Biotech Association getting new management

Rolwing to retire, Cook added to board

The Tennessee Biotechnology Association's president and executive director plans to step down this summer, handing over management to a local public and government relations firm.

Joe Rolwing, who has led the TBA for the past five years, will retire from the statewide organization in July.

"I'm just a point in my life where I feel it is time to start slowing down," Rolwing said in a statement e-mailed to Rolwing thanked the TBA’s board of directors for their leadership and support during his tenure, during which time the organization grew from 25 members to more than 130.

Picking up the reins is public and government relations firm Hall Strategies. The Nashville company will handle the TBA's daily operations and communications strategies upon Rolwing's retirement.

"Through our extensive work in the economic development arena over the past 15 years, Hall Strategies understands the importance of the life science industry to continued investment and job creation in our state," said firm CEO Joe Hall in a statement. "We are really excited to have a role in advancing this emerging industry in Tennessee."

Cook joins TBA board

Concurrent with the management change, the TBA also announced that life sciences entrepreneur and investor Joe Cook Jr. has been elected to the association's board of directors.

Cook is co-founder and principal of Nashville private investment firm Mountain Group Capital and a principal of Limestone Fund, one of the original six venture capital groups selected by the state to participate in the TNInvestco early-stage business investment program. He is board chairman of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, a company he co-founded in 1998, a director of drug discovery and development company Corcept Therapeutics and on the national board of the American Diabetes Association.

Cook fills the board position formerly held by Cumberland Pharmaceuticals' CEO A.J. Kazimi, who stepped down following Cumberland’s public-market debut last year.