BioForward names Laura Bray new CEO

BioForward names Laura Bray new CEO

BioForward has named Laura Bray its new CEO, the Madison organization representing Wisconsin’s biotechnology companies announced Wednesday.

Bray has served the past 10 years as executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners Inc., a public-private partnership advocating economic development and ecological restoration in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. Since 2004, she has led a public and private partnership to create the conditions for economic development and ecological restoration in the Menomonee River Valley, which spans from Miller Park to the Harley‐Davidson Museum. Under her leadership, the redevelopment efforts have yielded $200 million in public sector commitments, 5,100 new jobs, and more than $820 million in new private investment.

“Laura’s enthusiasm and energy are contagious and she has set a very positive tone for the many and varied participants in our revitalization efforts in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. Wisconsin’s life science community will benefit from her leadership, collaborative nature, and creative approaches to resolving challenges,” said Mick Hatch, Board President of Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc. and Partner at Foley & Lardner LLP. “While we have made tremendous progress,
there is more work to be done. We will soon announce our process to select a new executive director,” Hatch added.

Bray, who begins in the post Nov. 17, succeeds Bryan Renk, who headed BioForward since 2009. Rachel Bolger has led BioForward on an interim basis since Aug. 4.

“I am honored to join BIOforward to work with life science companies, entrepreneurs, researchers, university partners, civic leadership, and the public sector to advance Wisconsin’s position as a leading life science community,” Bray said. “Wisconsin has a tremendous base of assets to build upon to achieve this vision. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and building value for our members, our industry, and our state.”

BioForward is the member driven, Wisconsin affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), PhRMA, and Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed). BioForward, founded in 1987, said it hopes to add an office in the Milwaukee area to complement its headquarters at 214 N. Hamilton St., Madison. The organization’s annual Bioscience Vision Summit is Oct. 8 at Monona Terrace.