The BionorthTX Board of Directors has appointed Jorge Varela—a Dallas entrepreneur, executive, and angel investor—as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. The announcement was made Dec. 4.
In his new role, Varela will assume day-to-day leadership of the association. Dr. Terry Foster, who was serving as Interim CEO, will remain on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
BionorthTX is an independent nonprofit intended to drive economic growth by accelerating the life science industry in the North Texas region. In representing the interests of its member companies, bionorthTX aims to impact policy and create awareness. By hosting events and providing opportunities for education, networking, and access to capital, the organization generates partnerships, jobs, and innovations.
Varela says he’s excited to take on his new position.
“Our Board is focused on taking the right steps to move bionorthTX forward and our membership is eager to take an active part in developing a strong life sciences community,” he said in a statement. “Together they are the key drivers necessary to increase the number of high paying jobs, and to build a healthier North Texas.”
Varela has an extensive history as a leader in the startup community across multiple sectors. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation in San Antonio. There, he was co-founder and CEO of innovation hub VelocityTX. Previously, he was director of life sciences incubator TECH Fort Worth, which garnered a contribution of over $3 billion to the Dallas-Fort Worth economy.
Varela also serves as entrepreneur in residence at Dallas-based UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“In hiring a CEO we looked for a proven executive capable of taking bionorthTX to the next level of success through innovative programs and services,” said Chairman Frank Grassler in a statement. “We are confident that Jorge is the right person to build on the momentum following the successful iC3 Summit conference.”
The bionorthTX Fourth Annual iC3 Life Science Summit was held on Oct. 10 at UT Arlington. The Summit brought over 300 community leaders together to network, exchange ideas, learn, and promote business opportunities in the region.
On Dec. 13, Varela will be at a meet-and-greet at the bionorthTX end-of-year networking event at The Beck Group in Dallas.
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