Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
News Conference: Welcoming Univera to Washington State
January 16, 2004
Good morning. Thank you for being here.
Joining me today are:
· State Senator Paul Shin
· Bill Lee, CEO of Univera, Inc.
· Graeme (Graham) Sackrison, Mayor of Lacey
· Dennis Matson, former director, Thurston County Economic Development Council
· Michael Cade, Director, Thurston County EDC
· Kevin Ekar, Chairman, Thurston County EDC
· Wendy Holden, Deputy Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) – representing Martha Choe who couldn’t be with us today
· Larry Williams, Assistant Director for International Trade at CTED
It’s a pleasure for me to welcome Univera to Washington state. And, more specifically, to the South Sound!
Univera is moving its U.S. headquarters from Broomfield, Colorado, to Lacey this year.
The great news that we celebrate today is the product of a lot of hard work – by our office, Senator Shin, CTED and the City of Lacey and the Thurston County Economic Development Council.
Senator Shin, Martha Choe and I had the honor of meeting with Mr. Lee and his mother, Helen Chung, a former member of the Korean National Assembly, during our trade mission to Seoul, South Korea, in summer of 2002. I also hosted Mr. Lee and other Univera officers at a meeting here in Olympia last year.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Sen. Shin for all of his hard work to make this deal happen.
We are thrilled that Univera’s move to Washington state is now a reality. This will mean more jobs for our state – ultimately generating some 300 good-paying jobs for the citizens of Lacey and the surrounding South Sound area.
Univera’s move to Washington state is yet another success of our trade missions. It is further proof that our trade missions pay off, and create jobs for our citizens.
For international trade to be successful, it is dependent upon building and nurturing personal relationships.
Univera is exactly the kind of company that we’re working to attract to Washington state. It is a biotechnology company, deriving vitamins, soaps and cosmetics from aloe plants. Univera is a holding company for three separate companies:
· Aloecorp is a multinational company that provides only the best biologically active Aloe Vera raw material worldwide.
· Oasis Wellness Network is the world’s leading anti-aging company, committed to carrying out scientific research and development of innovative and natural products that promote quality of life.
· Unigen Pharmaceuticals is a leading natural products research and development company and proprietary ingredients supplier.
The biotech/bio-med industry in Washington state is growing. And we must take steps to make sure we nurture that growth and remain a leader in this sector.
That’s why we’re promoting a very aggressive initiative called Bio 21. It is a public-private, non-profit partnership that will further fund our state’s outstanding research capacity in biotechnology and information technology.
We are proud that our hard work paid off, and that Univera will soon be calling Washington home for its U.S. operations, administration, research and development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
I would now like to introduce a man who played a critical role in this effort, Sen. Paul Shin…
Thank you Paul. And now it is my pleasure to introduce Bill Lee, CEO of Univera…
Thank you Mr. Lee.
Thank you all for being here today.