ORLANDO, FL (December 22, 2008) –Enterprise Florida announced today that the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, a “one-stop shop” to facilitate new venture creation across the state, has elected a slate of officers from its newly formed board of directors:
-- Chairman -- Beau Ferrari, partner, Royal Palm Capital Partners
-- Vice Chairman -- David Day, director, Office of Technology Licensing and Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator, University of Florida
-- Treasurer -- Rhys Williams, president, New World Angels
-- Secretary -- Gary Keller, executive director of the Institute
“The Institute’s board consists of business and academic leaders from around the state who share a commitment to the organic growth of Florida’s innovation economy,” said Enterprise Florida President & CEO John Adams. “With several decades of combined experience in technology-related fields and industry/academic partnerships, these leaders are poised to drive the future success of the Institute and the proliferation of new companies based on Florida’s publicly funded research.”
Chairman, Beau Ferrari, Partner, Royal Palm Capital Partners
Ferrari is a partner and co-founder of Royal Palm Capital Partners (RPCP), a private equity investment and management firm. He has served on the boards of the firm's publicly held portfolio companies. Prior to RPCP, Ferrari worked as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York. Previously, he co-founded PowerUSA, LLC, a retail renewable energy services company for which he was a managing member. Ferrari received a B.S. degree in finance and international business, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University.
Vice Chairman, David Day, Director, Office of Technology Licensing and Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator
As director of the Office of Technology Licensing at the University of Florida (UF) Incubator, Day oversees the commercialization efforts of all UF technologies. He also serves as the director of the Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator in Alachua County. UF’s Office of Technology Licensing annually executes about 75 licenses and options and is involved in the creation of about 10 new startups based on UF technologies. In the latest fiscal year, UF spin-offs raised more than $100 million of investment capital.
Day’s degrees include an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama (1987) and a master’s of library and information studies from the University of Alabama, (’77). He was a founding member of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama, formerly serving as vice president and on its board of directors. Day presently serves on the board of BioFlorida, the McKnight Brain Institute Advisory Panel, and the board executive committees for both the Florida Research Consortium and the Committee of the Southeastern Bio Investors Forum.
Treasurer, Rhys Williams, President, New World Angels
Williams is president of iTherapeutics, a biotechnology company that develops therapies for retinal degenerative disease, which he co-founded with prominent faculty from Scripps Florida and the University of Miami (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute). Williams also is president of New World Angels, Inc., a member-managed angel investment group with chapters in Southeast Florida and Tampa Bay. His prior business experience includes roles as a venture capitalist with SI Ventures and executive positions with Ixion Biotechnology, Smith Barney, American Express, and U.S. Army Special Forces. He serves the boards of the UF Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Leadership Florida, and he is chairman of the South Florida Science Museum in West Palm Beach. Other memberships include BioFlorida, the Economic Council of the Palm Beaches, the Harvard Club of the Palm Beaches, and Florida Blue Key. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree at Harvard College, magna cum laude, Williams holds an M.B.A. and a J.D. from UF.
Secretary, Gary Keller, Executive Director, Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research
Keller is the executive director of the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research), the mission of which is to stimulate economic development through the commercialization of new discoveries generated from publicly funded research. Prior to joining the Institute, Keller founded Xomix, Ltd., a Chicago-based company engaged in biotechnology businesses development, intellectual asset management, the commercialization of bio-innovations, and the design and implementation on strategic initiatives. Additionally, Keller is the founding CEO of ZelleRx Corporation, a San Diego based biopharmaceutical company. Before forming Xomix, Keller was national manager for Cellular Therapy for BioWhittaker, Inc. where he led the development and corporate expansion of this market area by refocusing and developing products and services for clinical applications.
Keller serves on the board of directors of Mount Sinai Hospital (Chicago) and many advisory boards for technology organizations. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart Graduate School of Business - Management of Medical Technology. Also co-chairman of the BIO Technology Transfer Committee, Keller has served as chairman of the Emerging Technologies Council for the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce.
Keller’s academic history includes a master’s of biotechnology-cell biology & bioinformatics from Northwestern University and a B.S. in biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University.