SD Biotech Association announces new executive director

Published: Jan 01st, 2013

Sioux Falls, South Dakota  – The South Dakota Biotechnology Association is excited to announce the hiring of Joni Johnson as its new executive director.

            Johnson is an industry veteran, most recently serving as administrator of POET’s political action committee. In that role representing one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, Johnson grew PAC membership from 100 to 700 members in less than three years, making it the largest PAC in the renewal fuels industry. She grew revenue by 145 percent.

            “I have a passion for the renewable fuels industry and for the larger biotechnology community,” Johnson said. “So when the opportunity came up to lead the state’s biotech association, I felt like I could help grow this important organization in a similar way.”

            Johnson said she’ll be reaching out to many businesses and other organizations that could benefit from becoming association members.

            “There is great potential to grow this organization,” she said. “We have many entities in South Dakota and beyond that could benefit from belonging to this association, and we plan to make sure they know our story.”

            She also plans to provide enhanced services to current members, with more opportunities to network and additional communication on industry issues and developments.

            “I’m a big believer in the power of networking,” she said. “We are a small state, but we have big players here in the biotech world, and we have the potential to attract many more. We need to work together to maximize our talents and our resources, and the South Dakota Biotech Association provides a wonderful platform for that to happen.”

            Johnson also is a veteran of many state-wide political campaigns, and she plans to prioritize advocacy at the state and national level for the association’s membership.

            “They need to have a voice in critical decisions that impact this industry,” she said. “It’s especially important for our smaller members who don’t have the internal resources to do as much advocacy as they might like or need. This is something we as an association need to do.”

            Johnson started her new position earlier this month.

            “We’re very excited to have Joni on board,” board president Eddie Sullivan said. “She is a tremendous fit for this position. She is energetic and ready to take the association to the next level.”


            To contact her, call 605-274-3714 or email



The SD Biotech Association is a member-based non-profit that seeks to create an expansive bio-based economy in South Dakota.  Formed in 2006, SD Biotech members represent all areas of life sciences (which include human health, food and agriculture and renewable energy), biosciences and biotechnology. Its partners include business, higher education and state-wide economic development. To learn more, visit