2013 Woman of the Year

Bridgette P. Heller, executive vice president and president of Merck Consumer Care, named 2013 Woman Of The Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association

The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announced that its 2013 Woman of the Year is Bridgette P. Heller, executive vice president at Merck and president of Merck Consumer Care.

Bridgette Heller"I am extremely honored to be chosen as Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association,” said Ms. Heller. “I greatly admire the organization and the daily contribution its members make in advancing the positive impact of women leaders in our industry. For a great majority of households around the globe, women effectively serve as chief medical officers, so as an industry we must commit to ensuring that these women have the products and services needed to care for the health of their families. I believe women leaders are particularly in tune with the needs of families and are critical players in the industry's quest to better serve them."

Ms. Heller will be honored at the HBA’s 24th annual Woman of the Year event on Thursday, May 9, at the Hilton New York. This is the event of the year for the healthcare community, attended by nearly 2,500 leaders in the industry. Awards for Honorable Mentor, STAR, and a group of over 100 Rising Stars notable for their accomplishments and contributions to the healthcare industry will also be presented at the event.

“The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association is extremely proud to honor Bridgette P. Heller as our 2013 Woman of the Year,” says Terri Pascarelli, president of the HBA and managing director of life sciences at YourEncore Inc. “Bridgette's leadership in healthcare, and business success inspire all of us to reach further in our own careers.”

“We at Merck applaud and thank HBA for recognizing Bridgette Heller with this prestigious honor,” said Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck. “Bridgette is an inspiring leader who motivates others with her passion and conviction about understanding and meeting the needs of consumers. She has a strong track record leading mature businesses, driving entrepreneurial ventures and supporting diversity, including opportunities for women. Bridgette's values, actions and leadership make her a great representative of HBA and the industry.”

Before joining Merck in 2010, Ms. Heller was president of Johnson & Johnson's Baby Global Business Unit, and earlier was global president of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby, Kids and Wound Care business unit from 2005-2007. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Bridgette was the founder and managing partner of Heller Associates, providing consumer-centric growth strategies for companies outside of the traditional consumer packaged goods arena. Earlier in her career, Bridgette was CEO of Chung's Gourmet Foods, where she provided hands-on leadership for the second-largest US egg roll manufacturer. Ms. Heller was also with Kraft Foods Inc., for 17 years, where her most recent position was as executive vice president and general manager of the coffee division, which constituted the largest coffee portfolio in the US.

Ms. Heller serves on the board of directors for The ADT Corporation and has an extensive record of not-for-profit service. She is currently a member of the national board of directors for Girl's Incorporated, having previously served as board chair; a member of the executive leadership council and a former member of the advisory board for the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. She has been recognized by several organizations, including Advertising Age, Essence and Black Enterprise, for her overall leadership and innovation in marketing.

Ms. Heller earned an MBA from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Northwestern University.

Download this PDF to read the cover story from HBA media partner Pharm Exec magazine on our WOTY.

Read Bridgett's WOTY speech.