State bioindustry association reorganizes, names new board

March 20, 2008

By hammersmith

Compiled from media reports

The Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio) has adopted a unified and more representative structure, merging with the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIO-SA) and naming a new board of directors. The changes are designed to help the statewide bioscience trade association more effectively enact its public-policy, business-development, and workforce-development agenda.

One of the missing pieces identified in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap in 2002 was a true statewide organization that could speak with one voice in advocating for bioscience firms and providing needed support and services. AZBio already served as the state affiliate of the national bioscience trade group, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), but within Arizona it had operated separately from BIO-SA, which represents many important Tucson-area biotech firms.

The new AZBio board includes six representatives from southern Arizona, six from the greater Phoenix area, and three from northern Arizona, a distribution designed to ensure that the organization remains attentive to regional concerns while collaboratively sponsoring statewide activities. Additionally, AZBio will have three regional chapters, in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, that advance the priorities of firms in those areas.

“We finally discovered a model that works,” said Michael Cusanovich, BIO-SA president, in the Arizona Daily Star.

In recent months, AZBio has worked to strengthen its infrastructure and build membership. In October, it hired a new president and CEO, Bob Eaton, who had previously led Maryland’s bioscience industry group, and in December added a chief operating officer, Natascha Hebell-Fernando. The organization currently has around 110 members, a number expected to grow as BIO-SA members renew their memberships in AZBio.

AZBio’s annual conference, BIOZONA 2008, will take place April 8 in Tucson. Its other major event for the year, an awards ceremony for outstanding bioscience leaders, will occur in the fall.

AZBio’s new board of directors includes:

  • Chair Michael Mobley, Biodesign Institute at ASU, Tempe;
  • Vice Chair Nina Ossanna, BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson;
  • Treasurer Rob Kennedy, Apthera, Inc., Scottsdale;
  • Secretary Jacqueline Nicol, BioVigilant, Inc., Tucson;
  • Rob Ashley, Ashley BioPharm, LLC, Tucson;
  • David Cohen, Can-Am Pharmaceutical Services, LLC, Tucson;
  • Michael Cusanovich, Arizona Research Labs, University of Arizona, Tucson;
  • Gordon Goodyear, 3dbiosurfaces, Tucson;
  • Saundra Johnson, Flinn Foundation, Phoenix;
  • Edward Koeneman, Kinetic Muscles, Inc., Tempe;
  • Loretta Mayer, Senestech, Inc., Flagstaff;
  • Christine McAuliffe, Jennings Strouss & Salmon, Phoenix;
  • Jon McGarity, InSys Therapeutics, Inc., Phoenix;
  • Thomas Rainey, Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies, Flagstaff;
  • Debbie Snyder, TGen Drug Development Services, Scottsdale;
  • Diane Williamson, Earth Friendly Fuels, Inc., Flagstaff.

Johnson is the first of up to six at-large members the board members can elect. These spots are designed for organizations with a statewide focus.

For more information:

Ariz. bio biz groups merge,” AZStarBiz, 10/24/2008

Phoenix, Tucson bioindustry groups merge,” Business Journal of Phoenix, 03/12/2008

AZBio Media Release