Taren Grom, Editor
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On the Money with Knowledge
In a hyper-competitive business climate, success requires constant innovation. For David Hahn, this means constantly improving to meet clients’ expectations.
Mr. Hahn has been an integral part of the success of The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC), helping to establish the company as a preeminent provider of outsourced medical affairs activities to the biopharma and device industries.
Launching a self-funded, private service based company in 2008 was a difficult proposition due to the overall economic conditions and impact on pharmaceutical company budgets, but thanks to his financial knowledge and foresight TMAC has enjoyed continued growth.
With Mr. Hahn in the chief operating officer position, TMAC has a brilliant resource whose expertise spans contracts, finance, and the changing healthcare environment.
For Mr. Hahn, the combination of supporting the industry and market with educational exchanges of information between peers, done on a variable cost/outsourced model, was incredibly appealing and what has led him to commit to TMAC.
He consistently sees larger industry trends and is forward-thinking and innovative in bringing new ideas to the table.
He provided strategic oversight and financial expertise for the launch of TMAC in 2008 and has recently spearheaded the initiative to expand the company’s expertise from medical science liaisons (MSLs) to now include clinical nurse educators.
His passion to ensure that the company provides the best possible service is clearly demonstrated in every piece of correspondence that is shared with clients. He welcomes client interactions, which allows TMAC to find out what tactics are successful and which, if improved, could best benefit all parties involved.
Above all, he believes in staying true to the company’s identity and maintaining its expertise in its core offering, rather than trying to be all things to all people.
He is dedicated in everything he takes on, and is selfless, caring more about the outcome for the causes and people he is committed to than any personal glory or satisfaction.
Colleagues laud Mr. Hahn as an excellent, charismatic leader who has great poise and a sense of practicality. Highly respected by his peers, he knows how to motivate people and get the best out of all employees.
He has an open-door policy and innate motivational skills that resonate with both executive management and field staff. Mr. Hahn is noted for encouraging all to share ideas and is supportive of new concepts.
Work-life balance is important to Mr. Hahn. He serves on the board of directors at his local baseball park, where his role is to administer the special needs program.
“Between coaching my oldest son and administering baseball for the special needs program, I spend more than 20 hours a week at our baseball park,” he says.
In support of his youngest son, who has Down’s Syndrome, Mr. Hahn is committed to any charity related to special needs, particularly children with special needs.
Inspiration for Mr. Hahn comes in many forms, from Americans who have shown enormous bravery and sacrifice, such as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders of WWII and Todd Beamer and the heroes of Flight 93. But his biggest inspiration comes from his immediate family.
“I am inspired by my wife, who left Cuba as a child and endured many hardships before becoming the loving wife and mother that she is today,” he said. “My grandmother like many of her era faced the Depression and WWII, and was the matriarch of our extended family through difficult times,” he says. “My mother, who recently beat cancer, has shown incredible resolve and helps me put things into perspective. My father, who was handed nothing, worked his way through school and tirelessly since, and gave everything for his children to succeed in this world. I try to emulate them every day.”
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: The Medical Affairs Company LLC
Education: BS, Seton Hall University
Family: Wife Grace; two sons, Nicholas and Matthew
Hobbies: Coaching his sons in baseball and basketball, golfing, studying American history, reading science fiction
Bucket List: Renewing his vows beachside with his wife; coaching his son’s team in the Little League World Series; learning how to fly, getting his pilot’s license
David Hahn believes in focusing on what matters, hiring the right people, delegating, and trusting them to complete their assigned tasks, in order to concentrate on the critical needs of clients and company.
Dr. Jessica Lea
Developing a Clear Message on Managing Medicine
With a passion for patient-centered pharmacy care, an innate entrepreneurial spirit, and a determination to make a difference, Jessica Lea, Pharm.D., is finding innovative ways to overcome medicine mismanagement.
It was a problem she first witnessed working as a clinical pharmacist for a pharmacy benefits management company; she recognized the impact poor understanding of medicine had on both patient health and the financial health of companies.
Her solution was simple: offer patient-focused medication therapy management (MTM) to high-risk individuals through an employer-sponsored benefit plan. The purpose of MTM is to provide pharmacy care to patients to prevent medication-related complications that cost the U.S. health system more than $317 billion a year.
Dr. Lea was confident her strategy would work, so she presented a business plan to her company’s board of directors, and with their support, she turned her idea into a reality by working around the clock to achieve those goals.
“I realized I had an opportunity to make a unique impact on the future of the healthcare industry, my company, and most importantly, patients and the quality of care they receive,” she says. “It also allowed me to expand upon my passion to help others improve their health by using my medication expertise.”
Dr. Lea’s solution is today fully realized at Tria Health, where as president she makes sure the company adheres to the philosophies upon which the company was built: optimal patient outcomes stemming from pharmacy care that focuses on quality and patient-centered solutions; engaging pharmacists, who play a vital role in combating two major issues facing the healthcare industry, including increasingly high costs and the frequency of medication-related health problems; and understanding that 80% of chronic conditions are managed with medication.
Tria Health works with companies and government agencies to help manage the health of workers with chronic conditions by ensuring they receive the correct medications and use them effectively.
Formerly known as WellTrak, the company changed its name to Tria, meaning three, to more accurately reflect how the company’s service unites the patient, pharmacist, and physician to provide better health outcomes related to medication management and creating a healthier workforce.
As is the case with most small, growing companies, Dr. Lea’s responsibilities span the roles of CEO, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer, as well as working with patients and clients.
She believes it is important that every Tria Health employee understands the vision and goals that have been established to ensure their hard work contributes to the current and future success of the company.
“I regularly request confidential feedback from my employees, our clients, and our patients for guidance on how we can improve to deliver quality patient-centered care in a profitable manner,” Dr. Lea says.
Dr. Lea connects with individuals on a personal level and motivates them by knowing what moves them and uncovering where they find meaning and importance.
She has a remarkable ability to balance a thriving business, school, and family. She is an exemplary role model for others in leadership positions, especially women, because she is able to lead by example and show that it is possible to have a successful business and home life.
In addition, Dr. Lea is actively involved in community organizations, including Central Exchange, an organization of women executives that supports other women, and Cristo Rey Kansas City’s Corporate Work Study Program. Tria Health partners with the organization to provide internship opportunities to underprivileged local high school students. This program allows students of low-income families to receive a college-preparatory education by working throughout the week to earn the bulk of their tuition.
Before Tria Health, Dr. Lea served as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
An avid educator and influencer, she is currently pursuing her MBA at Rockhurst University. And she enjoys staying on top of industry trends and news, and networking with other professionals through the connectivity that social media provides.
Company: Tria Health LLC
Education: Pharm.D., University of Missouri — Kansas City School of Pharmacy; current MBA student, Rockhurst University (anticipated graduation May 2014)
Family: Husband, Darren Lea; daughter, Reagan, 7; son,
Hobbies: Exercising, cooking, traveling
Bucket List: Travel to exotic locations with her husband, starting with Hawaii and Bora Bora
Awards: Kansas City Business Journal Healthiest Employers; Ingram’s Fittest Executive
Associations: Kansas City Central Exchange; Women Business Leaders of US Health Care Foundation; Academy of Managed Care Pharmacists (AMCP); Missouri Pharmacy Association (MPA); College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists (CPNP)
Dr. Jessica Lea is focused on making Tria Health a national leader in providing medication therapy management services.
Leading by Example
An old advertising adage cautions that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But, this six-time honoree to the PharmaVOICE 100 may be the exception to the rule. For six consecutive years, peers, associates, colleagues, and employees have provided detailed accounts enumerating Rick Keefer’s exemplary leadership skills, his ability to know where the proverbial puck is going before anyone else does, and a knack for communicating and providing sage advice, making him, in their opinion, one of the most respected leaders in the industry.
How can one man consistently be so worthy? According to those who work with and for him, it’s easy for Mr. Keefer, as he is noted as a life-sciences leader who consistently makes a difference to the company he leads, the industry, and the world. Colleagues say Mr. Keefer possesses many of the traits that make for a good leader: integrity, resourcefulness, self-confidence, the ability to communicate, flexibility, and consistency. Those who know him well say don’t be fooled by his casual approach, because he takes business seriously.
He is called a visionary who has embraced the turbulent market changes with a can-do attitude. Mr. Keefer has the ability to foresee industry trends and can strategically plan with those changes in mind, which is an amazing ability that he has proven time and time again.
By turning problems into opportunities, Mr. Keefer has successfully re-engineered Publicis Touchpoint Solutions into a company that has experienced significant growth by adopting change and embracing out-of-the-box thinking.
With a focus on the patient experience, Mr. Keefer is not content with status quo business processes. He welcomes and embraces technology and is always striving to find new ways to leverage opportunities to reach more customers and ultimately, more patients.
Along with his business leadership and vision, Mr. Keefer’s strongest character trait is that of a great communicator. He holds monthly town hall meetings at the company, where he and other heads of departments provide company updates, celebrate wins and new business, and recognize and reward employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Staff members find Mr. Keefer’s transparent and sincere leadership style refreshing.
His ability to communicate the company’s mission and get every staff member on board is not lost on those who work around him. Mr. Keefer is genuine in how he approaches his teams and he cares deeply about their success and engagement. He is accessible to all employees and they often look to him for guidance and direction and he always delivers.
Mr. Keefer is open to new ideas, values individuality, and encourages everyone to think creatively.
Credited with reinventing the organization to keep up with the times, Mr. Keefer says that goal is continually shifting and is still one of his biggest challenges.
“By continually and routinely improving the way we’re doing business, we’ve moved from what was a single-focused supplier into a much larger, diverse, robust, and multi-focused organization,” he says. “The work I’m doing right now is the most challenging and rewarding to date as it has involved creating a totally new and different organization.”
He is humble in acknowledging that he inspires and motivates those around him, but it is his leadership that allows others to thrive in their expertise.
“A leader can develop, encourage, and raise the intensity level of people, but I don’t believe one can truly motivate others,” he says. “I believe in hiring the best people and empowering them to follow their professional passion in executing their jobs. After that people are very capable of motivating themselves.
“I still consider it one of my biggest career thrills to see people in the organization develop and grow into increasingly greater roles and responsibilities,” he continues. “Because no organization can thrive without a consistently strong leadership team, I can think of nothing more rewarding — personally and professionally — than seeing people whose careers I’ve contributed to blossom.”
Mr. Keefer says he leads by example because his father, who was a very wise man, told him to “practice what you preach.” Mr. Keefer’s father taught him many other life lessons that he lives by on a daily basis. Regrettably, Mr. Keefer’s father passed away from end-stage dementia several years ago, and it was at that time that it became crystal clear to Mr. Keefer how the industry can make a difference in patient’s lives. “I was in the hospital interacting with both physicians and hospice workers,” he says. “I was able to see first-hand the positive impact our industry can have on patient care. It was a sad time of my life, but it also made me very proud of the industry in which we work.”
In the future, Mr. Keefer plans to continue his work at Touchpoint by helping clients find innovative ways to thrive in the new business environment, but at some point, he might try his hand in the real estate business.
“My wife and I have done that on a small scale for a number of years now with our personal homes and it would be great fun to take that to the next level,” he says.
Rick Keefer tells his employees they can sleep well at night knowing that what they do every day makes a difference in the lives of others.
Title: President and CEO
Company: Publicis Touchpoint Solutions Inc.
Education: BS, Marketing and Accounting; Certified Medical Representative, West Virginia State University
Family: Wife, Luz Cesario; sons, Brian, 34, and Brad, 29
Hobbies: The complete renovation of his 80-acre farm, which means this year, building a new barn; golfing, woodworking, hunting, fishing, Harley riding, hiking, and scuba diving
Bucket List: Taking a long, cross-country trip across the U.S. on his Harley; spending a year on a Caribbean island, touring only by Harley, with his wife; someday having grandchildren
Awards/Honors: PharmaVOICE 100 honoree — 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
Tweet at: @pTouchpoint
Meets Business Wisdom
Kerry Hilton embodies a unique combination of attributes. He is a tech geek who is endowed with creativity, generosity, business acumen, and a special brand of pop humor.
Mr. Hilton has mastered the uncanny ability to use both the left and right hemispheres of his brain, which has allowed him to shift from the creative side of the business into the role of CEO.
Few creatives are comfortable managing people or sifting through spreadsheets or hunting for new business, but Mr. Hilton does all this with aplomb while still producing some of the most creative work in the business.
Always pushing harder and higher, Mr. Hilton will never settle for how he’s currently defined.
He’s quick to see opportunities and pursue new directions. In 2001, the day before the 9/11 attacks, he co-founded HCB as the first ad agency in Austin to focus exclusively on healthcare. Early on he recognized that the medical device environment — everything from advanced wound care to cataract surgery to orthopedic implants — held both a tremendous creative challenge and big business potential. Among his creative innovations are two ground-breaking campaigns for Alcon Surgical, for its Infiniti Vision System and AcrySof family of intraocular cataract lenses.
He was also an early adopter of digital media, investing in both the technology and the people to create unique business solutions for clients.
Now, Mr. Hilton is leading HCB to serve the full healthcare sector, not just pharma and device companies, but also physician groups, hospitals, MCOs, research foundations, patients, and consumers. His goal: improve healthcare across the whole continuum.
“HCB is expanding its brand to have a more dominant presence in the United States and beyond,” he says. “And with more emphasis on interactive and mobile platforms, we will serve the medical community with innovative branding solutions that fit the new realities of a digital health world.”
And he has proved that an independent agency in Austin, Texas, can compete against the biggest global networks — HCB is the largest healthcare agency in the southwest with 65 employees and one of the top 25 independent agencies in the United States.
He was an early supporter of the healthcare track at Austin’s SXSW Interactive festival, unleashing HCB’s interactive team for a full week each year to fully take in all that the event has to offer, as well as hosting IH3, an annual free party for SXSW’s healthcare marketers.
One of his finest achievements to date has been building from the ground up a comprehensive website for head and neck cancer, headandneckcancerguide.org, which launches in August this year.
Believing that inspiration starts with listening and continuing to help others see possibilities, Mr. Hilton says it’s important to model this goal every day.
Mr. Hilton is admired for the way he connects with people and his ability to inspire them to achieve greater levels of excellence. He has a one-on-one meeting with one employee every week so that all individuals know how much he values their contributions. He regularly revs up HCB’s culture with events such as McRib Appreciation Day or a free pass for all HCBers to catch the latest Iron Man movie release.
As Mr. Hilton continues to evolve as a leader, he looks for guidance from his greatest mentor, one of his former bosses who now sits on HCB’s board of directors, Dean Buresh. The two have a weekly call to review the stressful needs of the growing business.
He also finds inspiration from another board member, Steve Martin, former advertising agency owner of SicolaMartin, who finishes every meeting with the phrase “It’s a great day to be alive.”
Mr. Hilton expresses his creativity beyond advertising campaigns. He is an avid artist who gives friends and co-workers paintings that show a growing mastery of acrylics and oils.
“Whether its brushing oil onto canvas or applying strategy to business, the need to create new possibilities is part of my DNA,” he says.
Outside of HCB, this dedicated family man works with his church on various projects, such as a mission trip to Thailand to aid the homeless and orphans.
Mr. Hilton is heavily involved with the youth ministry of The Church at Canyon Creek in Austin. He has served faithfully as an adult mentor for a number of teenagers within its student ministry.
Always pushing harder and higher, Kerry Hilton never settles for how he is currently defined.
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: HCB Health
Education: Art Institute of Houston
Family: Wife, Susannah; sons Jacob, 25 and James, 20; daughter, Skye, 17
Hobbies: Art enthusiast, painter
Bucket List: Visit Rome and see the Sistine Chapel
Awards/Honors: MM&M, Manny, Globals,
In-Awe, and Addy
Associations: Austin Chamber of Commerce
Tweet at: @HCB_CEO
Dr. Joanne Kamens
An Advocate for Women in Science
When Joanne Kamens, Ph.D., sees a challenge, she doesn’t wait for someone else to come along and fix it; she addresses the problem head on.
As she progressed in her career, Dr. Kamens realized she had few women peers and was often the only woman in the room, despite the fact that her Ph.D. class was about 50% women. She just didn’t understand what happened to the other women. She has learned along the way that women didn’t have enough support or empowerment to move up through the ranks and this was impeding their progress.
Rather than accept the status quo, she has devoted her career to addressing this imbalance. Dr. Kamens is renowned for her work in building communities for women in scientific careers. She has helped lead the organizations she has worked for as well as others to improve diversity. Not only does she advocate for equity, she is also a mentor and leader for new scientists.
Dr. Kamens has been an active contributor to volunteer organizations fostering connections among women science professionals and developing programs that engage female students in science at all levels. She has long been committed to the advancement of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
In 2003, she founded the Massachusetts chapter of the Association for Women in Science (MassAWIS) and helped the organization grow to more than 300 members entirely with volunteer support. AWIS is an organization that works to support and enable woman scientists to reach their full potential through programing to help develop essential skills for all scientists, including management, negotiation, and communication.
In her role as president of MassAWIS, she created a mentoring program, which has grown from a dozen participants to more than 100 and is considered the gold-standard for mentoring programs within AWIS.
Dr. Kamens has also been active with WEST (Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology), networking, mentoring, and introducing women scientists to one another. In addition, she has held leadership positions with the Boston chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Leading by example, Dr. Kamens inspires others to volunteer and become mentors.
Her passion for educating others on the skills needed to succeed in the industry is valued by many. Whether she is presenting to a large audience or coaching one-on-one, her management experience as a woman, combined with her deep knowledge of R&D, give her the unique perspective and understanding that talented scientists are seeking. She is always on the forefront of technology and management practices and her passion is contagious.
At Abbott, Dr. Kamens was instrumental in establishing the Women in Action group to help drive the goal of supporting and mentoring women’s careers across the spectrum of job descriptions at Abbott. Her advocacy for equal pay resulted in Abbott Bioresearch reviewing its compensation policies and ensuring that women were paid the same salaries as their male counterparts.
Her dedication and generosity as a connector set her apart. In her scientific roles she has facilitated collaboration across disciplines and across companies.
In her advocacy roles, she has facilitated collaboration between like-minded individuals toward a common purpose.
“Science isn’t something we do, it is something we are and if we don’t get to be scientists in some way, it affects our happiness and the happiness of those around us,” she says.
Currently, as executive director at Addgene, a nonprofit plasmid repository that helps research scientists around the world share high-quality plasmids in a fast, reliable way, Dr. Kamens has supported dramatic growth in her first two years at the company — doubling the number of employees, and more importantly, ensuring that Addgene is now a household name within academia.
Internally, she has created a culture of collaboration, innovation, and dedication to excellence. Externally, she has raised Addgene’s profile and positioned the company as a thought leader in the field of biological reagent sharing and open science.
As a manager, she is always open to the ideas of others and ensures good ideas are acted upon and that proper credit is given. And she is able to explain both bluntly and kindly why a particular idea can’t or shouldn’t be implemented. She uses every opportunity to instruct and teach, rather than assign blame.
She has a knack for tuning in to each individual’s strengths to help that person achieve and realize their true potential.
Her achievements within the workplace and beyond have been recognized with numerous awards. In 2010, Dr. Kamens received the Catalyst Award from the Science Club for Girls. This year, she received the Contribution and Participation Award from the Boston chapter of the HBA. She was also named a Massachusetts Academy of Science Fellow, an honor bestowed on a select and prestigious community of scientists and science educators.
Title: Executive Director
Company: Addgene Inc.
Education: BA, Biology, University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., Genetics, Harvard University
Family: Husband, Eli Niewood; son, Benjamin; daughter, Tess
Hobbies: Reading fiction, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal crossword puzzles, volunteer board work
Awards/Honors: Science Club for Girls, Catalyst Award honoree, 2010; Abbott President’s Award for contributions to information sharing across the company; Massachusetts Academy of Sciences Fellow
Associations: Science Club for Girls, Association for Women in Science, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, MassBio, MIT Hillel Association,
BU Women in Science, and Engineering Advisor, Scientista Advisor
Tweet at: @jkamens and @Addgene
Dr. Joanne Kamens is an inspiration to all women and minorities in science, having helped lead her organizations and others to improve diversity.
Alexandra von Plato
Avisionary who is always looking for — and finding — new ideas, new solutions, new perspectives, Alex von Plato is a trailblazer in the area of healthcare marketing. At the same time, Ms. Von Plato brings a humanistic perspective to pharma marketing that goes far beyond the data, the advertising, and the regulations that traditionally define this enterprise.
As president and global chief creative officer of Publicis Healthcare Communications, she leads three global healthcare agencies: Digitas Health, Publicis Life Brands, and Medicus International.
As one of the principal architects for Digitas Health, she was the inspiration and driving force behind some of the most innovative and game-changing ideas, products, and services. Digitas Health was one of the first digital-at- the-core brand agencies in healthcare. Her leadership and vision pushed the edge of how digital media can help empower patients, educate physicians, and support caregivers. Ms. von Plato’s passion and the dedication of her teams are helping people make better health decisions. Under her leadership, in 2012 Digitas Health won more awards across more categories than any other healthcare agency in the world.
She has overseen the creative development of groundbreaking brand marketing initiatives and programming and award-winning creative work across virtually every category, some examples include the DTC award-winning brand campaigns for Chantix, Crestor, Abilify, Flumist, the unbranded ADHD Shire campaign Own It, to major CRM programs, including Novartis’ highly successful Get On Track program.
Ms. von Plato ensures the agency’s Helping Not Selling mantra shapes its work and guides the core values of the agency. The net result is a fusion of marketing and service that benefits clients and customers. She is one of the strongest patient advocates in the industry; she consistently reminds her colleagues that it’s not about what they want to deliver or how they want to deliver it, rather it’s about understanding what patients want.
Ms. von Plato was a pioneer in digital and interactive content in the pharma space, she has also been a pioneer in straight language copy, not whitewashing what a drug could do. She was using social media, even before Facebook took off, as a way to build caregiver communities for cancer patients. And she was among the first to drive mobile apps for physicians and look at how video game technology might engage people in their healthcare choices.
As part of a commitment to digital health innovation, Ms. von Plato brings clients and members of her team to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every January to explore new hardware and applications to ensure that pharma marketing stays on the leading edge.
She notes that social media is causing the agency to develop new strategies and content for clients that change constantly to align with evolving interests, needs, or opportunities to connect with customers.
Whether developing a new Facebook community, creating a fully integrated brand campaign, or helping clients interpret FDA and FCC new media guidelines Ms. von Plato has been committed to demystifying digital for healthcare marketers.
“Marketing has always been about connecting with customers,” she says. “Digital media gives marketers a chance to forge new types of connections and to create mutual value. Rather then being about tech or media, ironically, digital is driving a new era of customer insights and intimacy.”
As a creative talent, one of Ms. von Plato’s greatest concerns is that the pharma industry may have lost its sense of purpose. As a leader, she worries about the focus on short-term incremental gain over long-term transformational ideas.
Her instinct for recognizing, recruiting, and hiring great talent is uncanny and the success of the PHCG agencies has a lot to do with the people Ms. von Plato has attracted.
She is admired by employees, clients, and colleagues for her tremendous innovation, her determination to deliver excellence, and her passion for engaging and helping patients.
She believes and executes values that embrace people who think differently, she believes that trust is a currency to be earned every day, and she always sees change as an opportunity.
Colleagues warm to her humor and generosity, which she regards as critical business skills.
She has the ability to take the work very seriously without taking herself too seriously. She has climbed the ladder but never hesitates to look back and pull others up.
Her sense of humor is infectious. Asked what motivates her to come to work each day, her instant response is: three college tuitions, and of course the opportunity to work with some of the brightest most inspiring people in the business.
Generosity is one of Ms. von Plato’s core values. It is evident in the numerous service projects conducted by the agency each year, ensuring that Digitas Health and Publicis Life Brands’ agencies extend their reach into their local communities.
In addition to serving on the Super Advisory Board for Philly Ad Club, she enriches the lives of inner city children. She closes the PHCG offices for a day so all employees can participate in community service events. The agency provides space for fundraising events for organizations such as the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia, EducationWorks, and the PA AIDS Law Project. Under her direction, the agency implemented Group Hug, where nominated charities receive donations based on votes cast via a Facebook community.
Alex von Plato connects deep customer insights with relevant
delivery vehicles in the most human way possible.
Title: President, Global Chief Creative Officer
Company: Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
Education: BA, Communications/Marketing
Family: Husband, three children
Hobbies: Mountain climbing, sky diving, yacht racing
Bucket List: Spend one year on the Amalfi Coast, Italy; direct children’s theater; be a wedding singer
Tweet at: @vonplay
Champion of Change
This 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound former college linebacker is a nimble instrument for change. Whether he’s cycling 24 consecutive hours for charity, improving the chances for a debut musician through his independent record label, or perfecting the product design process at IDEA Pharma, Mike Rea is constantly looking for a better way to accomplish goals.
This is his second appearance in the PharmaVOICE 100, decreed by those who know him as a champion of change who is passionate about facilitating the critically needed shift in the industry’s business model. Mr. Rea continually comes up with new ideas that will enable the pharma industry to improve productive innovation and greatly reduce unnecessary drug attrition. His intellect, knowledge, and creativity continue to be an inspiration to clients and employees alike.
An example of his innovative thinking and ability to create commercially successful products can be seen in the positioning of drugs that overindex blockbuster contenders ever year. Another example of his visionary plan to change the industry through his actions is his implementation of the Nights at the Round Table, a series of discussion sessions that reach beyond IDEA to include other influential industry players, such as John LaMattina, Forbes contributor and author of Drug Truths: Dispelling The Myths Of R&D, as well as leaders from Merck, Pfizer, and other industry organizations. The first session, which discussed the importance of value proposition, is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/
The goal of the roundtable series is to encourage people to think about the industry differently, challenge the current conventions and norms, and motivate those who can make a difference to take action.
Mr. Rea’s hope is that the industry will very soon stop thinking about pills and start creating new kinds of treatment. He has written a white paper about the biggest challenges that are stifling innovation in the industry, and he concludes the biggest culprits are the processes, especially those that get in the way of experts working with other experts.
“Smart people in the industry are being dumbed down by management consultancy processes,” Mr. Rea says.
He says one of the biggest challenges is matching the innovation of the science involved in discovery with new path-to-market strategies for innovative molecules.
One of Mr. Rea’s new ideas takes the shape of a contract planning organization, in which an early-phase team that is contracted, rather than hired, and is paid revenue when the drug launches.
“This changes the model from underinvestment in strategy in early phase and reduces the dependence on agencies and sales teams in later stages of the lifecycle,” Mr. Rea says. “We’ve got to change the model from thinking commercially in the later phases of development to thinking commercially all the way through development. Although it sounds obvious to everyone, turning the tanker around from the way it is today requires enormous patience.”
Mr. Rea has already invested more than a decade in changing pharma for the better, and his passion has not waned. He can instill that passion in his staff, for example, with his unique ability to find something about an undifferentiated fifth-to-market molecule that enables his team to get excited about the drug and perceive its actual value.
Mr. Rea passes his learning and skill set on to the entire team at IDEA, helping the company grow as a unit and enabling its teams to deliver unified strategies that hold weight, strength, and value.
When he is not trying to change the way the pharma industry does business, he is asserting change in other ways. For example, he owns Medical Records, an independent record label based in London and New York that invests in new talent using creative business concepts.
The label’s Facebook page (facebook.com/medicalrecordsuk/) reads, “The new model is about ideas, and we have loads of those. From the UK and NYC, we’re quietly going to change lots of things.”
That could sum up Mr. Rea’s approach to life in general.
Mike Rea seeks to revolutionize the way the industry thinks about marketing molecules through his innovative path to market design practice.
Company: IDEA Pharma
Education: BSc, Genetics; University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Family: Wife, Clare; children, Michael, 17, and Imogen, 15
Hobbies: Long distance cycling, playing guitar, owning an independent record label called Medical Records, listening to music, track driving, cooking
Bucket List: Visit Vietnam, revisit Nürburgring, the most demanding and difficult purpose-built racing circuit in the world
Tweet at: @ideapharma and @medicalfuture
Catching the Wave
Marc Weiner has been a long-time supporter of the American Cancer Society, which started when he volunteered and chaired their Young Professionals Committee after graduating from college. At the time he was working in banking and was introduced to a very interesting board member, Tom Ferguson, founder of the Thomas Ferguson Associates agency, and so began his career in healthcare advertising.
With more than 25 years of experience founding a start-up agency, building talent and capabilities at Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing, and now playing a key role in leading the new matrixed, multichannel Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide organization (OCHWW), Mr. Weiner is bringing his vision for the organization of the future forward as he continues to look at ways to stand apart in a competitive industry.
He has taken on, and managed to success, several business units in OCHWW, providing the steady guidance and leadership qualities that rally staff to the mission and vision. His weekly stand-up status meetings are legendary, not only because he takes the time and makes the commitment to keep staff informed and motivated, but because he embodies the role of a communications company — the collaborative exchange of information.
Drawing on his natural talent for innovation, Mr. Weiner challenges the status quo. He has pushed the line, raised the bar, blown apart the box, and forced the organization to ask whether it is doing everything it can to be great.
The challenge for leaders in the fast-paced healthcare space is to assess the many ideas and opportunities that arise from a big-picture perspective, and select the ones that make the most sense for the organization.
“The danger otherwise is that, like catching a wave, if you’re too late you missed it, but too early and you can get crushed,” he says.
He has an innate ability to assess a situation, cut through the noise, and tell it like it is.
Though there have been many milestones in his career, including being named as managing partner of OCHWW, he says founding and being president and CEO of his own agency, Hyphen, might top his list of accomplishments.
“Jumping off the ledge to do something on your own is a challenge unlike any other,” he notes. “Hyphen was an agency in many ways ahead of its time, introducing products and services 12 years ago that the industry is just catching on to today.”
He has been on the cutting-edge of the digital explosion and continues to pursue new channels and innovative solutions to help clients communicate their brand story in new and exciting ways.
He leads a large team of devotees, who are as committed to him as he is to them.
A strong proponent of engaging learning, Mr. Weiner devotes time to teaching his staff about marketing and says he can imagine being a college professor as, in his idealistic world, education at the college level would be as fulfilling as working in the healthcare space.
Where does Mr. Weiner suggest new employees go for insight? As he was once advised in his first job out of college — and it still holds true today — the library, or perhaps the virtual library of today, as it is filled with the opinions and writings of the experts and craftsmen of our times.
But he maintains he is surrounded by self-motivated people, and he simply needs to act as a catalyst to jump-start the process from time to time, noting that once the train gets rolling, it picks up speed on its own very quickly.
He has a way of assessing fantastic, at times, pie-in-the-sky ideas and, through deliberate effort, drilling them down to innovational and actionable initiatives without watering down the original idea.
Mr. Weiner’s lesson for his colleagues is that true leadership means never expecting others to do what you, yourself, aren’t willing to do; true leaders roll up their sleeves, lead by example, and know that working collaboratively as a team is the only sure way to succeed.
Title: Managing Partner
Company: Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
Education: BA, Economics, Rutgers University
Family: Wife, Robin; sons, Bryan, 17, and Drew, 15
Hobbies: Fishing, golfing, restoring his ‘74 Alfa Romeo
Bucket List: Catch a 150-plus pound tarpon on a fly rod
Marc Weiner knows that it isn’t the volume of the words used but the point and passion with which the message is delivered that makes people listen.
CEO with a Big Heart
Dave Ormesher has come a long way from having to tip the local bartender to take phone messages, and 26 years after founding closerlook, his passion for what he does has not subsided. This three-time honoree of the PharmaVOICE 100 exemplifies what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur: courage, optimism, and drive.
Mr. Ormesher says that deciding to become an entrepreneur with only $1,284 in start-up capital was one of his first and best career moves. With only enough money to pay for two months rent on a third-floor walk-up office space, he and his partner set up shop and got down to the business of “dialing for dollars.” Unfortunately, it took the phone company three weeks to hook up the office phones, so ever resourceful, the two go-getters used the pay phones at the Irish pub across the street to make prospecting calls, and tipped the bartender to take the return calls. Every other major area of growth or decision made over the past two decades has been just as exciting as those first bare-bone days, including buying back his agency in the 1990s from a VC firm after only a year of partnership.
Today, closerlook enjoys the status of a continually growing agency that is tightly focused on digital relationship marketing in a period of major industry transformation.
“These are very exciting times that offer great opportunities for intellectual and creative leadership,” Mr. Ormesher says.
Looking forward, he believes innovation will ultimately bend the cost curve, not just cost cutting.
“I am looking at innovative ways that we can combine data, technology, behavior science, digital content, and integrated marketing to help pharmaceutical brands transform the way they communicate with physicians and patients,” he says. “Frankly, they have to get smarter about how they use the very fragile commodity of time with a physician.”
Often lauded for his generous philanthropic investments of both finances and time, Mr. Ormesher’s colleagues are quick to point out he is a role model CEO and he is the reason closerlook has been able to achieve tremendous revenue and staff growth while maintaining a great working culture. Staff members describe the culture at closerlook as hardworking, fun, honest, unique, innovative, smart, collaborative, and most of all, friendly.
In 26 years, Mr. Ormesher has never “checked out,” but continually invests time to get to know the staff by meeting with new team members within their first week, and by hosting monthly lunches the company celebrates for birthdays and anniversaries. In addition, he hosts weekly Monday morning coffee talks with agendas that include coaching the staff on issues that impact the industry, sessions for feedback about how closerlook can help support personal development, and round-robin discussions on key projects.
Employees also note that they have full transparency into the firm’s financials, which provides valuable information on the status of the business and also indicates a level of trust that is rare in privately held companies.
A giving mentor, Mr. Ormesher is as determined to help others succeed as he is to succeed himself. Benefactors of his mentoring say it appears he contributes merely for the satisfaction of having a positive impact. He has been known to do everything humanly possible to help a new business realize its mission.
“As an entrepreneur, some of the best lessons I’ve learned as a business owner and a leader have come from the stories and lives of other entrepreneurs,” Mr. Ormesher says. “I often meet over breakfast with a young entrepreneur or growth-company CEOs, and I am happy to pass along what I’ve learned to the next generation. There are several early-stage companies in which I’ve made investments, and I enjoy spending time mentoring the founders.”
Award-winning CEO aside, we would be remiss if we did not mention Mr. Ormesher’s overwhelming participation in charitable causes. His favorites include Bigger Future, a charity he founded to inspire and strengthen promising entrepreneurs in emerging countries.
“I founded Bigger Future because I believe that entrepreneurs can be the most effective agents of change and can be a catalyst for sustainable growth in emerging economies,” he says. “I lead a quarterly workshop in Rwanda for 60 business owners who are committed to growth and leadership.”
Mr. Ormesher has also been involved with the organization i.c.stars since its founding, donating office space from 2000-2007, providing encouragement and volunteer support. This support allowed i.c.stars to officially launch its workforce development program in 2000. The organization provides a technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults, developing Chicago’s promising IT technology talent with leadership goals and connecting them with career opportunities through social enterprise and partner organizations.
And as a big fan of the theater, and in particular, opera, he serves as a trustee on the board of directors of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
With such an impressive and extensive CV, it might seem difficult to sum up Mr. Ormesher’s story in a few words, but someone who works closely with him did so in one sentence: He’s a CEO, but before that he’s human with a heart and values that direct and guide his leadership.
We couldn’t have said it better.
Company: closerlook inc.
Education: BA, MTS in Ethics and Society
Family: Married, three children
Hobbies: Sailing, opera, traveling, reading,
running, cross-fit training, photography
The Bucket List: Learn to fly, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, run the Marathon du Medoc, become fluent in French, sail the Caribbean
Tweet at: @ormshr
Dave Ormesher has many career highlights of his own, but he gets just as much satisfaction out of helping others create their own highlights as a willing and giving mentor.
Dr. David Berry
Transforming Health Through Nutritional Innovation
The landscape of the pharmaceutical industry is changing and David Berry, M.D., Ph.D., is leading in an area of healthcare that has global transformative potential: nutritional therapeutics.
Dissatisfied with the status quo, Dr. Berry has built a career out of looking at the world’s biggest challenges, creating highly disruptive solutions, and building companies to commercialize his innovations.
Over the past 15 years, he has developed fundamental, globally recognized, transformative breakthroughs in therapeutics, nutrition, and diagnostics.
As founder, president, and chief scientific officer of Pronutria, Dr. Berry is driving a new approach to thinking about health maintenance and disease treatment, with the goal of changing global nutrition.
Pronutria has pioneered Essenteins, which are a new class of proteins to treat disease and drive health maintenance. By producing products that can have drug-like effects, Pronutria is being viewed by big pharmaceutical companies as a model for innovation.
Pronutria’s platform starts with the Human Nutrition Project, an unprecedented database of the proteins known to be in the human diet worldwide. Through proprietary algorithmic searching and computational modeling, the company selects the most nutritious, best-tasting, and highest-functional-performance proteins within food.
Under Dr. Berry’s innovative leadership, Pronutria has developed a wide range of transformative product candidates, which include: muscle growth proteins, proteins for weight management, proteins for diabetes management, proteins for neurological conditions, proteins for inflammatory diseases, and other conditions.
He also recognized that in the digestion of proteins, fragments are released and a subset are able to pass across the intestine and interact with targets of interest. By identifying proteins enriched to release such fragments, a breakthrough approach to oral biologics has been opened up.
Since the founding of Pronutria, Dr. Berry has been systematically engaging with the nutrition community to best optimize the products and mobilize key leaders to more efficiently help transform global nutrition.
Dr. Berry has built a support consortium including the U.S. government, foreign governments, NGOs, and thought leaders in a range of industries that have recognized the transformative nature of the company and are working toward solving broader world problems.
An outstanding innovator and entrepreneur, Dr. Berry has founded numerous companies. After graduating from MIT, he joined Flagship Ventures, which focuses on making investments in the life-sciences arena. He has also served in a leadership role at VentureLabs. In this role, Dr. Berry is also founder of Seres Health, which develops therapeutics based on the science of the human microbiome among others.
Dr. Berry has also led in developing the Flagship Entrepreneurial Fellows program, which invites 15 to 20 budding entrepreneurs — scientists, engineers, and business students — each summer to get exposure to entrepreneurial innovation, the VentureLabs approach, and founding companies.
His leadership, breakthrough innovations, and inspirational spirit have led to broad recognition, both within and beyond the industry.
Believing it is incumbent on leaders to bring out the best in others, he takes deep pride in helping others achieve their dreams. He urges those he works with to stretch the boundaries of what they think is possible.
Dr. Berry is actively involved with multiple organizations, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Currently, Dr. Berry serves on the Hackley School Board of Trustees, where he was first tasked with introducing innovation and entrepreneurship into the kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum, and now runs the health and wellness initiative at the school.
Perhaps most notable, given his goal to address global health issues, he has been named to the Leadership Council of the newly formed United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, formed by Ban Ki-moon and advisor Jeffrey Sachs to create a means to use innovation to better foster sustainable development globally.
Dr. David Berry has developed fundamental, globally recognized, transformative breakthroughs in therapeutics, nutrition, and diagnostics.
Titles and companies: Partner, Flagship Ventures; Founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer, Pronutria
Education: BS, MIT; M.D., Harvard; Ph.D., MIT
Family: Wife,Yelena; brother Eric; parents Linda and Bruce
Bucket List: Go to space
Awards/Honors: Named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, 2008, 2012; Silver Medal in The Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation Awards, 2011; Technology Review’s TR50 for the 50 Most Innovative Companies, 2010 and 2011; One of the Top 100 People in Bioenergy by Biofuels Digest, 2010, 2011, 2012; Technology Review’s TR10 for the 10 Most Important Emerging Technologies, 2010; Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, 2010; Named one of 12 Innovators Reshaping Reality by the US State Department, 2008; Technology Review TR35 Innovator of the Year, 2007; Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for outstanding invention and innovation, 2005
Associations: American Association of Arts and Sciences; American Chemical Society; Society for Industrial Microbiology; American Association of Cancer Research; American Medical Association; Massachusetts Medical Society; Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society.
Tweet at: @davidbarry26
Redefining the Clinical
David Bruggeman is an inventive leader who is changing the direction of the clinical trials industry and setting a new global standard for quality practices. As president and chief operating officer of Clinical Research Advantage (CRA), Mr. Bruggeman has been the pioneering force behind the development of an integrated platform for clinical research.
When Mr. Bruggeman and a team of investors purchased CRA in 2007, the company had six sites with little continuity from site to site. Through Mr. Bruggeman’s integrated platform, CRA was able to standardize its operations and organically grow to 37 sites before acquiring Radiant Research to form the largest site network in the country. The changes spearheaded by Mr. Bruggeman also led to Quintiles choosing CRA as its partner in creating the first-ever therapeutic alliance for clinical trials in primary medicine. In 2012, the company increased the number of clinical trials performed by 200% over the previous year. At the same time, CRA continued to exceed patient enrollment goals for clinical trials with an enrollment rate of 91% (the industry standard is 65% and 33% of sites never enroll a single subject). Additionally, the majority of CRA’s patients (87%) participate in more than one study.
“My biggest highlight has been developing an integrated platform that ensures high quality clinical trials,” Mr. Bruggeman says. “Through this platform, CRA has standardized its research procedures and implemented a system to conduct internal audits for quality assurance and quality control. By using this system we are able to make the clinical trial process more efficient and cost-effective for trial sponsors while improving the patient experience.”
Mr. Bruggeman has been instrumental in leading other companies to unprecedented growth. For example, before CRA, Mr. Bruggeman was the VP and general manager of a home medical equipment provider in Omaha, Neb. In that role, he grew the company in excess of 800% during his tenure, leading to its acquisition by a national provider.
Mr. Bruggeman has also nurtured several startup companies into becoming industry leaders. As owner, executive VP, and chief operating officer of O2 Science, Mr. Bruggeman grew the Arizona-based provider of respiratory services and home healthcare products to include 18 branches in nine states. Because of this growth, the company was sought after and acquired by Pacific Pulmonary Services, a national provider of respiratory services.
Other accomplishments of his career include advancing from the warehouse to the corner office.
Mr. Bruggeman’s story is a true American tale of hard work and an unwavering dedication to excellence. He began his career as a warehouseman at Abbey Home Healthcare where he quickly rose through the ranks as a delivery technician, customer service representative, accounts receivable clerk, and branch manager, before joining the management team as a regional director of operations.
From 1980 to 1991, Mr. Bruggeman served as a leader in the U.S. Army Reserve. During his military career, Mr. Bruggeman held many command and staff positions leading up to his honorable discharge as a captain.
The one career he would like to tackle is teaching. He has all the credentials and degrees needed to do so, but so far, he has left the teaching field up to his daughter, who teaches history — his favorite subject — and wife, who teaches fourth grade.
He is a mentor in and outside of the workplace, and says seeing people grow and develop as they learn new skills and take on new challenges is very rewarding.
“Teaching and leading others is an absolute joy; to impart some of my knowledge and experience to those who could expand on it is a thrill,” he says. “My employees know that my door is always open to them to ask for help, guidance, or professional advice.”
Mr. Bruggeman believes that research service companies will need to become even more proactive in developing internal systems to ensure that high-quality standards are being set and met.
“We think this is a positive progression because quality assurance and quality control are crucial to the success of any clinical trial,” Mr. Bruggeman says. “We have put systems in place to conduct internal audits at our sites, and we will continue to seek advancements that enhance the trial process for study sponsors and patients.”
Outside of the office, Mr. Bruggeman has helped CRA’s community presence grow through company-sponsored events. Over the past year, CRA employees have donated time and money to local nonprofit organizations, including a food bank, homeless shelter, and workforce development program. Mr. Bruggeman’s personal favorite charity is the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), as there is a connection from one of his previous positions.
“Early in my career, I sold custom wheelchairs and worked frequently with children afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” he says. “The joy these chairs provided the kids was heartwarming. The MDA was always available to assist in the funding when needed, and I was very happy to see the charitable dollars moving to those in need.”
David Bruggeman’s story is a true American tale of hard work and an unwavering dedication to excellence.
Title: President and Chief Operating Officer
Company: Clinical Research Advantage
Education: BS, BA, Bellevue University; MBA, Bellevue University
Family: Wife, Stephanie, three children
Hobbies: Boating, golfing
Bucket List: Attend 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix
Awards/Honors: AZ Business Leaders, AZ Business Magazine, 2013; Silver Award for Executive of the Year — Pharmaceuticals, American Business Awards, 2012; Silver Award for Executive Team of the Year, Best in Biz Awards, 2012; Clinical Trial Site Network of the Year, Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards, 2012; Industry Leaders of Arizona, AZ Business Magazine, 2012; Top 25 Workplaces for Women, AZ Magazine, 2012
Associations: Society for Clinical Research Sites, Association of Clinical Research Professionals, Drug Information Association
Tweet at: @CRAstudies
MMRF’s Father of Invention
Collaboration and inventiveness define Walter Capone. These are the characteristics that have helped him to change the treatment landscape for multiple myeloma patients.
His role as chief operating officer of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is focused on driving toward a cure by bringing the brightest researchers and clinicians from institutions worldwide together with their counterparts in the pharma, biotech, and diagnostic industries, as well as regulatory/government agencies and informatics technology partners.
“Finding the common threads among these vastly divergent entities and channeling them for discovery of breakthroughs for patients is the greatest motivation one could have,” he says.
Since he joined MMRF, each year the organization has launched six to eight new clinical trials for a total of almost 50 since inception, involving more than 25 new drugs and combinations though its clinical network and in collaboration with industry partners. Data from MMRC-facilitated trials have contributed to FDA approvals of Kyprolis (carfilzomib) and Pomalyst (pomalidomide) in the past 10 months, a first in the history of oncology drug approvals.
He additionally took a lead role in developing a C-MAP collaboration with Onyx Pharmaceuticals, to make carfilzomib available to patients with no other options before this potentially life-saving new drug was widely available, providing countless patients a lifeline until the drug was approved.
This was an unprecedented model. The MMRF had never taken on such a program, nor had Onyx. But the strategy was in line with providing new treatment options to patients and Mr. Capone, working in close partnership with visionary leaders at Onyx, became its champion. More than 300 patients for whom no other options existed were able to receive treatment through C-MAP.
Mr. Capone also took a leadership role in the most ambitious and visionary initiative of the MMRF to date, the CoMMpass study. Launched in 2011, this groundbreaking study is enrolling 1,000 newly diagnosed patients, and collecting clinical and molecular data from these patients over a minimum of five years with the goal of better understanding the molecular sub-types and variations in myeloma and accelerating personalized treatment approaches.
The CoMMpass study takes a team approach to science and is driven neither by publication nor profit. The comprehensive and extraordinarily rich data from CoMMpass will be placed in an open-access data portal to facilitate discoveries and development related to targeted therapies.
In particular, Mr. Capone has played a vital role in stewarding unprecedented partnerships among academic and community centers that have proven key in advancing this landmark study.
He was instrumental in getting the first site, Virginia Cancer Specialists, to open in five months, a timeline that set the bar for the now 55 centers that have signed on, including US Oncology and the United States Veterans Administration.
He also helped develop and establish the pre-competitive consortium that currently comprises four pharmaceutical, biotech, and technology companies that get priority access to CoMMpass data in return for their early investment in the project. More companies are expected to join.
In addition, he along with the MMRF Research group worked closely with Genospace to execute the development of an advanced ecosystem to publicly house clinical, laboratory, and molecular data collected longitudinally from the study, as well as disparate data sets. Analyzing and integrating these data over time will help determine the causes of disease onset and progression and certain clinical outcomes, such as response to treatment. The ecosystem is currently in beta-testing and will be released publicly in the near future.
Mr. Capone says whether attacking tough or persistent problems, developing new initiatives, or pursuing novel opportunities, the facets of inventiveness including creativity, imagination, resourcefulness, and an element of persistency are what he relies on most.
Before MMRF he worked alongside Mr. Dani Bolognesi, Dr. Tom Mathews, and Dr. Michael Greenburg from Duke, along with the Trimeris and Roche teams, to launch Fuzeon, a life-saving HIV antiretroviral. It was, he says, a tremendous privilege to work with such eminent researchers.
Mr. Capone adheres to the philosophy that it is vital to always be learning, expanding one’s skill-base, and having fun.
He motivates his team members by demonstrating the power of personal interaction, engagement, and collaboration, and he works actively to express appreciation and recognition of their efforts.
Most inspiring for Mr. Capone are those who persevere and succeed against the odds. One such person was his father, a physician who emigrated from Italy in the late 1950s. He arrived with a suitcase in hand and spoke very little English; the elder Capone not only pioneered new approaches in psychiatry for disadvantaged/underserved patients, but established successful specialty divisions at St. Joseph’s as well as Butler Hospital, while becoming an associate professor of medicine at Brown University and establishing a successful private practice.
Walter Capone is driven to improve and extend the lives of others, particularly those with difficult and life-threatening diseases.
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Education: BA, International Relations, Brown University; MBA; Finance, International Business, Columbia University Business School
Family: Wife, Pamela; son, Brett, 15; daughter, Lauren, 13
Hobbies: Lacrosse, soccer, tennis, golf, skiing, sailing, windsurfing, basketball, football; live theater — Broadway, off-Broadway, comedy
Bucket List: Sailing the Newport-Bermuda race; driving the Monte Carlo Grand Prix course in a Formula 1 car; flying in an F-22 Raptor; playing a round of golf with Bill Murray at Pebble Beach; taking a family cruise of the Fiji Islands in an Ultraluxum CXL Trimaran
Awards/Honors: President’s Achievement Award for Business Development, New Product Licensing, BMS; Innovation Award for Strategic Product Development, Triangle Pharmaceuticals
Associations: American Marketing Association; American Society of Hematology; Infectious Disease Society of America; Columbia Business School Alumni Association
Bob Klein joined Blue Chip Patient Recruitment six years ago, bringing vast experience in launching world-class brands at several large traditional marketing agencies, subsequently changing the way Blue Chip is tackling patient recruitment. Historically, the field of patient recruitment has not been seen as very strategic; clients are usually more focused on the tactics. Mr. Klein is elevating the discussion by introducing the concept of strategy at the outset of every engagement.
As chief strategy officer, he helps identify insights that drive all elements of an integrated patient recruitment campaign. He personally designs and conducts primary market research with all of the key stakeholders, enabling every member of the team to fully comprehend the target patient as well as the other key stakeholders who have a profound and direct impact on recruitment.
Mr. Klein created Blue Chip’s D3 process, where Blue Chip discovers insights about potential clinical trial participants, develops sound strategic and creative platforms to reach out to those patients, and delivers on enrollment goals. When a client hires Blue Chip Patient Recruitment, the first step is to consult with Mr. Klein about strategy. He leads strategic efforts and pioneers new processes to help clients do everything from defining their target markets and making their marketing platforms relevant, original, and impactful, to pioneering new methods to help accelerate enrollment in clinical trials. From the results of his contributions, the agency has found that the sooner it can get a strategic plan in place, prior to creative development and execution, the possibility of it being able to deliver results on time and on budget grows exponentially.
An example of Mr. Klein’s influence on the recruitment process exists in the work the agency conducted for Orexigen Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity. Mr. Klein says this work has been one of his biggest career highlights due to its success, but for personal reasons as well.
“For the past two years, I’ve led the strategic planning, research, and insights work for The Light Study, Orexigen Therapeutics’ cardiovascular outcomes trial for Contrave, an investigational medication being evaluated for the treatment of obesity,” Mr. Klein, a lifetime Weight Watchers member, says. “I’ve battled weight all my life and this has been the most rewarding work I’ve been a part of.”
Blue Chip Patient Recruitment achieved enormous success, enrolling about 9,000 patients in six months, almost 14 months ahead of schedule. If approved by the FDA, Contrave offers hope for the millions of overweight and obese adults who have waged a lifelong battle with weight and the food cravings that are so hard to control.
“The crowning achievement of my career would be to see the ultimate approval of Contrave and the millions of lives it would enrich, not to mention save,” Mr. Klein says.
Other clients that have benefited from Mr. Klein’s unique brand of strategic planning to accelerate enrollment and/or define marketing platforms include BioSante, Covance, Ono, Takeda, and Eisai.
Not content with the status quo, Mr. Klein says he hopes to continue to unearth insights that will accelerate recruitment for the next Blue Chip Patient Recruitment clinical trial, and the next, and the next.
The biggest game changer in the patient recruitment field, according to Mr. Klein, was the approval of direct-to-consumer advertising. In clinical trials, the ability to use advertising to reach potential study participants and accelerate enrollment in trials has been instrumental in reducing the time required to complete research for FDA submission. In the future, Mr. Klein expects to see a major shift in thinking about patient recruitment.
“Success will be realized with more insightful thinking into what will best motivate potential study subjects to take action,” he says. “The single biggest opportunity I see is changing the paradigm in clinical trial patient recruitment from a reactive rescue mentality to a proactive acceleration mindset.”
Mr. Klein is extremely active in raising money for a variety of charities.
For the last three years, he has raised funds by biking more than 500 miles in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For nearly 10 years, he was a member of the board for the March of Dimes Chicago Bears/Chicago White Sox golf fundraiser.
“The why is simple,” Mr. Klein says. “It feels good and it’s the right thing for each of us to do.”
Title: Chief Strategy Officer
Company: Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide
Education: BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Family: Wife, Jill; sons, Michael and Jake
Hobbies: Tennis, golfing, biking, spinning, yoga, taking walks
Dr. Antony Loebel
Pushing the R&D Envelope
Exemplary leadership, a commitment to science, and a dedication to patients are what define Antony Loebel, M.D., chief medical officer and executive VP at Sunovion.
Dr. Loebel is a visionary leader who has adeptly built Sunovion’s R&D organization and charted a quick path to success.
In 2007, Japan-based Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd. (DSP) was expanding and working to build a pharmaceutical presence in the United States. The search was on for a medical director who could thoughtfully construct and sustain a robust R&D organization, build the infrastructure from the ground up, and recruit the best and the brightest in the industry to bring its compounds to patients. That leader was Dr. Loebel. With huge goals to attain, Dr. Loebel built and led a team that took a molecule developed by DSP in Japan, completed Phase III development, and submitted it through the regulatory process, enabling its commercialization in the United States at the end of 2010. That molecule, Latuda, was submitted to the FDA for review for the treatment of adult patients with schizophrenia in 2009, a full year ahead of schedule. What’s more, the application was approved in the first review cycle — an unusual feat for the atypical class.
In 2012, just one year after the launch, Dr. Loebel’s team drove the submission of two supplemental new drug applications (sNDAs) for Latuda for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Again, he expedited processes and pushed his R&D team to exceed expectations by submitting the applications four months early.
Perhaps even more impressive than the quality and speed with which the bipolar depression applications were submitted is the unique trial designs that evaluated the safety and efficacy of the compound. Dr. Loebel was the architect behind the design of the clinical trials, which have been heralded by leaders in the scientific community as a new industry standard. Latuda was approved this June by the FDA as the first atypical agent for the treatment of bipolar depression as both monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy with either lithium or valproate, on the basis of these trials.
Dr. Loebel has overseen the growth of the R&D team from about 30 employees in one location to a 300-plus person global operation in multiple locations. The company now has seven marketed products and 11 compounds in clinical development in the portfolio. In addition, the company is moving forward with plans to expand the availability of Latuda worldwide.
Dr. Loebel is both innovative and resolute, saying that there are no guarantees in R&D, so success depends on being conscientious and confident enough to persevere and challenge the outmoded ways of thinking — even in the face of uncertainty.
His collaborative and engaging leadership style, accompanied by a laser-sharp focus, have been the primary reasons for his leadership success. He also stands by advice from a mentor: be responsible for your own career, always take the initiative, lead people, set challenges for yourself, and rely on a network of people to help you along the way.
One of Dr. Loebel’s priorities has been to establish more open communications across the R&D organization. At the start of 2013, he acted on this by issuing a bi-monthly R&D newsletter. Each installment highlights the progress and accomplishments of all the departments across the business, helping colleagues to keep tabs on people in different functional areas, and creating a sense of connection and shared purpose.
Building upon that connectivity, Dr. Loebel has established a collective vision for the R&D department through annual R&D All Hands meetings, where all 300-plus members of the R&D team gather off-site to consolidate research strategies.
These meetings instill a sense of excitement and unity across the organization. The effect resembles an injection of energy, intensifying the desire to succeed, to hit milestones on the near horizon and, in the longer term, help the company be the very best.
Dr. Loebel’s leadership style strikes the perfect balance of being hands-on and letting functional experts be autonomous, which is core to what makes him so effective in driving results among his R&D team.
Dr. Loebel constantly seeks out the perspective of others. This collaborative approach allows everyone to contribute his or her ideas, and leads to the most creative and innovative solution-oriented thinking possible.
He ensures that teams and individuals are recognized for their performance, he puts a premium on creative thinking, and he constantly pushes the envelope. Dr. Loebel has also fostered methodological innovation and shown leadership by sharing data that could be helpful to others in CNS drug development.
Noting that drug development is a noble but risky endeavor, he focuses on creating an environment to help the team be successful and achieve its goals. And he fosters an environment where employees can learn from failures and apply those learnings to future success.
“I support innovative and creative thinking and taking smart risks, not just accepting the received wisdom of doing things the same way,” he says. “But it is not enough to just try new things; we must also achieve our goals.”
Above all, he never loses track of the end goal: to serve patients and to help develop innovative science that will make a difference in their lives. That commitment has fueled him to create an R&D organization that is equally driven about fulfilling that goal.
Always ready to roll up his sleeves, Dr. Antony Loebel focuses on creating an environment that helps his R&D teams be successful and achieve their goals.
Title: Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer
Company: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Education: BA, Zoology and English, University of Washington; M.D., University of Washington, School of Medicine
Family: Wife: Caryn; sons, Bryce and Matthew; daughter, Emma
Hobbies: Collecting contemporary art
Bucket List: Visit Easter Island and explore the Moai monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui more than 500 years ago
Associations: Schizophrenia International Research
Society; DIA; American Psychiatric Association
André Wyss’ ability to think outside the box in times of challenge and adversity, combined with his passion for bringing innovative medicines to patients, has defined his almost 30 years with Novartis Group.
Few can move seamlessly across geographies and lead effectively across functions while consistently delivering stellar business performance, driving engagement, and inspiring a winning culture. These are the exact characteristics that distinguish and define André Wyss. He has successfully led manufacturing, marketing, and even finance operations, including R&D, across the world. He held management positions in emerging and developed markets, including Greece, Germany, the U.A.E., Israel, India, Bangladesh, Australia, Peru, China, U.K., and the United States. His diverse background and depth of pharmaceutical industry experience has allowed Mr. Wyss to successfully lead through the challenges facing the industry today in his current positions as Novartis U.S. country head and president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NPC).
When Novartis faced U.S. loss of patent exclusivity for one of its biggest blockbuster drugs, Diovan, for the treatment of hypertension, Mr. Wyss recognized not only the importance of a lean and efficient business model, but also how building new capabilities would be critical to future success and help drive engagement through dynamic times. It was his no-nonsense leadership and restructuring efforts in the years leading up to this patent expiry that resulted in substantial savings and enabled continued investment in research and development.
One of his biggest career highlights was the ability to keep pace with the company’s evolving U.S. pharmaceuticals portfolio toward more specialty products, by building important new capabilities to fuel successful commercialization of an industry-leading pipeline.
One of his biggest challenges occurred when he was head of manufacturing for Novartis Pharma in Europe, and he was leading a team of more than 4,000 associates through the task of transforming a locally focused manufacturing operations into a worldwide manufacturing footprint. This is just one example of how Mr. Wyss has moved Novartis Pharmaceuticals past challenges by motivating employees to embrace the company’s next phase.
Through his experience working throughout the world and interacting with people with different backgrounds and styles, Mr. Wyss understands the role diversity plays in driving business and innovation. His inclusive leadership style has inspired employees to work collaboratively and see the significance of their efforts in helping Novartis reach its ultimate goal — helping patients.
His efforts to champion diversity have also been recognized externally. DiversityInc recently named NPC to its 2013 list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and NPC ranked sixth — its highest ranking to date — which positions NPC as the highest ranked pharmaceutical company on the list. In addition, NPC was named to three of DiversityInc’s 2013 Specialty Lists: Top 10 Companies for Recruitment and Retention (fourth place); Top 10 Companies for Executive Women (fifth place); and Top 10 Companies for Asian-Americans (fifth place).
With this momentum, Mr. Wyss has led the launch of new innovative treatments. He instituted an outcomes-based business model to lead the launch of several successful brands, such as Gilenya, the first oral treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Since its launch in October 2010, Gilenya has been prescribed to more than 30,000 U.S. patients, making it one of the most successful launches in Novartis’ history.
Mr. Wyss’ leadership extends well beyond business and industry. He understands the importance of community and puts people first. After superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast in October 2012, he mobilized NPC in the New York tri-state area, the American base of operations for Novartis, to take charge of the devastating situation faced by the local community. As a result of his team’s efforts, NPC was able to open sites for all local employees and their families and provide shelter, hot water, charging stations, cafeteria services, and even gasoline during this crisis.
Mr. Wyss also initiated the first U.S. Novartis Community Partnership Day, where more than 3,500 associates volunteered at 140 nonprofit organizations, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the communities in which its associates live and work.
Another passion is mentoring and inspiring his teams, and he accomplishes this by passing on his enthusiasm for a patient-centric focus.
“For me, it’s all about the patients, and reinforcing the life-changing nature of our business,” he says. “We are transforming lives with the medicines we are developing and the novel approaches we are taking to advance unmet medical needs. By keeping patients at the center of all that we do, it motivates all of us to do our very best.”
Many people he has had the privilege to work with, both professionally and personally, have mentored and inspired him, and he looks for opportunities to do the same.
“Early in my career, I realized the importance of good mentoring and how important mentors were to me,” he says. “So I continue to support others and their professional development, and Novartis benefits from the development of the next generation of leaders.”
Looking toward the future, he believes a key differentiator for Novartis will be its internal research and innovation engine. He looks forward to propelling a strong U.S. pharmaceuticals portfolio with key marketed products and reaching more patients than ever through differentiated healthcare solutions.
Mr. Wyss’ ability to think outside the box in times of challenge and adversity, and his passion for bringing innovative medicines to patients and treating unmet medical needs, have defined his almost 30 years with Novartis Group.
Titles and Companies: US Country Head, President of Novartis Corp., President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Family: Wife, Nicole; two children, Yannick and Nadine
Hobbies: All sports, travelling
Awards/Honors: Novartis Excellence Award, 2007
All in the Family
Humility is often an underappreciated strength. But often the humble leader, the visionary who lets others shine, has the greatest impact. Steve Swanson, president of Imperial and CEO of DAC Patient Recruitment Services, is one such leader.
Mr. Swanson presents the big picture with focus and clarity, then allows his team to get the job done. At the same time, Mr. Swanson is a doer, not a delegator.
Recruited by Imperial’s CEO in 2006 to lead the organization through a business model shift, Mr. Swanson helped develop a strategy to redeploy Imperial’s asset base into the production of new products and established support services to drive the sale of those products.
In just five years, he has turned a manufacturer of case report forms with declining sales into a rejuvenated, multi-faceted functional service provider. His vision and leadership have created the Imperial family of companies, a solutions-oriented organization that is unique in the life sciences.
His business acumen and sales sense encourage employees as well as clients to approach, critically analyze, and develop successful outcomes in new ways.
Mr. Swanson was instrumental in helping to architect and build Imperial’s functional service provider model through organic growth and acquisitions.
In 2011, Imperial acquired D. Anderson & Company (DAC), and today Mr. Swanson also serves as CEO of DAC.
He draws on his years of experience and knowledge to keep DAC competitive, which helped the company’s revenue grow 75% in less than two years.
What sets Imperial apart, and motivates Mr. Swanson, is that it is not only a family of companies, but a family owned company that fosters a culture of inclusion and care for one another.
His goal, and his greatest challenge, has been to shift the dialogue at the sponsor level to focus on the next level of efficiencies versus just economies.
Mr. Swanson maintains that it is paramount to stay on top of global issues that impact clients and industry. His role, he believes, is not only to navigate his own organization through these challenges, but also to support customers in a similar capacity.
When working with partners, he begins by building relationships, taking the time to listen, and making sure he understands the business before collecting information for careful research and analysis. Based on those results, he thoughtfully guides the development of strategies for cutting waste, eliminating redundancies, and optimizing operations.
Colleagues appreciate his vision and foresight to identify trends that might impact the company’s growth; his trustworthiness because he always follows through on commitments and does what he says he will do; and his supportiveness because he builds strong relationships with his management team and supports their individual needs.
With diligence, charisma, a passion for learning, and a relentless drive toward customer satisfaction, Mr. Swanson inspires all of the Imperial family team members.
Eager to inspire others as well, Mr. Swanson regularly addresses students at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University, addressing topics such as international growth and M&A. The respect he has garnered led to him becoming a member of Seidman’s International Advisory Board. He is also a board member of RoMan Manufacturing.
Inspired by his faith, Mr. Swanson believes he has a responsibility to serve others. To that end, he and his wife have a foundation, The Steven K. & Elizabeth M. Swanson Directed Giving Fund, which supports community empowerment via food pantries, programs for women in transition, community improvements, and job skills development. The Foundation also underwrites overseas projects such as drinking-well construction and sponsorship of children in Haiti and Africa. The Foundation also supports enhanced capabilities at area hospitals to ensure the best care available within local communities.
Steve Swanson takes time to build relationships, listen to clients’ concerns, and understand the business before offering insights.
Title: President and CEO
Company: Imperial Clinical Research Services, DAC Patient Recruitment Services
Education: Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management; University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; College of Dupage
Family: Wife, Elizabeth; two children, Ashlie and Andrew
Hobbies: Running, fly fishing, and reading
Bucket List: Spend several months boating throughout the Caribbean with his wife
Associations: Board Member, RoMan Manufacturing Inc.; Board Member, Grand Valley State University; Board Member, Seidman School of Business, International Advisory Board; and Board Member, Society for Clinical Research Sites
Intellectual curiosity defines Steve Collis. He has built his leadership at AmerisourceBergen around a modest yet confident approach to achieving goals, and he challenges and inspires associates to have intellectual confidence about what they do.
His success is a mixture of strategic vision with an intuitive feel for the people. He knows the secret sauce behind the organization’s strengths, and he understands just what adjustments to make to that recipe to drive it to new heights.
His fantastic business mind enables him to understand all aspects of healthcare and to foresee what’s best for AmerisourceBergen and the industry as a whole. Given his background in finance, Mr. Collis places a strong emphasis on fiscal accountability, recognizing the importance of metrics, cash flow, and the amount of risk that the company is willing to take.
Since being named president and CEO of the pharmaceutical services company in July 2011, Mr. Collis has led AmerisourceBergen to significant growth.
He has fostered new thinking within the company to expand beyond its traditional walls, while enhancing the culture through a clear focus on the company’s most important asset: its people.
His vision and foresight into the dynamics of this complex industry have provided the company with a unique opportunity to engage customers and manufacturers in new ways.
During the past two years, the company has executed several important and successful agreements that have instilled positive growth within the organization.
A visionary leader with a global perspective of the changing healthcare landscape, he helped establish an alliance with Walgreens and Alliance Boots to streamline the distribution of pharmaceuticals to Walgreens’ stores and leverage global supply chain efficiencies while improving patient access to affordable pharmaceuticals. His vision is on the long-term value for AmerisourceBergen’s stakeholders, manufacturers, providers, and employees.
“We look at our partnership with Walgreens as an opportunity to develop the next generation of services for community pharmacies,” he says. “We can take some of the attributes of a strong national chain, which has tremendous expertise in clinical interfaces, merchandising, even in property selection, and apply those assets to our Good Neighbor Pharmacy Organization and help make those 4,500 members that we have even stronger.”
Again demonstrating his understanding of global trends, Mr. Collis was behind the $520 million acquisition of World Courier, a worldwide specialty transportation and logistics provider for the biopharmaceutical industry. The agreement makes AmerisourceBergen one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical services companies with a focus on the pharmaceutical supply chain.
“We looked at World Courier’s clinical trial logistics capabilities and the presence that it has in key emerging economies and we thought this is a perfect way to identify the markets that hold the best opportunities for us because we can tap into World Courier’s local market knowledge,” he says.
He believes his global perspective stems in part from the fact that he comes from South Africa, which as a small market meant his perspective was shaped by international trade and a more macro universe.
“I have this insight about doing things in the rest of the world and perhaps my large network offers me insights,” he says. “For example, a few weeks ago the niece of a friend of mine was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, but there just aren’t drugs available for it in South Africa. This has led me to think about how we provide people in emerging economies with access to some of these drugs that have been so important to patient care and advancement of smaller, but very devastating conditions in the United States.”
Subsequently, Mr. Collis has helped establish a three-year agreement to supply about $18.5 billion in pharmaceuticals to Express Scripts annually. And he brought about the acquisition of TheraCom, a leading provider of pre- and post-commercialization support services to the biopharmaceutical industry.
Before being appointed CEO, Mr. Collis founded AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, which focuses on specific disease state distribution and value-added services and was the driving force behind growing the business into a market leader.
He leads the company by drawing on his father’s advice that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
“I worry about the short term, but I’m much more obsessed about the long term – how are we going to be successful in the long term,” he says.
While not afraid to make tough decisions, Mr. Collis empowers those around him, allowing the organization to grow and innovate by consensus. He has a strong collaborative style and a genuine interest and respect for the opinions of others. His work ethic is tireless and he never expects others to work harder than he does.
He understands that success isn’t measured by the number of people added to the business but rather in taking care of the people already there, making them more productive, more successful, and giving them opportunities to advance their careers.
“Obviously I have a healthy ego, I get fulfillment out of my own success but I truly get greater fulfillment out of seeing other people do well and seeing our company advance in an increasingly complex world,” he says.
A great believer in internship programs, Mr. Collis has started several across the company even before becoming CEO. He has a program called “Starbucks with Steve,” which gives him a chance to meet people who he doesn’t associate with every day and talk about what’s going on in their daily lives and provide his perspective of the company.
He is also a strong supporter of diversity and believes that to get the best talent it is crucial to have a diverse workforce across genders, age groups, and racial groups.
“I come from South Africa; I’ve seen firsthand how bad prejudice is whether it was societal prejudice or individual prejudice, so I really want us to be in the forefront of having a very diverse workforce,” he says.
Title: CEO and President
Company: AmerisourceBergen Corp.
Education: B.Commerce, Chartered Accountant South Africa, University of Witwatersrand
Bucket List: Mentor more people
Ahead of the Curve on Digital Health
A pioneer in the digital health space, Jim Curtis has a track record of being one of the driving forces behind many of the leading online health information companies in the United States.
He has an exceptional vision for the future of the industry and is always committed to developing innovation designed to improve patient outcomes and support accountable care.
Mr. Curtis participated in building OnHealth.com, which was purchased by WebMD, and went on to become part of the team that built WebMD into the public company it is today. After seven years, He left WebMD to help lead Everyday Health and WhatToExpect.com and was instrumental in growing that company to 400 employees and $100 million in revenue.
Upon joining Remedy Health, under the leadership of CEO Mike Cunnion, he has led the company’s transition from a print focus to a digital focus and held a key executive role in the acquisition and integration of the Health Central Network. He has transitioned a number of Remedy’s businesses over the past three years, and has developed the market positioning propelling the company to the forefront of the advertising media world. As chief revenue officer at Remedy, he has led the development of innovations like Patient Health Solutions and the launch of BerkeleyWellness.com.
He tirelessly searches for and explores ways to develop revenue streams that will be the right fit for the company to grow the business in different ways.
Mr. Curtis takes a forward-looking approach to healthcare and how to help support patients to receive better health outcomes. He has a successful track record of spotting trends early enough to capitalize and put the company ahead. Through a strong understanding of health/media innovations and the fine ability to communicate, he is able to rally his troops and take his company to the next level.
As a team leader he encourages his colleagues to present Remedy in creative ways versus using dusty and crusty powerpoint presentations. He finds relatable stories about the company’s products and services to present Remedy in an interesting light to excite clients.
He has created his own brand within the industry, yet he is never too busy to send a word of encouragement for a job well done.
He has a fearless drive that makes him successful in turning struggling firms into realizing real profits and his dedication to considering patients first and how the healthcare community can better support them is a hallmark of his success.
Were he not innovating in healthcare, he would enjoy teaching. He loves telling stories to explain complicated concepts, and is delighted when someone gets it and can do something they otherwise would not have had the skills for. Mr. Curtis seeks to lead by example and believes it is important to help others be successful, and he seeks to inspire through vulnerability and honesty.
“It takes a team all rising at the same time to be the best; it also takes honest criticism and self-reflection,” he says.
Outside of Remedy, Mr. Curtis is an advisor for dermaapproved.com and seamlessmedical.com, a member of 212 Interactive, as well as a blogger for epharma and an early investor in adsafe.com and the Walnut Group.
Beyond the workplace, Mr. Curtis is committed to helping others. He volunteers his time to Charla de lupus (Lupus Chat) program, a national peer health education program staffed by trained volunteers who are lupus veterans, with an emphasis on reaching Spanish-speaking communities. The goal of the program is to provide support to those coping with lupus and friends and families of patients. Charla collaborates with Project Sunshine and implements different workshops targeted to meet the needs of the community. Last year, Hunter College Chapter of Project Sunshine and Charla de lupus piloted a program called, Sunshine at Work. Charla de lupus teens and young adults met at the Hospital for Special Surgery to learn how to write a resume, apply for jobs, and interview for job opportunities.
“I have a soft spot for children and an even bigger one for those who are familiar with the interior of hospitals having experienced a chronic illness myself,” he says. “Even when sick, kids want to laugh and play and Project Sunshine allows volunteers to help them do that.”
Jim Curtis has a creative vision that allows him to understand trends and plan for the future.
Title: Chief Revenue Officer and Chief
Company: Remedy Health Media
Education: BS, University of New Hampshire Whitmore School of Business
Family: Son, Aidan, 5; four nieces and nephews, parents, two sisters
Hobbies: Going to good restaurants, photography, art, reading, comedy and public speaking
Bucket List: Live on the coast of Spain and become fluent in Spanish while experiencing all of the region’s wine and food
Awards/Honors: WebMD top sales person 2002-2005; first employee inducted in the Everyday Health “Hall of Fame”; PM360 Trendsetter
Associations: Upstream Group, Digital NYC, IAB, Mobile Marketing Association, and 212 Interactive; advisor to Seamless Medical Systems — SNAP and
Dr. David Segarnick
Building a Clear and Powerful Narrative
The ultimate medical storyboard communications expert, David Segarnick, Ph.D., has been an integral part of many of the major drug launches over the past 20 years.
Dr. Segarnick has helped many pharmaceutical companies around the globe effectively describe the scientific narrative of their new drugs.
A rare hybrid, Dr. Segarnick is a combination of medical director, strategic marketer, as well as a teacher.
He has the respect of KOLs in many different therapeutic areas; he provides critical insights to medical experts and in return is able to call on them for their insights.
Having worked in a wide range of therapeutic areas throughout his career, Dr. Segarnick decided that he was best suited and most passionate about educating the clinicians who work directly with patients.
“I am driven by an intense personal curiosity about the science and marketing issues related to treatment-resistant diseases with complex, novel agents,” he says.
Dr. Segarnick brings a true passion to his work and has an expertise in describing how a drug works; its underlying mechanism of action (pharmacodynamics); and how it is absorbed, distributed, and metabolized (pharmacokinetics). He conveys his knowledge to his colleagues and team members so they can create a scientific narrative for a new drug with one clear, unified voice.
The challenge, he says, is identifying the meaningful differentiation between agents in the same therapeutic category with similar mechanisms of action and building a compelling and credible story.
Bringing his expertise to the launch of several industry blockbusters, including Nexium, Prevenar 13, and Cervarix, has been especially fulfilling for Dr. Segarnick.
Tapping his scientific skills, Dr. Segarnick brings clarity of thought and relentless insistence on creating educational programs precisely targeted to the intended audience.
He is committed to passing his experience and expertise on to his students and colleagues, especially as the pharma industry undergoes major growth and change over the next decade. He is a noted industry speaker and has been published extensively.
Dr. Segarnick mentors science graduate students as part of the course he started this year on pharmacology and drug marketing at the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
“The students have a solid background in the basic sciences, but have no experience or understanding of how the concepts are used within industry for product differentiation and medical marketing,” he says.
Dr. Segarnick seeks to educate and inspire his colleagues as a moderator of international advisory board meetings and workshops across all major therapeutic areas.
Like every role he takes on, his teaching and moderation is imbued with passion and excitement, as well as innovative new interactive approaches.
Beyond the workplace, Dr. Segarnick is a talented classical guitarist, a second-degree black belt in World Oyama Karate, an art lover, a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund, and a dedicated family man.
Title: Chief Medical Officer
Company: MedEvoke, a Medisys Health Communications LLC company
Education: BA, Biology and MS, Neurochemistry, New York University of Medicine; Ph.D., Pharmacology, New York University of Medicine; Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Neuropharmacology, New York University School of Medicine
Family: Wife, Tricia Zimic; daughters, Maxine, 22, and Lahna, 20
Hobbies: Second-degree black belt, World Oyama Karate; playing classical and South American guitar
Bucket List: African Safari
Associations: American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences, Drug Enforcement Agency
Dr. David Segarnick motivates others by doing everything with passion and
excitement, and occasionally coming up with something completely new.
Motivated to Innovate
The pharmaceutical industry needs more innovation. This is what motivates Mike Lehmann and inspires him to work harder each day to provide new ideas and unique offerings that can address client issues and needs.
Mr. Lehmann loves his job because it allows him to impact the lives of his co-workers and patients. For 25 years, he has dedicated his career to helping improve the lives of patients while bringing innovative offerings to meet and exceed his clients’ challenges.
He believes by intimately understanding client challenges and mapping them to his team’s strengths and capabilities, there is a unique opportunity to deliver game-changing solutions, which ultimately can impact the entire industry.
He joined Patheon, a global provider of development and commercial manufacturing services for solid and sterile prescription drugs, in 2012 as president of global Pharmaceutical Development Services (PDS).
Later, he was appointed as interim executive VP, global sales and marketing. Today his focus is to position Patheon PDS as No. 1 in the industry and ensure his team is the best in the industry.
Mr. Lehmann’s colleagues say he is a charismatic and passionate leader who is dedicated to the growth and profitability of his organization, while not forgetting that it’s the people within a company that drive results.
During his 17 years at GE Healthcare, Mr. Lehmann led his team to launch a services business within the company that was aimed at working directly with customers, hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic imaging centers, to enable their success through better quality and service and productivity. He ran the radiology services offering, which allowed his team the opportunity to work directly with institutions around the world to improve patient flow, optimizing the use of equipment and materials, and better utilizing healthcare expertise to improve outcomes and patient service.
This business has grown significantly within GE Healthcare, and is now a key element of its overall offerings and an important enabler of healthcare delivery improvement around the world.
One of Mr. Lehmann’s greatest professional acknowledgements and achievements resulted from his leadership while at GE Healthcare and a technology process called InSite. InSite enables engineers to remotely access, diagnose, and in many instances repair equipment, saving customers’ time and increasing patients’ access to the scanners. InSite has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as an “innovative use of technology,” and is listed in one of its exhibits.
Mr. Lehmann’s leadership model is based on empowering and enabling his colleagues to achieve and deliver more than even they imagined possible.
His leadership philosophy stems from a mentor early in his career at GE Healthcare, who emphasized the importance of people selection, people development, and people empowerment. As such, Mr. Lehmann’s goal is to always surround himself with those who are or can be better than himself and enable them to achieve their goals.
Another philosophy Mr. Lehmann lives by is client creativity and innovation, and he follows the creed that focusing on the people who are best positioned to delight clients means the financial results will follow.
Mike Lehmann’s leadership model is based on empowering and enabling his colleagues to achieve and deliver more than even they imagined possible.
Title: President, Global Pharmaceutical Development Services, and acting Executive, VP, Global Sales and Marketing
Education: BS, Mechanical Engineering, the Catholic University of America; MBA, Marquette University
Family: Wife, Sheri; children, Christine, Jennifer, and Michael Jr.
Hobbies: Golfing, financial planning, watching the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers, boating, wine tasting, and winery tours
Bucket List: To be the best grandfather someday; to teach a leadership course; to design a golf course; to achieve a 0 handicap in golf
Associations: The Catholic University of America, alumni association; Marquette University, alumni association; Society of Toxicology
A Global Approach to Healthcare
Nick Colucci is a game changer, a relentless voice to drive collaboration, and a disrupter of silos and industry conventions.
He has successfully integrated and leveraged multiple agency brands into a powerful, efficient, and creative global health and wellness network, while building a culture of respect, engagement, and authenticity.
Under his tenure, the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group network has grown from a fragmented group of agencies to a global powerhouse with extensive capabilities, expanded worldwide client relationships, and a footprint in emerging markets.
He confronts the challenges facing the global health system head on and is mobilizing talent and creating a structure that purposely addresses how to change how people embrace the possibilities of life, health, and wellness.
While many executives are consumed with regional profit and loss statements and organizing their talent in bite-sized, easily manageable reporting systems, Mr. Colucci saw that the biopharma sector’s efforts to build global brands needed a new path. In response, he organized his more than 5,000 PHCG global colleagues around insights, media, creative, and delivery — not the age-old silos where talented people were limited by agency structures and geography. By doing so, he has engaged many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies seeking to maximize their products through both traditional and new media channels.
Mr. Colucci has inspired the PHCG team to bring integrated solutions to clients, across channels and geographies, and has evolved the organizational structure to deliver on this.
He has set a vision for growth and a tone of both collaboration and accountability — difficult goals to balance. As he was changing the company, he reached out to leaders beyond his direct reports for advice, counsel, and ideas. And as he rolled out change, he instituted a purposeful change management program to achieve organizational engagement and buy-in.
Under his leadership, the network has gained a huge presence in Asia-Pacific. Within the last three years, significant new additions were made to the PHCG agency roster, putting feet on the ground where pharma brands are focusing resources, from Shanghai and Beijing to Mumbai and Bangalore.
With respect to digital, he now manages mega-agency brands Digitas Health and Razorfish Healthware, which are responsible for the digital engagement on behalf of some of the industry’s most exciting brands. He encourages network and agency leaders to keep on top of the latest consumer and tech trends to lead the technological shifts in the way patients and physicians are consuming information.
Last year, PHCG led the industry yet again with the creation of Publicis Health Media, the only health-specific strategic media planning and buying agency under a network umbrella. This launch created synergies and efficiencies for pharma brands that are now able to reap the benefits of one integrated team that can cover marketing/digital, market access, consumer insights, medical education, media buying, and salesforce solutions all under one roof.
He has been a tireless advocate for protecting the rights of patients and physicians to the free flow of critical medical information required to make informed health decisions. His efforts have helped the industry overcome major challenges to the practice of healthcare advertising — from CME to DTC advertising — and advanced patient health.
Mr. Colucci is well-known in healthcare circles, leading key initiatives for the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, an industry trade association, as well as serving on the boards of the American Heart Association (AHA) of New York and the Pasteur Foundation Advisory Board. This year, his board colleagues at AHA selected him as one of the top 15 people to be honored at their annual Heart of New York Gala. Through his leadership, AHA launched a major pro bono campaign to inspire women to “Go Red” and raise their awareness on how to reduce heart and stroke risks.
At the core of all of his success is a deep caring for the people around him and a desire to help them grow. Mr. Colucci connects with people at all levels of the organization and is a mentor to many. He also supports the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
“It’s important to recognize that whether one is a purposeful role model or not, leaders are by definition role models or mentors,” he says. “So you should be aware of the impact you have on others and be happy to do it.”
He has both financially and verbally supported the first-ever PHCG employee engagement survey and process. He has implemented global training efforts designed to build better leaders, who lead and manage with respect and authenticity.
Company: Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
Education: BS, Neuroscience, University of Rochester; MBA, Marketing, Loyola College
Family: Wife, Ellie; three sons
Hobbies: Collecting vintage wrist watches
Bucket List: Teach children, especially in the formative middle school years
Awards/Honors: American Heart Association Superhero; PM360 Trailblazer Marketer of the Year
Associations: Outgoing Chair, Coalition for Healthcare Communications (CHC); board member, AHA, NY
Dr. Jeff Jonas
Challenging the R&D Status Quo
A leader who doesn’t need credit can pretty much accomplish anything. Jeff Jonas, M.D., has excelled in the pharma industry by building great teams and great relationships and staying focused on what the industry is about: an opportunity to change the practice of medicine to make a difference in patients’ lives.
A strong collaborator, Dr. Jonas leads by empowering people, trying to make work fun, and being ethical and compliant. He emphasizes that the culture of a place and how colleagues work together are imperative for business success.
Drug development is a very collaborative process and Dr. Jonas emphasizes that it takes many people to develop a drug. He is most proud of his work in studies that have been formative, and considers himself fortunate to have worked with many great people over the years, and helped them with their careers.
A highly respected and innovative thought leader in the field of psychiatry, Dr. Jonas impacted the culture of Shire in his role as president of regenerative medicine. By redefining the focus on clinical value, he is challenging his teams to refute old notions to find new ways of doing things to increase probability of success and to increase speed to success or failure.
He is driving innovation by focusing on leadership development, accountability, and expertise within R&D.
He is strongly committed to the pharma industry, saying it is a great opportunity to change the practice of medicine, and that people in the industry need to think broadly about what they are doing and understand that their jobs are really about making a difference in patients’ lives. As an R&D professional, Dr. Jonas sees the value and the potential of medicines and projects in novel ways.
With an entrepreneurial flare, Dr. Jonas believes innovation comes from the ability to connect disparate ideas and to generate new approaches and ways to deal with problems. He enjoys coming up with new ideas and recognizes that innovation requires a willingness to tolerate risk and the ability to make a decision based on imperfect data.
“R&D is like art — it’s great to watch people work with new concepts; it’s like painting on a canvas,” he says.
Recently, he had the challenge to paint a new story for one of Shire’s lead assets: Vyvanse. The challenge was to move the narrative away from thinking about the drug as a stimulant to recognizing it as a dopamine modulator with potentially much broader applications. To achieve his goal, Dr. Jonas worked with his commercial colleagues and senior management to get an agreement to run Phase II studies, which ultimately led to Vyvanse’s Phase III new use studies. The initiative required having people recognize the scientific rationale, which meant shifting thinking about amphetamines to understanding an area where there was significant unmet medical need. The drug is currently being tested in new areas, including major depressive disorder, negative symptoms and cognitive impairment of schizophrenia, and binge eating disorder. Already, Vyvanse has received approval from the FDA as a maintenance indication for adults with ADHD.
Dr. Jonas has had several leadership roles in his career. After a distinguished academic career at Harvard, he held top-level positions in large pharma both in clinical and regulatory affairs. He also has been involved in start ups, having co-founded Sceptor Industries.
Dr. Jonas places an emphasis on enjoying what you do. After the loss of his older sister years ago, he realized how tentative life can be and promised himself he would not accept being unhappy, especially at work.
“I try to imbue people with the fact that the work is fun and that they should be stimulated intellectually,” he says. “I’m always willing to accept new and creative ideas and to support people’s careers. I’ve told people in every organization where I’ve worked that if someone leaves the organization to take a better job, I’m proud of the fact that they were working for me and were able to progress their own personal career.”
A professional mentor to many, Dr. Jonas views mentorship as a multi-faceted endeavor.
“There is a selfish component to mentoring; it’s fun to work with bright people and to watch them succeed,” he says.
Editor’s Note: As of press time, Dr. Jonas was in the process of transitioning to a new position and company.
Dr. Jeff Jonas’ medical training combined with his business acumen and his passion for helping patients set him apart as a manager and a leader.
Education: BA, Biology and English, Amherst College; M.D., Harvard
Family: Three kids, brother, 98-year-old mother
Hobbies: Skiing and surfing, working out, riding motorcycles
Bucket List: Two weeks of surfing in Fiji, Antarctica and writing the great American novel
Awards/Honors: Sigma Xi for excellence in scientific research, Phi Beta Kappa, Amherst College; Dow Prize, Amherst College, 1975; Falk Fellowship Award, American Psychiatric Association, 1981-83; Laughlin Award for Merit, McLean Hospital, 1983; Best Research Program, Fair Oaks Hospital System, 1988; Chairman’s Award – The Upjohn Company, 1991; Silicone Prairie Technology Association – Technology of the Year Award, 1998; Ernst & Young – Finalist – Entrepreneur of the Year, 1999; Deloitte & Touche – Winner – Kansas/Western MO Technology Fast 50 Company, 1999; Life Science Entrepreneur of the Year – 2002 (for Sceptor) – Missouri Biotechnology Association
Associations: American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics; National Pharmaceutical Council (board of directors)
Mike Kelly, CEO of Kantar Health US, brings an attitude of light-heartedness and respect to his role, which inspires those around him to push toward their very best.
“I try to be light,” he says. “We’re all in this thing together. Work is important, but you’ve got to try to have some fun, and so I try to bring levity into everything that I do.”
A strong leader, Mr. Kelly is focused on raising the profile of evidence-based research and linking stakeholders together to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and deeper insights within the biopharma organization. According to colleagues, Mr. Kelly has quadrupled Kantar Health’s outcomes research business through his extraordinary vision and by connecting outcomes results to broader client needs. For example, he has brought HEOR, market access, marketing, and marketing research together around common business issues, such as segmentation and pricing research.
As CEO of Kantar Health Americas, he is leading a multidisciplinary team through the final phase of planned integration that began with the creation of Kantar Health in 2009. In addition to his regional responsibilities, he has retained responsibility for leading the global market access and health outcomes consulting business, which was his previous role.
“Leading this inspiring team of people and growing the business is my best career highlight to date,” he says. “I’m proud of what we accomplished as a team.”
The challenge was transforming the company’s existing database of patient-reported outcomes into a very significant business by leveraging this unique asset and focusing on client needs.
“It was a phenomenal business, and patient reported outcomes were just really emerging at the time,” he says. “It was clearly an opportunity that grew over the next six years, and a lot of people banded together to do something that we knew was right.”
Clearly motivated by challenges, Mr. Kelly now faces his biggest goal to date: bringing together the multicultured team of the U.S. organization to work together in a more cohesive way.
“We have groups of people who are incredibly talented and are experts in their respective disciplines, but the opportunity and the client need is for us to bring the talents that we have together as one to create our best value proposition,” he says.
Mr. Kelly inspires these team members by putting himself in their shoes. He recognizes that most members of his team have gone through some type of integration in their careers before and that when the work environment is constantly evolving it can be very disconcerting and challenging.
Mr. Kelly’s respectful acknowledgement of the challenges and concrete vision of the future are helping to motivate his team to reach a collective end goal.
“If you paint a picture of a future that is exciting and help people see themselves as a part of that future, it can be inspirational to everybody,” he says.
Colleagues say Mr. Kelly’s innovative nature and ease with meeting new challenges have been the driving force behind his success in running various business units throughout his career.
In addition to running a multifaceted business today, Mr. Kelly recently served as president of PMRG (The Pharmaceutical Marketers Research Group).
During his tenure, Mr. Kelly stretched the organization into new areas of excellence, pushing the value of annual meetings and events, bringing clients and agency partners into closer collaboration, and helping increase membership.
Family is a big priority for Mr. Kelly, and he works hard to always put family first.
“I get so much energy and inspiration from my family,” he says. “They are the driving force behind my success.”
Mr. Kelly’s family is similar to the Brady Bunch. His wife Ann has three children from a previous marriage and so does he. He spends a lot of time with his family of eight, volunteering for his sons’ Little League baseball teams — a sport he loves — and watching baseball games from Little League to the Phillies.
In addition to balancing work life and home life, Mr. Kelly is involved in the Family Lives On foundation, which helps young children who have lost a parent through the grieving process by continuing cherished family traditions.
Company: Kantar Health US
Education: BS, Rochester Institute of Technology; MBA, St. Joseph’s University
Family: Wife, three children, three stepchildren
Hobbies: Travel, baseball
Bucket List: Visit Africa and Antarctica to complete goal of traveling to all seven continents
Awards/Honors: Circle of Excellence, PMRG
Associations: International Society of Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research, European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association, Pharmaceutical Business Insights and Research Group
Tweet at: @mikekellyPMRG
Mike Kelly’s strong leadership and passion for solving industry challenges has made a difference in the field of outcomes research.
A Company Man
These days, it’s unusual to find top-level executives who have spent as much time with one organization as Damian Braga has spent at Sanofi. Colleagues say Mr. Braga represents all good things embodied in the American Dream. He started with the company as a financial analyst 24 years ago and through perspiration and inspiration now he leads the global commercial operations for the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Mr. Braga sees opportunities to make a difference everywhere.
Mr. Braga was one of the first in the industry to understand the promise of e-commerce for vaccine purchases when prevailing wisdom in the early part of the 21st century was that healthcare providers would never allow their staff Internet access; today more than 80% of eligible orders use this channel.
He began his career with Sanofi Pasteur in 1988, and over the next decade he worked in a number of different functions within the finance organization and served as the chief financial officer from 1996 to 2001.
In 2002, he was named president of the U.S. business unit, and was instrumental in the successful launches of Menactra, a meningococcal vaccine for children; Adacel, a Tdap vaccine for adults and adolescents; and Pentacel, the first five-in-one pediatric combination for immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis. These and other new product launches under his leadership resulted in about $5 billion in additional sales in the Americas business unit.
Under his lead as president, revenue for the business unit increased an average of 18% each year. During the same period, the company’s U.S. workforce nearly tripled and the Swiftwater, Pa., site more than doubled in acreage.
In 2007, Mr. Braga was appointed to the position of president US, VP Americas region, which included leadership of the commercial operations in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
In 2009, under Mr. Braga’s leadership, Sanofi Pasteur played a significant role in responding to the Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. This was achieved by working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Pan American Health Organization, and government officials in Mexico and Brazil to provide 164 million doses of H1N1 to the United States and Latin America.
In May of 2011, he was appointed to senior VP, vaccines global commercial operations.
His goal-oriented mindset, natural leadership abilities, and approachable management style enabled him to move quickly through a range of senior-level positions, becoming president of U.S. operations in 2002.
Sanofi Pasteur colleagues say Mr. Braga brings a unique management style to one of the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers by combining a commitment to organizational growth with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.
Commercial operations, or ComOps, as it is referred to internally, leads the development and implementation of Sanofi Pasteur’s commercial strategy to ensure sustainable and profitable growth through business units, countries, and support functions. In 2011, global vaccine net sales exceeded $4.5 billion.
Some of his current responsibilities include developing and implementing the commercial strategy for the vaccines division and reach sales, in addition to profit and cash flow objectives; maintaining the company’s strong position in mature markets while fueling growth in emerging markets; ensuring successful commercial launches of new products; and improving the company’s strategic and operational position in its industry through identifying new opportunities and initiatives related to market development.
Chief among Mr. Braga’s strengths is his ability to assess challenging issues and identify achievable solutions. This hands-on, problem-solving skill has been invaluable both during his earlier finance-specific career and within his current broad-based role. With an eye continually on growth, Mr. Braga has worked diligently to place focus on the customer, increase cross-functionality among departments and build a knowledgeable, experienced team.
He also demonstrates a strong commitment toward employee growth, encouraging talent management, and developing and promoting high achievers within the organization.
Mr. Braga deftly challenges everyone around him to achieve more than they thought possible.
Personally, Mr. Braga emphasizes working with organizations that promote the importance of vaccines, encourage economic growth, and assist those in need. To that end, he serves as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) representative for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and as co-chairman for BIO’s Vaccine Policy Advisory Committee.
He takes the company’s broad vision of corporate social responsibility to a local level through a number of charitable initiatives. He serves an active role in leading the company’s U.S. philanthropic initiatives, which currently grant more than $1 million each year to local, regional, and national organizations.
Based on his vision to create a safety net for Monroe County’s social service organizations, Mr. Braga established the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser. During the past eight years the fundraiser distributed more than $1 million to critical Monroe County nonprofit organizations in need. Sanofi Pasteur raised more than $315,000 in 2011 for the United Way, and is the single largest contributor to the United Way of Monroe County.
Titles and Company: President, Sanofi Pasteur US, and Senior, VP, Commercial Operations, Sanofi Pasteur
Education: BA, Economics, University of Miami; MBA, Finance, Seton Hall University
Family: Married, two children
Damian Braga deftly challenges everyone around him to achieve more than they thought possible.
Dr. John Mendlein
A Journey of Success
John Mendlein, Ph.D. — entrepreneur, scientist, and lawyer — credits his highly successful career in biotech to luck and blue fin tuna.
“I started my science career accidentally,” says the executive chairman and CEO of aTyr. “I attended a special program in high school that studied blue fin tuna. It was great because I got to leave classes early to do research at the Southeast Fisheries Center in Virginia Key, which is just off the coast of Miami.”
Dr. Mendlein says much of his success, including the sale of two biotech companies and his work on the first protein pump inhibitor omeprazole, has been “a journey of chance,” where he has been able to optimize some of the opportunities presented to him. Those who know him well say it’s been a journey of successs.
Today at aTyr Pharma, an innovator in immune-modulating protein therapeutics, he is continuing to translate a completely new area of biology called physiocrines into new therapeutics for orphan and rare diseases. Recent discoveries in the lab show that physiocrines play a fundamental role in the function of human physiology and immunology, thereby opening up an untapped source of new protein therapeutics. Dr. Mendlein is committed to discovering and developing highly effective therapeutics that provide new treatment options for patients with autoimmune diseases.
Colleagues says Dr. Mendlein thinks big, aims big, and dreams big, and is constantly painting a big picture of markets and opportunities. His dedication to finding cures for patients is more than a job to him.
“I love what I do and work is always with me,” he says. “If work is always in your head, do you really go to work or is it just literally part of your thought processes? I am so lucky because I get to think about and help with really cool science in an environment that is largely very progressive, filled with very engaged people who have a common cause, a common purpose, and a common mission. I have a cool job.”
But even cool jobs come with challenges, and the biggest one Dr. Mendlein faces daily is the resistance to innovative ideas.
“Even if people think the idea is a good one, there is always speculation and a million reasons why it can’t come to life,” he says. “As an entrepreneur, you have to steel yourself for a lot of immediate resistance. The good thing is that over time the resistance will lessen and the market will become receptive of innovative ideas.”
Resistance to innovation hasn’t stopped him at any point along his career path to date, and it isn’t slowing him down now.
“At aTyr, we are working on breakthrough treatments for autoimmune diseases,” he says.
In line with his love of surfing and laid-back demeanor and look — he grows his hair out every two years and then donates it to make wigs for cancer patients — Dr. Mendlein has an incredibly optimistic view on the future of healthcare.
“The future is incredibly bright when it comes to therapeutics,” he says. “We’re entering the best decade of therapeutics development for all diseases, everything from vaccines for emerging nations all the way to the most sophisticated products for rare-diseases, oncology, and neurological disorders.”
He would like to see more emphasis on educating consumers about what the industry actually does to shift public perception to a more positive one.
“We need to reassess where the true value lies in the industry and translate this into a meaningful dialogue with consumers,” he says. “For example, 93% of healthcare costs are not related to drugs, but there is very little conversation about containing costs of that 93% versus the 7% that are related to the most innovative products on the planet.
“Making an innovative drug for a patient group that has very few alternatives is much more difficult than making an iPhone, yet your average American has never heard about any of these drugs or really understands how they work, even though everybody is enamored with the iPhone,” he says.
Dr. Mendlein’s past is equally as interesting as his future. He served as CEO of Adnexus Therapeutics until Bristol-Myers Squibb purchased the company after an award-winning partnership between the two companies.
At Aurora Biosciences, he held a variety of roles, including board member, general counsel, and chief knowledge officer, before Vertex Pharmaceuticals acquired it.
He was part of the team that established the collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which eventually lead to the discovery and development of Kalydeco, the award-winning therapeutic, which was the first drug approved to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.
He has worked as an attorney at Cooley LLP, a law firm, in its life-sciences and technology litigation practice groups, and as a scientist in the department of molecular biology and protein expression at Smith Kline & French, now GlaxoSmithKline.
He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of Fate Therapeutics and an advisory board member of Genesys Capital. He is the author or inventor on more than 70 publications and patents.
As for community service and leadership, Dr. Mendlein is a founder and board member of Homes for Sudan, a nonprofit organization based in Boston. He has traveled to Africa to help build homes.
He also is a scientific advisory board member for Ocean Discovery Institute, a nonprofit organization based in San Diego, where he has helped bring science to urban and diverse youth through a connection with the ocean and nature.
Dr. Mendlein also serves on the board of directors of Moderna Therapeutics.
Dr. John Mendlein is a visionary leader who recognizes that new biologies can open doors to whole new classes of therapeutics and targets.
Title: Executive Chairman and CEO
Education: BS, Biology, University of Miami; Ph.D., Physiology and Biophysics, University of California; J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law
Hobbies: Surfing, sailing, scuba diving
Leadership with a Heart
Renée Wills leads her agency with heart and grace, which is leading to a body of substantial work.
The classic pharma brand market positioning — strong but gentle — could also be used to describe Renée Wills, who brings a determined but graceful approach to her role as president of ICC Lowe Trio.
“This is an interesting combination; on one hand it suggests that you’re going to push forward and drive things ahead, on the other you’ll do so with respect and grace,” she says.
Having worked on both sides of the aisle — pharma and agency — and in different roles — marketing, sales, and advertising — Ms. Wills is now back where she belongs, running a successful and entrepreneurial-driven advertising agency that is focused on doing things right.
“This is where my heart is,” she says. “Everything’s been leading to where I am today. I love my job. I have the best job in the industry.”
Her enthusiasm and passion are infectious. Shortly after joining Trio in 2010, she began to reshape the agency’s culture around three ideals: courageous truth, passionate curiosity, and grace under pressure.
Colleagues say Ms. Wills brought the right vision, grace, skill, patience, stamina, decisiveness, and passion to evaluate what was working and enhance it, find what was broken and fix it, and the experience to know the difference. The entire agency is now aligned around her mantra: “What can we do every day to make Trio a better place?”
Since infusing these core ideals into the agency’s DNA, there has been improved employee morale, decreased staff turnover, increased client satisfaction, and year-on-year growth.
Ms. Wills is admired by her staff for truly appreciating and recognizing that an agency is first and foremost about its people.
“I want to create an organization in which our clients are delighted to work with us because they’re getting great work based on integrity,” she says. “I also want to build an organization that’s focused on doing what’s right for our people and demonstrate this is a model that can be successful. Yes, we need to drive forward; yes, we need to get things accomplished; but as an agency we can best meet our clients’ needs when our people are motivated, respected, and empowered. I want our next generation of leaders to know that they can lead from their heart and be successful.”
Believing that leadership is something that needs to be practiced every day, she is eager to pass along items of interest to her team members that help them to think differently and stretch their imaginations.
By sharing her experiences and insights, she has increased the feeling of ownership among all employees by elevating the level of transparency, and allowing an open atmosphere in which good ideas can emanate from any level within the organization.
Ms. Wills is a self-proclaimed constant learner and draws inspiration from yoga, which she says not only keeps her grounded, but through the many small adjustments that can be made to any one pose, encourages her to constantly try something new.
“There are lot of lessons that apply off the mat, knowing your body,” she says. “Knowing yourself is important, because you have to know yourself to help others. I’m constantly learning and yoga keeps me humble. Yes, I’m the president of an agency, but I know I have so much more to learn. That’s exciting. Learning is what keeps us alive and thriving until we die.”
An extension of the learning culture that Ms. Wills is cultivating at Trio is what she calls the agency’s “shindigs,” in which small groups of people get together and talk about the latest technologies, the latest gadgets, the latest programs, etc., and the implications and potential uses for their clients.
“I need to make sure that as an organization, we’re looking to the future and that we train our people to become adept at understanding new technologies and staying current,” she says.
Ms. Wills is noted for being an authentic leader. She is the same person everywhere she goes: from having a heart-to-heart, one-on-one discussion, to leading an all-staff meeting, to playing hide-and-seek with her twin daughters. Moreover, she leads by example, not by command. She displays an enviable degree of positive energy, and has raised the game of every member of the agency.
Under her leadership, Trio has initiated the U-Rock Award: an organic, monthly-employee recognition program. She is transforming the agency across the board — from spontaneous ice cream socials to hosted Gallery Nights, during which network colleagues get a chance to see their work and people — all of which have employees inspired, motivated, and firing on all cylinders.
Outside of the office, in addition to all that’s involved with raising twin 8-year-old girls, Ms. Wills is active in the Maplewood Community Garden; a portion of the food grown goes to feed the elderly and the underprivileged in the local area.
“This is a great endeavor; I get to work with my kids, set a good example, and do something to help the community,” she says.
Company: ICC Lowe Trio
Education: BA, Rutgers University; MBA, Rutgers University
Family: Husband, Ben Wills; twin daughters, 8
Hobbies: Yoga, cooking, gardening
Tweet at: @renee_wills
Michael O’Gorman says laughter is the key to enjoying life. But don’t be confused by his cheerful demeanor, Mr. O’Gorman is absolutely serious about ensuring that safety information, which is currently inconsistent and spread out at many locations, is pulled together in a cost-effective and accurate manner to ultimately advance healthcare. His hope is that some day 100% of the population will have access to information and products to live healthy and happy lives.
As CEO of Sentrx, Mr. O’Gorman has propelled the company to the forefront of the pharmacovigilance and device safety arena. Under his leadership, the company, which has more than 100 employees, has operated with excellence and integrity, all the while being an innovator when it comes to the creation and implementation of safety services. Mr. O’Gorman has given Sentrx such a presence in the area of pharmacovigilance that Telerx, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, came knocking at the door. Today, Sentrx now operates as part of Telerx.
He established the Patient Safety Nation, the largest pool of healthcare professionals who have an interest in providing drug safety services. Mr. O’Gorman is a valued collaborator and works tirelessly with partners to create greater efficiencies between clinical sites and the recording of adverse events.
He uses his unique business development talents to identify and create partnerships throughout the industry, which facilitates Sentrx’s approach in providing its clients with full-service solutions, filling a market void. By creating such partnerships and building alliances with multiple organizations, Sentrx is able to provide a service that, in the end, benefits patients and their safety by analyzing the effects that medicines create, which ultimately leads to lives saved.
He is recognized as a positive and innovative leader and is always looking for ways to improve the efficiency of pharmacovigilance outsourcing services.
Mr. O’Gorman is the driving force at Sentrx and his personality resonates throughout the organization; he has an open-door policy for everyone — his employees, clients, and partners.
His teams respect him and are inspired by his willingness to share information about his own experiences and professional revelations.
Mr. O’Gorman is flexible in responding to the changing needs and concerns of his employees and maintains a positive, courteous, and professional relationship with each team member.
He talks the talk and walks the walk — he maintains consistency between his instructions and employees’ own professional behavior.
“I try to lead by example because I always had respect for those who not only directed me on how to do things, but did them as well,” Mr. O’Gorman says. “I would like to be perceived as someone who helped others through work and life rather than someone who sat back and directed others through work and life.”
He is motivated by his Sentrx colleagues and derives inspiration from the many people who he comes across in a variety of different ways.
“Inspiration can come from seeing the down side of things and being inspired to try to avoid those things or seeing extraordinary things and being inspired to be extraordinary,” Mr. O’Gorman says. “Most often however, I find that nice people simply provide inspiration to me to be nice to others.”
Mr. O’Gorman is an approachable leader and generously volunteers for a number of organizations. Of special note is his involvement with the The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
“I am a sports fan and a fan of the late Jim Valvano,” he says. “Also, several friends have recently passed away due to cancer-related illnesses. The foundation’s mission is to find a cure through providing 100% of contributions to research organizations.”
Mr. O’Gorman has chaired a N.J. V Foundation fundraiser for the past two years and he plans on continuing to hold the event into the indefinite future. Last year’s attendees included Mark Herzlich, current New York Giant; Leonard Marshall, former New York Giant; and Joe Piscopo.
“I believe that through the help of their support and others in the future, our community can play a significant role in helping the foundation do great things,” he says.
Mr. O’Gorman is also committed to helping Telerx do great things. His goal is to help the company reach the $1 billion milestone.
“My dad told me once: take on the hard jobs that no one else is willing to take; you’ll learn so much and gain a great deal of respect from others,” he says.
With Mr. O’Gorman’s dedication to relentlessly and confidently forging ahead until missions are complete, and taking action to get things done, no doubt he will be successful in reaching his professional and philanthropic goals.
Michael O’Gorman has propelled Sentrx to the forefront of the pharmacovigilance and device safety arena.
Company: Sentrx, a part of Telerx
Education: BS, CPA, St. Peter’s University
Hobbies: Sports, playing drums, music
With an optimistic and enthusiastic approach to work and life, Dan Perlman has achieved significant success across several industries in his career. With a can-do attitude toward life, he is genuinely excited by what the day holds as CEO of ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc., or RPS as the company is more commonly known.
Unfazed by whether the news of the day is good or bad, Mr. Perlman faces each challenge with equanimity.
A former executive a private label tire company, he entered the pharmaceutical research services sector as an “outsider,” but his background in industries that have always battled with cost pressures has given him unique insights into the challenges facing pharma.
He could see that the pharmaceutical industry was in need of disruptive innovation and more efficient delivery models, and at the same time he was drawn to pharma because of the people who are committed to making a difference in patients’ lives.
He founded RPS in 1998 as a next-generation CRO, providing strategic clinical development solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. He also pioneered the embedded service model, which provides an alternative to traditional CRO project-based outsourcing solutions.
Mr. Perlman is one of the true visionaries in the professional services outsourcing space; he is someone who can swim against the tide and create service offerings that are ahead of their time. He approaches each challenge knowing that anything is possible.
Willing to take on initiatives and programs without being boxed into a pre-defined solution, he has led RPS to become one of the fastest-growing CROs in the industry, growing from inception to more than 5,000 employees with operations in 64 countries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His business model of the embedded clinical development solutions has become the industry standard for true strategic partnerships between sponsors and vendors. It has allowed large and mid-size biopharmaceutical companies to expand their internal development capabilities without adding permanent headcount providing greater development flexibility, dramatically reducing costs, and allowing these companies to retain strategic control over their portfolios.
In a sense, the embedded model gives pharma companies the ability to enact change more swiftly than when managed internally and with the benefit of leveraging expertise and discipline knowledge across best-in-class operating models, he says.
The turning point for RPS came when a large pharma company agreed with Mr. Perlman’s vision and put its entire internal pipeline into RPS’ hands.
“Ten years ago, no large pharma company would ever take its whole pipeline and put it in one partner’s hands, but by doing so this company increased its efficiencies,” he says.
As pharma reinvents themselves, Mr. Perlman says CROs will need to change their approach to survive in the long term.
“Change is good and much-needed in the industry, and RPS is fortunate to be leading new modeling,” he says.
One of Mr. Perlman’s leadership attributes is his ability to paint the big picture. Modest by nature, he plays down his ability to motivate high-performing teams to achieve great success.
He fosters innovation within a working environment that is challenging, allows risk taking, and lets his teams have fun in the process. Mr. Perlman takes time to provide guidance to all new hires, and has the gift to permit a sense of ease in transparent communication. No question goes unanswered and his direction, dedication, and commitment to his employees serve as an anchor and beacon to all.
An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Perlman has been involved in starting several companies. He was one of the originators of a company called Romac International, which became Kforce and was later acquired by inVentiv. Before that he started in pharmaceutical sales outsourcing with the company he helped build through CDI in 1990.
A well-known thought leader in the CRO industry, Mr. Perlman is challenging key stakeholders to be more focused on the customer’s needs in order to deliver a better product more efficiently and adapt solutions according to the problems or issues faced by a given client.
He has organized and supported multiple pharmaceutical leadership and CRO think-tank meetings that bring key thought leaders together to improve the efficiency, cost, and speed to complete clinical studies and accelerate drug development.
Mr. Perlman is a constant learner and never passes up an opportunity to glean new insights on ways to improve processes and he takes inspiration from inside and outside the pharmaceutical industry. One could say learning is part of his DNA; his father was chief of surgery at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia as well as head of the medical school, and his mother taught second and fourth grade for 50 years.
In fact, teaching is the one profession Mr. Perlman would have enjoyed pursuing had he not followed an entrepreneurial path.
Family is important to Mr. Perlman, and he and his mother are involved with several shelters that assist battered women and CASA in the Philadelphia and Atlantic City areas.
Dan Perlman is committed to bringing efficiencies to the pharmaceutical industry and changing the way companies look at procedures and processes all in the name of improving patient care.
Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (RPS)
Education: BS, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
Family: Three sons, 25, 27, and 29; father, mother, and four surviving brothers and sisters
Hobbies: Collecting sports cars — next goal a Lamborghini Aventador; watching Philadelphia sports teamsc
David Berry Pronutria
Damian Braga Sanofi Pasteur
David Bruggeman Clinical Research Advantage
Walter Capone The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Steve Collis AmerisourceBergen Corp.
Nick Colucci Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
Jim Curtis Remedy Health Media
David Hahn The Medical Affairs Company
Kerry Hilton HCB Health
Jeff Jonas Shire
Joanne Kamens Addgene
Rick Keefer Publicis Touchpoint Solutions
Mike Kelly Kantar Health
Bob Klein Blue Chip Marketing
Jessica Lea Tria Health
Michael Lehmann Patheon
Antony Loebel Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
John Mendlein, Ph.D. aTyr Pharma
Michael O’Gorman Sentrx, a part of Telerx
Dave Ormesher closerlook inc.
Dan Perlman RPS Inc.
Mike Rea IDEA Pharma
David Segarnick MedEvoke
Steve Swanson Imperial
Alexandra von Plato Publicis Healthcare Communications Group
Marc Weiner Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
Renee Wills ICC Lowe Trio
André Wyss Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.