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Research Triangle Park News

Research Triangle Foundation Board Elects New Officers & Directors



At its November 3, 2011, meeting, the Board of Directors of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina elected Robert “Bob” Ingram as the Board’s new Chairman, Virginia “Ginny” Rand Bowman as the Vice-chairperson, and Smedes York as Secretary (Mr. York will also continue to serve as the Chairman of the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies, Inc. (TUCASI) – a subsidiary organization of the Foundation that oversees its collaboration and support of the region’s three research universities). The Board also elected five new directors. The new terms begin January 1, 2012.

The new directors to the Foundation Board are:

  • John Brantley, former head of the RDU Airport Authority;
  • Joe DeSimone, Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry, UNC; William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, NCSU; and Founder and Member of the Board of Directors at Liquidia Technologies;
  • Charles Francis, Vice Chairman of the Board, North State Bancorp, and Attorney and Managing Member, The Francis Law Firm, PLLC;
  • Olivia Holding, President of E. F. Properties, Inc., and the Ella Ann L. and Frank B. Holding Foundation; and
  • Mike Mortimer, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Quintiles Transnational Corporation.

In addition to the officers and appointment of the new directors, the group also expressed its great appreciation to outgoing chairman, David Ward, and outgoing Board member, Richard Daugherty, for their several years of leadership and contribution to the Board and the Research Triangle Park.

Mr. Ward served on the Board for nineteen years, acting in the capacity of Chairman for the past eleven years. Mr. Ward has been an Attorney at Law with Ward and Smith, PA. During his tenure as the Foundation’s chairman, he was instrumental in leading changes to the by-laws and instituting changes to the structure of the Board to make it a more effective and engaged body. In addition, under his leadership, the Foundation sold nearly 1,700 acres of the Park’s land to Park companies and made numerous large capital transportation improvements, including Development Drive, Louis Stephens Drive, Little Drive, Kit Creek Road, I-540 and Triangle Parkway. In addition, under his direction the Foundation installed new wayfinding and directional signage and constructed the RTP Headquarters campus.

Mr. Daugherty has been on the Board since 1987. He first came to RTP in 1973 as the Site General Manager at IBM’s RTP campus. He assumed the position of Senior State Executive in 1985 and oversaw tremendous growth at the campus – during his tenure, the site doubled its employee population and quadrupled its space, becoming one of the most highly automated and productive facilities in IBM’s portfolio and one of the largest campuses worldwide. He has since served in several positions including Executive Director of NC State University’s Research Corporation (the group that managed Centennial Campus) as a liaison between the government, business, and the high-tech research endeavors of NC State University. He served as the Chairman of the Master Plan Task Force and the Wayfinding and Signage committee.

The two were highly engaged in the process to build a new Master Plan and will continue to provide counsel to the Board as emeritus members.

Finally, the Board recognized the exemplary service of Liz Rooks as interim President & CEO and is pleased to announce her commitment to remain at the Foundation as Executive Vice President and continue to be involved in the implementation of the new Master Plan. Earlier this week, the Board announced the appointment of Robert “Bob” Geolas as the Foundation’s new President & CEO.

About the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina
The Research Triangle Park is the leading and largest high technology research and science park in North America, covering 7,000 total acres. Founded in 1959, The Research Triangle Park is developed and managed by the non-profit Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. The Foundation is responsible for building and maintaining the physical aspects of the Park; attracting and retaining Park companies; and enhancing the competitive position of the Park and the Triangle region. To learn more about The Research Triangle Park, visit

Contact: Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina | 919.549.8181 |