Before joining TECH Fort Worth in 2006, Darlene was the founder and CEO of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company from 1994 to 2006. She successfully raised bank financing and private equity, applied for several patents, and negotiated licenses of her company’s technology. Under her direction, the company was on the Inc 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in America for three consecutive years and on the Dallas 100 list for five consecutive years. Darlene was named the 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences for North Texas and a 2004 Leading Woman Entrepreneur of the World. Another honor that she proudly displays is a declaration by the City Council of Fort Worth naming April 6, 2004, as “Darlene Ryan Day.”
Prior to her career as an entrepreneur in the life sciences, Darlene was a partner with a worldwide accounting firm, working in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego during her 18-year tenure. One of the firm’s first female partners, Darlene was also a trailblazer as an entrepreneur within the firm. She was a member of a five-partner team that began a tax software business within the firm, developing and licensing software to other accounting firms. As an international tax partner, she focused primarily on technology-oriented clients. She was actively involved in the CONNECT venture capital forum at the University of California – San Diego, coaching entrepreneurs through their presentations.
Throughout her career, Darlene has been actively engaged in the communities in which she has lived. In Fort Worth since 1994, Darlene currently serves as a member of the advisory councils for the UNT College of Arts and Sciences and the TCU College of Science and Engineering. She has previously served on the boards of directors for the UNT Health Science Center Foundation, Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, the Girl Scout Council in Fort Worth, and Arlington-based Helping Restore Ability, as well as the advisory boards for the UNT Murphy Enterprise Center, the Fort Worth Women’s Business Center and the UTA College of Science. Nationally, Darlene sits on the boards of DePauw University, the National Business Incubation Association, and the Association for FrontoTemporal Dementias and was until recently a board member and officer of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.
Darlene graduated from DePauw University 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. In addition to being a frequent guest lecturer at the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas at Arlington, Darlene is an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas.