Team SCBIO

Build. Innovate. Advance

Since its inception in 2004, SCBIO has supported the life sciences industry . The SCBIO Foundation and SCBIO work hand-in-hand to continue the mission of building the business of life sciences in South Carolina. To connect with the SCBIO Team, email us at info@scbio.org.

SCBIO Team

James Chappell

President & CEO

Erin Ford

EVP & COO

Carla Whitlock

Investor Relations & Engagement Director

Sam Patrick

Marketing Director

Margaret Butler

Communications & Event Coordinator

Carol Beard

Administrative Assistant

Widman Woodhull

Intern

Laurel Denmark

Intern

Mike Lane

IT Manager; available technologies

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James Chappell, Ph.D.

James, a former executive with Louisiana Economic Development, was named SCBIO’s President and Chief Executive Officer in November 2021.

Dr. Chappell’s career also includes time with Chartic Management Consulting in Boston, from which he joined Louisiana Economic Development (LED) in 2013 and held positions of increasing responsibility at the organization including Executive Director of State Economic Competitiveness before being named Executive Director of Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship for the organization in 2021.

During his tenure at LED, Dr. Chappell’s numerous successes included designing and implementing the state’s $100 million venture capital and small business funds, developing strategies to recruit globally recognized companies to the state , and joining the Louisiana MediFund board to develop strategies to increase the biosciences and healthcare industries in Louisiana. He also collaborated with bioscience and technology advocates to improve incentives to promote growth in the bioscience and technology industries.

Dr Chappell earned his B.S. and M.S. in Plant Environmental Sciences from Clemson University, his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Stem Cell Biology focusing on cancer and diabetes from Harvard Medical School. A three-year varsity football letterman while at Clemson, he is married with two children.

Erin Ford

Erin Ford is Executive Vice President and COO. Ms. Ford works on corporate strategies emanating from the organization’s three statewide offices, its Board, and hundreds of supporting Members and Investors. Her comprehensive responsibilities include serving as primary lead for SCBIO’s business operations and finances, championing investor relations and existing industry strategies, and spearheading integrated marketing initiatives. She previously served as sales and marketing executive at Poly-Med, a global innovation company that is developing absorbable polymers and constructs for the medical device industry, during which she served on the SCBIO Board of Directors. Before her role at Poly-Med, Inc., Erin was a business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance. She served as the main point of contact for life sciences companies interested in expanding or locating in South Carolina. While at the Upstate Alliance, Ms. Ford served as an ex-officio SCBIO board member from 2013-2015 and led a regional biosciences task force comprised of industry executives from across the region.

She received her B.A. in Communication from La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Carla Whitlock

Carla’s served as the Senior Apprenticeship Consultant with Apprenticeship Carolina for the last ten years before joining SCBIO as investor relations and engagement director.

Carla’s career has included tax credits and economic development consulting, government relations (Federal and state), marketing and business development.  Prior to joining Apprenticeship Carolina, Carla was a Project Coordinator with Pickens County, South Carolina, where she worked with agencies in the areas of economic development, tourism, transportation, and emergency management. Throughout her career, she has worked with a number of industries including the life sciences, manufacturing, financial services, energy, information technology and health care.

Carla’s expertise has been featured during conferences and events hosted by the National Governors Association,  Urban Institute, Appalachian Regional Council, US Department of Labor, NAACP, International Monetary Fund, SC ETV, Washington Press Club, nationally recognized economic development organizations and numerous trade associations.  Carla has also been featured as a contributor in number of local, state and national publications for her work with Apprenticeship Carolina.

A graduate of the SC Technical College System Leadership Academy, Carla has also completed the National Basic Economic Development Course through the University of North Carolina. She is a native of Liberty, South Carolina, and a graduate Southern Wesleyan University with a B.S. in accounting.

Sam Patrick

Sam currently serves as Marketing Director for SCBIO where his extensive marketing career allows him to successfully implement all marketing and communications strategies, as well as overall image and branding. Sam also leads the team in preparing all annual marketing plans and works to create a calendar of campaigns and events. He is also responsible for the marketing budget and is the lead planner for SCBIO’s annual conference and its associated committee. Sam Patrick’s varied marketing career includes work directing strategic communications for such organizations as DOW, Publix Super Markets, SouthTrust Corporation, Wachovia, Datastream Systems, Ryland Homes, Club Corporation of America, State of South Carolina Tourism, Elliott Davis and Advantica/Denny’s among them. With a background in industries including consumer goods, technology, economic development, financial services and professional services, Sam founded Patrick Marketing & Communications, Inc. (PM&C) in 2005 to assist organizations seeking to deploy innovative marketing and communications to accelerate their profitable growth. Sam also serves as Director of Marketing for Greenville Area Development Corporation (the official economic development arm of Greenville County, SC) and NHE Inc. (which provides professional association management and apartment management to high quality communities across the Southeast). Sam’s involvements include the American Advertising Federation, South Carolina Association of CPAs, Miracle Hill Ministries, Senior Action, and Southeast Life Sciences. He speaks and writes regularly on various marketing and growth topics. Sam is a proud graduate of The University of Georgia where he holds a B.A. in Journalism, Public Relations and Marketing.

Margaret Butler

Before joining the SCBIO team, Margaret was the Marketing Coordinator for South Carolina Children’s Theatre, the largest year-round children’s theatre in the state of South Carolina. Margaret graduated Magna Cum Laude from Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

Carol Beard

Carol Beard joined the SCBIO team as the Administrative Assistant in July 2022. Her work experience includes programming for nonprofits, administrative work in a university setting, and accounts receivable for a railroad. She has extensive volunteer experience, primarily in the public education sector, having served in multiple capacities in the Parent Teacher Association and School Improvement Councils of schools throughout South Carolina.

She received her B.B.A. degree in General Business from LaGrange College in GA.

Widman Woodhull

Widman is a junior majoring in Bioengineering with a concentration in biomaterials and minoring in Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University. He is currently working in a laboratory at Clemson University that is researching hydrogels and TBI.

Laurel Denmark

Laurel is a Senior majoring in Genetics at Clemson University. She currently works as an academic tutor and student mentor for the Clemson Athletics Department. Additionally, Laurel assists as a marketing  intern for Day One Fitness, a local nonprofit in her hometown of Augusta Georgia.