Yablonsky Resigns as Pennsylvania DCED Secretary
Dennis Yablonsky, secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, will resign, effective Oct. 23, to return to the private sector.
Prior to joining DCED in 2003, Yablonsky was founding CEO of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, a technology-focused economic development initiative. He also led the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.
Yablonsky began his career at software firm Cincom Systems, where he worked for 12 years. He next served as CEO of Carnegie Group, a spin-off company of Carnegie Mellon University.
Governor Edward Rendell said in a statement that Yablonsky was “at the forefront in attracting billions in new capital investments that have enabled us to create thousands of new jobs, revitalize our communities, diversify our economy, and put Pennsylvania in a better position than most states.”
Florida State Senate President Ken Pruitt Is BIO Legislator of the Year
The Biotechnology Industry Organization said last week that it has named Florida Senate President Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie) “BIO State Legislator of the Year” for his support of the biotechnology industry’s growth and development in Florida.
Pruitt was selected from among 7,000 state legislators nationwide for advocating biotechnology development.
The BIO award will be presented at the BioFlorida Annual Conference this week.
“Senator Pruitt’s leadership in Florida has been critical in the development of Florida’s growing biotechnology cluster,” said BIO President Jim Greenwood in a statement. “Because of his passion for this issue, Florida has leapfrogged over many competing states to become one of the leaders in the biotechnology sector.”
Luce Forward, Goodwin Procter Pick up Heller Ehrman Attorneys
Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps said last week that Carl Johnson and Dan Titelbaum, both previously practicing at Heller Ehrman, have joined the law firm’s San Francisco office. Johnson will join the firm's real estate practice, while Titelbaum will be a part of its business/corporate practice.
Separately, Goodwin Procter announced that it has gained five attorneys from Heller Ehrman: Stephen Davis, Kevin Collins, and Wesley Fredericks Jr. have joined the firm’s New York office; while Julian Stern, a past chair of Heller Ehrman, and Steven Feldstein have joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office.
Davis formerly served as co-chair of Heller Ehrman’s Corporate/Venture Capital Law Group. Collins also was a member of Heller Ehrman’s Corporate/VLG Practice Group, and co-chair of the Life Sciences Practice.
Fredericks previously was chairman of Heller Ehrman’s New York Business Law Practice and a member of its Corporate/VLG Practice Group, while Feldstein was the former co-chair of Heller Ehrman’s Labor & Employment Practice Group nationwide.
Integrated Builders Hires Sean Burgess as Assistant Project Superintendent
Braintree, Mass.-based construction management firm Integrated Builders said last week that it has hired Sean Burgess as assistant project superintendent.
Burgess will be responsible for on-site job safety, subcontractor coordination, daily reporting, and budget/schedule management for projects in the $500,000 to $1 million range.
Florida Gov. Names State Senator to Chair Biotech-Competitiveness Task Force
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist this week said he has appointed State Sen. Jeremy Ring as chair of the Task Force for the Study of Biotech Competitiveness.
Created in 2007, the 17-member group is designed to study economic policies “necessary for increasing Florida’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining biotech manufacturing and distribution businesses,” according to the state.
It will also “evaluate Florida’s education and workforce training opportunities to ensure a workforce prepared for jobs in biotech.”
The group is required to recommend changes to the state’s corporate tax structure, water policies, and health insurance policies “to ensure they support the biotech industry.”
Recommendations are due to the governor and leaders of the state legislature by Jan. 1, 2009.
“The number of biotech companies that have chosen to establish a presence in the Sunshine State demonstrates our success in strengthening Florida’s attractiveness to the world’s top R&D organizations,” Gov. Crist said in a statement. “We must continue to focus on ensuring Florida maintains a competitive edge, while securing the biotech industry’s key role in our economic development strategy.”