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Blackburn promoted to Executive Director at TechFW

🕐 4 min read

After 12 years, Boudreaux steps aside and will assist part-time

Hayden Blackburn has been promoted to Executive Director of TechFW, effective Saturday Sept. 15. He succeeds Darlene Boudreaux, who will continue part-time as one of the coaches for TechFW clients, especially those in the life science industry.

TechFW is a nonprofit technology incubator that is supported by the University of North Texas Health Science Center, University of Texas at Arlington, the City of Fort Worth and the local business community. It helps entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies that have a high potential for success and works to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Texas. Notable client successes in recent years have included ZS Pharma and Encore Vision.

Maxwell Lea, chair of the TechFW Board of Directors, said, “We have all been working toward this day for the past couple years. Hayden has shown himself to be a thoughtful, capable and visionary leader who will enable TechFW to continue to be an effective catalyst for innovative technology companies in our area.”

Blackburn, a leading strategist, developer of programs and organizer among startups and entrepreneurs, has been the assistant director since arriving from IDEA Works FW in December 2016. He has been engaged in all TechFW programs, but most notably ThinkLab, Cowtown Angels, EpICMavs at the University of Texas at Arlington, TechNest and M-Crew, a new community / client mentor match that leverages outside talent in a volunteer capacity.

“I have been impressed with Hayden’s knowledge, work ethic and temperament. His ability to listen, understand and lead are qualities that are beneficial for TechFW, its clients and its partners,” Boudreaux said. “He has been a strong leader for the Cowtown Angels group and has enabled us to improve and expand our services for technology-based companies.”

Blackburn co-founded and was the initial director of IDEA Works FW, which launched in 2014. He was responsible for developing and establishing a vision and future for IDEA Works FW, as well as overseeing the operations, delivery of services and facility management. Previously, he worked in strategic development, marketing and business and economic development roles, including positions with the Funding Information Center and Business Assistance Center in Fort Worth.

Since 2011, he has been a founder or leading contributor to the Fort Worth Business Plan Competition, 1 Million Cups, Startup Weekend, Great Ideas conversations and the Entrepreneur Summit. Recently, he was honored with a Mentor Award from the Fort Worth Business Press.

Blackburn is a 2007 honors graduate of the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. He serves on the Near Southside Inc. and the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation Board of Directors.

Boudreaux was named TechFW executive director in August 2006. Recently, she was included on the list of the 400 Most Influential People in Fort Worth. From 1994-2006, she was co-founder and CEO of PharmaFab, a pharmaceutical manufacturing and technology company in Grand Prairie. PharmaFab was on the Inc 500 list of the fastest-growing, private companies in America three consecutive years and on the Dallas 100 list five consecutive years. She helped grow its revenues to $28 million in 10 years.

Boudreaux was named a 2003 Healthcare Hero by the Fort Worth Business Press and the 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences for the Southwest Region of the US. In 2004, she was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives as the only American named to the list of the nine Leading Women Entrepreneurs in the world, and the Fort Worth City Council proclaimed a day in her honor.

Previously, she was a partner with Arthur Andersen, a worldwide accounting firm, working in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego during her 18-year tenure. She was one of the firm’s first female partners and a member of a five-partner team that began a tax software business, which developed and licensed software to other accounting firms and to corporations. As an international tax partner, she focused primarily on medical device and pharmaceutical clients.

Boudreaux serves on the Tarrant County Board for the American Heart Association and on the advisory boards for the UTA College of Engineering and the UTA Department of Biomedical Engineering. She has also been a member of the advisory boards for the TCU College of Engineering and Science, the UNT Murphy Enterprise Center and the UNT College of Arts and Sciences. Nationally, she has served on the boards of the International Business Innovation Association, the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, and DePauw University.

Boudreaux graduated from DePauw with a B.A. and a double major in mathematics and German. She also holds an M.B.A. in accounting and finance and a minor in marketing from the University of Chicago, and is a Certified Public Accountant. Boudreaux is an adjunct professor in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, where she teaches a course in Family Business.

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