— Life Science Washington President and CEO Leslie Alexandre will retire at the end of the year. She has led the life sciences trade association since 2016.
Alexandre will retire as the life sciences market booms across the Pacific Northwest. Just last week Vancouver, Wash.-based company Absci went public, and Seattle-based Icosavax plans to have its IPO this week.
“Five years ago, our community lacked confidence that we could become a sustainable center of life science commercialization,” Alexandre said in a statement. “It is thrilling to now be recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 life science industry clusters, with new companies starting up weekly, and investors pouring capital into the commercialization of cutting-edge research.”
Alexandre believes there is more work for companies and organizations such as Life Science Washington to do in support of the industry, especially when it comes to talent development.
“This turbo-charged growth will be short-lived if we fail to create and invest in a comprehensive, ten-year plan to meet the diverse workforce needs of fast-growing biotech companies such as Absci,” said Alexandre in a recent GeekWire interview.
Born in Vancouver, Wash., Alexandre moved to the East Coast where she spent the majority of her career, after completing her doctorate in public health at UCLA. Her work included developing health policy in Washington D.C., expanding the biotechnology industry in North Carolina, and growing cancer research programs in Georgia.
During her tenure at Life Science Washington, she oversaw the establishment of Life Science Washington Institute supporting life science entrepreneurs and a national campaign to recruit life science professionals to Washington State.
The Life Science Washington board has begun its search for the association’s next leader.
— Vancouver, B.C.-based Hootsuite named Maggie Lower as its new chief marketing officer. She was most recently CMO at media company Cision.
Lower was previously a marketing executive at professional and financial service providers TrueBlue, Aon and Bank of America. She is based in Chicago.
Lower is the latest addition to a relatively new Hootsuite executive team. Hootsuite CEO Tom Keiser succeeded founder Ryan Holmes last year. Global SVP of Sales Melissa Murray Bailey joined the company in January and Tara Ataya was promoted to chief people and diversity officer in December.
Founded in 2008, Hootsuite’s platform is used by companies and individuals to manage their social media. The company is currently ranked No. 6 on the GeekWire 200 startup index.
— BlackSky, a satellite venture that splits its workforce between Seattle and Herndon, Va., announced three new board members:
All three new additions will join the board after BlackSky goes public via SPAC. The transaction will reportedly close by Q3 this year.
— Charla Triplett is now a senior venture partner at Expert Dojo, an early-stage startup accelerator and investor based in Santa Monica, Calif.
Based in Portland, Ore., Triplett is founder and president of medical device and digital health consultancy Catalyze. She was previously a partner specializing in commercial science at Aventurine, a commercialization and IP management firm.
Expert Dojo is launching a healthcare-focused accelerator in September and recently invested in Pacific Northwest health and life science startups Eclat Diagnostics, Shift and Gamma Diagnostics.
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