Triad BioNight 2024 set for June 27 in Greensboro

Planning is complete for Triad BioNight, a much-anticipated celebration of bioscience growth and recognition of industry leaders in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region.

The event, expected to draw over 400 attendees, will be held Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Individual registrations are $100 at the event web page.

“Triad BioNight demonstrates the vibrancy and interconnectivity of our regional community and its many contributions to North Carolina’s position as a global life sciences leader,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office, sponsor of the celebration along with NCBiotech’s Piedmont Triad Regional Advisory Committee. “It has truly become a significant evening of spirit, awards and recognition.”

Willie Deese, event keynote speaker 

The event, orchestrated by volunteers, will include networking time, dinner, a keynote address, announcement of the Piedmont Triad Biotechnology Excellence Awards winners and culmination of the statewide NCBiotech Venture Challenge, featuring two-minute company “pitches” from the regional finalists and announcement of a statewide winner.

It will be the ninth edition of Triad BioNight, a periodic celebration last held in 2022. The event coincides with the 40th anniversary of the founding of NCBiotech in 1984.

“Triad BioNight remains a successful initiative of the NCBiotech Piedmont Triad Advisory Committee since it was first held in 2005,” said Advisory Committee Chair Daniel Erb, PT, Ph.D., provost of High Point University. “We are grateful for the high level of engagement of volunteer regional leaders, over two dozen sponsors, and most importantly the regional office of NCBiotech that leads and advances the effort.”

Willie Deese, a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University who had a distinguished career as a pharmaceutical manufacturing executive, will give the keynote address on “Why North Carolina is good for biotech and biotech is good for North Carolina.”

Jill Atherton, event co-chair.

“We are honored and excited to welcome Willie to the Triad BioNight stage,” said Geoff Foster, M.S., MBA, chief executive officer and president of Core Technology Molding Corp. and Advisory Committee vice chair. “His accomplishments are many, his story inspirational, and his perspective on investing in talent and workforce is critically important.” 

Event co-chairs, team leaders

The co-chairs of Triad BioNight are Jill Atherton, CEcD, executive director of the Flywheel Foundation in Winston-Salem, and Brandon Frederick, MBA, engineering manager at Core Technology Molding Corp. in Greensboro.

Atherton brings over 20 years of experience in economic development through the support of entrepreneurship. She has been a longtime supporter and volunteer in the earliest years of Triad BioNight and values its importance. As a leader of the Technology Council in Winston-Salem, she played a central role in the early days of Piedmont Triad Research Park, now known as the Innovation Quarter. She was also an important partner in her role with the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce (now Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.) advocating for the establishment of first NCBiotech statewide regional office.

Brandon Frederick, event co-chair.

Frederick is a lead for the NCBiotech Life Sciences Manufacturing Ambassador Program in the Triad region and across the state. The program raises awareness of career opportunities among historically underserved populations. This year, he was recognized as a 40 Under 40 leader by the Triad Business Journal for leading Core Technology Molding Corp.’s engineering department during the company’s triple-digit growth in serving the biopharmaceutical sector. As a U.S. Army veteran, he is known as a motivational local advocate for STEM careers as program director for Molding Kids for Success.

Event Team leaders for Triad BioNight include:

  • Awards Chair: Serena Guzman, senior vice president, Atlantic Division, Labcorp
  • Hospitality Chair: Ditra Miller, director of member relations and engagement, Greater Winston-Salem Inc.
  • Marketing Chair: Nicole Donoghue, senior vice president of account management, Trone
  • Sponsorship Chairs: Michael Kelly, advisor, and Russ Read of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce

Call for awards nominations

Regional Biotechnology Excellence Awards will be given in five categories: Academic Development, Biotechnology Community Leadership, Biotechnology Service/Support, Entrepreneurial, and Research & Development.

Nominations are being accepted via NCBiotech’s event web page.

The Awards Committee includes:

  • Chair: Serena Guzman, senior vice president, Atlantic Division, Labcorp
  • Rebecca Wagner Alexander, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, interim chair, Department of Engineering, associate dean for research and community engagement, Wake Forest University
  • Jennifer Brown Coulombe, vice president, industry partnerships and continuous innovation, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • W. Michael Buckovich, executive director and founder, VisiontoVenture, and chief executive officer of VerticalCurve Consulting
  • Tracy Dellinger, senior existing industry expansions manager, Piedmont Triad, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
  • Doug Drabble*, chief operating officer, Novex Innovations
  • Kathryn Elliott, professor of the practice of entrepreneurship and director of entrepreneurship, High Point University
  • Ken Ingle, Ed.D., president, Alamance Community College
  • John Merrill*, regional business development director, The Christman Company
  • Tim Minor, MPA, vice chancellor of strategic partnerships, NCA&T
  • Sherine Obare*, Ph.D., incoming vice chancellor for research and engagement at UNC Greensboro, and professor at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
  • Kerry Taylor-Pinnix, deputy director, Rockingham County Center for Economic Development
  • Daniel Yohannes, Ph.D., MBA, chief executive officer, Renaissance Fiber Inc.

Committee members with an asterisk after their names are previous award winners.

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Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer
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