The Change Agents

Contributed by:

PharmaVOICE Staff

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Jane Winter
Rises to Every Challenge
Title: Senior VP, Head of Regulatory and Quality Consulting
Company: INC Research/inVentiv Health
Education: BSc (Hons) Botany, Manchester University, UK
Family: Daughters, for their patience and meals they have made her while she’s on teleconferences
Hobbies: Walking, pilates, singing in a choir, cooking, gardening
Bucket List: 
Visit all seven continents; support a charity
Awards/Honors: Fellow of the Institute of Clinical Research
Associations: RQA, Institute of Directors, ICR, PACRA — Founding Director
Social Media:

Taking a transformative approach to consulting, Jane Winter has helped to build a powerful core team at INC Research’s consulting practice, now INC Research/inVentiv Health, garnering industrywide attention.

As senior VP, head of regulatory and quality consulting, she continuously comes up with innovative ideas and created a vision for the consulting business unit that helps each team leader understand the crossover between disciplines and how to collaborate on projects.

She directs the business unit with a strong commitment to high-quality deliverables and has built an unusually sturdy structure to drive profit margins. Consultants under Ms. Winter’s purview become an integrated part of the company they are advising, not just a hired hand who dips in and out of projects. With a strong business approach, she is balancing risk and profit with aplomb and building a solid foundation for the CRO’s consulting team.

She sees opportunity where none existed in the past. For instance, she has found an emerging company business intersection between consulting and early phase clinical studies that INC Research has seen synergies between its offerings for its customers.

Ms. Winter says her first job in the industry, as an assistant in a quality control lab supporting the manufacturing unit at Ciba Geigy, provided a very useful introduction to the pharma industry, enabling her to understand the manufacturing process and the need for robust quality processes and team work.

One of her most rewarding experiences was leading the start up of a CRO business within the CSO Innovex. She and her team grew from one CRA, a study manager, and a filing cabinet to an international CRO that was acquired by Quintiles in 1996.

After Quintiles, Ms. Winter spent many years as an independent consultant, truly honing her customer service skills and establishing herself as a knowledgeable industry thought leader while developing a well-earned reputation for perspective, tenacity, and relationship building. She knows how to manage the sponsor relationships and helps clients understand the needs around a project that they may not even be able to articulate.

She says success is measured partly on meeting financial goals, but also ensuring actions have a positive and sustainable impact on all stakeholders, including patients and employees.

Practicality and the ability to adapt to shifting circumstances fuel her success. Continuous learning is important to Ms. Winter, who says her goal is to remain a valuable contributor to the organization she works for.

Ms. Winter says no leader is successful without a strong team contribution, and a good leader creates a robust team, respects individual contributions, encourages and listens to the team, but makes the final decision. Colleagues say Ms. Winter unites people and elevates the leaders on her team to be better managers. She encourages people to think outside of the box and to unleash creative ideas. She believes an organization can become stronger by learning from mistakes and not getting it exactly right the first time. Nevertheless, she emphasizes that it’s important that the overall strategy and goals are shared and everyone knows his or her role to play in achieving those goals.

Ms. Winter enjoys mentoring at all levels within the organization, as well as millennials just starting their careers.  Her hope is that her overall impact encourages people to reach their potential, playing a part in developing senior managers of the future.
“I am a good listener and can provide creative ideas, whether it be at a corporate strategy level or helping someone achieve the next step in his or her career; I suppose that is why I enjoy consulting,” she says. (PV)


Dr. Sanjit Singh Lamba
Leading the Way to Success

Title: Managing Director
Company: Eisai Pharmaceuticals India
Education: MBA, Kellogg’s School of Management; Ph.D., Gitam University; PGDMS, University of Mumbai; M Pharm, Pharmaceutical Technology, Panjab University
Family: Parents; wife; twin daughters
Hobbies: Singing, watching movies, photography
Bucket List: Own a farmhouse and grow vegetables and fruits
Awards/Honors: Excellence Award, UBM; Corporate Responsibility, India Pharma; Quality Excellence Award; Excellence in Operation Excellence; Excellence Award (3 years), EHS
Associations: President, Parenteral Drug Association India chapter, ISPE; Indian Pharmaceutical Association; Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)

To explore their true potential, people should seek out new challenges. That is Sanjit Singh Lamba, Ph.D.’s guiding principal for leadership.

As managing director of Eisai Pharmaceuticals India, he creates an environment where it is easy for the people to head in the right direction.

Colleagues say Dr. Lamba is a great leader and knows how to lead people instead of pushing them. He is able to not only guide, influence, provide aid, and support team members to accomplish the common objectives, he also has the vision to successfully steer the team under challenging situations as Eisai strives to achieve its R&D mission to ensure that innovative drugs are brought to market to improve patients’ quality of life.

“Leadership is all about making others better as a result of your work in a sustainable way,” he says.

He is driven to make sure that he has the right people in place who inspire him and others to do things differently and make a change in the industry.

Dr. Lamba sees himself as a change agent and as a leader who aims to deliver excellence, and he measures his success by how much his work benefits and gives joy to others and society at large. He is motivated to go to work every day because every day is new.

“I want to experience new,” he says. “If nothing is new, I create it.”

His talents are a great fit for Eisai’s mission, which is focused on human healthcare or “hhc,” as the company calls it. The company’s philosophy is anchored on this concept, which means all Eisai employees should give their first thoughts to patients and their relatives. The hhc mission governs the way the company does business, from research to the products it develops, to the way employees are trained, and the allocation of financial resources.

Eisai Pharmaceuticals India, which was incorporated in October 2004, was the first Japanese company to have a 100% subsidiary in the Indian pharmaceutical market. Dr. Lamba helps lead Eisai India’s dedicated team of well-trained 200 field force members across the country under various specialties and around 300 members at the research and manufacturing operations site, which is a global supply hub for pharmaceutical substances and drug products across the world.

Dr. Lamba’s colleagues say they are grateful to have the opportunity to work with him, and they say he is the catalyst for increasing their knowledge and technical skills not only in their specified fields but also in other related areas. They say under his tutelage they reach beyond their comfort zone, take risks, and explore possibilities.

To foster innovation, he says it’s important to move away from conformity and see things differently.

“Companies should collaborate on drug discovery and innovation through an open platform with a common funding pool,” he says. “The industry should also work together to improve regulatory compliance and quality oversight. Noncompliance is a drain of millions of dollars in remediation plans. Too much conformity in organizations and maintaining the status quo are hindrances for the industry.”

He wants to be remembered as someone who embraced and introduced new technology solutions and ideas in the industry and as someone who consistently delivered ahead of the competition and brought changes to improve quality and compliance. (PV)


Kathy Biberstein
Bridging Science and Law

Title: Executive VP, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
Company: Alkermes Inc.
Education: BS, Mechanical-Electrical Engineering, Business Minor, Kettering University; JD, University of Michigan
Family: Her two sons, Josef and Paul, and her sister, Mary Ann, who has provided childcare for her sons for the last 20 years.
Hobbies: Nordic and alpine skiing, cycling, hiking, boating, running
Bucket List: 
Hiking Denali with her sons; touring the country in a vintage Jaguar
Social Media:

They say actions speak louder than words, but when it comes to Kathy Biberstein, both her actions and her words are inspiring, strong, passionate, and at the same time pragmatic.

Dynamic, hands-on, and intellectually curious, Ms. Biberstein is a thought leader in healthcare and health law. Colleagues say her work ethic and creativity in policy are unrivaled. She has an innate ability to push projects to the next level for the good of the industry and its stakeholders.

In today’s legal world, it is becoming more common to see women in leadership roles, but when Ms. Biberstein started out more than 30 years ago she was one of few females working in a big law firm. Breaking barriers, Ms. Biberstein started her career as an automotive engineer. After studying law, she moved from a traditional law firm path in-house within biopharmaceutical companies, where she led global legal teams. She now serves as an executive VP of Alkermes. Her role at Alkermes was recently extended to managing, not only the legal, IP, and government affairs groups, but the IT, HR, safety, and local facilities groups, Ms. Biberstein has been instrumental in the company’s growth from a small biotech company to an integrated biopharmaceutical company.

Ms. Biberstein believes that striving to understand the real life needs of patients with serious illness and incorporating that understanding into the development of new medicines is tremendously motivating and has been the key to Alkermes’ success. Her goal is to transform Alkermes to a major multiproduct biopharma company, while preserving the extraordinary culture and values that the company holds dear.

A great communicator, Ms. Biberstein’s ability to comprehend complex science — and make it understandable across audiences — has helped to bridge many gaps.

She has an ability to help people overcome differences and find solutions, whether those differences stem from diverse backgrounds, points of view, styles, or professions.

“It is likely that the variety of experiences in my own history — I studied applied science and law, had a multicultural upbringing, and lived abroad — helped me develop this skill,” she says.

Ms. Biberstein remains constantly curious, digging beneath the surface to understand a problem at its core. Understanding how things work, the connections between concepts that may at first blush seem unrelated, and what people are thinking are central to how she lives her life and how she works.

As a leader, Ms. Biberstein’s success is in part due to her collaborative approach. She listens and makes sure she has all the information before making a decision. She chooses her battles wisely, and is not afraid to take risks. And once she determines a pathway, she leaves no stone unturned. She has particular expertise in the areas of addiction and mental health and draws on her knowledge and commitment to what is right to support people in these communities. She says she would like to be remembered as a key contributor to the modernization of public policy regarding the treatment of addiction and mental illness in this country.

Ms. Biberstein is a voice for her company on Capitol Hill, where she works with government leaders and organizations to advocate on healthcare issues. Her testimony on patent reform still stands as an important reference on innovation in the biotech industry.

Her colleagues look to her for advice and guidance when tackling issues. Her mentorship has helped others as they embark on their career journeys, enabling them to shape their careers rather than letting their careers shape them.

A role model for young women, Ms. Biberstein helps them to deal with different pressures and demonstrates how she forged a successful, meaningful career path while balancing family and retaining her sense of humor.

She maintains that for a company to remain vibrant, it must be constantly growing its next generation of leaders. Mentoring allows her to collect real-time feedback on how Alkermes’ objectives and fundamental values are being understood and implemented throughout the company.

She draws her inspiration from female friends across the globe who are extraordinarily accomplished in diverse fields.

“While our skills and how we deploy them are very different, we were all women who ignored actual and perceived boundaries to accomplish our dreams,” she says.(PV)


Michael Lazar
A Talent Connector

Title: Principal
Company: JBK Associates International
Education: BA, Philosophy, BA, Political Theory, Muhlenberg College
Family: His wife, Christina and children, Olivia and Ethan, who provide incredible support and motivation
Hobbies: Golfing, playing soccer with his kids, reading books about leadership
Bucket List: Write a book, go on safari in Africa, go to a Super Bowl
Associations: Community Hope — Leadership Committee
Social Media:
Tweet at: @jbk_associates

Connecting great talent with great companies to advance patient care is what it’s all about for Mike Lazar.

As principal at JBK Associates, Mr. Lazar plays an integral role in growing the boutique executive search firm that is dedicated to connecting bright minds with innovative life-sciences companies. Making a difference matters to Mr. Lazar, who would like to be remembered as a strategic partner who met the needs of clients and colleagues, a mentor committed to the success of others, and a change agent who creates a positive impact.

He strives to help others recognize their unique set of skills and capabilities and how they may be best suited to address critical business challenges. His role, he says, is to provide the insight, guidance, and platform for others to solve problems and create value.

“The idea that our candidates are creating, manufacturing, testing, launching, and distributing life-changing therapies around the world is exciting,” he says.

An exceptional professional in pharmaceutical recruiting, Mr. Lazar believes in developing relationships that last beyond the initial interview and he advocates for the interests of both the client and the potential employee.

He draws on his exceptional knowledge about the industry to find employee candidates who not only have the experience, but also meet the cultural fit of organizations.

Mr. Lazar remains focused on the “why” behind the “what,” keeping the end goals of both the potential employee and company in mind along the journey.

His goal is to continue to expand JBK’s geographic footprint and help the company to become one of the most admired and sought-after search firms in the industry.

“JBK Associates International has been selected to join a global search partnership of 74 leaders in 54 countries,” he says. “In leading our firm’s global life-sciences capability, I will be working with international counterparts to enhance best practices in markets around the world, in addition to growing our own firm’s expertise and talent network globally.”

He is insightful and cuts through complicated ideas, boiling them down and coming up with innovative solutions that have helped JBK stay flexible, while creating sensible and efficient processes.

With a commitment to improving what the life-sciences industry does on behalf of patients, Mr. Lazar believes 99% of business challenges can be solved with hard work, perseverance, and creative thinking.

He is motivated by the energy and loyalty of his colleagues, the partnership of his clients, and the support of his family — and knowing that he will learn something new and solve a new challenge every day.

Mr. Lazar learned a lot from his mentors Julie Kampf, founder and CEO of JBK, and Steve Prisco, principal at JBK. Ms. Kampf taught him to how to ignite the potential of people, the power of creating an environment where anything feels possible, what it truly means to be client-centric, and to always find new possibilities. Mr. Prisco sets an example of tackling every challenge with a blend of tenacity and kindness.

JBK, which has a formal mentoring program, allows Mr. Lazar to interact with junior colleagues. He says the experience has been incredibly valuable in recognizing what motivates them, understanding their short and long-term career goals, and building a plan to ensure their investment in their development.

Beyond JBK, Mr. Lazar is active in his community, and is a committed team member of Community Hope, and other organizations that supports U.S. veterans. (PV)


Court Turner
Venturing into Visionary Advances

Title: Venture Partner
Company: Avalon Ventures
Education: BS, Psychology, San Diego State University; JD, Law, University of San Diego School of Law
Family: Parents, Barbara and Michael Turner, Wife, Julie Turner and sons, Owen and Benjamin, all who have been a constant in his life, always supportive and available whenever needed
Hobbies: Basketball, running
Bucket List: Build a house from scratch with his own hands
Social Media:
Tweet at: @afcbiotech

Considered by many to be one of the leading lights of the San Diego biotech community, there are few areas in the pharmaceutical industry that Court Turner hasn’t mastered. As a venture partner for Avalon Ventures, he has built a portfolio of innovative companies. He can see the future of early-stage ideas and technologies and executes on that vision to create highly innovative companies. Thanks to his efforts, these companies have provided both investors and buyers with high returns and assets, as well as programs of potential importance to patients.

His early career focused on the legalese that goes with a public company. As part of Aurora Biosciences’ legal and strategic alliances department, he had first-hand experience in its acquisition by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

His next step led him to the San Diego biotech community, where he has been involved in business development, venture capital, company creation, and countless mergers and acquisitions over the last 15 years.

It is this amalgamation of knowledge and experience that make Mr. Turner such an outstanding leader in the life-sciences industry, particularly when it comes to recognizing worthwhile pharmaceutical endeavors.

Most notably, Mr. Turner has created two companies that could revolutionize healthcare; one is developing the first new class of broad-spectrum antibiotics in more than 50 years and the other is using synthetic biology to create therapeutics that have been impossible until now.

Mr. Turner’s vision for Cellular Approaches is to harness new insights in the activities of the innate immune system and borrow lessons learned from cancer immunotherapy to reprogram white blood cells to capture and kill drug-resistant superbugs that are increasing mortality in hospitals around the world.

After a chance encounter with Dr. Floyd Romesberg, a professor at The Scripps Research Institute, RQx Pharmaceuticals was created, and two years later the company signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Genentech. The partnership between Dr. Romesberg and Mr. Turner has continued to yield more advancements in novel therapeutics through the creation of the synthetic biology biotech company, Synthorx. The company aims to develop improved drugs for autoimmune diseases, pain, and cancer.

“We are in a very difficult business where the next milestone has never been achieved,” he says. “Short of a ‘show-stopping’ experimental result, we are in the business of pivoting with new data toward company objectives.”

His vision goes hand in hand with intuition, an important skill to have when working in a business based on data, logic, and regulations. With a positive and determined approach to the biotech companies he supports, Mr. Turner says he is convinced each day that his colleagues will generate data that has never been seen before, and those data will provide the insight for an important medicine.

“We don’t make widgets and I am not interested in slightly improving a circumstance,” he says. “We are always swinging for the grand slam; the mission itself is always a daily motivator.”

A skilled negotiator and businessperson, Mr. Turner is respected for his personal integrity and ability to build collaborative and productive relationships with colleagues and counterparties alike.

Mr. Turner comports himself ethically and fairly, whether he is negotiating a large collaboration or strategic deal with a global pharmaceutical company, or defining the terms for a foundational technology license for a start-up company coming out of a university or academic research institution, or interacting with colleagues or outside counsel.

A team player, Mr. Turner says his role is no more important than that of anyone else on his team. In fact, Mr. Turner would like to be remembered for the long-term relationships he has cultivated along the way. He wants his colleagues to be happy that they chose to work in one of his companies and for his pharma partners to be happy that they did deals with him.

To Mr. Turner, leadership is a service-oriented activity, which requires constantly questioning if he is providing what is needed to make the company and its employees/investors successful.

His role, he says, is to support and reward innovation that is valuable to investors, partners, and patients, and to provide the context for how innovation, versus execution, can help or hinder the organization.

He mentors those within the companies he has created and in organizations such as the ZIP Launchpad at San Diego State University, where he is on the advisory board. (PV)


Kim Carpenter
Investing in Others Creates Success for All

Title: Associate Partner, Executive VP Integrated Services
Company: HCB Health
Education: BA, Journalism, Texas State University
Family: Husband, Landon; parents; sister
Hobbies: Spinning, Pilates, fashion, interior design, fine wine, cooking and home renovations
Bucket List: Visit Phuket’s many Buddhas; visit Iceland to see Northern Lights, and go to the Galapagos Islands
Awards/Honors: “Health Care Badass of the Month,” HCB, 2013
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
Social Media:
Tweet at:  @HCB_Kim

In 2013, Kim Carpenter, associate partner and executive VP integrated services at HCB Health, won the agency’s “Badass of the Year Award” for her ability to successfully and simultaneously juggle multiple projects and clients, and she’s still kicking butt today.

Ms. Carpenter has been applauded for the way she handles three departments and all the challenges that come with that task.
“My most challenging assignment has been orchestrating the process and cultural integration among three departments — account service, media, and digital — and three locations, Austin, Chicago, and New Jersey to offer clients an integrated model versus a siloed-approach,” she says. “This has been an ambitious feat to say the least, and one that I find most gratifying.”
With more than 25 years of experience leading business and brand strategy, with a strong focus on changing how healthcare marketing and advertising can be integrated, Ms. Carpenter leads a diverse team of strategic thinkers whose experience ranges across multiple aspects of medical marketing, from branding to direct marketing. She and her team are committed to providing guidance to clients that want to find better ways to build more human relationships with audiences and build strong, enduring brands.

Ms. Carpenter believes strongly in investing time in people — within and outside the agency. She strives to make sure that people feel they are equally important for their individual contributions and as part of a team. This formula makes for happy employees, resulting in better work for clients. Because of her commitment to HCB’s people and culture, the agency’s healthcare clients also benefit. They get the advantage of a talented, tenured team whose members feel supported and empowered and the outcome is ultimately better.

Ms. Carpenter’s authenticity is another one of her core values and she considers it to be her greatest leadership asset.

“People are much more likely to go the extra mile and stand by me in the best and worst of times because of that integrity,” she says. “However, if I hadn’t journeyed inside first to become clear on my values, strengths, passion, and vision, there would be a lack of an authentic grounding that would cause eroding trust and undermine my leadership effectiveness.”

Ms. Carpenter’s biggest career highlight was turning an oncology brand challenger into a major player. The A-list client has grown into one of the largest players in cancer care, providing networks treating more patients than the top four U.S. institutions and conducting more oncological clinical trials than any other in the United States. A true testament to the trust and partnership between Ms. Carpenter and the client is the fact that they have been working together for more than 11 years.
Ms. Carpenter says she is driven to problem-solve, try new things, figure out a way to succeed, and learn from her mistakes.
“At its most basic level, I love the process of teasing out client challenges and working with the teams to customize a solution and see it come to life in the market,” she says.

While her accomplishments are admirable, it is the way she conducts herself around others that wins her the most kudos. Colleagues say she has a way of making people feel like they are on one team, no matter which of HCB’s offices they belong to, and the agency’s growth wouldn’t have been possible without her at the helm of integrated
services. (PV)


Danielle Bedard
Seeing the Possibilities

Title: President, Managed Markets
Company: INC Research/inVentiv Health
Education: BA, Psychology and Complex Organizations, Mount Holyoke College
Hobbies: Baking/cooking with her daughter, playing Scrabble and board games, yoga, dance, outdoor activities, being her daughter’s fun Sherpa
Bucket List: 
Open a custom basket shop; publish a cookbook, spend a month in the hills of Tuscany writing and cooking
Awards/Honors: PM360 ELITE Transformational Leader, 2017; inVentiv Health’s Impact award, 2015, 2016; Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rising Star, 2009; Saratoga Springs’ 40 under 40 Award for Business & Community Leadership, 2004
Social Media:

After recognizing an unmet need in the marketplace and determining what — and who — was needed to bring a response to life, Danielle Bedard founded inVentiv Health Managed Markets, now a part of INC Research/inVentiv Health, and shortly moved the division to become a leader in the space.

“It has been my biggest career highlight, and the most rewarding,” Ms. Bedard says. “It’s been amazing to be a part of such a wonderful team who continues to make it happen every day.”

Ms. Bedard has been with inVentiv Health for almost 15 years and has amassed invaluable experiences along several different career paths. She started on the account management side with Palio, an inVentiv Health full-service advertising agency, before identifying managed markets as a key area for business growth — one that would be essential to compete effectively in the evolving payer marketplace. And so, she raised her hand to develop a managed markets group, which evolved into inVentiv Health Managed Markets, and paved the way to her current role as president of the group.

With Ms. Bedard leading the way, inVentiv Health Managed Markets set aspirational goals for profitability and growth and has consistently exceeded them. She has managed to nearly double revenue and increased profits nearly ten-fold.

She has a remarkable combination of insight into and foresight for institutional efficiency. Ms. Bedard is committed to staying abreast of regulatory updates, following enforcement activity, and understanding the particular interests of regulators in the managed care space.

She leads an eclectic team of industry experts who help clients stay ahead of the sometimes-turbulent shifts in the business side of the healthcare industry.

Ms. Bedard thinks creatively and analytically about any given situation and leverages her knowledge to successfully steer the organization. She is also committed to the success and livelihood of everyone who works for her.

“How we get where we are going is just as important as where we arrive,” she says.

She encourages people to understand the why behind everything, and helps them to explore the connections that are not obvious between organizations, identify opportunities,  and determine the most efficient and effective way to execute.

A visionary leader, Ms. Bedard would like to be remembered for seeing the potential of her team, her company, her clients, and for patients.

She describes herself as the buffalo: “buffaloes don’t wait for the storm to pass or look for ways around it; they push through it,” she says.

Ms. Bedard values authenticity in both her private life and in her professional endeavors, and she inspires others to do the same. She believes in sharing a common goal and says it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, as long as the goal is accomplished as a team.

At the same time, she is thoughtful and deliberate in her approach, weighing pros and cons and avoiding snap decisions. She works hard, is kind, and strives to do the right thing. She cares for her team, knows how to praise outstanding performance and shows respect for clients, colleagues, and people in general.

“I truly care about people and aim to be authentic, honest, and straightforward, so that I am able to give people what they need to hear and in a way they need it,” she says.

Ms. Bedard enjoys nurturing individuals, teams, and organizations that are strong and capable.

“My role is to unify and build the organization, dissect problems to uncover opportunities, and grow staff via training and mentorship,” she says.

She ardently tries to stay away from the factors that stifle innovation, which she believes can be constrained by conventional thinking and rote, unexamined processes that may have outlived their effectiveness.

Naturally for someone who so values the lessons she has learned along the way, Ms. Bedard is passionate about helping others learn. From her work with kindergarten classes, with gifted teenagers at science camps, as a community health educator, or with struggling youths, she has seen first-hand how knowledge elevates and expands each persons horizon.

Raising her view toward the potential ahead, seeing possibilities, and scrutinizing obstacles are all essential elements of Ms. Bedard’s success. It all comes down to vision and her talent for sharing it. (PV)


Susan Cuozzo
Breaking Through Barriers with Strategy and Unity

Title: Executive Director
Company: Virgo Health
Education: BA, Anthropology/Pre-Med;  MA, Community Health and Health Administration, Hofstra University
Family: Daughter, Vivienne, who is everything; partner, Peter (Vivienne’s Dad), who is understanding and supportive
Bucket List: Learn to play the violin
Awards/Honors: PM 360 ELITE award for transformational leadership
Associations: American Medical Writer’s Association (AMWA); International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)Social Media:

With experience, wisdom, creativity, and open-mindedness, Susan Cuozzo took the New York office of Virgo Health from a one-person outfit to a double-digit business in just four years.

She achieved this by going above and beyond her role and by addressing the identified gaps in service provision and changing working practices.

Building the business wasn’t without its challenges. During the first four months, she found being the lone employee on the ground and trying to procure Virgo New York’s first piece of business was tough. But after winning the global healthcare communications agency’s first account, she was able to add team members and continue to grow the client roster.
Demonstrating both vision and flexibility, Ms. Cuozzo built on the creative medical learning approach that helped Virgo Health to succeed in Europe and adapted the approach for the U.S. market.

She draws inspiration from Virgo Health’s Co-founder Sarah Matthew, who she describes as the full package: savvy businesswoman, empathetic leader and colleague, and adoring mother.

Colleagues describe Ms. Cuozzo as being fundamentally stubborn, which combined with her focused approach ensures she doesn’t give up.

“There is always a challenge to address, which keeps things interesting,” she says. “It is very satisfying to troubleshoot and at the end of the day say goodnight to smiling faces.”

She believes in transparency, which for her is the basis of relationship building and ensuring everyone feels invested in accomplishing the best possible outcome.

This approach has won her the respect of all team members. In fact, Virgo Health New York has an outstanding retention record and the company’s biannual strategic review process with each client consistently shows exceptional levels of satisfaction with everything from team chemistry to implementation to strategic counsel.

For Ms. Cuozzo leadership is about being present through good times and bad, to acknowledge victories and accomplishments, and perhaps even more important, to have the difficult conversations about performance, behavior, or poor decisions.

Organizational inspiration comes from teamwork and ongoing critical review of processes, Ms. Cuozzo maintains.

Whether working on how to more creatively communicate data or scientific concepts, or how to approach an internal or external challenge, Ms. Cuozzo addresses the immediate or acute need and gives thought and planning beyond the immediate, remembering or incorporating a narrative that leads stakeholders to long-term solutions.

Despite her background in science, Ms. Cuozzo measures success qualitatively as well as quantitatively, and hearing kind words from current or former colleagues on how well the team worked together means the most to her.

Mentoring is a priority for Ms. Cuozzo who says regardless of her remit she will always remain committed to paying it forward.
While she line manages scientific and editorial team members and formally acts as a mentor, she strives to maintain an open dialogue with all team members to discuss any issue. She believes in weekly one-on-one meetings, and encourages people to share what’s on their minds.

“It is important that the team realizes that we can only be successful if they are being heard and ultimately feel appreciated and fulfilled,” she says. “There are many folks who I have worked with who said that early in their careers I helped them figure things out and that makes me feel very proud.” (PV)


Caroline Redeker
The Transformer

Title: Senior VP, Corporate Development
Company: Advanced Clinical LLC
Education: B.S., Business Administration, Central Michigan University
Family: Her husband David; her kids Rebecca, Samantha, and Thomas; Kathleen Drennan, her aunt, for bringing her into the industry; her parents and her husband’s parents, Pat and John Neuhaus and Aileen and Bill Redeker, for creating a village to help support their family
Hobbies: Golfing, skiing, boating, coaching basketball, volunteering at school
Bucket List: Change the course of someone’s life for the better in a meaningful way
Awards/Honors: President’s Club, Advanced Clinical; President’s Club, inVentiv Health (both for multiple years); top salesperson
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Drug Information Association
Social Media:

Living “the speak” and challenging herself to be the best she can be while providing the best service is how Caroline Redeker, senior VP of corporate development for Advanced Clinical inspires those around her. She strives to ensure the employees in her organization understand how the approach and results of their work benefit the customers and is changing the industry expectations as a whole.

“I share with my team how what they are doing benefits our customers and elevates the industry standard, and this helps them feel their work is important and more valued on a day-to-day basis,” she says.

Recognizing the potential, helping grow the company to its current industry-leading position, and being part of something unique has been her most rewarding career experience.

She was brought in as an adviser to what was then a small service company with a niche in staffing and specific functional CRO services. Advanced Clinical’s CEO recognized her passion for the industry and 25 years of drug development experience, including building Essential, a boutique CRO, that was eventually purchased by inVentiv.

As a privately held company with no intent to sell, Advanced Clinical had the flexibility and vision to tap into Ms. Redeker’s skills to build the right type of company to better service its customers and its employees.

Ms. Redeker developed the strategy to transform the company into a global, full-service CRO, including defining the structure, recruiting the staff, building new service offerings, and expanding its global capabilities. And integral to the process was staying committed to the company’s core values of respect, excellence, accountability, and leadership.

Over the past six years, Ms. Redeker has led the change management of the company, including recruiting the current president and other top talent from the industry to build a world-class, unique company with expertise across biometrics, clinical operations, and patient recruitment, all supported by innovative technologies.

She and her team quickly invested in the talent and technology to compete with the larger CROs. Many members of the management team came from the large CRO environment and knew how to compete at that level, but they also knew what could be implemented to improve upon what other CROs provide their customers.

As part of her recently formalized position as senior VP of corporate development, she is responsible for driving innovation and growth, and focusing on global expansion, new service offerings, and strategic relationships.

Ms. Redeker loves being part of a unique company where she can make a difference: providing value to customers by improving the timing and quality of clinical trials; helping to bring treatments to patients faster; and contributing to the next generation of drug development.

Tenacious in all she does, Ms. Redeker is driven to produce the best solutions and is comfortable challenging others even when unpopular for doing so.

“My philosophy is if you always keep the customer in mind, your opinions and ideas are worth pushing for and, ultimately, will prove beneficial once the challenges are worked through as a team,” she says.

Ms. Redeker learned early in her career the value of networking, and the benefit connections can bring to an individual, his or her company, and customers. Through her own well-developed network, she keeps connected to the issues in the industry and the daily challenges clients face. She is adept at understanding how an everyday issue can affect the bigger picture, as well as connecting the different pieces of a situation.

“I am a true believer that you should only agree to manage people when you have the drive and time to ensure that each person is given the opportunity and resources to succeed,” she says. “I also learned that one can be an effective corporate leader as an individual contributor.”

Ms. Redeker believes a leader is someone people want to follow regardless of reporting structure. Colleagues describe her as a true servant leader who inspires, motivates, and works tirelessly to ensure her teams are supported.

Ms. Redeker has the continual respect and admiration from her team, and she is also a resource, a mentor, coach, and advisor to so many, both within Advanced Clinical and beyond. Attributing most of what she has learned to watching and listening to her mentors, she pays that forward by teaching people what she knows and offering a different perspective.

“I also find I learn new things from people I mentor, as they often come from a different background or age group,” she says.
Ms. Redeker would like to be remembered by clients as an honest and trusted partner they can count on who delivered results and added value to their clinical programs. (PV)


Rich Tremonte
Putting Partnerships First

Title: President of Strategic Global Sourcing
Company: AmerisourceBergen
Education: BA, Business Logistics, Pennsylvania State University; MBA, Temple University
Family: Parents, whose love and support shaped him into the person he is today; wife; 6-year-old twins, who keep every day exciting
Hobbies: Playing hockey, golfing
Bucket List: 
Travel to Japan and China
Awards/Honors: AmerisourceBergen President’s Club Award, 2016

In 2013, Rich Tremonte stepped away from a 15-year career as a pharma sales and marketing leader to take on the duties of VP, global generic, pharmaceuticals, at AmerisourceBergen. In four short years, he has made bold and innovative changes that have created a new approach to pricing, technologies, and focusing on the needs of customers by adding inside sales product experts. The result has been a significant improvement in customer purchasing loyalty. Recently, Mr. Tremonte accepted a new role as president of strategic global sourcing.

In his role, he oversees AmerisourceBergen’s sourcing of products in brand, specialty, generics, OTC, animal health, MedSurg, and biosimilars. He is responsible for more than 300 associates in inside sales, category management, PRxO pricing and analytics, AHP supplier trade relations, and the management of BluePoint Laboratories in Cork, Ireland.

Mr. Tremonte is a huge believer in the power of collaboration, and he is certain that nothing can get accomplished without partnership. As biosimilars and follow-on biologics become an increasingly large part of the healthcare market, Mr. Tremonte has collaborated with leaders across the AmerisourceBergen enterprise to create a new, hybrid category that occupies a unique space between interchangeable generic drugs and innovator branded products. He is also collaborating with stakeholders outside of AmerisourceBergen, including a liaison with Walgreens Boots Alliance Development in Bern, Switzerland. The Walgreens Boots Alliance partnership has driven strong growth in AmerisourceBergen’s sales and positioned AmerisourceBergen as one of the world’s largest generic sourcing entities. He operates from a “be easy to do business with” mentality for suppliers both big and small. Clients commend Mr. Tremonte and his team for their transparency and consistency in their message and approach.

From top to bottom, Mr. Tremonte’s leadership is evident in the performance of his teams. And he is committed to talent development. His open and direct communication style has facilitated the development and empowerment of members of his team. He sets high-performance expectations for his team and then helps his team reach or exceed those expectations. For example, in 2016 Mr. Tremonte was instrumental in restructuring teams in order to grow market share and reduce leakage by harnessing expertise across the enterprise. This efficiency resulted in reducing the amount of purchasing customers did outside of the company by half. Mr. Tremonte focused on building product expertise and leveraging that expertise for manufacturer partners, as well as pharmacy provider customers.

His focus on doing the right thing for customers and manufacturer partners has resulted in a collaborative mindset that is focused on results and value. He is applauded for his honesty and ability to always find a way to say yes in pursuit of a win-win solution for all.

When AmerisourceBergen was looking for the next generation of leaders for its generics team, Mr. Tremonte was at the top of the list, because of his manufacturing experience as well as his collaborative leadership style.

“I try to lead with a sense of approachability and warmth,” he says. “I consider my team an extension of my family. My biggest career highlights are seeing the people who have been on my teams grow, take on more responsibilities and new roles, whether within AmerisourceBergen or at other industry leading companies.”

How Mr. Tremonte measures success sums up his leadership philosophy.

“I measure success not as ‘how well did I do?,’ but as ‘how well did we do?,’” he says. “The success of my team is always going to be how I measure my success as a leader.” (PV)


Lada Kecman
Harvesting Passion and Potential

Title: VP, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain Systems Deployment
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, Masters, Chemical Engineering, University of Split, Croatia
Family: Her mother, who was generous, open-minded, and hardworking, for instilling a belief that one can earn one’s place through hard work
Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, and traveling
Bucket List: Learn to speak Italian; travel to learn about history and cultures.
Social Media:

With a career at Johnson & Johnson that spans 25 years, Lada Kecman has brought invaluable knowledge and strategic oversight in the areas of development, manufacturing, systems engineering, project management, and process and execution excellence to the global company’s supply chain organization.

As VP, execution systems for the Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC), her role is to drive business improvements and standardization of systems technology solutions, in partnership with global IT, across multiple business segments within J&J supply chain.

She is responsible for leading elements of the industry 4.0 transformation, such as data thread and analytics, mobility, and augmented reality.

Patient care is always top of mind for Ms. Kecman, who is constantly encouraging her organization to strive to achieve the following manufacturing results: real-time release, enhanced compliance, and reduced cycle times.

By pushing her colleagues to excel in these areas of production, JJSC will be able to yield better process data, which in turn, will allow the company to spot and/or prepare for potential problems on the production line, greatly reducing the potential for future error.

Ms. Kecman recognizes the need to implement groundbreaking technologies and tactical internal processes to stay on the leading edge of pharmaceutical supply chain innovation. This requires not only changes to the physical infrastructure and investments in technologies, but also a change of mindset, executive sponsorship, adoption of new institutional and individual skills, and organizational agility.

Under her leadership, JJSC has established an integrated enterprise-to-enterprise product-view technology and methodology to experience the full product journey from the lab to the patient, as well as a new business model in which technology innovation is driven. Ms. Kecman also helped to introduce new capabilities such as mobile technologies, augmented reality, and advanced analytics to teach supply chain employees new skills to prepare JJSC to enter the next industry revolution.
Ms. Kecman says moving from the business and manufacturing space into the information technology function took some adjustment and made her realize her thesaurus and business knowledge had to be expanded.

Before taking on her current role, she was program director for the manufacturing plant based in Cashel, Ireland, where she was responsible for the design, construction, and start up of the medical device operations, and for setting key drivers and early site leadership of the $210 million program.

Ms. Kecman says she follows logic, sometimes to a fault, but she seeks to balance that with humor.

“Having intellect and wit balances my engineering mindset against my playful, more compassionate side,” she says.

She is committed to transforming the organization and industry by harvesting the passion and potential of people and technology. Ms. Kecman is motivated by the possibilities the industry has to offer and her commitment to her team and customers.

Success, she says, is measured in the long-term, based on her career, reputation, and credibility as a leader across geographical boundaries and functional boundaries.

She would tell her younger self to “be who you are, be genuine, know what you want and go after it.” (PV)


Steve Rosenberg
Opening Doors to Clinical Efficiency

Title: Senior VP and General Manager, Health Science Global Business Unit
Company: Oracle Corp.
Hobbies: Golfing, reading
Bucket List: See a great white shark off the coast of South Africa; go on an African safari
Associations: St. Ann’s Home, board member; Brandon School, board member
Social Media:

When asked why he has spent decades of his career working at the intersection of health and technology, Steve Rosenberg doesn’t hesitate to respond: “Because it’s hard.” As senior VP and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, Mr. Rosenberg doesn’t just manage challenges, he thrives on them.

Mr. Rosenberg recognized the impact of new technologies that researchers and clinicians now take for granted — big data, the Internet of Things, wearables, etc.

As technology opens doors to more data, the potential to revolutionize the health space, in turn, grows.

He also anticipated early on that realizing the potential of the data revolution wouldn’t be an easy road. The challenges came from all sides, ranging from a cumbersome and conservative regulatory process to the ever-present risk of treatments that would be put into the human body. But to Mr. Rosenberg, all of these challenges have made his job fun.

“I have a drive to succeed and grow our business and enable our customers to innovate in their mission to develop new medicines,” he says.

In 2014, Mr. Rosenberg was asked by the head of Oracle Industries to take on a leadership role within the company’s health sciences business, which provides the infrastructure and technology that powers everything from clinical trials to population healthcare.

He knew that the business was at an inflection point, with enormous potential to change the healthcare space, but it needed to overcome roadblocks ranging from a disconnected organizational structure to emerging competitors.

Mr. Rosenberg’s first priority was to shift the organization’s mindset away from outdated concepts and toward a forward-thinking approach that embraced cloud technology. To help with this process, he brought in new talent with expertise in this space.

He also united the disparate teams and divisions from across the business under a simple, yet effective mantra that continues to guide Oracle Health Sciences today: “love your customer.” This means thinking ahead to what the customer will need in five, 10, or 20 years. And he measures success one customer at a time.

Mr. Rosenberg then set up a structure in which his direct reports serve as leaders at their own levels, giving them the latitude to make their own decisions and steer their individual teams.

To keep colleagues engaged, Mr. Rosenberg convenes regularly by phone, hosts quarterly town halls, and recently introduced a peer awards program. Team members are encouraged to nominate one another for the recognition.

Having navigated this organizational shift, the health sciences business is now realizing great results, with a customer roster that’s stronger than ever and well-positioned for continued growth.

Before Oracle, Mr. Rosenberg was senior VP and manager of the medical management division at HPR, and senior VP of development and client services at W3Health, a healthcare analytic software and services technology startup. He also worked as chief operating officer at PHT Corp., a technology and service leader in the electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) market space.

At Phase Forward, he was a lead evangelist for the integrated clinical technology suite used by nine out of 10 global pharma companies.

He cites his career highlights as involvement in changing the research arena by accelerating the adoption of EDC and defining the integrated clinical environment.

Leading by example, being honest in communicating, and creating themes for others to rally around is how Mr. Rosenberg inspires others. A good leader, he says, should lead by example, have a clear vision and clear goals, and set the top priorities.
When challenges arise, he helps others to stay calm, collect information, and move forward.

He would like to be remembered for making a real impact in the efficiency of conducting clinical research.

Looking ahead, Mr. Rosenberg is eager to continue steering the industry to the cloud, and ultimately seeing the benefits of harnessing data for tomorrow’s cures.

Beyond Oracle, Mr. Rosenberg serves on the board of the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), which is dedicated to advancing clinical research by supporting global data standards.

He is also a longstanding board member and former chairman of St. Ann’s Home, a Boston-based school and residential facility for abused children. Most recently, he joined the board of the Brandon School & Residential Treatment Center, which is also dedicated to helping children in need. (PV)


Craig Serra
Relentless Pursuit of Clinical Advances

Title: Senior Director and Business Product Owner
Company: QuintilesIMS
Education: BA, Psychology, Rutgers University; MS, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University; MBA, Management, and MS, Information Systems, Fordham University
Family: Mother, Camille; father, Allen; brother, Chris; and late step-dad, Larry
Hobbies: Strolling along the water
Awards/Honors: TransCelerate Risk Based Monitoring Achievement Award, 2016; Cristian Rivera Foundation Service and Dedication Award, 2016; Pfizer Clinical, Medical Excellence and Innovation (CMEI) Award, 2015
Associations: Cristian Rivera Foundation, board director
Social Media:

Craig Serra is helping lead an effort that will affect more than 20,000 people and scores of customers by transforming the TMF at QuintilesIMS. As senior director and business product owner, he brings relentless determination to instigate change and motivate others to re-think how they approach clinical trials.

Innovation for Mr. Serra consists of a more progressive regulatory landscape, technology that’s built for users, and a willingness to take thoughtful risks. He strives to stay one step ahead of industry developments and participates in ongoing conversations surrounding better clinical practice.

Before joining QuintilesIMS, Mr. Serra was senior director and data management business process owner at Pfizer, where he was accountable for the end-to-end process for data management conduct and closeout.

While at Pfizer, Mr. Serra helped lead or support several large work streams and initiatives, including risk-based monitoring, universal quality standards, implementing a new data scientist role, and the company’s next generation of clinical trial software.

Where many may be content with the status quo, Mr. Serra pushes boundaries and challenges the industry to re-think the way it does things.

“More than 3 billion daily transactions happen in eCommerce, trillions of dollars are traded in the world stock and derivatives markets, and all of us are glued to our phones,” he says. “Yet, somehow in the pharmaceutical industry, we travel in a covered wagon back in time, continually decades behind other industries, and are second only to the federal government in unfavorability ratings. We trip over ourselves with stifling regulations and fax-machine era technologies wondering why drugs aren’t cheaper, why they don’t get to market faster, and why the public views us unfavorably.”

The biggest career highlight for Mr. Serra was helping a family member who had been misdiagnosed by several doctors.
“What I learned in my career, besides subject matter, was to continue to find answers,” he says. “That mindset helped me — supported of course by the right doctors — find a diagnosis for a rare type of hydrocephalus in the elderly. Seeing him walk for the first time in three years was an indescribable feeling.”

Mr. Serra supports any initiative that will improve the patient’s experience in clinical trials, noting that something like medication adherence, which is poorly addressed, is potentially the largest issue in healthcare.

He also is a huge proponent for risk-based monitoring, saying this will greatly affect not just the mechanism of overseeing trials but the actual culture related to the oversight of trials.

People matter to Mr. Serra, who says he would like to do more to positively impact others and hopes that the industry is better with him in it.

Knowing he is fortunate to have skills that can be used to solve problems while helping others is motivational. He tries to inspire others by showing up and being present, and trying his best, which is all anyone can really do. He tries to find what motivates others and then acts upon those insights.

Mr. Serra is committed to helping advance research into pediatric brain cancer, specifically diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and is a board member for the Cristian Rivera Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for DIPG.

In addition to raising money and awareness for the foundation, Mr. Serra has had in-depth discussions with leaders at Pfizer to see what could be done to advance pediatric tumor strategy. While at Pfizer, he brought the foundation, Pfizer, and researchers at Weill-Cornell together to look at what could be done.

“I have endless thanks for Pfizer colleagues who supported those discussions,” he says. “They gave their time and expertise, across company silos and geographies, to fight for a cure for a rare disease. It was nothing short of exemplary.”

Both in his work at QuintilesIMS and his voluntary work for the Cristian Rivera Foundation, Mr. Serra has shown his ability to connect to the right people, bring great ideas, be charitable on all fronts, and stand out from the rest. (PV)


David Paragamian
Inspiring Cathedral Builders

Title: Managing Director
Company: Razorfish Health, a division of Publicis Health
Education: BA, Hamilton College; MA, Business and Professional Communication, La Salle University
Hobbies: Long-distance running, logging airline miles
Social Media:

With a commitment to telling the pharmaceutical industry’s story to the public, David Paragamian is throwing off traditional approaches.

As managing director of Razorfish Health, he is leading his team to empower conversations among patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals every day in places as diverse as the kitchen table and bedside in the chemo infusion suite.
“What we do helps; what we do matters,” he says.

Since joining the agency in 2016, Mr. Paragamian has transformed Razorfish Health from a regional, digital agency to a global, full-service agency of record.

Mr. Paragamian stepped into a difficult situation: a crisis of culture and purpose and a stagnation of new business wins leading to low morale.

He took no time at all to move forward, establishing relationships with all key clients, making significant changes at the executive and senior leadership level, and establishing a senior leadership team of 20 people to enhance the voice of the agency.

He tasked the senior leadership team to help evolve the positioning and the image of the agency and the executive leadership team to establish an all-agency relaunch. Before the end of his first 90 days, the entire agency had been retooled in preparation for its market reintroduction.

The pace of innovation has continued unabated under Mr. Paragamian’s leadership and the agency has united through the changes implemented. Today, Razorfish is a strong, fast-growing business unit within Publicis Health.

Before joining the agency side of the industry, Mr. Paragamian spent many years in pharma companies, starting out in brand management with Procter & Gamble, holding multiple positions at Johnson & Johnson, and spending five years at Roche, in a series of progressive marketing and sales management roles.

At Roche, he was moved from marketing to sales management and was asked to lead a 500-person national sales organization as a developmental assignment.

“Before that I had limited field sales experience, but I built a diverse field sales management team, infused a culture of high performance, and the team exceeded corporate goals starting the very first year,” he says.

In addition, leading major global agencies such as Havas has given him a breadth of knowledge and experience that are critical for working with pharma clients.

A nimble professional, Mr. Paragamian balances working on the client side in senior marketing management roles and on the agency side at big networks.

“I love a marketing challenge, whether it is positioning a launch brand, solving a sales and marketing disconnect, or branding an agency and its unique culture,” he says.

Those who have worked with him say no matter the challenge he brings vision and leadership to find a solution that is unparalleled.

Mr. Paragamian would like to be remembered as someone who cared passionately for the work, the clients, his agency brand, but mostly for the people he has worked with.

As a leader, Mr. Paragamian inspires his teams by setting an audacious goal in concert with the team members, then collectively figuring out how to make it happen, even if that means thinking in untraditional ways.

“People really want to be cathedral builders and not stone cutters,” he says. “Everyone wants to get up in the morning to do something grand and great. Leaders should inspire, create vision, create teams, and then get out of the way.”

He encourages his teams to have smarter, more tenacious, conversations with clients to drive business forward.

Outside of the agency, Mr. Paragamian is an adjunct at St. Joseph’s University Business School and loves sharing his experiences with the students.

In addition, he serves on the board of trustees for Pennington School, which his children attended, and chairs the communications and admission committee, providing his expertise in marketing and advertising. (PV)


Nicolette Sherman
Going Far Together

Title: VP, Global Leadership Development
Company: Sanofi
Education: BA, Government, Lehigh University; MA, Political Science, University of Delaware; MHRM, Rutgers University
Family: Husband, Steve; children, Justin and Lauren; mother, Helga
Hobbies: Anything outdoors — boating, deep sea fishing, running, hiking — all preferably with her family; reading; traveling
Bucket List: 
Write a children’s book, barefoot cruise with her husband, complete a triathlon
Awards/Honors: PharmaVOICE 100, 2014 and 2017; Sanofi Talent Champion
Associations: HR50x; Deirdre’s House Board of Trustees, president; IPEC, coach; Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; SHRM; World at Work
Social Media:
Tweet at: @NicoletteSherm5

Nicolette Sherman is helping to drive culture change at Sanofi by aligning the company around one global leadership development framework, launching the organization’s corporate values, and building one comprehensive global curriculum for employees worldwide. As VP, global leadership development, Ms. Sherman is leading a diverse team of employees to drive engagement and create innovative leadership development solutions that will equip leaders to solve tomorrow’s problems today.

“This has been an amazing opportunity to work with people across our global organization, to hear their voices, collectively assess our needs, and build a strategy to help us leverage our strengths and identify areas for growth to make us an even more successful organization,” she says.

She is bringing fresh thinking to support new ways of learning, which are highly relevant to the business. She combines business savvy and innovative thinking with the ability to create a vision, lead, and inspire a diverse range of global stakeholders around the vision.

To advance the global leadership initiative, Ms. Sherman engages leaders across the company’s geographies and businesses to harness their insights and views of business problems. She has established multiple advisory committees that matched people’s personal skills and passions with these committees. This approach has driven greater engagement and commitment to building well-aligned and connected solutions. And she uses communication updates to engage others in how the execution is working and where the barriers lay.

She is passionate about connecting her values with Sanofi’s purpose, and feels truly privileged to work in healthcare.
Ms. Sherman tackles challenges through thoughtful assessment of the situation, injecting some humor, breaking problems down into smaller goals to spread accountability, and ensuring the team is able to refocus on achieving the organization’s over-arching goals.

Ms. Sherman enjoys motivating teams to learn, achieve, and deliver, drawing on an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

Success for Ms. Sherman is about having a positive impact on those around her, and being able to help develop and sponsor up-and-coming talent.

“It’s about doing what I love, feeling challenged and learning something every day, making a difference, and leaving a legacy for the next generation,” she says.

She inspires her colleagues by keeping it real and being authentic, and above all, understanding what is important to others, honoring it, and connecting that to Sanofi’s broader purpose. Working with a great team toward the goal of “empowering life” is a huge motivator for Ms. Sherman.

She has gained leadership insights from mentors both professionally and personally. While at Schering-Plough Healthcare Products, the division’s former CEO Stan Barshay taught her about the importance of vision and collaborating across the industry. His passion for leadership and people demonstrated his personal mantra: “do what is right for the people, and business results will follow.” Well supported by her family, Ms. Sherman describes her husband as her lifelong coach and confidante, who has stood beside her, believing in her abilities, and enabling her to follow her dreams. And her children provide her daily inspiration to learn new things and dream big.

Ms. Sherman has been with Sanofi for nine years in a variety of leadership roles, including people and organizational development and human resources. Before joining Sanofi, she was U.S. human resource leader at Schering-Plough.

Having benefitted significantly from the guidance, support, and kindness of others, Ms. Sherman pays it forward. She says she is honored to provide support, guidance, mentorship, and sponsorship to the many talented people around her.

She serves as the executive sponsor for Sanofi’s MILL (millennial) and WISE (Women Inspiring Sanofi Excellence) employee resource groups, and she provides coaching across the organization.

Outside of Sanofi, Ms. Sherman is president of the board of trustees for Deirdre’s House, a New Jersey child advocacy center that provides a site for the forensic interviewing, medical treatment, and clinical counseling of child victims of abuse and/or neglect. She champions the organization’s cause within Sanofi, educating colleagues and driving volunteerism and financial support each year.

As she continues to build out her career, Ms. Sherman would like to be known as an energizing and authentic leader, who sets a high bar and challenges those around her to bring out their very best and deliver for patients. (PV)


Dr. Ryan Cohlhepp
Connecting the Dots for Patients

Ryan Cohlhepp, Pharm.D.
Title: VP, Marketing, Commercial Operations and Analytics
Company: Takeda Oncology
Education: PharmD, Purdue University
Family: Parents, Fred and Patti Cohlhepp; wife, Melissa Cohlhepp
Hobbies: Tennis, skiing, and finding his next endurance feat
Bucket List:  Visiting every continent

A pharmacist by trade, Ryan Cohlhepp, Pharm.D., is using all of his technical skills to bring a humanistic view to change how individuals with cancer are diagnosed, treated, and supported.

His passion has not only driven his teams at Takeda to lead the execution of the launches of Velcade, for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma; and Ninlaro, an oral proteasome inhibitor approved for the treatment for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, and recognizes how critical advocacy groups includingthe Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) are to advocate for new therapies and the most efficient and effective outcomes for patients.

Through his work with MMRF and CURE Media group, Dr. Cohlhepp, with support from Takeda, was part of a 15-person team of multiple myeloma patients, doctors, family members, and supporters who climbed the renowned 19,341-foot Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, in January 2016, to raise awareness and funds for critical multiple myeloma research.
The inaugural event Moving Mountains for Multiple Myeloma, in which he participated, raised approximately $250,000, with all of the proceeds going to the MMRF to accelerate research for the next generation of treatments. The initiative not only raised money, but it helped multiple myeloma patients realize their true potential based on the advancement of medicine.

He believes that the pharma industry needs to become part of the solution around the economic healthcare model, and that all healthcare stakeholders need to stop thinking exclusively about their own interests as healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, and create a narrative that goes beyond value.

He is focused on making a difference with Takeda’s value proposition to the world, which could be the starting point for the industry.

Dr. Cohlhepp, who joined Takeda in 2006, played a key role in the company’s acquisition of Millennium, after which he took on a research and development role in the company’s prostate cancer franchise.

“I am driven to find the why and the how and always strive to connect the dots,” Dr. Cohlhepp says. “The constant state of curiosity often helps me see a level deeper.”

Leadership development is always at the forefront of his mind.

He believes that a company’s greatest asset is its people and this philosophy was fostered early in his career as a member of Roche’s leadership development program.

Because of the benefit of extraordinary mentors who invested time in and took chances on him, he believes all individuals should benefit from these types of initiatives, so he gives back to team members at Takeda who are looking for greater opportunities in the industry. Dr. Cohlhepp is an engaged leader and his colleagues know his door is always open.

Outside of work and support for MMRF, Dr. Cohlhepp is very involved with his local church and serves as an advisor to the dean of pharmacy at Purdue, his alma mater. (PV)


Dr. Lou Garrison
Efficiency in the Pursuit of Equity

Title: Professor Emeritus in the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program, School of Pharmacy
Company: University of Washington
Education: BA, Economics, Indiana University; PhD, Economics, Stanford University
Family: Wife, Fran, married 39 years in August 2017; two charming and intelligent (Ph.D.) daughters, Anne and Jane, their devoted husbands, and four grandchildren
Hobbies: Jogging, woodworking, tennis — to resume in “retirement”
Bucket List: Visit colleagues and friends around the world; he hopes to visit old friends again as well as friends in places he has missed so far
Awards/Honors: Induction to New Albany High School Hall of Fame, 2017; PORPP 20th Anniversary Research Symposium, hosted by University of Washington School of Pharmacy in Dr. Garrison’s honor, 2016
Associations: International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), (2005-2017) and president (2016-2017);  ISPOR Special Task Force — Initiative on U.S. Value Assessment Frameworks, co-chair; University of Washington ISPOR Student Chapter, faculty advisor;  American Economic Association; International Health Economics Association; American Society of Health Economists; Health Technology Assessment International; Society for Medical Decision Making; Drug Information Association
Social Media:
Tweet at: @ProfLouGarrison

A global thought leader and teacher in the field of health economics and outcomes research, Lou Garrison, Ph.D., is committed to advancing how healthcare decisions are made both in the United States and globally.

After working as an economist in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, including as VP and head of health economics and strategic pricing for Roche Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Garrison made the transition to academia where he has inspired thousands of individuals.

Since 2004, Dr. Garrison has served as a professor and as a pivotal member of the University of Washington (UW) School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Research Policy Program (PORPP).

Dr. Garrison has also long-served as a volunteer leader for the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), the leading global, scientific and educational society for the advancement of health economics and outcomes research and their use in decision making to improve health. He is deeply aligned with the mission of ISPOR to promote health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) excellence to improve decision-making for health globally.

He has served as ISPOR’s president for 2016-2017, which he describes as a career highlight. One of his recent efforts has been initiating and co-chairing the association’s initiative on U.S. value assessment frameworks, which is tackling the problem of defining and measuring the value of treatments from a multi-stakeholder perspective in the U.S. healthcare system.

He feels very fortunate to have traveled the globe to meet with government and industry leaders who are interested in health economics and outcomes research, to have made many presentations at professional meetings, and to have taught thousands in health economics workshops and ISPOR short courses.

Dr. Garrison plans to continue to work on a wide range of topics and issues related to global health economics with a focus on trying to improve access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries while creating appropriate incentives for innovation globally.

As part of his commitment to the field of HEOR, Dr. Garrison and his wife have established three funds: the Garrison Family Fund for Global Health Economics Education; the Louis Sr. and Marilyn Garrison Endowed Prize in Health Policy and Economics; and the Penny Evans Fund for the UW ISPOR Student Chapter, all at the University of Washington.

His passionate leadership style and contributions to the field are respected among the many communities in which he is involved, and his impact extends beyond these organizations through those he empowers with the knowledge needed to advance healthcare.

He would like to be remembered as someone who promoted both efficiency and equity — with the former in service of the latter.

Dr. Garrison seeks to inspire his colleagues, association members, and students through hard work and a commitment to honest, excellent science. He measures success by the success that the students and employees who he has mentored have achieved, many of whom have become lifelong friends and collaborators. He has a special interest in supporting research and development of healthcare systems in Africa and has mentored students and academicians throughout the continent.

While Dr. Garrison has authored more than 100 publications, he considers his students to be his greatest legacy.

In 2016, the University of Washington School of Pharmacy honored him by hosting a PORPP 20th Anniversary Research Symposium. Pharmacoeconomists from around the world traveled to Seattle to celebrate Dr. Garrison’s lifetime achievements. But this well-respected and inspirational leader is far from done; industry, nonprofit, and academic partners continue to seek his expert insights on the value of new healthcare technologies. (PV)


Bhaskar Sambasivan
A Pioneer in the Shift to Digital

Title: Senior VP and Global Markets Head, Life Sciences
Company: Cognizant
Education: MS, Computer Science, Indian Institute of Science
Family: Parents and wife, who have always encouraged him in life; kids, who bring childhood back into his life
Hobbies: Playing squash, chess, reading
Bucket List:  Help as many needy children get free education; visit all the Wonders of the World; visit Mount Kailash and trek in the Himalayas; play the piano
Awards/Honors: Cognizant CEO leadership award; PharmaVOICE 100
Associations: Life Sciences Executive Exchange, TransCelerate consortium sponsor
Social Media:

Bhaskar Sambasivan is pushing the boundaries at Cognizant Life Sciences to become the most reliable, trusted, and flexible partner in the industry’s transformation journey. As senior VP and global markets head, he has always been a go-to partner for customers to develop and implement their transformation initiatives across business and IT. Under Mr. Sambasivan’s leadership, the business has grown multi-fold and is consistently positioned at the top of the leadership rankings in the analyst reports across the value-chain of clinical, commercial, supply chain, and digital.

Under Mr. Sambasivan’s guidance, Cognizant has partnered with TransCelerate BioPharma, to build a first-of-a-kind industry platform that will maximize technology-based collaboration, provide greater efficiency to clinical sites, speed up drug development, and enable innovation in improving patient health.

He has also expanded the company’s footprint beyond North America. Mr. Sambasivan relocated to the United Kingdom to lead and grow the business in the region for four years between 2008 and 2012. Additionally, he enabled the acquisitions of Cadient, a human-focused design capability company, and marketRx, a domain-focused commercial operations and analytics capability company, which created a foundation for driving digital commercial transformation.

He says it’s been a career highlight to have been an integral part of the life-sciences team at Cognizant both as a member and a leader for almost 13 years and having seen the business grow more than 25-fold during this period.

He wants to be remembered as a pioneer in the shift to digital in the life-sciences industry. In fact, if he had unlimited resources, he would use most of that to reduce the time it takes to get new medicines to patients, leveraging technology, i.e. automation, analytics, and AI to reduce errors, wait time, and manual steps to speed up end-to-end cycle times.

To foster this innovation, Mr. Sambasivan challenges the status quo, bringing people and partners together.

“The factors that foster innovation are empowerment and the freedom to experiment and take risks,” he says.

Mr. Sambasivan says his most challenging assignment has been maintaining faster industry leading growth year over year, while continuing to drive efficiencies through digital.

“This means there has to be significant diversification of clients, services, solutions to enable the shift to digital,” he says.
Mr. Sambasivan believes strongly in “delivering success” versus “successful delivery.”

“Success is measured by ensuring the outcomes and results of the clients have been met, and not by meeting our own goals,” he says.

Mr. Sambasivan defines leadership by three traits: leading by example and adding value to the team and not by authority; being strategic and visionary; and having the ability to make timely and tough decisions.

A people leader, Mr. Sambasivan has groomed a strong leadership team that delivers success across service lines of digital, operations, technology, and consulting. He is committed to mentoring and developing talent at all levels through the companywide career architecture initiative. He strongly believes that people develop faster by having the option to work in different areas and trying new ventures.

“My team knows me for always thinking about the big picture, making bold bets, and challenging them to think about big transformational ideas,” he says.

When challenges arise, he aims to simplify complexity, help colleagues think through the challenge/problem, and break that down into smaller pieces to help find a resolution.

Mr. Sambasivan is motivated to come to work every day by the belief that whatever he and his team does will make a difference to some patient somewhere. (PV)


Melinda Richter
Finding Solutions to Intractable Problems

Title: Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS
Company: Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS
Education: B Commerce, University of Saskatchewan; MBA, INSEAD
Family: Victor Casale, her partner, her biggest fan and inspiration
Hobbies: Heli-boarding in Alaska, diving with sharks, and investing in early-stage companies
Bucket List:  Produce a film
Awards/Honors: PharmaVOICE 100; Fierce Biotech Top 15 Women; Most Influential Women in Business (San Francisco Business Times); MM&M 2017 Healthcare Transformer; BIO Super Hero; FastCompany Most Innovative Company (Biotech)
Associations: California Life Sciences Association, board member; BIO’s Technology Transfer Committee, board member; Texas Health Catalyst Advisory Panel (The Dell Medical School and the Provost office of the University of Texas at Austin); The University of Toronto & Janssen Neuroscience Catalyst; A*STAR ETPL’s Strategic Advisory Panel
Social Media:
Tweet at: @MelindaRichter

Melinda Richter is focused on transforming the healthcare system for innovators and for people who want to live long, healthy lives. As global head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS, Ms. Richter helped to transform an entrepreneurial idea into an industry model for systemic change to advance healthcare. She is the driving force behind JLABS, the incubation portion of J&J’s external innovation engine that empowers and enables the crowd of innovators to transform healthcare.

She is passionate about fostering the external R&D engine and supporting the innovation community through a clear focus on capital-efficient commercialization models that seek to bolster small, emerging companies.

Ms. Richter is most proud of her work to expand the JLABS model to eight locations supporting more than 250 companies around the world and creating new models of innovation such as JLABS QuickFire Challenges and the recently announced JLABS POD @ Alberta. She believes in the objective of progressing science globally to have a meaningful impact on consumers and patients.

She is excited by progress in understanding how human data — genotype, phenotype, microbiome, etc. — define who each person is and therefore how to prevent, intercept, and cure diseases.

It is her goal to make the healthcare industry as advanced, as productive, as sexy as the tech industry, and to inspire, enable, and empower innovators to make a difference.

“Innovation comes from a combination of the right idea, transformative science, and technology, and a rock-star team,” she says.

Her colleagues are continually inspired by Ms. Richter’s ability to make a difference and reminding them that there are patients who are waiting for someone to fight for them.

“It is vital to stay focused on those patients,” she says.

Her role as a leader, Ms. Richter says, is to scale her impact by empowering and enabling others to be successful and happy at work and at home.

Ms. Richter is a mentor to many people, providing her mentees with valuable insights and perspective so they can make the most of their time. (PV)


Douglas Strang
Touchdown for Life-Sciences Innovation

Title: Partner – Global Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Advisory Leader
Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Education: BS, Accounting, Penn State University; MBA, Finance, Villanova University
Family: Wife, Andrea, and two children, Danielle and Douglas
Hobbies: Following his children through their athletic careers; playing golf; spending time with friends and family
Bucket List: Tavel the world beyond where his business travels have taken him
Social Media:

Since joining PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) right after trying out for the NFL, Doug Strang has made a significant contribution to the company and the industry. He brings a team-player approach — vision, collaboration, and inspiration — honed from his role as a successful student-athlete at Penn State where he was a member of the 1982 National Chamipionship Team and later became a captain and the quarterback of the team to his leadership of PwC’s global  advisory teams focused on the pharmaceuticals and life-sciences industry.

Together with his PwC partners, he has successfully built a sector consulting practice that is recognized as one of the best in the life-sciences industry. He works closely with PwC’s health services practice to help clients manage the changing healthcare landscape and convergence across the sectors.

As the healthcare industry confronts unparalleled challenges, Mr. Strang is committed to helping clients change their approach and adopt progressive solutions.

“The speed of change is unparalleled in our industry; my role as the leader in my firm is to anticipate the changes that are needed and develop the expertise to help our clients force change in their organizations,” he says.

Mr. Strang says in the consulting world there are daily challenges, and how leaders handle those difficult tasks defines the person they are. He believes that by laying out a compelling vision on how to overcome obstacles and capitalize on opportunities others will follow, adding that to drive innovation, organizations need to focus less on the past and more on what is possible in the future.

While Mr. Strang believes that there is now more collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem, the pace of change remains too slow and many industry organizations are still looking to follow versus lead.

He constantly questions whether with all the data now available the industry is simply accumulating information rather than truly answering the most critical questions it needs to address.

“We need to solve the data issue across healthcare,” he says. “We lose the opportunity to accumulate the best data each day as patients access the healthcare system. The loss of downstream insights is tremendous. Progress is being made but certainly not at the pace that is necessary to drive the needed changes in the industry.”

Success, Mr. Strang believes, comes from communicating a clear vision and mission as much as it does in collaborating with partners, colleagues, and others.

He also believes success must be measured across all aspects of one’s life, as a father and role model, and in the respect he garners from clients and his fellow partners at PwC.

To Mr. Strang, it’s imperative to set an example for staff and other partners at PwC and he continuously demonstrates the company’s core values.

“I believe that trust and integrity are paramount and if you are successful in establishing these core values, others will follow you,” he says.

Colleagues describe him as a selfless, kind leader who cares about his teams and the admiration shown for him as a result generates continued high performance and strong results.

He would tell his younger self that his career is a journey that will provide many forks in the road, and to cherish each one but don’t be afraid to take the sharper turns.

His goal is to leave a legacy at PwC that paves the way for others to be as successful and fulfilled in their careers as he has in his. Mr. Strang mentors colleagues at PwC to help them develop into partners of the future.

“I’ve had the privilege of helping many of our staff rise to the leadership level and the satisfaction I receive from seeing this occur is immeasurable,” he says. (PV)


Dr. Annette Stemhagen
Bringing Safe Medicines to Patients

Title: Senior VP, Safety, Epidemiology, Registries and Risk Management
Company: UBC (United BioSource Corporation)
Education: BA, Biology, University of Pennsylvania; Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) – Epidemiology, and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) in Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Hobbies: Ballroom dancing, reading, cooking and collecting cookbooks, photography
Bucket List: Charity work with the JDRF; spending time in Greece; road trips throughout the U.S.; honing her photography skills; cooking classes in Italy and France
Awards/Honors: Univeristy of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Outstanding Scholar, DIA Outstanding Service Award; UBC “Whatever it Takes!” Award, FDA Advisory Committee Service Award
Associations: Drug Information Association, International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, American Public Health Association
Social Media:

A true pioneer in her field, Annette Stemhagen, DrPH, designed the first risk management programs to protect patient safety and prevent birth defects.

“There were no precedents and the sponsors, the FDA, and my team and I implemented and developed strategies that now serve as models in the marketplace,” she says.

A career highlight for Dr. Stemhagen was serving as the first industry representative to the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee. She has also served the industry on the PhRMA Clinical Safety Surveillance Committee, chaired the Epidemiology and the Ethics subcommittees, and served on the DIA and ISPE boards of directors.

Dr. Stemhagen is dedicated to public health and supporting the goal of providing patients with safe and effective medicines. She has spent 30 years in epidemiological research, including 20 years in the safety surveillance of pharmaceutical, biotech, and vaccine products.

She leads a team of experts in the fields of epidemiology, product safety, and risk management, including research scientists and drug safety professionals who provide companies with best-in-class services.

She is committed to supporting her clients’ work and assuring that they are well-positioned to interact with regulatory agencies in meeting postmarketing commitments regarding product safety. She can easily transition between providing a business model for a small company and one for a large company, and everything in between.

“I’d like to be remembered for developing strategies and processes that have allowed patients safe access to important therapies,” she says. “Many of these therapies are the only, or one of the few, available for some conditions.”

Dr. Stemhagen has focused her career on postmarketing studies, an area requiring a high level of analytical expertise. In this area, studies are no longer randomized, making the epidemiologist’s and the statistician’s job much harder. Data must be compared among groups that aren’t comparable in every respect. Her expertise lies in scientifically sound methods to interpreting observational data.

She brings the rare blend of nationally recognized expertise in her field, a true collaborative attitude, integrity of scientific merit, and care for colleagues to her role as senior VP, safety, epidemiology, registries and risk management, at UBC. Success for Dr. Stemhagen means effective teamwork and protecting patient safety by developing programs that add minimal burden to the healthcare system while ensuring that the benefits of therapy outweigh the risks. She is excited by new technologies that are enabling better access and more effective and efficient analytic approaches to real-world evidence.

“Epidemiologists have been using real-world data for years to answer safety questions, but now we have the ability to conduct data mining, signal detection, and safety surveillance faster and more efficiently,” she says.

Dr. Stemhagen understands the changing needs of patients, prescribers, and payers and has keen insights into implementing new procedures, according to changing regulations, to improve drug safety and patient access to therapies. She is committed to the goal of growing UBC’s position as a foremost authority in peri-approval research and postmarketing studies, and continuing to demonstrate the value of epidemiology across multiple segments of the pharmaceutical industry.

As a leader, Dr. Stemhagen strives to build confidence in others by helping them realize the full extent of their skills and expertise. She loves to innovate and problem solve, and she invites her team to always explore new solutions, even when they seem improbable.

Leading by example, Dr. Stemhagen shows respect for others and for the project at hand and is happy to roll up her sleeves and work side by side with her team to ensure all expectations of a project are met. A priority for Dr. Stemhagen is helping her colleagues recognize that their work truly matters and that they play an integral role in patient safety.

Generous with her knowledge, Dr. Stemhagen takes the time to teach and empower others. She has also served as the executive leader of UBC’s Career Growth and Development Committee, which implemented a series of career fairs and networking opportunities. She believes working with a diverse workforce — a mix of ages, cultures, and experience — provides her with valuable lessons too. (PV)

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