NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
We salute those who take the time out of their own busy careers to help others to develop their paths to success; provide guidance; and exhibit patience, foresight, and unselfish devotion to mentoring. Knowledge is most valuable when shared, and Wendy Blackburn is one of the strongest advocates of this sentiment. An expert in many fields, Ms. Blackburn does not position herself as the owner of knowledge but rather shares and mentors in a way that inspires answers instead of dictating them. Intouch Solutions has grown in the last two years from a corporation of 50 to almost 200 employees, and Ms. Blackburn is a driving force behind that growth. Her ideas generate entire departments. Her influence extends to and beyond every Intouch employee. She is a trusted advisor to literally hundreds of people; she gives seminars for clients, has presented before the FDA, and has thousands of blog and Twitter followers tracking her marketing insights. Her blog, ePharma Rx, has become a must-read authoritative voice in the e-pharma arena. Her move to Intouch in 2003 was both inspired and, she admits, somewhat risky. Many would say her leaving healthcare public relations and making the switch to healthcare digital marketing was a gamble. She was moving from a successful career at a global firm, Fleishman-Hillard, for a tiny independent shop soon after the dot-com bubble had burst. Her husband thought she was crazy, and she knew she would miss the writing side of PR, but she instantly loved the potential, power, creativity, and measurability of digital marketing. Now, with writing a blog and helping clients participate in social media, she believes she has the best of both worlds. By the same token, she says, the switch from public relations to digital wasn’t an effortless or overnight event. It was easy to get frustrated because there was so much to learn and it seemed the discipline was always a moving target; it still is. Digital marketing continues to evolve and the technology is ever-changing, and Ms. Blackburn loves the fact that she is learning something new every day. One of her most enduring qualities is her sincerity. With Ms. Blackburn, what you see is what you get. Colleagues and clients trust her not to spin the facts, and being sincere goes a long way toward that trust. She prides herself on being friendly and personable. A lot of people talk about being real or transparent in the context of social media, but Ms. Blackburn has found it’s a different thing to practice those traits in real life. Being calm in the deadline-driven, client service-focused agency world can be difficult, yet Ms. Blackburn’s natural sense of order helps her, and others, to stay sane in a sometimes chaotic business. It takes a lot to stir her up or upset her, and she has little time for overdone drama. Yoga, she admits, helps too. Beyond her love of her work, Ms. Blackburn is a lifelong animal lover, supporting animal welfare organizations and local shelters to help those who truly cannot help themselves. And when she finally gets some personal time, she looks for a bit of comic relief in her reading matter, enjoying Chelsea Handler, David Sedaris, or Nick Hornby. Even business reading can be fun, she believes. Her all-time favorite is The Power of Nice by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, which has a great message, is written by women in the ad agency business, and is, above all, a quick read. F Trusted Advisor Wendy Blackburn feels the need for speed. She once drove a race car 166 MPH solo around a racetrack. As Executive VP at Intouch Solutions, Wendy Blackburn makes a difference daily in the lives of the many colleagues, brand managers, and pharmaceutical marketers who are lucky enough to reside in her circle. Name: Wendy Blackburn Current Position: Executive VP, Intouch Solutions Inc. Education: B.S., Communications, Magna Cum Laude, Drury College Date and place of birth: April 1973, North Carolina First Job: Data entry for a debt collection agency First Industry-related Job: Communications specialist for a hospital Dream Jobs: Work in a greenhouse, be a park ranger or outdoor guide Professional Mentor: Faruk Capan, CEO, Intouch Solutions Hobbies: Travel, wine tasting, gardening, hiking, canoeing, camping, and walking her dogs Connected via: Twitter and Facebook Words to Live By: Stay positive Sincere. Calm. thanks to Joanne Duckman’s positive, energetic attitude and infectious personality, employees truly flourish under her guidance. Ms. Duckman is a driving force for the future talent of Torre Lazur McCann; she has a unique ability to see the potential of those she hires in all her departments. As director of production services, which includes traffic, production, prepress studio, and the comprehensive studio, Ms. Duckman manages several highly visible, highly stress-filled departments with pride, acumen, and infectious good spirits. In fact, she rallies in the face of adversity, becoming the client’s greatest resource and often saving grace. All of her staff members look to her for authority on the latest word on perfection in their disciplines, and she provides guidance in the most encouraging terms. Generous in the way she devotes her time and attention to every single person she oversees, Ms. Duckman always has a smile and a can-do attitude, despite an enormous workload. Professional in all she does, Ms. Duckman injects a major part of who she is into the practice of her profession. A key aspect is her attention to advancing the standards of excellence being driven by changing technology. She keeps abreast of the current and next-generation software tools as well as the changes in the end use of the work she oversees. She helps steer the direction of progress toward practical excellence by providing thoughtful feedback to leading software publishers in the industry. With her vast knowledge of healthcare, she is regarded as the nucleus of the agency. She embraces issues that come her way and takes them as opportunities to educate and come up with innovative solutions for the team. She understands that hard work breeds great results, and she never takes her role in the company’s success for granted. F Energy Personified Joanne Duckman played a supporting role in an independent film that went on to be nominated for five IFC Spirit Awards. Name: Joanne Duckman Current position: Director, Production Services, Torre Lazur McCann Education: B.A., Studio Art, Michigan State University Date and Place of Birth: August 1970, Queens, N.Y. First Job: Candy store First Industry-related Job: Page layout at a medical supply company Dream Job: Stage actor Professional Mentors: Debra Jamer, her current boss Professional Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Adobe User Group, Xinet user group Connected Via: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter Words to Live By: Ignorance sucks Avant-Garde. Ambitious. With tireless energy and a great sense of humor, Jennifer King, Executive VP, Human Resources and Operations, The Medical Affairs Company, intoxicates her teams, spurring them to accomplish goals no matter how daunting. Jennifer King Tireless Guide Jennifer King used to teach tap dance to children. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. To those who work with Jennifer King, this attitude sums up her collaborative spirit. Quietly laying the groundwork for the success of the company, Ms. King works tirelessly behind the scenes to assure everything runs smoothly and efficiently and makes everyone in the rest of the organization look good. A highly skilled and knowledgeable human resources professional, she finds order in chaos; she says her office may look like a tornado hit it, but she knows where everything is. As executive VP, human resources and operations, at The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC), Ms. King swiftly attends to the needs of personnel, regardless of the seriousness or urgency of the matter at hand. And despite her busy schedule, she always finds the time to talk to colleagues with a sympathetic and a positive attitude, always showing unconditional support. Ms. King is quite clearly the go-to person at the company; she will find answers or solutions to any situation, navigating within the available resources with astonishing ease. As a mentor, Ms. King has had a profound impact on others, helping guide many people to define their career paths. Ms. King is always willing to listen to ideas, to provide a shoulder to lean on, or to give a nudge when people need help moving in a new direction. Her open-door policy and years of experience in the industry have won widespread respect of her clients as well as MSLs. F Name: Jennifer King Current position: Executive VP, Human Resources and Operations, The Medical Affairs Company Education: B.S., Fordham University Date and Place of Birth: Jan. 15, 1974, Staten Island, N.Y. First Job: Waitress First Industry-related Job: HR Coordinator at Sciens WorldWide; formely Nelson Communications, now Publicis Healthcare Dream Job: Elementary school teacher Professional Mentors: Liz Gugliemini and Sue Brocaglia, colleagues and former HR managers Professional Associations: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Connected Via: LinkedIn Words to Live By: Overcoming challenges makes life worth living Organized. Compassionate. Laughter and optimism are vital ingredients to a successful and happy working life for Laurie Halloran. As the CEO and managing partner of Halloran Consulting Group sees it, you can still do important, work while having fun, and life is too short to be serious — for no good reason — all of the time. Ms. Halloran always sees the silver lining, even when things are bad. And in the pressured and turbulent life-sciences industry, it’s an attitude that pays dividends. Busy though she is running her life-sciences consulting firm, Ms. Halloran is adept at juggling her professional career with her family and numerous volunteering, philanthropic, and educational activities. She has established several educational programs that enable industry colleagues to further their career growth. For example, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Ms. Halloran established one of the first formalized certification programs in clinical research in the country, as well as one of the first graduate programs at Boston University’s School of Medicine. She has also been a faculty member at Massachusetts General Institute of Health Professions and, most recently, at George Washington University. As one of the founding members (and a former president) of the New England Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, she helped grow the association from a small group with no resources to one of the country’s leading chapters in the global organization. Ms. Halloran is truly passionate about transforming the process by which new products are developed and brought to patients. This was driven home to her when she was working with a close regulatory colleague; the two were trying to get an early-stage cancer drug with safety issues off an unofficial FDA clinical hold. The drug had real benefits to some of the dying patients in the study, and Ms. Halloran and her colleague worked to assemble the safety data needed to get the trial going again as quickly as possible. The defining moment for her was the card she received from the father of a 19-year-old patient thanking her for giving his son more time to be a kid, and as both an ex-pediatric nurse and a mother, it meant the world to Ms. Halloran. F Laughter is the Best Medicine Laurie Halloran, CEO and Managing Partner, Halloran Consulting Group, is recognized as an established leader and a trusted advisor in the industry. Laurie Halloran loves to sing — karaoke or with a live band. Name: Laurie Halloran Current position: CEO and Managing Partner, Halloran Consulting Group Education: MSM, Lesley University, 1999; BSN, Russell Sage College, New York, 1982 Date and Place of Birth: April 1960, Troy, N.Y. First Jobs: Chemistry tutor, bookstore clerk, state trooper barracks cleaner First Industry-related Job: CRA, Parexel International Dream Job: Undercover government agent Professional Mentors: Lisa Becker, previous manager; Marcy Johnson, Parexel; Brad Yount, Boston- area CEO Roundtable; Greg Dombal and Shaghig Palanjian, colleagues; Alex, husband Connected Via: LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Facebook Words to Live By: Thou shalt not whine Optimistic. Fun-Loving. Encouraging others to strive for their best is what makes Ted White such a capable and respected manager. A credible and trustworthy leader, Mr. White treats people with care, fairness, kindness, and respect. He recognizes that people want to be listened to and given the opportunity to develop their talent and to use their skills to make a contribution to the organization. Equally, though, he is a transformational leader, able to bring about organizational change, improvement, and revitalization to bear while ensuring support for his staff. He has demonstrated that a manager’s goal is to turn one person’s particular talent into performance. He believes managers only succeed when they can identify and deploy differences among people, challenging each employee to excel in his or her own way. In addition, he says to do all of the things good managers need to do — delegate, praise, provide feedback, coach, or counsel — they must be good communicators. Mr. White excels in all. His many accomplishments include serving as a mentor to high-performing sales managers and leadership development candidates. And, in fact, he rates developing future leaders of the organization as the highlight of his career. He also mentors outside the office, serving as a coach for Special Olympics baseball through the Challenger League in association with Little League and Special Olympics. F Team Champion Ted White graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy. Name: Ted White Current position: Managing Director, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Education: MBA, St. Joseph’s University, 1994; B.S., Villanova University, 1988 Date and Place of Birth: May 17, 1964, West Islip, N.Y. First Job: Group Representative, Principal Financial Group First Industry-related Job: Sales representative Dream Job: Football coach, professional or college Professional Mentors: Rich Porreca, Director of Regional Accounts; Doug McLaughlin, former Executive Director; Joe Sebra, former VP; Galen McCrum, former VP Screensaver: V for Villanova Connected Via: LinkedIn Words to Live By: In order to achieve success, you have to put the sweat into the bucket and fill it up Ted White, Managing Director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, has been a positive influence in a very difficult and changing environment. Encouraging. Proud. The pharma industry is at a crossroads, and insightful leaders such as Wendy Blackburn are well-positioned to help companies make big changes. As executive VP at the interactive marketing agency Intouch Solutions, Ms. Blackburn is responsible for client strategy, client service, and business development across the company, interfacing with a number of Intouch’s top-20 pharma clients. Her expertise and insights make her well aware of the challenges facing the industry. One of the biggest she believes is the shift in marketing/advertising from a broadcast approach to a more personalized, one-on-one experience, where customers control how they engage with a company or brand — not the other way around. Another challenge is the more conservative interpretation and enforcement of the FDA’s promotional regulations. The draw to the life sciences isn’t surprising. Both Ms. Blackburn’s parents are in healthcare and she has been involved in some aspect of the industry since her first internship in college, when her job was as a communications specialist in a hospital. There she was responsible for writing newsletters and press releases, working with the advertising agency, and building the hospital network’s first website before people really knew what that was. Since then, she has been serving the healthcare industry as a communicator in one capacity or another. In addition to her hospital communications position, she’s handled integrated b-to-b communications for biotech and high-tech clients, while at Godbe Communications; and developed communication plans for global clients while at Fleishman-Hillard. At Intouch she is responsible for the strategic vision and planning for the client service department, serving the HCP and consumer marketing needs of multiple pharmaceutical companies; overseeing and leading business development initiatives; and representing Intouch Solutions as a notable pharma marketing voice in the online social media space. A career-defining moment for Ms. Blackburn was participating in the FDA hearing on the Internet and social media — Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools — last November. The energy and passion, and the sense of making a difference, having a voice, and perhaps making history, made Ms. Blackburn proud to be a part of the endeavor. It was a moment, she says, when the industry came together — rival agencies and industry competitors — toward reaching a common goal. In the workplace, Ms. Blackburn draws inspiration from Intouch CEO and Founder Faruk Capan, whom she describes as brilliant, entrepreneurial, and fair. Equally, though, she is inspired by the myriad personalities that come together to produce Intouch’s work — from the highly specialized subject matter experts, to the creative staff who dazzle despite regulatory restrictions, to the development staff who work magic writing code every day. Wendy Blackburn • In Touch with Change Family: Husband Darren, and proud “pet parent” of two very large dogs — each more than 100 lbs. Bucket List: Travel to Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Africa, and various wine regions around the world Screensaver: Pictures take by her photographer husband Giving back: Supporting animal welfare organizations and local shelters Getting Personal with Wendy Blackburn Overseeing a young staff can be demanding and daunting, but Joanne Duckman, director of production services at Torre Lazur McCann (TLM), handles this with grace. At no time was this more apparent than when Madeline “Maddy” Loftus, one of the “TLM kids” — as Ms. Duckman refers to them — was killed on Continental Flight 3407 a little over a year ago. Immediately following that harrowing event, Ms. Duckman along with colleagues and friends established the Maddy Loftus Memorial Scholarship Fund. Ms. Duckman has dedicated herself to ensuring Maddy’s life is remembered by all who came into contact with her. She is constantly helping to organize fundraisers and events; most recently, she organized the first annual MADdash, a 5K to raise money for the fund. Dealing with her own grief and guiding her staff through it was the greatest challenge Ms. Duckman has faced in her career. Her deep compassion for humanity is apparent in her commitment to charities, such as The American Cancer Society. She does not broadcast her dedication to such organizations; instead she quietly works late many evenings to design and produce graphic materials for the ACS without fanfare or notice. She is also involved with the Alzheimer’s Association. In 2009, and again this year, Ms. Duckman was named a star agency trainer. Working in a small team, she created an innovative program — Communication on Every Level. This was an ideal showcase for her talents. She was already well-known for her ability to communicate with everyone — from copywriters to CEOs — with respect. This opportunity enabled her to combine her natural role-model and platform skills to benefit a new generation of midlevel managers. A mentor, coach, team player, and friend to all, Ms. Duckman will jump through hoops to make things happen. And she does so gladly because she loves what she does, the company she works for, and all those she works with. F Giving Back: Committee member for the American Cancer Society on the GWB Challenge; Alzheimer’s Association; the Maddy Loftus Memorial Scholarship Fund; Blood Center of N.J. Bucket List: Spend time in a third-world country helping build a school and a clean irrigation system Top iPod downloads: Green Day, P!nk, Black Eyed Peas, and Nickelback Most Unusual Place Visited: Behind the scenes at the Museum of Natural History to see what’s not on display Life Lessons: When people come looking for advice, really listen to them; most times, people just want to be heard Getting Personal with Joanne Duckman Joanne Duckman • Compassionate to the Core One of Laurie Halloran’s greatest concerns in the delivery of better healthcare is a shortage of seasoned and competent middle and senior managers who are empowered to make decisions and do the right thing without political fallout. Ms. Halloran, CEO and managing partner of Halloran Consulting Group, says there are too many company executives whose focus is on raising or saving money to appease investors rather than being able to have ethics and quality guide their decisions. This ultimately impacts the development of important treatments for people who need them and ultimately costs too much. Ms. Halloran and her team are focused on making a difference in the development process, particularly for biopharmaceutical and medical-device companies. She understands from personal experience the importance of gathering good insights and listening to what others have to say. Earlier in her career, Ms. Halloran was working in a company where executive management did not recognize the value of listening to senior-level development expertise nor the costs associated with poor quality and noncompliance. She says it was frustrating to see people working incredibly hard without the support they needed from management, who had no recognition of the ultimate implications of cutting corners. Throughout her career, she has sought advice from others and found mentorship from those she works for and with. Many years ago, she learned her management skills from a previous boss, Lisa Becker, and Marcy Johnson from Parexel. Today, her mentors are a number of members of a Boston-area CEO roundtable particularly Brad Yount, a financial wizard, who is helping her to scale the company to the next level. She also looks to her business partners, Greg Dombal and Shaghig Palanjian, and her husband, Alex, who always has her back. Ms. Halloran also draws inspiration from the CEOs of the many small biotech companies that her company works with who care passionately about their people and their products’ promise and who sacrifice so much for the ideal of bringing medicines to the market. F Laurie Halloran • Do the Right Thing Family: Husband, Alex; Sons, Kieran and Liam Reading List: Value Based Fees: How to Charge and Get What You’re Worth by Alan Weiss; House Rules by Jodi Picoult Hobbies: Running, scuba diving, reading, wine touring in Sonoma, gardening, and family travel Giving Back: Charity benefits, silent auctions, and walk-a-thons Bucket List: Live in a completed home and garden; travel spanning six continents; hang glide and skydive to overcome her acrophobia; scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef; safari in Africa with family; tour Italy in a convertible sports car with her best friend; see her children happy and independent in the future Inspiration: CEOs of small biotech companies Screensaver: Images from a family sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands Most Unusual Place Visited: Belize before tourism Life Lessons: Ask yourself, why not? Our only limitations are those of our own imposition Getting Personal with Laurie Halloran As the person who holds the key to the professional well-being of her colleagues across The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC), it’s not surprising that the company decided to make Jennifer King a partner. And it’s not an achievement Ms. King takes for granted; she considers it to be the defining moment in her career. Since joining TMAC, Ms. King has had a huge impact on how the company manages its medical science liaison (MSL) programs. One of her toughest, and most successful assignments, was implementing a global MSL program without an infrastructure already in place. She achieved this through countless discussions with human resources and legal intercompany personnel, as well as a broad range of consultants. As someone with many years of experience in the medical affairs arena, she fears the continuation of stringent compliance policies may impede the future growth of access to physicians, therefore preventing the successful exchange of scientific information. A huge champion of life-work balance in her role as executive VP of human resources and operations at TMAC, Ms. King provides the buffer that MSLs need. She recognizes that the MSL role is inherently stressful and involves extensive travel, which can strain family relationships, so she works diligently to counsel and guide MSLs, assuring their success and happiness, and ultimately ensuring the satisfaction and happiness of the company’s clients as well. All this derives from her personal experience in balancing an ambitious professional career with a very hectic family life. She has two children living at home, a teenager and a preschooler, and she has always played an intimate role in her family-run Italian restaurant in suburban Atlanta. There is never a quiet or dull moment in the King household. By example, she is an inspiration to all those who struggle for a satisfying balance of work and family. Ms. King derives inspiration from her mom, who is also her best friend and a self-described domestic engineer. According to Ms. King, her mother provides the support she needs, making her life easier and giving her the ability to grow in her career and succeed as a wife and mother. Ms. King says her mother keeps her balanced and reminds her of what is important. F Jennifer King • A Perfect Balance Family: Husband, Dwight; Daughters, Kaia, Crystal, and Sade Hobbies: Skiing, dancing, karaoke singing, school volunteering, waitressing at her restaurant, Alessandro’s Giving Back: Toys for Tots Bucket List: Vacation on a glass-bottom ocean hut in Tahiti; develop a green thumb, but still keep a gardener Inspiration: Mother Screensaver: 6-year-old daughter Kaia wearing oversized swim goggles Most Unusual Place Visited: The small volcanic island Montserrat, West Indies Life Lessons: To succeed in your job, you have to show up Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Observe her husband’s daily schedule Getting Personal with Jennifer King Family: Cindee, wife of 20 years; Sons, Ted Jr., 16; Bryan, 13; Kevin, 9 Reading List: Hundred Percenters by Mark Murphy; The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way by Paul Teutul Hobbies: Coaching youth athletics and traveling Giving Back: Coaching for Challenger League; active within the Catholic Youth Organization Bucket List: To provide a personal and professional model by educating his children and driving performance and accountability at work Inspiration: His father Top iPod downloads: Black Eyed Peas and B.B. King Most Unusual Place Visited: Istanbul, Turkey Life Lessons: Surround yourself with the best and the brightest Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Spend time in the boardroom Getting Personal with Ted White A proven leader of teams, Ted White has played a key role in new product launches at Novartis, executing strategy and tactics for $2 billion brands, and he has played a lead role in starting up three new sales divisions. Now he takes his strongly honed skill set into a new area, as managing director, with full P&L responsibility. In so doing, he transitions from a sales leader to a business leader in a complex and changing marketplace, and it is, he says, his biggest professional challenge to date. A hardworking and focused leader, his goal is to take his performance in his new position to the next level. Mr. White has been working for Novartis since graduating college, starting with the company as a territory representative. His dedication to his profession has been recognized time and time again, with multiple sales awards as district manager, regional manager, and national sales director. In his current position, he is responsible for six primary care brands. Mr. White says he is proud of what he does and who he works for, which is reflected in his dedication to Novartis, his achievements to date, and the enormous respect he has garnered from his staff. F Family: Cindee, wife of 20 years; Sons, Ted Jr., 16; Bryan, 13; Kevin, 9 Reading List: Hundred Percenters by Mark Murphy; The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way by Paul Teutul Hobbies: Coaching youth athletics and traveling Giving Back: Coaching for Challenger League; active within the Catholic Youth Organization Bucket List: To provide a personal and professional model by educating his children and driving performance and accountability at work Inspiration: His father Top iPod downloads: Black Eyed Peas and B.B. King Most Unusual Place Visited: Istanbul, Turkey Life Lessons: Surround yourself with the best and the brightest Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Spend time in the boardroom Ted White • Pride and Loyalty Getting Personal with Ted White