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BioBiz Minnesota leader to become new CEO of LifeScience Alley

Dale Wahlstrom, the CEO of the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, soon will oversee LifeScience Alley under a strategic affiliation the two organizations announced Thursday.

Beginning in November, Wahlstrom, a former Medtronic executive, will replace Don Gerhardt, president and chief executive of LifeScience Alley, who will retire at the end of the year.

Officials from both groups stressed BioBusiness Alliance and LifeScience Alley are not merging.

Wahlstrom will remain CEO of BioBusiness Alliance, and the two organizations will retain separate staffs and legal status. (BioBusiness Alliance is an economic development group that receives state money; LifeScience Alley is a trade organization funded by membership dues.)

The new partnership calls for a joint strategic affiliation committee, made up of executives from both boards of directors, to guide overall strategy for the two organizations.

Officials say the affiliation will better allow LifeScience Alley and BioBusiness Alliance to pool their resources and coordinate strategies to strengthen Minnesota’s bioscience industries in a global economy.

“Rapid growth and convergence in the life sciences have the potential to spur huge growth in Minnesota’s economy, but we face diminished funding, unpredictable regulation, and strong, new competition from other states and countries trying to attract and grow these industries,” Gerhardt said in a statement. “This strategic affiliationwill help us to more nimbly capitalize on growth opportunities while dealing more effectively with urgent threats.”

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