I begin this month’s newsletter with sad news. Board member David Lee passed away suddenly last month while visiting his parents in Santa Fe. David, 57, grew up in Los Alamos before heading to California to attend the University of California Riverside. He began his professional career with AMGEN, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, CA and remained there until 2009 where he rose to Director of Quality Systems. After returning to NM, he consulted for a few years before he joined AMRI/Oso BioPharmaceuticals in Albuquerque. Recognized for his contributions, he became the Global Head of Quality Systems for AMRI. In 2020 he joined AVISA Pharma.
I first met David when he was overseeing AMRI’s expansion of its Albuquerque facilities. I was impressed with his desire and commitment to contribute to the growth of our bioscience sector. After a year or so getting together for occasional lunches and seeing David interact with members at our events, I recommended to the executive committee that we recruit David to serve on our board of directors. The support to add David was unanimous. As a board member, David was thoughtful and more than willing to contribute his opinions and ideas. To honor David’s service to the bioscience community, we will create a scholarship fund in his name. You can help change a student’s life and honor David with a philanthropic gift. The scholarship will be given to an aspiring and academically gifted high school senior that plans to major in the biosciences and enrolls at one of NM’s universities. If you can contribute, please send your check, addressed to NMBio, with a note that stipulates the gift is for the David Lee Scholarship Fund. Here’s a link to David’s obituary: https://www.devargasfuneral.com/obituary/David-LeeJr
At our kickoff lunch and learn event for 2021, two new members were elected for two-year terms to the board of directors – Tom Boyer of Novo Nordisk and Jonathan Shoemaker, AMRI Global. Re-elected to the board for two-year terms: Julia Wise, Lisa Kuuttila, Paul Laur, Michael Vickers, Thomas Kieft, Rick VanNess, Darlene Harbour, and Mary Monson.
In addition, the board re-elected all the current members of the Executive Committee to another year of service. Rick VanNess was elected to what is an unprecedented third consecutive term. I’m not sure if you should send him a card of congratulations or a sympathy card. Bottom line, Rick has been an exceptional and energetic leader that has devoted many hours to assisting his executive committee colleagues and me with the association’s many successful initiatives. Michael Vickers, Janeen Vilven-Doggett, Darlene Harbour, Wayne Savage and Lisa Kuuttila were unanimously re-elected to their current positions on the committee.
We are in the midst of our annual membership drive. Board members or I may be calling you to renew your membership. We’re also reaching out to prospects. Obviously, like many of you, our balance sheet suffered a significant hit due to the pandemic. Paying your dues during the first quarter of the year helps the association and allows me to spend more time focusing on recruitment of prospects and other initiatives.
One of the new initiatives is reaching out to many of you to participate in an important nation-wide survey of executives in the life science industry. We are collaborating with TEConomy
and other partners across the country to assess the most pressing talent needs and workforce dynamics of the life science industry. This real-time
data is extremely valuable for New Mexico as we work with legislators, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to make certain we are developing the right talent with the right skills to address our industry’s critical needs. Many of you will be asked to fill out a 20-minute survey. In addition, we are scheduling 10 or so CEO for in depth interviews. Helping me with this task are Wayne Savage, Sue Prelozni and Ebony Romero. It is important to include the perspectives of your company in the report.
Your specific responses to these questions will be kept confidential
and will only be used in summary form along with responses from other U.S. life sciences companies as part of a national report of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI)
, a 42-state member organization and BIO affiliate committed to serving the life science industry. This report is designed to shed light on workforce, education, and training issues nationally, and will be released at BIO Digital this June. We will also be producing a state/regional snapshot report to be used with legislators and other stakeholders and will be made available to you along with the national report. Thank you in advance for participating in this important assessment for our industry.
This data will be included in a State Life Science Workforce Brief
and as part of a national report of the Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI)
, both of which will be released at BIO Digital
this June. You will receive copies of both reports. The deadline is March 1.Access Hiring Survey here: https://teconomypartners.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8BNiuk1N21ufztI
Finally, we’re currently putting the final touches on our March program (save the date – March 17). It will feature a presentation by one of our strategic partners, The Free Mind Group — https://www.nmbio.org/strategic-partners/
. Its mission is to help you win grants. It develops and executes a long-term, multi-submission granting strategy to maximize your non-dilutive funding potential. In addition, Free Mind is always on the lookout for investment opportunities in the life sciences. These include direct equity investments, mergers, acquisitions, licensing agreements, and more. FreeMind facilitates introductions based on mutual interest.