Coldstream selects new director

By Drew Teagu

A new director has taken the reigns of research at UK.

George Ward, executive director of the Coldstream Research Campus, was recently hired for the job and is taking the position as an honor.

Deb Weis, marketing and communications director, said the UK Board of Trustees just recently approved his hiring with the university.

“The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved the appointment of George Ward as the new executive director of the university’s Coldstream Research Campus at the Sept. 14 Board of Trustees meeting,” Weis said.

Ward, who has been familiar with UK President Lee Todd and his top-20 plan for the university since moving to Lexington, plans on continuing to strive toward those goals.

“I have been familiar with Dr. Todd’s goals to take technology development at the University of Kentucky and turn that into new companies that provide well-paying jobs,” Ward said.

Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., Ward attended the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Upon graduation, he worked for a company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, but ended up in Lexington where he was the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express located across the street from the Coldstream Research Campus.

Ward spent 18 years as a hotel developer, four years in high-level state government and his last eight years were spent with a startup biotech company.

“I had an opportunity recently to interview for the position and hope that my background makes me uniquely qualified,” Ward said. “Those jobs gave me the background needed to try to both do real-estate development and economic development at the Coldstream Research Campus.”

Ward feels that his prior knowledge of working with a start-up company gives him a unique perspective and ability to work with the companies on the campus.

“I have a pretty good understanding of what all our companies are going through as far as getting funding from general state government and developing commercialized products,” Ward said.

Ward said the campus has a business plan that was set prior to his arrival, which he plans on finalizing and making public later this year.

The research campus only has three full- time UK faculty members, but there are a total of 1,069 employees in all the businesses, Ward said.

“Just because of the way the timing worked, I started just before they had the annual community picnic so we had 400 of them at the picnic,” Ward said. “I had the opportunity to introduce myself to them and meet a number of them. They are very nice people to be around.”

Ward is going to be working with all the companies on the campus as well as new companies to help them develop and market their products.

“The primary responsibility [of being executive director] is to help grow companies and grow innovative jobs for faculty and staff of the university,” Ward said. “There’s a real-estate development component to that, because we have to be able to provide facilities for companies to grow into.”