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Southwest Research Institute's Walt Downing Elected 2017 BioMed SA Chair
January 17, 2017







(SAN ANTONIO) January 17, 2017 - The nonprofit industry cluster organization BioMed SA begins its 12th year in operation with new volunteer board leadership. Walt Downing, P.E., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has been elected to chair the BioMed SA Board of Directors in 2017. The leadership transition comes as the organization works to further accelerate the growth of San Antonio's healthcare and bioscience sector, which had an economic impact of $37 billion in 2015.

This will be Downing's fifth year on the BioMed SA Board, having served as Vice Chair in 2016. He also serves on industry advisory boards for the College of Engineering and College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's University and the Board of Free Trade Alliance San Antonio. SwRI is one of the nation's premier applied research and development organizations and the eighth largest employer in San Antonio with over 2,600 staff members.

Joining him as a newly elected officer of BioMed SA is Vice Chair Ann Beal Salamone, President of Rochal Industries, LLC, a global leader in commercializing technology innovations in polymer, antimicrobial and biological systems. Salamone was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 and joined the BioMed SA Board that same year. In addition to BioMed SA, she serves on the UTSA Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board and three UT Health San Antonio advisory boards related to translational clinical science and community health.

Richard Perez, President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, will continue to serve as BioMed SA Treasurer in 2017, and President Ann Stevens continues as the organization's top paid executive.

As Chair of BioMed SA, Downing succeeds Kenneth P. Trevett, Executive Director of the Vaccine Development Center of San Antonio, who has led BioMed SA for the past six years. Trevett will continue to serve on the BioMed SA Board in a newly created "ex officio" seat for the Immediate Past Chair.

A San Antonio native, Downing said he and three generations of his family have benefited from San Antonio's economic growth and share a keen interest in helping it continue to grow. "We believe that advancing healthcare and bioscience is an excellent way to do our part," he told attendees at BioMed SA's Annual Membership Breakfast in December.

Downing noted that the economic impact of San Antonio's healthcare and bioscience sector has doubled in each of the last two decades, citing reports published by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. "Clearly, the growth has gained momentum. Will it continue to coast along at the current steady and healthy pace? Or, can we accelerate the momentum by setting higher goals, bringing together more partners in even stronger collaborations and committing more time, energy and resources to the effort?

"Only time will tell. But, we can shape the future by the actions we take now," he said. "Acting together, through BioMed SA and other organizations supporting San Antonio's economic development efforts, we can play a useful role as change agents who act as catalysts for change leading to growth." Click here for a copy of Downing's remarks at the December 14, 2016 Annual Membership Meeting Breakfast

2017 Board Members
Joining the BioMed SA Board for the first time in 2017 are: Rohit Kashyap of Acelity, President, North America for Advanced Wound Therapeutics; Neill (Gobie) Walsdorf, Jr., President & CEO of Mission Pharmacal; Bob Hutchens, President & CEO of StemBioSys; and Dr. Mark Brodl, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs-Budget & Research, of Trinity University.

Ken Haynes, President & CEO of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, had also been elected to the Board before announcing plans to leave San Antonio this month to accept a leadership role with the Carolinas Healthcare System. CHRISTUS is expected to name another executive to the BioMed SA Board.

BioMed SA's newly elected Board members will be joined by a number of returning Board members: Del Chumley, MD, of Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio; Marty Landon of BioBridge Global; Dr. Debra Niemeyer representing the San Antonio Military Health System; Fred Hines of Clarity Child Guidance Center; Dr. Andrea Giuffrida of UT Health San Antonio; Dr. Bernard Arulanandam of the University of Texas at San Antonio; Dr. Bruce Leslie of Alamo Colleges; Gary Frashier of Targeted Technology; John Benedict of CPS Energy; Jenna Saucedo-Herrera of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; and Pam Parish of Broadway Bank. All Board terms are for one year.

In addition, the following individuals serve as "ex officio" Board members: Mayor Ivy Taylor, Henry Cisneros, Richard Perez, David Marquez, and Steve Fitzer.


BioMed SA is a non-profit, membership-based organization, supported in part by the City of San Antonio. Its mission is to accelerate growth of San Antonio's biomedical sector, create regional economic benefit, and contribute to the health of San Antonio and beyond by establishing San Antonio as a leader in healthcare and bioscience. The city's healthcare and bioscience industry has added more than 50,000 net new jobs over the past decade, significantly fueling San Antonio's growth and employing more than one out of every six members of the city's workforce. As America's seventh largest city, San Antonio is a community that embraces science and medicine. Its vibrant health care and bioscience industry, a dominant force in the city's economy with an annual economic impact of $37 billion, combines unique assets and a diversity of resources with a collaborative spirit that is making a global impact on science and health. More information available at


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