April Giles, executive vice president of the Colorado BioScience Association, has been named president and CEO following a national executive search, the nonprofit said Thursday.

Giles replaces Holli Riebel, who resigned in June to accept a position as chief operating officer for the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce. Meantime, Giles had been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Denver-based life science industry association, which has 350 members.

"I'm passionate about what the bioscience industry has to offer our state," Giles said in a statement. "I value and look forward to growing and strengthening the longstanding relationships I've already developed with our bioscience companies, research institutions, economic development agencies, and other local, regional and national associations in my new and expanded role."

A committee of the association's board of directors selected Giles, who joined the association as director of operations in 2006. She moved to vice president of administration and operations in 2009, and was promoted to executive vice president in 2010.

"Our search committee worked very hard to find the best qualified person to lead the CBSA into its next phase of growth," said Steve Orndorff, chairman of the association's board and CEO of Ariel Pharmaceuticals. "In testament to April's tremendous talent and extensive experience in the association management and bioscience industry, we learned the best person for the job was already part of the CBSA leadership team."

At the association, Giles launched the first Rocky Mountain Life Science Investor & Partnering Conference in 2009. The conference has led to the development of regional partnerships and will return next year.

Giles graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in social work.