If Taren Grom and Marah Walsh hadn’t gotten stuck in an airport in 2005, it’s hard to say if the PharmaVoice 100 would have ever come into existence. But after the pair, who had launched the PharmaVoice magazine just a few years before, realized they would have to wait for their delayed flight, they stepped into an airport bar and got to talking.
“We wanted to distinguish ourselves in the market and we talked about the essence of our brand,” Grom, now editor-in-chief emeritus of PharmaVoice recalls. “It’s all about the people enacting change in the life sciences from molecule to market. We wanted to recognize the people who are inspiring change. So we literally wrote these ideas on the back of a cocktail napkin.”
Since its inception, PharmaVoice has been a publication with the mission to tell the stories of the change-agents and transformational executives in the life sciences sector while also covering industry trends. By creating an annual list of noteworthy leaders across the industry, Grom, Walsh and their partner, Lisa Banket, saw an opportunity to highlight the impact these executives were having on patients. But how many should they feature? Twenty-five didn’t seem like enough. And 50 was getting closer — but the three knew the life sciences was worthy of something bigger.
“We thought, ‘Go big or go home,’” Grom says of how the annual PharmaVoice 100 list was born.
Since first being published in 2005, the PharmaVoice 100 has recognized more than 1,650 individuals across the life sciences sector for their contribution to patients and the industry. The winners are determined by nominations submitted from colleagues and peers in the industry.
About five years after its launch, the PharmaVoice team also realized that several executives had rightfully been recognized more than once. With the aim of showcasing these standout executives who were being nominated year after year for their ongoing work, PharmaVoice also created the annual Red Jacket Awards, which are essentially a “hall of fame” recognition.
"I’m always really honored when I speak to folks on Zoom and I can see their PV100 plaques behind them."
Editor-in-chief emeritus, PharmaVoice
This year — like every year since it was launched — the PharmaVoice 100 will honor a range of influential and pivotal leaders who are driving change for pharma, patients and their colleagues alike. For nearly two decades, the PharmaVoice 100 has become a coveted badge of honor for life sciences executives to recognize the impact of their inspiration on the industry.
Here, Grom explains why the PharmaVoice 100 stands apart from other awards in the industry and what the future holds.
This year’s class of honorees to be revealed on Sept. 6. Stay tuned! And join us on Sept. 15 for our all-day event, The Next Era of Leadership, which will feature engaging panels with PharmaVoice 100 winners and a celebration event where we’ll announce this year’s Red Jacket honorees.
PharmaVoice: What makes the PharmaVoice 100 unique in the industry?
Taren Grom: What sets it apart from so many other industry recognitions is that we make it open to everyone. It’s not based on age like a ‘30 under 30’ list. And we don’t focus solely on specific sectors of the industry like drug development or commercialization, because we think that the industry only works when the full continuum is engaged in the process. And that’s why you’ll see everyone on the list — from academia to commercialization — across all industry sectors and geographies.
How has the PharmaVoice 100 list evolved over the years?
The list is evolving and keeping pace with how the industry is evolving and keeping pace. This year, you’ll see folks advancing DE&I included on the list. We’re also seeing people innovating and using transformative technologies on the list. And we’re now seeing patients on the list. So, we are changing alongside the industry.
What kind of impact have you seen the PharmaVoice 100 list make on the industry?
I’m always really honored when I speak to folks on Zoom and I can see their PV100 plaques behind them, or when I go to read their bios they call out that they’ve been on the list. I think that shows how proud industry executives are to be included on the PharmaVoice 100.
"The list is evolving and keeping pace with how the industry is evolving and keeping pace."
Editor-in-chief emeritus, PharmaVoice
What are some of the inspiring stories from the PharmaVoice 100 that you remember the most?
Some of the most poignant stories are the ones that involve why people moved into the industry to begin with. Usually that stems from some type of personal experience that’s had a major impact on their life and now, they want to find a solution. And even if they’ve lost that loved one to a disease, for example, they are more determined than ever to help others. Those are the stories that stick with me and give me goosebumps. I always say people in the life sciences industries could lend their skills to almost any other industry out there, but they do what they do to serve patients’ needs.
What does the future hold for the PharmaVoice 100?
We fully expect the list to evolve and transform and to keep pace with the industry as it continues to evolve and transform. Who knows what the next featured category on the list will be? We look forward to seeing that next transformation for the industry and we’ll be there to recognize the individuals moving the industry forward.