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The next big idea lies in pushing beyond comfort zones, and Dan Bobear fearlessly tackles issues head-on and challenges all who work with him to feed their minds to achieve marketing excellence. In leading his team at Palio, he breaks down the unpredictable and channels his colleagues’ energy and thinking into calculated risks. Mr. Bobear has a vision to build an industry that generates great ideas, breaks down barriers, builds mutual respect, and opens channels of marketing communications that ultimately deliver richer brand experiences. A big piece of that vision includes the partnerships that are built along the way. Together with his colleagues, he has been instrumental in shaping and transforming Palio into a truly innovative business that is helping to shape the industry with innovative strategic and digital solutions. He helped launch and lead a comprehensive service offering to help the pharmaceutical industry proactively meet one of the most complex regulatory challenges it faces today: the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy. With more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotech marketing experience, Mr. Bobear has an astute understanding of the dramatic changes the industry is undergoing and says companies must respond accordingly. One big issue for the industry is cost containment. With patients responsible for a higher percentage of their healthcare, for example higher co-pays, they are making different choices. Marginal improvements in pharmaceuticals aren’t enough to demand a high premium, he says. Instead, brands really need to differentiate to succeed. He believes this will drive a whole new kind of innovation in drug discovery as markets become smaller and therapies become more targeted. And he says the role of patient education will increase in overall marketing budgets. Understanding that technology has become a key driver to success, Mr. Bobear was also an early advocate of Palio’s partnership with Zemoga to create a powerful service offering, Pixels & Pills, tackling the changing nature of digital media in the healthcare arena. A big believer in shared learning, Mr. Bobear says while he has had many mentors over the years, he finds something to learn from everyone he interacts with; it’s just a case of looking for the connection. Next on his to-do list is to start and lead a successful healthcare-related business that focuses on innovation. Giving back is also important to Mr. Bobear, who devotes time to local charities and kids’ sports. He is VP, board of directors, for the Shelters of Saratoga, which he chose so he could have an immediate impact on the community. He says while many local charities are more about networking and socialization, this one is about helping people in true need in the Saratoga community; he is able to put his skills to work for a worthy organization, as well as leverage Palio’s commitment to helping the community. In addition, he is head coach for the Saratoga National Little League, which he has been doing for four years. For him, there is no better feeling than to pitch to the kids and see them get their first hit, home run, or double play. Kids are like sponges, and sports are such a great way to impact them early in their lives, build their self-esteem and confidence, and teach them how to work together, he says. A high point for him each year is looking back and watching kids move up to the next level and knowing that he has helped them to get there. As a father of three boys, he is keen that his children have a sense of themselves and how they conduct themselves in the community as they grow older, and how they can play a role in improving the world around them. At the same time, his sons inspire him daily by doing things they weren’t able to do before. He says children give him hope for the future and help him see things through a different lens. Beyond his work, family, and social commitments, Mr. Bobear is a passionate Red Sox fan. F Strategic thinking, a deep understanding of stakeholder needs, and an ability to develop rich and meaningful communications are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the skills these industry vanguards bring to the table on behalf of their clients’ brands. Marketing Mavericks The Ideas Man For Dan Bobear, Executive VP, Managing Director of Client Services, Palio, the most important outcome for any team is a great idea; great ideas bring people together. Name: Dan Bobear Current position: Executive VP, Managing Director of Client Services, Palio Education: MBA, Canisius College, Buffalo, 1997; B.S., LeMoyne College, Syracuse, 1991 Date and Place of Birth: April 1969, Latham, N.Y. First Job: Sales representative of x-ray equipment and supplies Dream Job: College professor Connected Via: LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Twitter Words to Live By: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans Dan Bobear has run three marathons: Disney, Dublin, and Marine Corps. Whether it’s changing the way marketers think about women and health or making a difference for women’s health issues at a philanthropic level, Marcee Nelson is waving a pink flag. She founded Pink Tank, a specialty division of GSW Worldwide, in 2006 because of the growing impact women are having on the healthcare industry. Starting the agency, without a doubt, has been the biggest highlight of her career to date. Even when women are not the end users of the product, they still play a role in shaping purchase and prescribing decisions. Yet many marketers don’t realize that women connect with brands differently than men do and, therefore, need to be approached in a different way. Ms. Nelson established Pink Tank to help companies understand those differences and to counsel them on how they can find the female voice in their marketing efforts and thus enable clients to connect their brands with one of the most important target audiences in the healthcare market. She has been instrumental in helping to create a proprietary set of research tools, such as Pink Panels, Pink Rooms, In Her Shoes, and Empathology, that can help healthcare brand managers better understand how women consumers respond to marketing messages and select products. Each assignment she takes on has its own set of challenges and opportunities, and it’s this diversity that keeps her motivated. Going forward, her goal is to apply the unique offering of Pink Tank to a wider array of health and wellness brands. In coming up with winning ideas, it helps that Ms. Nelson is both right-brained to envision new things, and left-brained to explain them to others. Ms. Nelson’s passion, insight, and desire to educate others about the importance of women’s health issues are what inspire her colleagues. Ms. Nelson is on the board of directors for POEM (Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms), the central Ohio arm of PSI (Postpartum Support International). F Pink Tank’s President and Founder Marcee Nelson is an industry leader dedicated to building brands and creating marketing efforts to and about women and health. In the Pink Marcee Nelson was a 10-year-old square dancing fanatic. Name: Marcee Nelson Current position: President and Founder, Pink Tank (a division of GSW Worldwide) Education: B.S., Northern Illinois University Place of Birth: Peoria, Ill. First Job: Cashier First Industry-related Job: Junior Copywriter Dream Jobs: Songwriter, artist, yogi, chef Professional Mentors: Dana Anderson, Kraft Foods Professional Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Connected Via: LinkedIn and Facebook Words to Live By: Worry is the misuse of the imagination Right-Brained. Left-Brained. Nick Halkitis’ eclectic past includes building, entrepreneurship, newspaper publishing, and e-marketing leadership. Each experience has made him adept at transferring knowledge and seeing opportunities often not apparent to others. It’s this diverse and eclectic background that makes him so effective in his role as global director of e-marketing at MediciGlobal. The innovative use of e-marketing strategies to pre-identify patients, expedite the time to recruitment launch, and increase the uptake of recruitment programs has been a huge opportunity for MediciGlobal’s clients, Mr. Halkitis says. At MediciGlobal he expanded the company’s patient-centric approach by introducing living databases — just-in-time databases of pre-identified patients interested in participating in a clinical trial ahead of study launch. This has since evolved into MediciGlobal’s Head Start to Recruitment (HSR) program, which has become pivotal to clinical trial optimization. HSR takes a unique stance by looking at clinical studies through the eyes of patients to expedite recruitment. His analytical and innovative nature taps into the way in which he uses performance metrics for all e-patient recruitment activities. He looks for gaps in the market and tries to find new and creative ways to tap into that audience and opportunity. He views the rise of patients as key opinion leaders and their growing voice in the clinical research process through social networking sites (SNSs) as a challenge as well as an opportunity for the industry. With the Internet fostering unprecedented connectivity and information exchange, companies have an opportunity to gain feedback from patients, learn how patients view their clinical protocols, and address patients’ barriers for enrollment. Accepting patients as KOLs is, he says, a departure from tradition, and its acceptance may be difficult for regulators and pharmaceutical companies to embrace in the near term. Mr. Halkitis is currently examining opportunities to link smart phone and iPad technologies with e-marketing for future patient recruitment and retention programs. F A True Break with Tradition Name: Nick Halkitis Current position: Global Director of eMarketing, MediciGlobal Date and place of birth: July 1963, Sydney, Australia First industry-related job: MediciGlobal Professional Associations: The Search Marketing Association UK (SMA-UK); the Search Marketing Association Europe (SMA-EU) Connected Via: Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, hi5, Bebo, and other social media outlets around the world Words to live by: Imagination is more important than knowledge — Albert Einstein Analytical. Innovative. Nick Halkitis was one of the founders of Peace Day, a reunification process and celebration between Datca, Turkey, and Symi Island, Greece. Nick Halkitis, Global Director of eMarketing, MediciGlobal, is far from conventional; his route to e-marketing does not fit the predictable pathway to pharma management, yet it is precisely his eclectic background that makes him so effective. Life and work provide an endless fascination for Vince Parry. Whatever he’s involved with, whether it’s branding, art and music, basketball, or wine, he wants to know everything about the subject. There’s nothing half-hearted about Mr. Parry, who takes on whatever he does with a total commitment to the fundamentals of the task. It’s an attitude that has been infused in his work throughout his career. As president of Y Brand and chief branding officer of inVentiv Communications, Mr. Parry uses his ability to thoroughly process the complexity of a given situation to the benefit of not only his company but his clients’ as well. Then, through an economy of words, he is able to deliver a singular idea with clarity in a way that is always noncomplex but never to be mistaken as simplistic. Sometimes the advice comes in the form of sage, professorial experience and sometimes in the form of dry, understated humor. Either way, his creative logic and his logical creativity never fail to advance the cause of those for whom he advocates. This rings loud and clear in his efforts to move healthcare clients toward employing the best branding practices of great consumer brands — a strategy that employs a media-neutral approach. Changing the way that healthcare clients buy branding — from “I need a logo” to “how can I create a brand where customers see a welcome reflection of themselves?” — can be an uphill battle. In the United States, the branding challenges are further exacerbated by healthcare reform, which makes it harder for marketers to differentiate their products and thrive as the government exerts its growing authority on the buying process. In emerging and unregulated healthcare markets such as China, Korea, and India, Mr. Parry searches for ways to help clients capitalize on the desire for branded generics and bio-similars. To his surprise, Mr. Parry found that there is currently nothing written about the fundamentals of healthcare branding, and so he is taking on the task. And there are few better qualified to fulfill this role than he is. One thing Mr. Parry’s book will not be is glib or superficial. In fact, superficiality is Mr. Parry’s bete noire. He laments the technological imperative of digital devices, the 24-hour news cycle barrage, and the explosion of new media, such as social networks and blogging, that have people talking a lot more, but saying and thinking a lot less. Being able to communicate everything everywhere rarely translates into boosting the collective intelligence, he says. Rather, what is needed is careful, cogent stories to avoid the malnourishment of fast food for thought. Equal to his commitment to work is his dedication to giving back. Back when he was in high school, Mr. Parry participated in the first Earth Day, which is when he became hooked on saving the planet, and he continues to be involved with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He also believes strongly in President Johnson’s idea of The Great Society and devotes time to Habitat for Humanity International. And, having lost a brother-in-law to Hodgkin’s disease, he is also involved with the National Children’s Cancer Society. Mr. Parry embraces his life philosophy: live healthy, work at something where you learn every day, and the opportunities for wonder and fulfillment will find you. F Full Throttle Name: Vince Parry Current position: President, Y Brand; Chief Branding Officer, inVentiv Communications Education: M.A., literature and writing, Indiana University; B.A., SUNY Stony Brook Date and Place of Birth: October 1955, Brooklyn, N.Y. First Job: Proofreading rubber stamps First Industry-related Job: Medical book editor for what is now Quadrant HealthCom Dream Job: Professor Professional Mentor: Blane Walter Professional Association: Founding member of Doctor’s Choice Awards Connected Via: Facebook and LinkedIn Words to Live By: What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? Curious. Committed. Vince Parry was a former rock star; between 1979 and 1982, he made his living playing in an original new wave rock band that shared the stage with The Ramones, The Pretenders, The Go-Go’s, The Millionaires (Madonna’s first band), and Duran Duran, to name a few. Always pushing to reinvent himself, Joe Shields has made it his mission to stay one step ahead of the pack in figuring out what’s next in the areas of business, technology, and innovation. And while it sometimes feels like he’s stuck on a treadmill, and it gets more difficult with each passing year, he is committed to lifelong learning and pushing himself to be better today than he was yesterday. He challenges perceptions by breaking things that aren’t broken yet, and that makes some people uncomfortable. He is recognized as one of the true innovative driving forces in the industry, continually challenging himself and the team to adapt its marketing programs to match ever-changing consumer preferences. As a product director for Enbrel, the largest-selling biologic medicine in the world, he is the driving force behind the rheumatology consumer marketing efforts. His tireless efforts to provide patients with appropriate information regarding Enbrel, and the manner in which he does this, is a daily example to not only his team, but the entire Pfizer organization. Mr. Shields says as much as he enjoys his current role at Pfizer, he plans to eventually shift his focus to prevention and wellness, avowing the only thing better than becoming well after being sick is to never have been sick in the first place. He would like to see the healthcare industry continue to move in the direction of holistic care — treating the whole person instead of a disease. He believes the industry also needs to continue to adapt to the world transforming around it. Reform of the U.S. healthcare system will further increase the government’s role as payer, bring generics and biosimilars to market faster, and has already provided coverage for millions of uninsured Americans. Healthcare information technologies (HIT), such as e-prescribing and electronic medical records, may finally reach critical mass and support evidence-based medicine, geo-targeted epidemiology, and bioterrorism surveillance. Wellness and prevention, including wider use of vaccines and dealing with the obesity epidemic, will increase in importance, especially as baby boomers continue to age. Finally, Mr. Shields says, the industry must figure out a better way to engage its key stakeholders through greater transparency, accountability, and use of technology. One constant that is needed, in Mr. Shields estimation, over the next decade is continuous innovation and talented people at all levels to lead through these and other important yet disruptive changes. While he has had important mentors in his career, it is his mother who has taught him the most enduring lessons. Mr. Shields says his mother was widowed with seven children when he was 8 years old, but even well into her 80s, she remains independent, active, and artistic. She taught him many important life lessons: don’t wish life were easier, wish you were better; never let success go to your head; there’s more to life than work; just because something is new, it doesn’t mean it’s better; always carry paper and pen around to capture ideas and pictures; and above all, always be yourself. F One Step Beyond As Product Director for Enbrel, Pfizer’s Joe Shields is one of the true innovative driving forces in the industry, continually challenging himself and his team to adapt their programs to match ever-changing consumer preferences. Name: Joe Shields Current position: Product Director, Enbrel, Pfizer Education: MBA, Marketing, Pennsylvania State University; B.A., Communications, Temple University Date and Place of Birth: April 26, Hartford, Conn. First Job: Production assistant on film shoots First Industry-related Job: Employee and salesforce communications, Astra Merck Dream Job: Professional photographer Professional Mentors: Cathy Kernen and Cathy Cockerill, AstraZeneca; and Mike Russomano, Wyeth Professional Associations: Google Health Sales Advisory Council; Co-chair for 2010 ePharma Summit; DTC Perspectives Magazine’s Academy of Excellence Connected Via: LinkedIn, Facebook Words to Live By: Family first Innovative. Disciplined. One of the things Dan Bobear loves about advertising is the eclectic mix of people he gets to work with on both sides of the fence. It is a business of highs and lows, but above all there is a lot of laughter, often at each other, but laughter nonetheless. That’s one of the highlights of working in a business filled with intensity and stress. A savvy strategist, Mr. Bobear provides insight and leadership that raises the industry’s bar. Mr. Bobear remains passionate about the industry and breakthrough developments, such as the Human Genome Project and the launch of targeted therapies, such as Herceptin. Continued knowledge about the role of genetics in the development and progression of various human diseases will change everything, and Mr. Bobear is excited to be involved in the industry at such an exciting juncture. He notes while the expiration of blockbusters and other issues tend to get the most publicity, he believes the industry is on the verge of some truly amazing discoveries that will change everything. With these and other changes and demands the industry is facing, Mr. Bobear says leading the client services team at Palio and providing high-quality solutions is all the more challenging. Mr. Bobear likes to surround himself with knowledge and learning. He is a big history buff and enjoys reading about the accomplishments of others, particularly stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This is driven in part by the fact that his father was a World War II combat veteran, and he constantly wonders what his world was like as he went through some very intense experiences early on in his life. Were he not in advertising, he would be interested in bringing industry insights into academia as a college professor. Too much that is taught at college has little value in industry, he says, adding that education could be so much better if kids were taught in the real world as opposed to only learning theories in business school. F Family: Wife, Kristen; Sons, Daniel, Will, and Thomas Reading List: Historical nonfiction, including Greatest Generation, Flyboys, The Pacific Hobbies: Skiing, boating, fishing, camping, running, traveling, kids’ sports, and reading Giving Back: VP, Board of Directors for the Shelters of Saratoga; Head Coach Saratoga National Little League Bucket List: Build a Habitat for Humanity house; get a pilot’s license; ski the Alps, visit the Seven Wonders of the World; run the Boston Marathon; acquire SCUBA certification; drive a stock car, buy a home in Costa Rica; take his sons to a Super Bowl and the World Series; and start a profitable business that is commercially successful and contributes to a better world Inspiration: His sons Top iPod downloads: Toes, Zac Brown Band; Back in Black, AC/DC Screensaver: His sons vacationing on Cape Cod Most Unusual Place Visited: The unspoiled jungles of Costa Rica Life Lessons: Look at what people do and how they treat others, not what they say they will do — talk is cheap Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Visit North Korea Getting Personal with Dan Bobear Dan Bobear • Bright Future Marcee Nelson was born to be in the healthcare profession, which as she says is just as well — otherwise she would be a songwriter-artist-yogi-chef who wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. Ms. Nelson drew on some great advice early on — go somewhere where they think she is a copywriter. The result has been a resounding success. Ms. Nelson joined GSW Worldwide in 2004 to lead the Women’s Health Group. In 2005 she was named executive creative director of the Columbus, Ohio, office of GSW Worldwide. During that time, Ms. Nelson and her team developed a point of view on connecting women and health that became the Pink Tank division of GSW Worldwide. In addition to her experience with pharmaceutical clients such as Lilly, Wyeth, and Bayer, Ms. Nelson brings more than 20 years of big-brand experience earned at major Chicago agencies J. Walter Thompson and DDB Needham, where she created highly successful campaigns for a diverse group of consumer brands, including Kraft Foods and General Mills. Her experiences have given her extensive insight into building brands and creating big-idea marketing efforts. These days she sinks her teeth into making a difference in healthcare, and it troubles her that the industry is tightening its belt just when it needs to widen the possibilities. Nevertheless, she keeps her eyes firmly fixed on finding solutions, and not dwelling on the problems. As she says, worry is a misuse of imagination. F Marcee Nelson • Imagining the Possibilities Family: Husband, two stepchildren, cat Reading List: A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink; The Help Hobbies: Yoga, cooking, art, Scrabble Giving Back: Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms, central Ohio’s branch of Postpartum Support International Bucket List: Complete her manuscript and live somewhere picturesque that’s near amenities Top iPod downloads: John Gorka; humorous, quirky and folk tunes Most Unusual Place Visited: Kenya Life Lessons: Go where they think you are a copywriter Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Sit on the other end of her conference calls to see what faces people are making Getting Personal with Marcee Nelson What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? It is of little surprise to anyone who knows Vince Parry to discover that this quote is engraved on a paperweight on his desk at work. Mr. Parry began his career in advertising as a writer and quickly ascended into the roles of both leader and strategist. Now he is president of Y Brand and chief branding officer at inVentiv Communications. As a strategist, one needs to be a jack-of-all-trades as well as a master of each one, or as Mr. Parry himself puts it, mutant, hybrid, or an X-Man. He uses these descriptors interchangeably, probably dictated by how well or poorly his work day happens to go. This not only succinctly profiles what he does but who he is. In a world that can often be chaotic, confusing, or misleading, Mr. Parry is a man who brings focus, order, and, ultimately, a shared confidence to all of his personal and business affairs. He learned his craft from some of the best in the business. He says the defining moment in his career came when he was promoted to executive VP, chief creative officer, at Sudler & Hennessey in the mid-1990s. It was an honor, he says, to sit in the same chair as Herb Lubalin, John Lally, and Mike Lyons — legendary creative superstars. His experience at S&H gave him a chance to work with some of the greatest brands in healthcare: Lipitor, Rocephin, Advil, Dove, Colgate, and so on. When he joined inChord (now inVentiv), he found real mentorship in the company’s CEO Blane Walter, who taught him how to think bigger than he ever had, how to embrace brilliant mistakes and learn from them, and how to truly work interdependently. Mr. Parry has invested those insights into Y Brand, inVentiv’s healthcare branding company, which he founded and leads. Founding the company’s New York operations was another true high point for Mr. Parry. F Family: Wife Carolyn; Twin Daughters, Erika and Lauren, 18; Brother Reading List: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman; Point Omega by Don DeLillo; The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis; How Doctors Think by Dr. Jerome Groopman; Perceptions of Health and Illness by Keith Petrie; Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher Giving Back: Natural Resources Defense Council; Habitat for Humanity International; National Children’s Cancer Society Bucket List: Publish a book or three; travel to Asia; teach a graduate course in healthcare branding Inspiration: Writers, artists, musicians Top iPod downloads: Pearl Jam, Beck, The Killers; old catalogs from the singer-songwriter boom in the 1970s, especially James Taylor and Carole King Screensaver: River stones Most Unusual Place Visited: Stockholm, Sweden, in February (dark days and the frozen Baltic Sea locking in large ships is surreal) Life Lessons: Keep it simple; obey the rule of three: no process or communication should have more than three elements to it Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Visit the White House Getting Personal with Vince Parry Vince Parry • Think Big Some might consider not having a tertiary education a deterrent to progression. That’s decidedly not the case with Nick Halkitis. Not finishing his degree prompted Mr. Halkitis to embark on a lifelong journey of learning and experience. In fact, he does wonder whether he would have been so determined to continuously seek out new learning opportunities and experiences had he received a degree. Born and raised in Australia, he has more than 15 years of experience working in Europe, and he is fluent in Greek — the language of medicine. Mr. Halkitis is fearless in his desire to learn, grow in wisdom, tackle challenges, and promote self-learning. . This fearlessness has been a huge boon to MediciGlobal, as his initiatives have helped to deliver innovative solutions for patient recruitment in his role as global director of e-marketing. An early adopter of new gadgets and technologies, Mr. Halkitis embraces all forms of social media, using the integration of all such networks as part of his role in e-marketing for patient recruitment and creating clinical trial awareness among consumers. In addition, he tracks the growth of social networks and their country prominence for patient recruitment. In addition to the widely recognized sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, and LinkedIn, he is currently tracking other social networking sites such as VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, hi5, Bebo, renren, and others around the world. His awareness and insights into the opportunities presented by technologies precedes his work at MediciGlobal. Mr. Halkitis launched a comprehensive website to promote the Island of Symi while he was working in Greece. He says recruiting tourists has some of the same features as recruiting patients: know your audience, understand what motivates them, and learn how to distinguish yourself and your message in a highly competitive field. As an entrepreneur who has worked in Australia, Greece, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Mr. Halkitis has an appreciation for very different cultures and their approaches to business, and the use of technology. Today, he is involved in extreme charity events, such as jumping out of airplanes for Alzheimer’s, which he did this summer, nd he hopes to participate later this year in the MS 150, a bike ride that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. These events are an extension of his interest in helping others as well as combining his natural sense of adventure, which he further taps into by riding his motorcycle. F Nick Halkitis • Wired up for Recruitment Family: Adopted sons, Austin and Morgan; three sisters; parents, retired hoteliers in Symi Island, Greece Hobbies: Early adopter of gadgets and technologies, riding his motorcycle Reading List: A Guide to Good Business Communication by Michael Bennie; What’s in a Street Name? by Antony Badsey-Ellis Giving Back: Co-founder, Peace Day, a reunification between Datca, Turkey, and Symi Island, Greece; extreme charity events, including skydiving for Alzheimer’s and the MS 150 Bucket List: Complete the reconstruction of a house in Symi Island, Greece Inspiration: Ted Website/ The Why Guy; Anthony Robbins Top iPod downloads: BBC podcasts of world affairs documentaries and music by Hotel Costes Most Unusual Place Visited: The journey, by bus, from Athens, Greece, to Istanbul, Turkey Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Travel on the space shuttle Getting Personal with Nick Halkitis A positive experience early in his career had a huge impact on Joe Shields, and has helped lead him to where he is today: a highly recognized thought leader in the industry. It all stems back to his first job in the industry, when he was in employee and salesforce communications at Astra Merck. It was, he says, a company that valued people, passion, and innovation, and he considers himself fortunate to have worked there. He and his colleagues had a great time working collaboratively across many functions to continuously reinvent the company and its approach to customers. It made Mr. Shields feel as though he was part of something special. In 1998, Mr. Shields led internal communications for the merger of Astra Merck and Astra AB of Sweden, a precursor to the much-larger AstraZeneca merger several months later. It was the first time he had been given a framework to deal with large organizational changes, and the opportunity to apply his marketing and management experience for a different purpose within a very different context. He volunteered for this temporary position, merger communications, moved out of his comfortable office into a makeshift workroom with several organizational development and HR consultants from London, and met insane deadlines with little sleep week after week for many months. What got him through the project was his commitment to an idea bigger than himself — helping his fellow employees — and doing whatever was necessary to get the job done. It also demonstrated to Mr. Shields that, especially in times of great change and stress, people need regular, authentic, and transparent communications from their leaders to stay focused and make sense of what’s going on. Real leadership is impossible without real communication, and in the course of his career, Mr. Shields has proven time and again his strength as a communicator. Mr. Shields was a recipient of the prestigious Wyeth President’s Golden Circle awards in 2007, which recognized the top 2% of the Wyeth commercial organization, for his leadership on Enbrel. In 2006, he was named one of the Top 25 DTC marketers by DTC Magazine. F Joe Shields • Open Communicator Family: Married, two children Reading List: Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, pharmaceutical trade magazines Hobbies: Digital photography, fitness, gardening Inspiration: His mother, widowed with seven children, still active in her 80s Greatest concern: U.S. obesity epidemic Screensaver: A golden sunrise photo he took in Amelia Island, Fla. Most Unusual Place Visited: Deep in the mountains in Slovakia, visiting distant relatives of a traveling companion while backpacking across Europe in 1987 Life Lessons: Be yourself A Little Know Fact: He was his college mascot — the Owl — at Temple University Getting Personal with Joe Shields