Message from WRF’s Leadership
2021 marked a milestone in WRF’s history: 40 years since our founding by Tom Cable, Bill Gates Sr. and Hunter Simpson. From an uncertain beginning, when it often seemed that we were living on borrowed time—and money—we now have both a proud legacy and exciting future as a Washington state grant-maker and venture investor. We remain committed in our support of exceptional life sciences research that can transform lives.
2021 was a year of challenges and triumphs. COVID-19 continues to dominate our world, highlighting just how interconnected we are. Very little seems exclusively local anymore, bringing into relief how our support of innovative research in Washington state has significant impact far beyond our borders.
Washington state has much to celebrate. Our scientists and entrepreneurs are at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies: in response to the pandemic, certainly, but also in developing new diagnostics and treatments for serious diseases, prevention of life-threatening conditions, and in many other areas that are vital to our future wellbeing.
We recently said goodbye to two of our long-term colleagues. Ron Howell retired in April after 29 years as CEO. Jeff Eby, CFO for 19 years, retired in June. We are immensely grateful to both for their many contributions to WRF. We were delighted to welcome Meher Antia and Clarisse Benson to our grant-making team during the year.
In our roles as Interim President & CEO, and Chairman, we thank you for being a crucial part of our community.
Susan M. Coliton and Brooks Simpson