Well was co-founded by Gary Loveman and Chief Operating Officer David Werry, a UNC alumnus who also serves as the company’s president.
Werry mentioned his strong ties to the University. He was a Morehead-Cain scholar and had worked in conjunction with the Morehead-Cain Foundation to help grow the company.
He also thanked local officials in the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County for all they had done to help facilitate the opening of the new operations center.
One of those local leaders is Penny Rich, chairperson of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. She spoke briefly at the event about the importance of cooperation between local and state governments.
“When counties can partner with the state, it’s a win-win for everyone,” she said.
Rich thanked Cooper and his staff, saying they have done a great job of attracting business to North Carolina. In addition, she extended her thanks to the volunteers serving on Orange County’s Economic Development Advisory Board for their contributions to the project.
Rich said one of the biggest challenges Orange County faces is that UNC students leave the community after creating new, innovative technologies and companies. She cited the return of Well, which had previously been based in Massachusetts, as a promising trend for the future.
The event was rounded out by an appearance from interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, who said he was thrilled by the opportunity for economic development in the area.
He discussed the importance of innovation, saying the University’s new strategic plan, “Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good,” would be rolled out in the coming months.
Guskiewicz stressed that this commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship would be used to encourage economic development in Chapel Hill, and Well would be an inspiration for other companies to base their operations in the surrounding community.
“We’re committed to working through partnerships to turn innovation into economic growth for the state of North Carolina,” he said. “And we look forward to continued collaboration between Well and UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care.”