Triad BioNight 2024

Triad BioNight, an evening of spirit, awards, and recognition, is held every few years in the Piedmont Triad. Triad BioNight attracts several hundred leaders from academia, industry, and government from the Piedmont Triad and across the state and features awards to celebrate biotechnology leadership in the region.

The event has become a catalyst for interaction for over two decades with over 400 high-level attendees from industry and academia to entrepreneurs and investors from across the Piedmont Triad region and statewide.

This year, NCBiotech will celebrate 40 years of life sciences in NC and 20 years of the establishment of our Piedmont Triad office. Triad BioNight 2024 will feature the regional Excellence Awards and the statewide Venture Challenge.

The Piedmont Triad Excellence Awards remain the primary catalyst for this evening of recognition. In addition, 2-minute pitches from the regional finalists in the NCBiotech Venture Challenge will be featured, and a statewide winner will be announced. 

Link to Biotechnology Excellence Awards nominations form

Registration is for individual attendees only. Sponsors will be contacted separately.

Nomination Criteria for the Biotechnology Excellence Awards

Submit your nomination*

*Nominees must reside in the Piedmont Triad region. Self submissions are accepted.


Keynote Speaker

Willie A. Deese

Retired Executive Vice President, Merck & Co. Inc. and  

President, Merck Manufacturing Division


Willie is a highly successful senior executive with an extensive background as a member of global Fortune 200 company leadership teams creating growth strategies impacting M&A, CAPEX allocation, acquisitive vs. organic growth decisions, divestitures, geographical expansion and ensuring accretive integration of acquired assets. Adding to his strategic perspective, he has actively interacted with corporate boards as a functional senior leader at Merck and GSK and is currently serving as a Director on four domestic and international company boards − with extensive audit, governance and compensation committee participation. As a strong operational leader, he has 39 years’ experience in manufacturing, supply chain and procurement management with several global enterprises in both emerging and developed markets, driving complex transformational restructurings, internal productivity efficiencies, turnarounds, consolidations and integrations. Of tremendous value, he is recognized for his proactive contributions defining healthy, engaged corporate cultures, with specific areas of focus, including ESG values/standards, DE&I policies, succession planning, compensation strategy and leadership development.

Since 2011, Willie has developed his credentials as a board director, and currently serves on four company boards across diverse businesses, including in the dental equipment, software/technology solutions, biopharmaceutical and energy sectors. Speaking to his financial acumen, he has served on the Audit Committee for each company in addition to other committee roles.

In his corporate career, Willie most recently had a 12-year run at Merck & Co., Inc. In his last position he was promoted to President, Merck Manufacturing post the Merck/Schering Plough merger, reporting to the CEO. Here, he led global manufacturing, supply chain management, logistics/distribution, procurement and Lean Six Sigma, with oversight of 42 (98 at time of merger) manufacturing sites spanning 30 countries, an annual operating budget of $9.0 billion and capital budget of $2.0 billion. His key contributions include leading a corporate strategic restructuring effort post-merger that redesigned the operating model; and driving development and implementation of a transformation strategy for the Manufacturing Division that resulted in significant, sustainable operational efficiencies and financial returns across the enterprise. He joined Merck in 2004 as Senior Vice President, Global Procurement.

Prior to Merck, Willie was Senior Vice President, Global Procurement and Logistics, GMS at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, PLC, responsible for developing and integrating the Procurement function post-merger and leading a $1 billion+ cost improvement initiative; Senior Vice President and Director, Purchasing at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, PLC, accountable to the President of Worldwide Supply Operations for developing and implementing procurement strategies to support global supply initiative goals as well as delivering $100s millions in direct and indirect goods and services and indirect costs.

Earlier in his career, Willie was Vice President of Purchasing, National Purchasing Organization at Kaiser Permanente, creating/implementing the procurement strategy for the world’s largest integrated healthcare system; purchasing management roles at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, PLC; and Site Manager at Digital.

Willie received his MBA from Western New England University and his BS in Business Administration from NC A&T State University. In recent years he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Davidson College in May of 2021; North Carolina A&T State University named its College of Business and Economics in his honor in 2020; and he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from North Carolina A&T State University in 2011.




General Reception Sponsor 



Dinner Wine Sponsor





























Media Sponsor 



Table Sponsors

  • Alamance Community College
  • Alcami
  • Bank of America
  • Cambrex
  • Charter Medical
  • Core Technology Molding Corporation
  • Duke Energy
  • ECS Southeast LLC
  • Flywheel
  • Greater Winston-Salem Inc.
  • Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
  • High Point University
  • Innovation Quarter
  • NCBiotech Statewide Operations 
  • NCBiotech Greater Charlotte Region
  • NCBiotech Piedmont Triad Region
  • NCBiotech Southeastern Region
  • NCBiotech Venture Challenge
  • O’Brien Atkins Associates, PA
  • Pinnacle Bank
  • Southern First Bank
  • Twin City Foundation
  • Winston-Salem State University

Please contact Nancy Johnston for questions regarding sponsorship opportunities.


Grandover Resort & Spa

1000 Club Road
Greensboro, NC 27407

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