Harry A. George named Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the Year by the Arizona BioIndustry Association. Hundreds of leaders from across Arizona will be on hand to congratulate and thank “Harry” for all he has done to move Arizona forward faster at the 7th Annual AZBio Awards on October 23, 2012 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Leader…Practical Visionary… Community Catalyst… CEO… Chairman of the Board… Venture Capitalist… Angel Investor… Innovator… Founder… Director. .. Trustee… Philanthropist… Patron of the Arts.. Teacher… Mentor… Friend.. .“A Tucson Treasure”.Most of us would be proud to have any of these titles and roles to our credit. Harry A. George, the 2012 Jon W. McGarity Bioscience Leader of the Year has them all!
“Harry is one of a kind. The best combination of generous, smart, driven and kind. He makes us all better just by being himself,” shared Michael Garippa, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board, SynCardia Systems, Inc
For close to four decades, Harry George has been creating, capitalizing, and operating rapid-growth technology companies. A quiet, action oriented leader. Harry has consistently driven Arizona’s bioscience and technology sectors forward by acting on his vision with commitment, dedication, and determination.
“When Harry steps into a project, others follow his lead. When Harry shares his insights, others listen and engage. Most importantly, when Harry gets involved, good things happen. If you are looking to drive things forward, you need to “talk to Harry.” stated Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association.
A longtime leader on Arizona’s capital landscape, Harry co-founded Solstice Capital in 1995. Solstice is a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage life science, information technology and clean-tech companies. Solstice is currently managing its second fund ($57 million) and has invested in a total of 44 companies since inception.
“Tenacity and intellect are the hallmarks of Harry’s venture capital toolbox,” shared John M. “Jock” Holliman, III, General Partner, Valley Ventures. “We’ve been institutional co-investors in numerous companies over the past 20 years. Harry works every angle….and simply won’t let a company fail!”
Since bringing his venture capital vision to Tucson 1991, he’s invested in and mentored numerous startups. Harry George has helped to launch 60 companies – so far. He’s a co-founder of Desert Angels, one of the largest and most active networks of private investors in the United States. He is an investor in SynCardia Systems, maker of the only artificial heart approved by the FDA and 2011 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year, High Throughput Genomics (now HTG Molecular Diagnostics), Regenesis Biomedical, and Medipacs among others. He does know how to pick ’em.
“’Harry George’ and ‘venture capital’ are synonymous terms in Arizona” stated Jack B. Jewett, President & CEO, Flinn Foundation. “Harry’s personal impact on the growth of the biosciences in southern Arizona in particular has been profound.”
Harry A. George co-founded Solstice Capital in 1995, a venture capital fund investing in early stage lifescience, information technology and clean tech companies. The first fund invested in 21 companies, including E-Ink, the company that developed the technology used in the Amazon Kindle. He’s currently managing the second Solstice fund of $57 million, which has invested in a total of 23 companies since inception. From 1981 to 1989, Harry George was co-founder, director and VP of Finance for Interleaf, a pioneer in electronic publishing that grew to be a publicly traded company with $100 million in annual revenue and 800 employees. In January 2000, Interleaf was acquired by Broadvision in a stock merger that valued Interleaf at approximately $1 billion. Before that, Harry George was a co-founder, director and VP of finance for Kurzweil Computer Products, subsequently purchased by Xerox Imaging Systems in 1980.
“Harry George is a true driving force behind the development of the bioscience business environment in Arizona,” added Virginia S. Rybski, President and CEO of Regenesis Biomedical, Inc. “He played a crucial and critical role in the growth of Regenesis, not only by investing capital into the Company, but also as an engaged and impassioned Board member. Through his tutelage, Regenesis has grown into a significant company within Arizona and in our marketplace nationally.”
George has been a director of 26 private and public companies. In 1991, he moved to Tucson from Boston after falling in love with the desert, which led him to serve seven years as trustee of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, then six years as co-chair of the museum’s Treasure of the Desert Capital Campaign. Since 2006, he’s been a trustee of the Tucson Museum of Art where he is serving as treasurer. Harry A. George awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the UA Eller College of Management. He was recognized at the UA for serving on the board of the Arizona Center for Innovation and was a member of the advisory committee of the MBA program at the Eller School of Business for six years. George also is chair of a TREO task force developing an entrepreneurial economic blueprint for Tucson.
“His discipline and integrity in business is only matched by his passion to support his community” shared Louis Breton, Chief Executive Officer, Calimmune, Inc.” We congratulate Harry on his special honor. He is simply a Tucson treasure!”
AZBio would like to thank the teams at Solstice Capital, Regenesis Biomedical, Calimmune, The University of Arizona, Valley Ventures, and the Flinn Foundation for their contributions in collecting the materials for both Harry George’s nomination and for researching and cataloging his many contributions to our community. We also acknowledge and thank our independent panel of judges for their support in the evaluation of the wonderful candidates that were nominated this year.
To learn more about the 2012 AZBio Awards, visit www.azbioawards.com
Solstice Capital: http://www.solcap.com/
AZBio Awards www.AZBioAwards.com
Past Honorees: https://www.azbio.org/azbio-awards/awards-history