November 10, 2021

Peoria Bio-Made announces launch grant from the Gilmore Foundation and hires an Executive Director

Media Contact:

Vivian Standifird


Released: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Peoria Bio-Made announces launch grant from the Gilmore Foundation and hires an Executive Director

Peoria: Peoria Bio-Made, launched by biotech entrepreneur and Peoria native Jake Becraft in 2020, has selected Vivian Standifird as its first Executive Director.  Vivian will serve in a limited, pro bono capacity now through December 31st of 2021 and assume the position on a formal engagement on January 1, 2022.

The executive director position was made possible by a launch grant from the Gilmore Foundation to formalize the initiative and develop a long term growth and sustainability strategy.

Vivian Standifird is a senior financial executive with over 20 years of financial leadership experience, assisting both public, private, and large non-profit organizations through periods of growth and expansion. She retired from her CFO position at Rehab Medical in 2021 to serve Bradley University as First Lady and pursue her passion in community service.

Prior to her current leadership roles in Peoria, Vivian served as the Chief Financial Officer for Rehab Medical, Inc., a medical equipment company focused on custom wheelchairs (complex rehab) and related products from 2014 to 2020. During her time at Rehab Medical, the company was named in the “Fast 25” list by the Indianapolis Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies three years in a row (2018-2020). The company also made the Inc.com Top 5000 US private company list in 2020. Vivian also served as Chief Financial Officer for Cork Medical, LLC and OMS Rehab LLC, sister companies for Rehab Medical with common ownership. Cork Medical is a medical device manufacturing company focusing on FDA registered wound care products.

As Peoria Bio-Made’s Executive Director, Vivian will build upon Jake’s vision for Peoria Bio-Made and the work of a local stakeholder group led by the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.  Vivian will take the pitch deck developed by the working group and expand it to include community comparisons, benchmarks, financials, and supplemental marketing materials.  An early outcome of the effort will be a comprehensive plan, proforma, timeline, etc. for building a clinical -grade biomanufacturing facility in the warehouse district.

“We could not have imagined a better person for the executive director position.  Vivian is a CPA, worked as the CFO for a Indianapolis Medical Device company, and has previous experience working in the manufacturing industry.  She is the ideal candidate around which the Peoria Bio-Made initiative will grow and thrive long into the future,” says Jake Becraft, Peoria Bio-Made founder and CEO of Strand Therapeutics.

“Vivian is the right person at the right time to ensure the success and sustainability of the Peoria Bio-Made initiative.  We are thrilled about this opportunity for the Peoria region,” says Laura Cullinan, President of the Gilmore Foundation.

“I’m delighted to join this initiative. This opportunity allows me to pursue my passion for contributing to the Peoria community by putting my professional experience to good use. ” says Vivian Standifird.

Vivian will work closely with a small Board of advisors who will help connect and guide the initiative through monthly meetings.

About Peoria Bio-Made

The Peoria Bio-Made project is a 501c3 working to establish Peoria as a global biotech hub.  The project was launched by Peoria area alum and CEO of Strand Therapeutics, Jake Becraft in partnership with the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and local stakeholders.  Peoria Bio-Made’s mission is to build incentives from local, state, and federal leaders to help attract high growth biomedical business to the area; create education opportunities to train the workforce of Peoria’s next innovation; and contact global biomanufacturing leaders to build the case for Peoria’s economic value within the biomanufacturing industry.  Peoria Bio-Made is an effort to advance the Greater Peoria region’s economic development strategy with a narrow focus on building connections and opportunities for companies in the biomedical manufacturing industry.

About the Gilmore Foundation

The Gilmore Foundation is a private foundation established in 2009 which supports the development and improvement of the tri-county community — Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. The Foundation’s areas of focus are: 1) enhancing culture related to art, music, dance, history and theater, 2) improving society through youth development, human services, abuse prevention, education and shelters and 3) job creation through capital improvement projects which assist in the development of the community’s infrastructure.


Please direct any questions about the Peoria BioMade initiative to Vivian Standifird by email at peoriabiomade@gmail.com.