Rich Bendis

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today that its Board of Directors has named former Interim CEO Richard Bendis as the organization's first President & Chief Executive Officer.

Scott Carmer, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. Chairman of the Board and Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations at MedImmune, said, "The Board unanimously supported the appointment of Rich Bendis as BHI's President and CEO. As the interim CEO, Rich has been instrumental in establishing BHI, securing significant private and public sector support and funding, and developing and executing on long- and short-term strategic goals. Rich possesses unique knowledge and experience that will allow him to continue BHI's tremendous momentum to accelerate biohealth commercialization opportunities for Central Maryland."

"We are fortunate to have Rich's energy, expertise, and collaborative spirit, which are critical to the success of BioHealth Innovation as a regional partnership," said Ike Leggett, Montgomery County (Maryland) County Executive. "BHI is an integral part of our innovation-based economic development strategy, and we will continue to support the organization to translate our world-renowned research assets into economic opportunities for the region and health benefits for all."

Mr. Bendis currently serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America (IA), a global partnership focused on accelerating the growth of the innovation economy throughout the world. He also serves as Publisher of Innovation Daily. As one of the most recognized experts in the field of innovation economy building, Mr. Bendis has served on numerous distinguished boards and task forces including the White House U.S. Innovation Partnership Advisory Task Force, the Small Business Innovation Research Committee, the National Association of State Venture Funds board, State Science and Technology Institute, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Institute as a national/regional Judge and EOY winner.

Mr. Bendis has provided global consulting services to more than 16 countries and 22 states, several cities and regions, along with international organizations including the United Nations, NATO, UK Trade and Industry, European Commission, French Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, The Canadian Consulate, METI, AKEA, the International Science Parks and Innovation Expert Group and other global entities. Mr. Bendis has served as a healthcare executive with Marion Laboratories, Kimberly Services and was the Chairman and CEO of Continental Healthcare Systems, which he took public on NASDAQ and which was sold. He is also an active angel investor and a venture capital investment manager with a Tennessee Fund. He was voted one of the Top 5 Global Speakers on innovation in 2012.

"It is an honor for me to officially take on the role of President and CEO for BHI after planning and developing the organization for the last two years and serving as Interim CEO for the last six months," said Mr. Bendis. "While Central Maryland's biohealth innovation system may be underdeveloped, it offers unrivaled assets and resources in the form of federal labs, world-class universities, and models of R&D and commercial success such as Human Genome Sciences and MedImmune. The region's assets also include enthusiastic entrepreneurs coming from our labs, companies, and academic institutions. Our goal at BHI is to establish an integrated commercialization ecosystem to turn these assets into economic success."