The Mentors

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Taren Grom, Editor

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The Mentors

Kristin Gross Stepping Up to Help Others Get Ahead Kristin Gross has given countless hours to volunteering to help develop the next generation of leaders. Honest, professional, motivational, and guiding are just a few of the words that colleagues and peers use to describe Ms. Gross, whose goal is make a difference in the world and change the industry’s culture for the better. Early on, she received guidance from two mentors, who gave her encouragement and direction, and made her feel valued and encouraged her out-of-the-box thinking. Today, she strives to pay that guidance forward. A tireless leader and volunteer with a friendly “get-it-done” attitude, Ms. Gross inspires and encourages people to achieve their goals and the goals of their organizations. Ms. Gross helped launched both of the California chapters of Women in Bio and was co-chair of membership for the San Francisco chapter from its launch until this past April. During that time, membership increased significantly, faster than any chapter in the past, to 225 members by the end of the first year. As the overall southern California chapter vice-chair, she will be focusing on repeating the same level of industry-related networking, camaraderie, educational programming, mentoring, skill development, and event planning. Women in Bio is an organization committed to advancing careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences, a mission Ms. Gross embraces. In addition, Ms. Gross serves on the Biocom CRO committee, an organization that provides educational and industry-related events in southern California. As a volunteer mentor with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, she has demonstrated confidence, integrity, and leadership — all qualities that have been a positive influence on those she mentors. Mentoring is a two-way street, Ms. Gross believes, because when you mentor someone, if you truly listen, you take something back from the experience. “My inspiration comes from trying to assist others with their personal and career growth development,” she says. She understands the challenges those new to industry face in promoting themselves, saying it’s important to develop your own brand and identity to promote visibility and to encourage others to interact with you and develop strong, successful business relationships. “We need to continuously build our network because you never know where life will take you and you may ultimately go down a path that you never anticipated,” she says. She encourages others to focus on areas they are passionate about and where they are most skilled, rather than trying to fit into too many categories. “Too often, people are working to improve in areas that aren’t their strengths, rather than focusing on what they excel at and move to the next level,” she says. “The best CEOs surround themselves with individuals who have complementary skills and delegate accordingly. When I mentor others, I try to help them to figure out where their strengths lie and really work on building those skills.” As a director of accounts with Acurian, she is responsible for identifying and managing partnerships with multiple diverse external organizations. Colleagues say Ms. Gross’ preparedness, leadership abilities, motivation, and industry knowledge are exceptional. Throughout her career she has consistently helped to grow and develop challenging territories to the point where they become a stronger revenue source. Ms. Gross says one of the most challenging roles for leaders in today’s global eco-system is remotely managing teams. “It’s difficult enough to motivate different personalities and adjust management approaches based on the individual when everyone is in the same location, but as the workplace continues to evolve and more people are working remotely, ensuring that relationships are productive will be a greater challenge,” she says. She is looking forward to continuing mentoring and volunteering as her way to give back and would like to expand her skills with a position with increasing responsibility and reach on a global basis. Driven. Passionate. Kristin Gross inspires and motivates others through her actions,­­ ­resulting in significant influences in leadership, creativity, and strategy. Title: Director of Accounts Company: Acurian Education: BS, Biology and Pre-Med, Wesleyan University; MS, Biology, Harvard University Hobbies: Photography, trying out new ­restaurants, traveling Bucket List: Travel to every baseball park with her father, see as many parts of the world as possible Social Media: Dr. Doreen Lechner Paying Pharmacovigilance Forward Compassionate. Driven. Doreen Waldron Lechner, Ph.D, is a pharmacovigilance expert with more than 30 years of regulatory compliance experience across multiple therapeutic areas in the pharmaceutical environment. She has the proven ability to reduce the complexity of the drug safety business; consistently brings innovative and cost-effective solutions to address global operational challenges; and manages change with excellent communication and people skills. According to her colleagues, her people skills are what make her a great leader who they enjoy working for and with. As executive VP of pharmacovigilance client services at Sentrx, Dr. Lechner leads a client-focused team of pharmacovigilance personnel who are charged with maintaining regulatory compliance and ensuring that client deliverables meet performance objectives. She accomplishes all this while creating wonderful relationships with those who work with, for, and around her. As a mentor she provides suggestions and accolades in a non-judgmental manner and is always open to discussing new ideas and alternatives. As a leader, she provides consistency even during periods of change and readily shares information about her own experiences and professional revelations. She is deeply concerned about her team members and maintains a positive, courteous, and professional relationship with everyone. What co-workers say they respect the most about Dr. Lechner is that she thinks ahead and is proactive in preventing problems rather than waiting to react to them. She encourages members of her team to be active learners and looks to add responsibilities to grow their experience and future opportunities. Team members who have worked for her in other capacities actively seek to work for her again. Her wealth of pharmacovigilance knowledge and open style of communication that is inclusive of employees and clients alike makes her a real powerhouse. Her willingness to tackle new challenges and create opportunities for others are just a couple of the reasons that Dr. Lechner has been recognized by Sentrx senior executives and resulted in her commensurate rise up the ranks for the past decade. Dr. Lechner started with Sentrx in 1999 as a team lead, and within a year she was promoted to director of pharmacovigilance operations, which was a springboard for added responsibilities and new roles, including executive director of quality standards, VP of quality standards, senior VP of quality standards, and ultimately to executive VP, pharmacovigilance client services, each in only a little over a few year’s time. Always willing to carve out time despite the demands of the day, Dr. Lechner continues to inspire and motivate her teams through a collaborative work environment, which is worker friendly and innovative. She excels at setting expectations, coaching, and monitoring the activities of her teams, while allowing individuals to express their own uniqueness and skills. She looks upon each day’s new challenges with optimism and hope and she is highly motivated to address what the future holds. Dr. Doreen Waldron Lechner is an exemplary mentor willing to impart her vast knowledge of ­pharmacovigilance to help her teams exceed their goals. Title: Executive VP, Pharmacovigilance Client Services Company: Sentrx, a Telerx company Education: BS, Seton Hall University; Ph.D., ­University of Medicine and Dentistry of New ­Jersey Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Family: Married, two children Hobbies: Gardening, baking, jewelry design Bucket List: Hike an Alaskan glacier, sail the Caribbean, hot air balloon over the Grand Canyon, snorkel the Australian Great Barrier Reef Awards/honors: Schering-Plough Excellence Award Social Media: Kristin Gross Acurian Doreen Lechner, Ph.D. Sentrx, a part of Telerx

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