SCBIO’s executive committee announced today that Erin Ford, currently the director of sales at Anderson-based Poly-Med Inc. and Chair of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO), is joining the non-profit life sciences industry organization as its inaugural Vice President.
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry already has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
“Erin is an extraordinarily talented, multi-faceted executive with magnetic relationship-building skills, along with being a proven leader,” said SCBIO President/CEO, Sam Konduros. “As I was vetting and interviewing a number of extremely worthy candidates for this critical executive position, it occurred to me that our board chair was the absolute perfect fit, and I felt humbly compelled to ask Erin to consider exploring the role. To my and the Executive Committee’s great delight, she ultimately committed to bring her signature career to SCBIO on a full-time basis starting January 2nd. We are extremely fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and seasoned pro like Erin join the executive team and hit the ground running in 2018, following a year of her outstanding leadership as our board chair.”
Ms. Ford departs Poly-Med, a global innovation company that is developing absorbable polymers and constructs for the medical device industry, for her new role at SCBIO, where she will work closely with the CEO on various corporate strategies emanating from the organization’s 3 statewide offices. Her comprehensive responsibilities will include serving as primary lead for SCBIO’s business operations, championing investor relations and existing industry strategies, and spearheading major integrated marketing initiatives.
She previously served as a business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance, where she was the main point of contact for life sciences companies interested in expanding or locating in Upstate South Carolina, and gained in-depth economic development experience. 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 also has extensive television experience as a documentary producer and sportscaster, and received her B.A. in Communication from La Salle University in Philadelphia.
"SCBIO presents a unique career opportunity to work in an arena whose constituent members and companies make a tangible difference in the quality of people's lives," said Ms. Ford. "Our hundreds of members include academic institutions, biotech companies, service providers, thought leaders, and economic development groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, industrial and environmental biotechnology and med-tech products that can transform and extend people’s lives. While I have loved my time at Poly-Med, which served as an invaluable life science industry experience for my new career path with SCBIO, this unique opportunity to touch lives and grow South Carolina's knowledge economy was simply too powerful to pass up."
Ms. Ford joins SCBIO's recently named President and CEO Sam Konduros atop the growing organization's leadership team. Konduros, also a former SCBIO board member, assumed the leadership reins of the group earlier this year after departing Greenville Health System, where he ran the Research Development Corporation forging industry partnerships, developing economic development strategies, and helping doctors take their inventions to market. Previously, he was the first president of the Upstate SC Alliance, the Upstate region’s economic-development agency.
The addition of Ms. Ford occurs as SCBIO continues to flex new muscles to advance and grow the business of life sciences in South Carolina. It comes on the heels of the organization's recent restructuring and rebranding efforts, and its highly successful annual conference, which drew hundreds of industry leaders, national executives, academics, economic development organizations, government officials and others to Charleston October 24-26. The organization has already attained record membership and investor levels, and recently formed a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Commerce to develop and implement strategic growth recommendations for the state’s fast-expanding industry.
"This industry is at a critical time for accelerating our growth and impact in South Carolina and well beyond," said Ms. Ford. "When you have such a unique opportunity, you have to seize the day and make positive things happen. That's our goal."
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.