The Virginia Biotechnology Association (VABIO) announced that the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, William J. Howell (R-Stafford) received the Virginia Bioscience Legislative Leadership Award on August 23rd for his outstanding efforts on behalf of the bioscience industry during the 2011 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia Biotechnology Association has only recognized a handful of state legislators with this special distinction.
“I have had the privilege of knowing the Speaker for nearly twenty years,” said Mark A. Herzog, executive director of VABIO. “He has always been a stalwart supporter of small businesses in Virginia and that continues today with his enthusiastic efforts to ensure that the Commonwealth can compete for 21st Century, advanced technology jobs.”
Previous recipients of the award include: Delegate Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William; Delegate Steve Landes of Weyer’s Cave; Delegate Mark Sickles of Fairfax; Delegate John O’Bannon of Henrico; former Delegate Sam Nixon of Chesterfield, Delegate Joe May of Loudoun; and Senator Mark Herring, also from Loudoun.
Speaker Howell played an instrumental role in supporting the 2008 joint legislative subcommittee to review the Commonwealth’s policies to advance the growth of the life science industry in Virginia. The recommendations from that group were incorporated into the first legislation in many years to accelerate the growth of the biosciences in Virginia. Most recently, in 2011, the Speaker strongly advocated for the passage of the Virginia Refundable Research and Development Tax Credit, a key recommendation of the Governor’s Economic Development and Jobs Commission.
“The Speaker is a good friend to the bioscience industry and we are grateful to him for his public service and commitment to ensuring that future generations of Virginians have access to the knowledge-economy jobs of tomorrow,” said Mr. Herzog.
The Virginia Biotechnology Association (VABIO) is the statewide non-profit organization that promotes the scientific and economic impact of the life sciences industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Approximately 200 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies are based in Virginia, mainly clustered around universities in Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Norfolk and Northern Virginia. For more information about the impact of the bioscience industry in Virginia, please visit www.vabio.org