NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
In today’s evolving ecosystem, talent management is paramount to a company’s success and requires skills beyond on-boarding to ensure employee engagement.
Growing and Retaining Top Talent
Title: Executive Director, Human Resources
Company: Elevate Healthcare Marketing
Industry Awards: PM360 Elite Award, 2019
Company Awards: Lisa Appreciation Day, Elevate
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Society of Human Resource Management
Not many employees get an entire day dedicated in their honor at work, but Lisa Tamborello did. Fellow employees at Elevate Healthcare created “Lisa Appreciation Day” to show their gratitude for all that she does for the company. “This was one of the most amazing and memorable events in my career,” Lisa says. “The entire company worked so hard and took such care in organizing a full day of events, complete with decorations. I will never forget that day.”
In 2016, Lisa joined Elevate Healthcare as executive director, human resources and workplace operations. She teamed up with a powerful cadre of industry veterans, several of whom are also PharmaVOICE 100 honorees: Elevate Co-founders Frank Powers and Lorna Weir, and Chief Creative Officer Barry Schmader.
Over the years, Lisa has managed various functions, including human resources, technology, and corporate operations.
Her unique approach as a talent acquisition and human resources professional has helped Elevate soar in its first three years. She developed a model for how the industry should attract and manage the best talent.
She is instrumental in engaging every member of the agency of what has evolved into one of the top staffs in the industry.
Lisa has been in the role since the beginning days of Elevate and as such, she has truly played a key part in making Elevate the successful agency it has become, moving from a start-up agency to an in-demand strategic partner in a short period of time.
A previous PharmaVOICE 100, Lisa not only hires the best talent for the job, but she inspires them as well.
Lisa is the rare leader who not only attracts and signs the best talent for the role, but she helps guide that top talent through their optimal transition to Elevate and she is there to help that new associate throughout his or her entire tenure at the agency. The outstanding combination of continuity of personal interaction and accountability to individuals after the hire is what makes Lisa such a valuable asset to Elevate.
“In my role, I have the opportunity to help mentor staff directly and indirectly,” Lisa says. “It is important to me to make a difference and help shape the next generation of leaders. It is an amazing opportunity to guide someone and watch him or her flourish and enjoy success. It’s a marvelous cycle that can continue, and that’s how strong leadership teams in powerful companies are built.”
She has become a key driver toward the agency’s goal to become a top strategic, creative, and scientific agency in the life-sciences industry.
Colleagues say she is among the best champions of people and developers of corporate culture in the agency industry. She has been a driving force behind the commitment and dedication that the team shows every day to clients. Lisa is the glue who holds everything together, and helps all of us achieve our goals her colleagues say.
A top people developer, she continuously demonstrates that the best human resources leader is one who also helps ensure longevity, productivity, and happiness beyond the initial engagement.
Lisa is not only influencing the success at Elevate, but she is also changing the way other agencies are thinking about the role of a talent recruiter. If they lead by Lisa’s example, they will leverage social media to build excitement around the position to help attract the next generation of talent.
Lisa also believes it is important to conduct research into an individual’s needs and desires thus being able to tailor offerings that ensure optimal fit, transitions, onboarding, and ongoing job satisfaction.
“One of the greatest challenges is to source top talent across all functions, making sure every piece of the talent puzzle fits perfectly together,” Lisa says. “Each hire has to be meaningful, impactful, and an ideal fit.” (PV)
Guiding Through Transition
Sharon A. Rundberg
Title: Senior VP, Talent & People Operations
Company: Evoke Giant
Industry Awards: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Rising Star
Company Awards: Efficiency Award
Associations: HBA, former San Francisco chapter president; Society of Human Resource Management, certified as SPHR; Bay Area Executives Council; The Bay Area Advertising Relief Coalition, board representative
Sharon Rundberg did not anticipate a career in human resources, but once she got a taste for it, she loved it. And, she still does. As senior VP, talent and people operations at Evoke Giant, she has distinguished herself as a trusted mentor, listener, and facilitator who goes above and beyond to make each and every team member’s work experience as rewarding as it can be.
In her career path, she originally aimed for creative work at ad agencies, but a former boss at one of those agencies suggested she try an opportunity to move into human resources.
“I was initially reluctant, but agreed to do it on an interim basis,” she says. “As it turned out, I fell in love with working with people.”
Sharon joined Giant, a full-service creative healthcare agency focused on healthcare professional and multi-channel marketing, in 2017, just a year before it was bought by Evoke. Evoke is one of the fastest organically grown agencies in the industry with five locations across the United States and Europe. This move aligned well with her professional goals.
“Steven Gold, CEO of Evoke Giant, believes in the value of people operations and HR is the operational part of this movement,” she says. “We wouldn’t have a successful business without experienced people, therefore putting more focus on talent acquisition, talent development and retention, employee performance management, rewards, and a strong culture base is the ethos of the company.”
Sharon is the true definition of a people leader and influencer. She successfully led the entire agency seamlessly through the acquisition process. Mergers and acquisitions are an anxiety-ridden time for all stakeholders, especially staff members, but colleagues say Sharon made sure to communicate openly with everyone to alleviate any unnecessary worries.
“For the past year, my goal has been to provide transparency, stability, and a solid foundation for Evoke Giant,” she says. “Acquisitions can spark nervousness, so we have worked to communicate what changes are coming, what successes have already occurred, and solidify our focus on future successes. We have continued to hold onto our values and culture while highlighting the similarities between the two organizations.”
Both in and outside of the agency, Sharon has played a central role in redefining the traditional HR function into a true people function. Colleagues credit her with implementing key programs around training, development, and mentorship. She has supported and driven programs around health and wellness to improve the day-to-day lives of all of the agency’s team members. Sharon has created successful strategies and tactics to improve both talent acquisition and retention. She continues to integrate key people offerings and initiatives across the network, serving as a key constituent as Evoke Giant grows into the broader Evoke network. Never losing sight of people and talent, Sharon has set a new industry standard on how to best balance the financial and human needs of a company and she does this from a position of authority in one of the most unique job markets in the world.
Sharon also stepped to the forefront for Evoke Giant as a leader and key participant with outside organizations, such as the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and the Society for Human Resource Management, to ensure the agency stays at the forefront of the industry to attract talent and keep the best of the best.
“I try to inspire by building trusting relationships with employees and leadership and demonstrating credibility to help people perform the best that they can be,” she says. “For me, inspiration is the ability to influence, move, or guide another and I try to do this every day.” (PV)
Impacting the Lives of Patients
Encouraging a Culture of Passion, Accountability, and Teamwork
Title: Executive VP of Human Resources
Company: Incyte Corp.
Company Awards: Top Employer, Science Magazine, #2 on annual Top Employer’s Survey, 2018; Forbes’ Top 10 World’s Most Innovative Companies, 2014-2018
Community Awards: Faces of Philanthropy Honoree for Cancer Support Community Delaware by Philadelphia Business Journal, 2019; Founders Award for Innovation, Cancer Support Communities, 2019; Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Shining Light Award, Delaware, Delaware Lieutenant Governor’s Challenge Wellness Leadership Award
Associations: The Society For Human Resource Management; Philadelphia Employee Benefits Association; Delaware Valley Human Resource Group; Board Member of Delaware Bio, Kind to Kinds Foundation, Committee of 100, Delaware Cancer Support Community, and Christiana Care Health System Executive Compensation Committee
Paula Swain, executive VP of human resources at Incyte Corp., has been on the job for 17 years, and she is just as passionate about the work she does today as she was on her first day. As the third person to join the Incyte team, Paula has been instrumental in supporting the growth of the organization and the cultivation of its people from the start. Incyte has grown from 23 people to a global company of more than 1,300 people across 13 countries, and has two marketed products, and a rich and diversified pipeline that is truly unique for the size of the company.
“From a talent and operations perspective, the company grew more than 20% in 2017 alone, adding experts from both industry and academia to our team,” Paula says. “As with any company that grows this quickly and expands internationally, we have had to ensure that we don’t lose sight of our culture.”
Paula works tirelessly to ensure colleagues are equipped with the resources they need so they can follow their passion to create innovative science to achieve important advances in the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. The cornerstone of Paula’s success at Incyte has been her focus on implementing initiatives that directly focus on supporting the “whole” Incyte person.
“During my tenure at Incyte, the company has gone from a small, leased building to a large campus with headquarters in Wilmington, Del.,” she says. “Amid these changes, I have had to remain focused on ensuring employees’ physical environment fostered the entrepreneurial spirit of its people.”
Paula has institutionalized cutting-edge benefits packages and wellness programs, such as on-site fitness classes, melanoma screenings and nutrition counseling, as well as a concierge service and a robust summer intern program for the children of employees.
“We strive to offer programs that resonate and address genuine needs,” Paula says.
An example of Paula’s influence is Incyte’s 2018 recognition by Science Magazine, ranking second on the list of 20 companies recognized in its annual top employer’s survey. Incyte team members specifically recognized the company for its work culture and respect for employees. “I am proud of the environment we’ve created at Incyte,” Paula says of the recognition. “At the heart of Incyte is the value we place on improving the lives of others — and when our colleagues thrive, we are better able to pursue innovations for patients.”
Paula and Incyte’s CEO Herve Hoppenot spearheaded the development of Incyte Involved in 2016, a program comprised of three initiatives focused on philanthropy as well as employee and community engagement.
“As part of Incyte Involved, employees receive one paid volunteer day each year and we have a matching gift program that matches 100% of each employee’s donations to their charity of choice up to $1,000 per year.”
In 2018, Incyte matched more than $120,000 in donations to different charities. Incyte also donated more than $620,000 to more than 20 organizations through the Incyte Charitable Giving Foundation. Also, as part of the foundation, Paula was instrumental in launching the Incyte Cancer Care Assistance Fund for Delaware in collaboration with Cancer Support Community Delaware.
Colleagues say they are proud to be able to help so many patients and their families, not only with providing treatment options but with emotional and financial support, and it wouldn’t be possible without Paula’s vision and willingness to listen and partner with the community to make an impact.
“At Incyte, our core strength lies in the collective experience and passion of our team,” she says. “As the organization continues to grow, I am committed to helping our company maintain a culture that is driven by a passion for innovative science and where patients are at the forefront of everything we do. We strive to maintain an environment that is collaborative and close-knit, where employees feel heard and have the power to make an impact.” (PV)