Bio Nebraska Announces Leadership Transition

OMAHA, Neb., Sept. 25, 2019 – Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association (Bio Nebraska), a trade association dedicated to the development and growth of Nebraska’s bioscience industry, has announced today that executive director Phil Kozera has resigned from the association effective Oct. 1, 2019. Rob Owen, Bio Nebraska board chairman, has been named executive director. 

“It’s been a privilege to lead Bio Nebraska and, in partnership with our board and members, transform the organization into one of the Midwest’s foremost life sciences trade associations,” said Kozera who will take a leadership role with MatMaCorp, a Nebraska biotechnology company. “I’m pleased that BioNebraska will be in good hands with Rob as its new executive director. Rob and I have worked closely and have a shared vision and commitment to our industry.”

In addition to his role as Bio Nebraska board chairman, Owen currently serves as an attorney for Dobrusin Law Firm, where he provides guidance to clients on a myriad of issues including contract drafting and negotiation, trademarks and copyrights. Before that, he served as general counsel and corporate secretary for Streck, Inc., a market leader in the medical device industry. Prior to entering the private sector, Owen held a series of advisory positions in the federal legislative and executive branches, first as Senior Counsel to U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, then as then as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and later as Counselor with the U.S. Department of Labor. 

“Under Phil’s leadership, Bio Nebraska has become a known entity in the state and around the Midwest,” said Owen. “The bar has been set high, but I look forward to the challenge of growing Bio Nebraska’s presence and expertise over the coming years. Nebraska’s bio industries have stories to tell and BioNebraska is going to tell them.”

Josh Johnson, general manager of Lincoln-based Huvepharma and Bio Nebraska board member, will replace Owen as the association’s board chairman.

“We are very thankful for Phil’s leadership,” said Johnson. “During the last eight years, Bio Nebraska has doubled its membership, developed an active calendar of events, implemented Nebraska’s Bioscience Month, created an initiative for Nebraska’s women in STEM, and fostered strong industry, state and federal partnerships. I’m looking forward to my role as board chairman and continuing this association’s important work.”

Bio Nebraska promotes legislation and economic development to grow high-tech and high-pay jobs, and supports emerging bio-based businesses. For the past eight years under Kozera’s leadership, the association has led many bioscience initiatives and helped establish the Biotech Connector at NebraskaInnovation Campus, along with UNL, Invest Nebraska and the state’s Department of Economic Development. Bio Nebraska also honors a member company annually with the Governor’s Bioscience Award, recognizing innovation, leadership and job creation. 

“Phil has been a tireless champion for biotechnology in Nebraskaand advocating for Bio Nebraska members,” said Stewart Bauck, vice president at Neogen GeneSeek Operations in Lincoln and Bio Nebraska board member. “In both the public and private sector, he has helped all involved in our state’s biotechnology industry provide high-quality jobs that create value for all Nebraskans. Under his leadership, Bio Nebraska has been a key partner in helping our companies fl3ourish on the national and international stage.”

About Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association
Bio Nebraska Life Sciences Association (Bio Nebraska) was formed in 2005 as a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the development and growth of Nebraska’s bioscience industry. The mission of Bio Nebraska is to be the champion of biotechnology and an advocate for its member organizations promoting academic, industry, and government partnerships to foster the growth of life sciences in Nebraska. For more information, visit