DURHAM, N.C. — Neal Fowler, CEO of Liquidia Technologies, has been named the new chairman of the NCBIO Board of Directors, and five new members have joined the board. New officers and the 2020-21 executive committee were elected at the board meeting Thursday, November 12.
“We are very pleased that Neal has agreed to serve as our board chair,” said Sam Taylor, president of NCBIO, the North Carolina Biosciences Organization. “He has deep roots in the state, an outstanding track record and a vision for the industry, health and economy of North Carolina that will serve our members well.”
Fowler has had a 30-year career in the pharmaceutical industry. After graduating from pharmacy school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where he also earned an MBA), he became director of sales and marketing at Eli Lilly, a position he held for 13 years. Fowler has held executive positions at Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson and Centocor and has served as Liquidia’s CEO since 2008.
“The biosciences play such a pivotal role in the health and prosperity of this state and nation,” Fowler said. “It is my great privilege to accept this role with NCBIO, an organization I’ve been part of for years. Doing so lets me serve my industry peers and my fellow North Carolinians by working to foster economic growth and better health for my family, friends and neighbors.”
The new board members of NCBIO are Bekki Bracken Brown of Syneos Health, Sinu Bhandaru of Precision Biosciences, Inc., Sholeh Ehdaivand of LMK Clinical Research Consulting and Julie Broadus Meigs of Womble Bond Dickinson. They are each starting a new three-year term on the board. Additionally, Daniel Amburn of UCB Biosciences is beginning a new term after filling a vacated seat earlier in the year, and Bennett Love of BioKier, Inc. will step in for two years to fill an open seat on the board.
NCBIO’s new board members
- Daniel Amburn, regional director, state government relations & public affairs at UCB Biosciences, Inc. — In addition to his role with UCB, Amburn plays leadership roles in BIO and PhRMA, including serving as vice chair of BIO’s Region 5 State Government Relations Committee and vice chair of PhRMA’s West Virginia Task Force. He has extensive experience in government relations having served in such roles for ElectriCities of NC, the North Carolina League of Municipalities and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. Amburn holds a B.S. in Chemistry and an MBA from North Carolina State University.
- Sinu Bhandaru, vice president, operations & IT of Precision BioSciences, Inc. — Prior to joining Precision, Bhandaru was the business technology site head for Pfizer’s Sterile Injectable Facility in North Carolina. He also spent five years at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics as the director of IT operations, overseeing all infrastructure and client services for the United States. Bhandaru has nearly 18 years of experience in the information technology industry focused on program and project management, business and continuous improvement programs, and M&A transition strategy. He holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from Tulane University.
- Bekki Bracken Brown, president, clinical development at Syneos Health — Brown has held positions of steadily increasing responsibility since she joined INC Research in 2001. When INC became Syneos, she continued as executive vice president and general manager before being named to her current role in 2019. She earned bachelor's degrees in biology and chemistry from Duke University.
- Sholeh Ehdaivand, president and CEO of LMK Clinical Research Consulting — Ehdaivand has more than 15 years of experience in the clinical research industry with expertise in all areas of study management and the operational aspects of the clinical trial and document management processes. She is the facilitator of the Metric Champion Consortium’s TMF initiative, a cross-industry working group defining standard metrics and key risk indicators that support the trial master file.
- Bennett Love, vice president and chief financial officer of BioKier, Inc. — Love has had a 30-year career in the North Carolina pharmaceutical industry, including roles with several startups. He is a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Carolina Angel Network and NCSU Wolfpack Investor Network, which support companies spun out of the two universities. Love received his bachelor’s degree and MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill.
- Julie Broadus Meigs, Ph.D., partner at Womble Bond Dickinson — Meigs has more than 20 years of intellectual property experience focused on the biopharmaceutical industry. As a former corporate research scientist, she understands the business challenges of life science companies. Meigs helps clients with the creation of intellectual property to support new product development and market launch. She has a J.D. from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a B.S. in biochemistry from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to the new members joining the board, eight current board members will continue to serve for another three-year term:
- Gary Armstrong
- Bill Edwards
- Maeve Gardner
- Martin Meeson
- Susan Tomason
- Peter Wirth
- Adam Zerda
Sam Taylor will be continuing in his role as NCBIO president. Laura Gunter will serve as executive vice president, Tom Fagley will serve as treasurer, and Casey Nelson serves as secretary.
NCBIO Executive Committee
The NCBIO executive committee, led by Chair Neal Fowler, will comprise
- Tom Adams, CEO, Pairwise;
- Daniel Amburn, Regional Director, State Government Relations & Public Affairs, UCB;
- Christopher Capel, Partner, Smith Anderson;
- Bill Edwards, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Merz North America;
- Tom Fagley, Partner, Hughes Pittman & Gupton;
- Maeve Gardner, Director, State Government Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline;
- Bennett Love, Vice President & CFO, BioKier;
- Mike McBrierty, Vice President, External Affairs, Corporate Compliance Officer, Director, State Public Policy and Government Affairs, Biogen;
- Scott Sewell, Vice President, External Affairs, Corporate Compliance Officer, Cook Medical;
- Susan Thomason, Vice President, Global Partnering, IQVIA; and
- Tim Willis, CEO & Founder, EternaTear, Inc., Med1 Ventures.
New NCBIO Members
Since the last meeting of the NCBIO Board of Directors in July, the following six companies have joined the organization as members:
NCBIO is dedicated to promoting the growth and development of North Carolina’s bioscience industry. NCBIO advocates for state and federal public policies that encourage the growth of life science companies, supports the development of a strong life science workforce and promotes research and technology transfer at universities and other institutions, including support for capitalization and commercialization of products.