February 1, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

EDPA Foundation Elects Entrepreneurial-Focused Board of Directors

January 31, 2013

The statewide organization focuses on the creation of high-paying, technology-based jobs through innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization. The new board members were elected during the foundation’s Jan. 22 meeting in Montgomery.

James H. Sanford, an Auburn University trustee and chairman of the board for HOME Place Farms Inc., serves as the board chairman. Sanford is chairman of Choice Cotton Inc., the Alabama Cotton Commission and the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation.

Angela Wier, the EDPA’s vice president, applauded the wealth of experience the foundation’s new board members bring to the table.

“Their collective experience and entrepreneurial spirit will strengthen our ability to execute our mission to support entrepreneurs and to increase high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to thrive in Alabama,” Wier said in a prepared statement.

The board and its mission, she said, are in “alignment with Accelerate Alabama,” the state’s long-range economic development initiative unveiled two years ago that “focuses on recruitment, retention and renewal.”

Through Swift Biotech, Chambers works in collaboration with researchers and clinicians at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute to develop several technologies, including screens for endometrial and ovarian cancer. He also helped found InnoRx Pharmaceuticals in 1999, serves as chairman of the Gulf Coast Angel Network that he helped found, was recently named chairman of the board for Minneapolis-based ProUroCare, and serves on the board of directors for InQ Biosystems and Gene Capture, both Huntsville-based companies. He is also chairman-elect of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the team charged by former Gov. Bob Riley with drafting the commercialization component of the Alabama Math and Science Technology Roadmap.

Chambers was elected to the body alongside James R Hudson Jr., co-chairman of the Huntsville-based HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology; Art Tipton, senior vice president of Evonik Industries where he leads the global drug delivery division; William F. “Bill” Waite, chairman and chief technical officer of Huntsville-based AEgis Technologies; and Robert “Bob” Powers, co-owner of The Eufaula Agency.

The nonprofit EDPA Foundation was founded in 1994 to support workforce development, industry and high-growth companies as well as community development initiatives. It also works in tandem with six research universities across Alabama to promote and reward high-growth, innovative startups from across the state via Alabama Launchpad, an annual start-up competition in its seventh year, as well as the Alabama Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurial Conference.

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