W&J to Honor Entrepreneurs of the Year at Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner

WASHINGTON, PA (Jan. 21, 2016) — Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) will honor Doris Carson Williams, CCE president and chief executive officer of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, and Jack W. Reich ’70, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Renova Therapeutics, Inc., as Entrepreneurs of the Year at its 29th annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner, Jan. 25, 2016 at the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh.

Reich has been a leader in the biotech industry since its early days in the 1980s.  He was a founding officer of Gensia, Inc., which became the second largest market cap biotech on the NASDAQ, and he co-founded Viagene, the first gene therapy company.  Viagene also went public and was acquired by Chiron. Reich went on to found and run Collateral Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLTX, acquired by Schering AG), the first gene therapy company focused on cardiovascular disease.

More recently, Reich co-founded Renova Therapeutics and has been its CEO for six years. He is developing single-use gene therapy products for major chronic diseases.  Its lead product, RT-100, completed its initial clinical trial in patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in the United States under a public-private partnership with the National Institutes of Health. Renova is also developing a single-use IV injection product to treat Type 2 Diabetes, which is planned to enter clinical trials in 2016.

Reich received a bachelor of arts in biology from Washington & Jefferson College in 1970, a bachelor of science in Pharmacy from Creighton University, a master of science in Hospital Pharmacy Administration from Temple University and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceuticals – International Pharmaceutical Administration from Temple University. In his free time, Reich is a car collector and an accomplished equestrian. 

Since opening its office in 1998, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania has grown under Williams’s leadership from 28 to more than 500 paid members and corporate sponsors, and is ranked the 10th largest in the Pittsburgh Region. In July 2013, Williams received the National Certification of Chamber of Commerce Executives by the board of directors and certification commission of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

She serves on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland-Pittsburgh Branch, Highmark, Inc., and is the vice chairman of The Highmark Foundation. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, and a 2008 Ford Foundation Fellow on Sustainability.  In 2009, Williams served as the co-chair of the G-20 Summit held in Pittsburgh.

Williams is the recipient of the 2010 Pittsburgh Business Times Top 50 Women in Business, a Woman of Excellence from the New Pittsburgh Courier, Junior Achievement’s Woman in Business, Carlow University Woman of Spirit, and was named a 2015 ATHENA Awards of Greater Pittsburgh finalist.  She earned a bachelor of science degree in business from the University of Hartford, is a graduate of Fairfield University’s School of Banking and Financial Management, and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business’s Management Program for Executives. Williams and her husband, James, have one son, James III.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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