Four new members have been named to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC’s advisory board.

Virginia “Ginger” Ashton, Mary Baron, Robert Hogan, and Adriana Hogan join 22 accomplished board members, who are responsible for providing dynamic perspectives and recommendations to the research institute’s executive director, Michael Friedlander, and leadership teams.

“As our board continues to grow, so does the breadth of knowledge and professional and personal experience that allows them to play an integral role in the advancement and success of the institute and its members,” said Friedlander, who is also vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech. “I’m truly grateful to have this group of esteemed colleagues advocating for the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and our mission, and I am honored to welcome Ginger, Mary, Robert, and Adriana to our team.”

Each member serves as ambassadors for the institute by helping to solidify philanthropic partnerships with industry, foundations and private individuals, provide guidance and professional expertise, and support the advancement of biomedical and health science research. The board convenes twice a year.

The board’s newest members hail from Virginia, Florida, and Texas:

  • Ashton, a Roanoke native, is deeply involved in philanthropic efforts for multiple organizations in the area. She owns and operates a boutique catering and events business that provides services in the Roanoke Valley.
  • Baron, of Naples, Florida, is a retired Roanoke real estate agent, builder, and developer. She founded her own building and development company in the late 70s, paving the way for women in the field.
  • Adriana Hogan, of Houston, and a native of Colombia, is the chief executive officer of Menecci Designs – a firm that specializes in full-service architecture, interior design, and home goods product development. She works with production teams, architects, engineers, and contractors to create and bring to life her clients’ vision. She is also devoted to volunteering and advocating for children’s and health care-related charities.
  • Robert Hogan, of Houston, a Virginia Tech alumnus, is the president and chief executive office of Hogan Ventures LLC, a consulting resource firm that helps small companies expand.
Mary Baron, Adriana Hogan, Robert Hogan and Ginger Ashton
Mary Baron, Adriana Hogan, Robert Hogan and Ginger Ashton (from left) have been named to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute's advisory board.

Nine additional members have been appointed to the board between its inception in 2016 through 2019:

  • Meg Carter, of Roanoke, assists small business owners and executives with strategy and workforce optimization through her consultancy, ThoughtFull, LLC.
  • Michael Christiano, of Boston, is the chief business officer at Tmunity Therapeutics, a private biotherapeutics company focused on improving lives by delivering next-generation T cell immunotherapies. Christiano is a Virginia Tech graduate.
  • Warner Dalhouse, of Roanoke, is the former chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of Dominion Bankshares Corp., and the First National Bank of Virginia.
  • Jeff Gallagher, J.D., of Richmond, Virginia, served until 2019 as the chief executive officer of Virginia Bio, a statewide life sciences trade group. He serves on numerous state and university technology commercialization panels, assisting with grant review, policy development, and industry leadership.
  • Lisa Karlisch, Ph.D., of Alexandria, Virginia, founded and manages a strategic consulting firm, Sparkfire Strategy, which is focused on serving companies, foundations, and non-profit institutions in the social services, education, and health care markets. Karlisch is a Virginia Tech alumna.
  • Ray Mills, Ph.D., of Vienna, Virginia, is a Virginia Tech alumnus and portfolio manager for global investment management firm T. Rowe Price, where he manages the International Core Equity Strategy.
  • Marjorie Tenzer, of Roanoke, is a former senior global marketing executive for IBM, where she played an integral role in the transformation of the company’s marketing approach and organizational model, converging marketing and communications.
  • Kelly Woolwine, of Roanoke, is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Evolution HR, a staffing, recruiting, placement, and consulting company. Woolwine, a Virginia Tech alumnus, also owns Frontier Consulting and works as a leadership, human resources, and operational consultant.
  • Wei Zhou, Ph.D., J.D., of San Francisco, is president, founder, and chief executive officer of Centrillion Technologies, a genomic technology company that uses engineering and biochemistry breakthroughs to accelerate discovery in human health and the environment. Zhou is a Virginia Tech alumnus.

The advisory board is led by president Gunther Hoyt and vice president Marty Muscatello, and also includes David Bernd, George Cartledge III, Maria Clarke, Callie Dalton, Phil Duke, Shelley Duke, S. Wayne Kay, Venetia Kontogouris, David Lyerly, Ph.D., Jim Rutt, and J. David Wine. Virginia Tech President Emeritus Charles Steger, who died in 2018, is a board member in memoriam.

Written by Logan Quesenbery