of business development, communications, workforce training, and K-12 education.

Bob brings to Arizona a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and practical experience in the bioscience industry,” said Michael Mobley, vice chair of the association who chaired the committee that led the national search. “He also has proven leadership in directing and growing a nonprofit, statewide trade association. The timing is ideal, as we are embarking upon a new era of expansion in representing the interests of Arizona’s bioindustry.”

In previous roles, Eaton worked with the Technology Council of Maryland, where he worked with industry leaders to establish the Maryland Bioscience Alliance; served as director of R&D programs for the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (now PhRMA) in Washington, D.C.; worked with a small molecular biology services company in Gaithersburg, Md.; and was involved in protein biochemistry research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Eaton also served on several boards and councils in Maryland and Virginia related to the bioscience and technology industries. He received a master’s degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in applied and engineering physics from Cornell University.

“Arizona has earned a national reputation as an emerging leader in the biosciences,” Eaton said. “The potential for a young and growing trade association is unlimited in such a fast-growing and reputable region. It’s an exciting opportunity for me, and I’m eager to start meeting the players and determining how the association can best serve their needs.”

The Arizona BioIndustry Association is the state’s affiliate to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the nation’s largest trade association serving biotechnology firms, based in Washington, D.C. It offers benefits, events, information, advocacy, and other services to more than 100 member firms involved in the biosciences.

Among Eaton’s responsibilities will be to increase memberships and other revenue sources in order to move the association to self-sufficiency, and to shepherd an effort underway to expand the association’s statewide service into Tucson and Flagstaff by partnering with the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona and bioscience leaders in northern Arizona. The association is planning a series of meet-and-greet events in the next month to introduce Eaton to members and other stakeholders.

Eaton succeeds Jon W. McGarity, the association’s first executive officer, who resigned in May to serve as President and CEO of InSys Therapeutics in Phoenix.

For more information:

Md. bioscience vet named CEO of Ariz. Group,” The Arizona Republic, 10/16/2007

Arizona BioIndustry Association