2015 Rising Stars

HBA Rising Stars are professionals in various sectors of the healthcare industry, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, advertising, public relations, medical education and market research, among other fields. Nominated by HBA's Corporate Partners, the Rising Stars represent various career stages and disciplines, and have demonstrated noteworthy achievements and proven attention to furthering their careers.

Rekha Abichandani, MD, global development team leader
Shire Pharmaceuticals
As a nephrologist with more than 15 years of clinical experience in rare diseases and oncology, Rekha is responsible for the leadership and matrix management of all aspects of multiple development programs. She has made a significant impact to Gaucher’s disease and Metachromatic Eukodystrophy (MLD) by advancing the development of treatment. Rekha has demonstrated a dedication to patients and healthcare through her leadership and mentoring. She is, without doubt, a Rising Star in the healthcare industry.

Cynthia Accuosti-Jones, field director, managed markets
J&J HCS USA
As field director, managed markets, Cynthia leads the overall team for the hepatitis C and oncology franchises. She has led our organization in the launches of Olysio, Stelara self-administration indication and the Stelara PSA indication with flawless execution. Cynthia’s strategic thinking, big-picture orientation and attention to detail are hallmarks of her leadership. She consistently demonstrates strong account performance, people development and marketplace leadership. Cynthia is an active leader in our WLI.

Elaine Andrecovich, vice president 
Makovsky
Elaine is a driving force and “the rock that started the ripple.” Her belief is that one positive force can influence many. At the core, is Elaine’s ability to lead by example and passion for mentoring. In the past year, Elaine helped orchestrate a client’s presence at the inaugural Cannes Lions Health, led an award-winning media effort for a national suicide prevention campaign, navigated a successful FDA approval and launched an internal agency peer mentorship program. 

Ana Ayres, general manager, orthopaedics and global surgery Portugal  
J&J Medical Iberia
Ana is widely recognized throughout Johnson & Johnson, Medical Devices Europe, as a Rising Star with a strong track record of delivering business and people commitments in complex environments. Recently, she was promoted to lead the both the global orthopaedics and global surgery businesses as general manager for Portugal. Ana quickly established a new level of collaboration, inclusion and customer focus within the organization. Ana is an ASCEND graduate and WLI lead for Spain/Portugal.

Teri Ann Bajek, vice president digital services 
Health & Wellness Partners LLC
HWP attributes our digital media success to Teri Ann. She is a true visionary who has grown the digital capability of HWP through the creation of relationships, connections and interactions. She is a strategic leader, who figures out who connects to whom, when and why and to what result. Teri Ann creates a chain reaction, which is critical to digital medical communication. She has strong leadership skills and leads a team of talented people.

Cindy Baksh, vice president, client services
PSKW 
Cindy has been a leader in pharma for more than five years. She developed educational strategies for large pharma manufacturers while working for Elsevier. These included national training meetings, public relations initiatives and direct-to-consumer events. In 2011, arriving at PSKW, she used her strategic insights to develop and execute loyalty programs. Her keen insight to delivering on client vision has been leveraged to develop outstanding solutions for PSKW clients in a new innovation, a healthcare payment solutions platform.

Courtney Breece, director product support 
Inovalon
Courtney is a key contributor in a number of critical areas, including directing the big data project and presenting to the business and technology leadership team via its Expert Series. Courtney exemplifies leadership by driving strategic and innovative ideas throughout the company and continuously serving as a role model. Committed to building and managing high-performing teams, she actively coaches and advances her associates by broadening their areas of responsibility and strengthening their contributions to the business. 

Sara Briggs, director, human resources
Stryker Corporation
Sara embodies Stryker’s core values of integrity, accountability, people and performance. Her demonstrated ability to build productive teams and drive results, paired with her keen intuition, help keep the various teams she leads and works on motivated and inspired. Sara is an adored and respected leader because she is fair and sensible, while also not one bit afraid to make tough decisions that help push our business forward.

Ambre Brown Morley, director, product communications, diabetes 
Novo Nordisk
Ambre is credited with creating PR campaigns that have been honored with many industry awards. One example is the successful campaign featuring T1D racecar driver Charlie Kimball, which is credited with the industry’s first pharmaceutical-branded Twitter page (@racewithinsulin). Additionally, Ambre exemplifies our organization’s triple bottom line by serving as a mentor to students at Trenton High School and as a member of both the Public Relations Society and the HBA.

Dottie Caplan, associate vice president, launch readiness and life cycle management, corporate affairs
Sanofi US
Dottie is an inclusive leader who consistently demonstrates a passion for developing others and pushes herself to stretch for more. She has a thirst for knowledge and an inquisitiveness that feed her ability to provide sharp insights and exceptionally high-quality work, and she is a role model for others. We are proud to recognize Dottie as our 2015 Rising Star.

Erin Cowhig, senior director, human resources
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Erin is an intelligent, professional and dedicated human resources leader. Since joining the company as a human resources business partner in 2012, she has worked with urgency to grow, develop and promote top talent in the organization, while acting as a strategic advisor to some of the company’s senior leaders. She embodies the core values of Vertex, and her results-oriented attitude has led her to facilitate multiple projects and initiatives that have streamlined efficiencies and helped the company grow.

Terri Crudup, vice president, custom research 
AlphaImpactRx Inc.
Terri always makes an extra effort to ensure client satisfaction, and she is dedicated to improving the office culture and experience to increase employee satisfaction. She is very approachable and definitely motivates her team to present very insightful and creative deliverables. Teri always ensures team members are prepared and have enough information to complete the tasks at hand. She is a natural leader and has earned the respect of management, peers, staff and clients.

Michelle Cuccia, vice president, global generics growth markets, specialty and BGx marketing and branding
Teva Pharmaceuticals
Michelle demonstrates a full commitment to delivering market results to strategies aligning Teva’s specialty and branded generics commercially across Latin America. Michelle has shown leadership in creating a high-performance team, which has added to the success of mature organizations and created the context for high-growth countries. She was the driver behind the Latin American region’s commercial plans, and now for all global growth markets. Michelle is a champion for inclusion, serving as executive sponsor of Latino Heritage Employee Network.

Danielle DeForge, director, corporate communications
inVentiv Health
Astute, strategic and empathetic is how colleagues would describe Danielle. From C-suite executives to the talented people working and blossoming under her leadership, inVentiv Health employees know they can count on Danielle for wise counsel and flawless execution. In 2014, she created a new, award-winning intranet for 13,000 employees—in just four months. Danielle’s talent for communications and handling crises or maximizing opportunities makes her an accomplished and steadfast Rising Star.

Kara Dennis, managing director, mHealth  
Medidata Solutions
A true Rising Star, Kara leads Medidata’s pioneering efforts to enable mHealth-powered clinical trials and patient-centric research. Collaborating closely with Medidata’s CEO and president, Kara is spearheading initiatives to unify mobile tools and wearable devices with cloud-based technologies in a clinical trial setting. Her work is helping Medidata customers transform their research programs by collecting large volumes of objective, high-quality data that provide continuous, actionable insight into patient well-being and disease progression.

Donna Deverick, vice president, account director 
Discovery USA
Donna always wants to see the very best happen for her clients and staff. She works diligently to ensure that those that she works for and with know they are valued by every interaction they have with her. She is respected as a leader by both clients and employees. Throughout her career, she has pushed herself and others to deliver on a great customer experience in healthcare communications. It is an honor to have Donna as our Rising Star.

Julie Russell Dilts, senior counsel
Roche Diagnostics Corporation
Julie has been engaged with our Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) from its inception, leading the establishment of our first women’s mentoring program. As a passionate advocate for career development and advancement of women, she has demonstrated strong leadership and delivered impressive numbers. During Julie’s tenure as the WLI Campus Lead, 25% of members reported career advancement, mentorship participation doubled, more than half of field-based employees and 1,400 customers were engaged with WLI content.

Stephanie Dreyer, senior brand manager, marketing, Bayer Consumer Care 
Bayer HealthCare LLC
Steph delivers strong business results against increasingly challenging assignments. Her success is defined as much by her leadership skills as business results. Words like authentic, driven, caring, savvy and smart describe Steph’s contributions. Her natural and authentic leadership approach extends beyond organized activities and comes through in the way she trains and mentors people on her team. Steph’s willingness to be accessible has also helped to create a sustainable culture for the organization.

Linda Drumright, general manager, clinical trial and optimization services 
IMS Health
Linda demonstrates exceptional leadership capabilities in that she leads from the front, initiates the right disciplines & management cadence within her team to ensure success and maintains team development as an ongoing priority. Linda is a creative thinker and yet practical in outlook, with the ability to understand strategic direction and how work fits into it. She is a true asset to our organization and a role model for all our leaders.

Michele Ehler, head of talent development North America
UCB Inc.
Michele is focused, proactive and passionate–qualities that make her an effective leader on our talent development team. She has been integral in aligning our talent development programming to our business imperatives and has been a driver for program adoption across the organization. Michele has developed collaborations with our regional affiliates, global headquarters and external partners to expand the program. Her drive, commitment and accomplishments are why Michele is UCB’s 2015 HBA Rising Star.

Linda Enns, PhD, copy supervisor 
McCann Regan Campbell Ward
In her brief time in advertising, Dr. Enns’ star has risen rapidly indeed. Her ability to glean insight from esoteric scientific points has earned her the respect of clients and colleagues. However, she is much more than a scientist. She is also a gifted creative writer, conceptual thinker and an accomplished piano player, singer and songwriter. The truth is, one never knows where Linda’s star will shine; just that it will be brilliant.

Lynn Forrest, vice president
Campbell Alliance, an inVentiv Health Company
Lynn is a driven, strategic advisor, who takes on her clients’ most challenging and complex assignments by leveraging her impressive breadth of expertise in new product strategy, commercial excellence and market access. She has developed new solutions to the industry’s most pressing challenges, and her clients are fiercely loyal, recognizing her ability to lead through adversity, challenge established norms, embrace complexity and practically innovate. Finally, Lynn is a wonderful coach and mentor for her team.

Audris Francis, director, talent acquisition 
PDI Inc.
PDI prides itself on its ability to swiftly identify and attract top talent. The key driver creating this industry-leading reputation is Audris. A true talent in her own rite, Audris understands what great looks like and accepts nothing less. She is a passionate and committed leader who has built a diverse team of best-in-class recruiters who thoroughly understand the business. Her dedication, responsiveness and personal accountability genuinely set her apart. Congratulations Audris.

Liz Frank, team lead
Biosector 2, an InVentiv Health Company
Liz has distinguished herself as a Rising Star at Biosector 2 because of her commitment to innovation. Liz’s ability to create novel solutions to even the most complex challenges has allowed her to become a trusted advisor to clients. She has also created significant positive change and innovation for the agency and our employees by challenging them to use knowledge in new and expanded ways

Ashley Gaines, head of sales and marketing, infectious disease  
AstraZeneca
As head of sales and marketing for the infectious disease franchise, Ashley demonstrates leadership by setting a clear strategic direction for her team members and ensuring they have the messaging, tools and resources necessary to succeed at the highest performance levels. She is a passionate, dedicated and an innovative problem-solver who works seamlessly with her peers across the business. Ashley is a role model and embodies the AZ values of putting patients first and playing to win. 

Anita Gandhi, PhD, senior principal scientist, translational medicine 
Celgene Corporation
In her nearly 13 years with Celgene, Anita has established herself as an internationally recognized expert in mechanism of action of the IMiDs and the next generation of Cereblon Modulators (CELMods). Anita is an effective and inspiring manager and mentor and advocates for others’ in their career development. As a top talent within her department, as well as in the broader organization, Anita is known and respected as one of the most valuable scientific leaders.

Alexa Garrett, associate director, Sandoz US Distribution and Logistics
Sandoz
Alexa exemplifies expertise in the fields of distribution and logistics. She consistently extends beyond her areas of responsibility to support the goals of the Sandoz business. Alexa has successfully tackled challenging projects, including the expansion of a 400,000 square-foot distribution center, the optimization of a countrywide distribution network and the implementation of a complex FDA requirement for lot level traceability. She is a champion for change and motivates her team with incredible enthusiasm.

Melanie Goldey, senior vice president, strategic planning and investor relations
Everyday Health
Melanie is responsible for investor relations and strategic planning activities at Everyday Health, which includes strategic and financial planning and analysis, corporate development and board and investor communications. A results-driven leader who was an integral part of the team that successfully executed Everyday Health’s IPO last year, Melanie is a Rising Star because of her leadership and mentoring, strategic thinking, terrific work ethic and passion for helping others achieve their goals.

Teresa Graham, lifecycle leader, global product strategy
Genentech
Teresa exemplifies Genentech’s values and leadership commitments to her team, her peers and our entire organization. She has held leadership positions in functions, including marketing, sales, managed care and global product strategy. She recently led an initiative focused on improving managerial effectiveness. Teresa demonstrates dedication to women in healthcare through mentorship to colleagues across the industry and holds leadership positions within the HBA San Francisco Bay Area chapter, as well as Genentech Women Professionals.

Sarah Grimwood, research fellow
Pfizer Inc
Sarah has made major contributions to Pfizer’s neuroscience drug pipeline. She is recognized both internally and externally as an expert in neuroscience and neuropharmacology. She is a passionate and effective leader of multi-disciplinary teams. Within Pfizer, Sarah is renowned for her work in the areas of receptor occupancy, translational pharmacology and biomarkers. Sarah’s external impact has been built through more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, many scientific presentations and service on international panels and consortia.

Courtney Hartstein, US flu brand manager
GlaxoSmithKline
Courtney is a leader and strong contributor to GSK’s bottom line and to our society. She sets herself apart by balancing business priorities while simultaneously giving back. She mentors numerous individuals across GSK. Courtney founded the Philadelphia chapter of Science in Schools to motivate, engage and inspire school-age children to embrace STEM education. She is the social media chair for the HBA Greater Philadelphia chapter. Courtney drives outstanding business results; however, her spirit makes her a Rising Star.

Kathleen Hennigan-Shannon, vice president, account group supervisor
McCann Torre Lazur
Kathleen’s work ethic revolves around dedication, passion and leadership. She can juggle portfolio workshops, OPDP submissions and impossible timelines without letting anything drop. Her hands-on mentoring, strategic foresight (she always has a plan B, C and D) and in-depth category knowledge set up her team and clients to be stars of their own. Kathleen’s boundless commitment and infectious laughter inspire us to reach new heights while having fun along the way.

Alissa Hicks, director, field medical affairs
Shionogi Inc.
Alissa was initially hired as a medical science liaison (MSL) covering our south region. Her noteworthy passion, performance and commitment resulted in her being promoted to the team leader role. Since becoming the team leader, she has mentored her new team members, taken on the challenge of implementing the MSL on-demand services and assisted her colleagues in organizing and designing the latest medical affairs initiative of Medical Symposia. Alissa is our 2015 HBA Rising Star.      

Erin Hlivia, vice president/client operations
Calcium
Calcium is extremely proud to nominate Erin Hlivia as our Rising Star. Erin embodies what Calcium is all about; she’s talented, smart and driven—packaged in style and grace. All her customers are thrilled she is on their business and her agency colleagues are happy she is on their team. Her can-do attitude makes Erin a Rising Star that has been burning bright since she’s been here. We look forward to her continual shining success.

Susan Hynes, head of global quality pharmaceutical manufacturing 
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Susan’s impact, vision, people leadership and outcomes-approach were extraordinary as our only female general manager when she was responsible for two Ireland plants. Today, Susan is head of global quality manufacturing for all the internal pharmaceutical sites in the BMS network. She continues to shift culture and cooperation with her honest and transparent dialogue and active mentoring, which is yielding unparalleled employee engagement levels and exceptional operational results. We are very proud that Susan is our 2015 Rising Star.

Katie Isaacs, senior vice president, group account director
The CementBloc
Purpose, inspiration and collaboration best describe Katie as a key leader at The CementBloc. Katie consistently demonstrates her commitment to her team, the agency and her businesses by driving success behind the brands she works with and fostering a winning team. Under Katie’s leadership, her team members strive to do their best and deliver exceptional work for our clients. 

Michelle LaFond, director, bioreactor scale-up and development
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Michelle leads the biologics scale up department at Regeneron. Michelle, a chemical engineer, joined the team 16 years ago bringing with her the skillset necessary to help Regeneron build its leading antibody production capabilities. Michelle’s patient-driven focus and unparalleled work ethic make her an asset to Regeneron. She is an accomplished expert in her field, as well as a respected colleague. This distinction is well-deserved and we look forward to her future.

Jill Lesiak, vice president creative director   
Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide  
With more than a decade of experience in healthcare communications, Jill is an accomplished professional with spirit and drive. Writing is her passion. She simply has a knack with words—words that cut to the core of brand personality; telegraph compelling messages; execute targeted, on-strategy communications; and—time and again—drive market expansion. Jill’s colleagues and clients have come to appreciate her keenly strategic mind that never relinquishes a deep appreciation for the human condition.

VA Lopes, management supervisor
Giant Creative Strategy
V.A. typifies the qualities of a Rising Star. Her ability to make an impact is felt within the agency where she works, and also across the clients she works with. V.A. is a respected leader with the right mix of scientific, strategic and marketing prowess and her passion and spirit for the work she touches is palpable. Her contributions throughout her career and specifically with Giant Creative Strategy have led to continuing growth and success.

Lori Mercurio, director, strategic projects
Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Lori is an effective leader of strategic initiatives who exemplifies the cultural hallmarks of Mallinckrodt: engaged, competitive, collaborative, high-performing and trustworthy. She skillfully leads multidisciplinary teams and manages change to deliver transformative outcomes with broad business impact. Lori’s professionalism, commitment to tackling new challenges and ability to push through with perseverance and grace make her a true Rising Star.

Melissa Mims, director, medical affairs
Merck
In a 19-year career contributing to clinical science, market research and business development for Merck, Melissa has developed the ability to effectively manage cross-functional, cross-country teams in executing highly complex project with mission-critical objectives. Melissa has also been a strong leader in Merck’s Women’s Employee Business Resource Group, providing counsel, insights and energized passion for the advancement of women within Merck.

Kyoko Miyahara, senior director
Pfizer Inc
Kyoko heads marketing for Pfizer’s global innovative pharma business in Japan. In five years, she has enhanced marketing effectiveness while also improving health. Kyoko has helped establish nerve pain as a legitimate health condition, partnered to advance smoking cessation, established a new class of medicines to prevent stroke in certain patients and helped give women’s health a voice. Building on her McKinsey and GE Consumer Finance experience, Miyahara-san is recognized as a leading businesswoman.

Laura Morrison, senior strategic planner
McCann Echo
Smart, perceptive and creative, Laura is one of those rare individuals who can read a room as well as she can read a marketing plan or clinical study. She is a true hybrid—beginning her career as a talented copywriter and now she is one of our most sought-after strategic planners. She has always been invaluable to our team and clients alike. Laura embodies our culture and is a true role model to all.

Lisa Nibauer, senior director
Becton Dickinson & Co
Lisa is responsible for the $700MM global blood collection business at BD. Since joining BD, Lisa has pioneered a customer-centric approach to position her products worldwide to better meet customer needs, and has designed a new innovation process that starts with quantifying those needs. She has created a strategy to reinvigorate her business and drive growth beyond what has been achieved in the past six years and teaches new approaches to BD marketers worldwide

Jen O’Dwyer, senior vice president, client service director
CDM New York
CDM New York is thrilled to recognize Jen as our 2015 HBA Rising Star. Jen is an exceptional client service director who builds strong partnerships with her clients, agency partners and CDM teams by role modeling our core values of substance, style, conviction and grace. Jen is also an extraordinary talent magnet who inspires people to achieve more than they thought possible.

Jennifer Ogden, director, global accounts
West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
Jennifer is responsible for developing and leading the execution of account strategies with West's global biotech customers. She is a role model within the West sales organization and embodies the spirit of the HBA Rising Star. Admired by her peers across the organization, Jenn leads by listening and working to understand the opportunities and issues in front of her, communicating the benefit of taking action and mobilizing her colleagues to ensure positive business results. 

Nawal Ouzren, vice president hemophilia franchise 
Baxter Healthcare
Nawal is an authentic and courageous leader who has quickly advanced into the global hemophilia franchise lead role. Nawal’s passion is to improve patient’s lives. She is an inspirational leader who actively coaches and mentors other women, and was the BioScience senior sponsor for inclusion and diversity initiatives. She led and built high-performing teams through her collaboration and candor. Nawal’s combination of compassion and strategic agility makes her a Rising Star at Baxter. 

Soomin Park, senior director, global statistical sciences 
Eli Lilly and Company
Soomin leads the statistics and advanced analytics group, which supports all phases of development, including commercialization support across the globe for diabetes. Her career has spanned from supporting early phase development for multiple therapeutic areas to leading statistical analysis and operations. Soomin was named the Lilly Research Laboratories Asian Diversity Champion and Advisor, serves the Indiana chapter for Korean American Scientists and Engineers Association as vice president and is actively sought out as a mentor.

Anu Patel, vice president, group account supervisor
LLNS
Anu inspires all of us at LLNS with her ease, grace and dedication to excellence in everything that she does. She also has a superpower because she can somehow anticipate what her clients need before they even know that they need it—we say she can “see around corners.” And most importantly, Anu raises her hand and takes responsibility for things that others cannot imagine being responsible for; she is a true leader.

Arleen Paulino, executive director clinical operations
Amgen Inc.
Arleen is an innovative change agent for progressive manufacturing technologies at Amgen. She brings science and engineering expertise to her portfolio of work and has driven significant improvements in productivity as a result. She not only adds value to Amgen and the patients we serve, but also contributes to the community by participating in various committees for science. Arleen is an inspiring leader and role model of continuous improvement and safety.

Maggie Pax, director, integration planning
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Maggie leads integration planning at Thermo Fisher, helping to successfully integrate acquired companies. She has broad industry experience, ranging from general management to marketing and business development. Maggie has been an ardent supporter of diversity and inclusion for our women’s employee resource group, leading our partnership with the HBA and planning co-sponsored career development events to support employee growth and development. She is a true role model and leader at Thermo Fisher.

Karen Peterson, Abbott divisional vice president and controller, Abbott Diagnostics 
Abbott
Karen is the divisional vice president, controller, for Abbott’s diagnostics division—a $4.5 billion division. Karen exemplifies what is best in a leader–she is strategic, innovative, builds and develops talent and delivers results. With Abbott since 1992, Karen has held leadership roles in many of Abbott’s businesses, where she has built extensive experience in financial management, business analytics, planning and controllership functions. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant.

Cintia Piccina, executive director immunology
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Cintia is a unique leader with a truly extraordinary passion for patients, customers and associates. This passion inspires associates, peers and leaders to think differently and make the impossible possible. Her authenticity and passion from the heart also generate a highly collaborative and exceptionally engaged team, which drove extraordinary business results of 140% of goal. Her passion and integrity are also apparent to customers as she develops key partnership to drive extraordinary care for patients.

Kristen Pilkiewicz, vice president, associate creative director, copy 
H4B Catapult
Kristen has upward of 12 years experience in the pharmaceutical advertising and healthcare communications area, as a copywriter and content developer. She has exceled in a plethora of therapeutic areas, including oncology, vaccines, women’s health, cardiovascular, endocrinology, neurology, hormone replacement therapy, predictive/preventative medicine and medical devices. She participated in the inaugural Catapult College graduate program and is a charter member of the Catapult Culture Committee. She is the quintessential Rising Star.

Janet Piscitelli, MD, medical director, east region
Quest Diagnostics
Janet is a physician leader who integrates knowledge and compassion into the daily laboratory operations of Quest Diagnostics’ largest region, touching more than 100,000 patient lives every night. With a collaborative leadership style, she is a critical member of the regional leadership team. Dedicated to improving the broader industry, Dr. Piscitelli is also a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), actively serving on several of its national resource committees.

Michelle Rapp, associate partner, account management 
Razorfish Health
Michelle is a mixture of energy and experience focused on providing the best solutions to meet her clients’ needs. She brings her deep science background and former client marketing experience as a client service leader for the AZ team. She is an early adopter of innovation and is skilled at creating collaboration with her internal team and across client stakeholders; bringing sales, brand and technology management teams together seamlessly.

Pritam Raut, director
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Pritam has been instrumental in building strong client relationships as a part of Cognizant’s life science practice. Her customers consider her a trusted partner and she embodies qualities of a true leader–strong leadership skills, collaboration, teamwork, problem solving and analytical skills. She is dedicated and carries a very positive attitude that motivates and drives her teams to perform their best in challenging situations.

Dalia Rayes, senior director, ASPIRE business unit
Actelion Pharmaceuticals
Dalia is a proven leader at Actelion. She has taken many different roles and stretch assignments, with a strong record of success. Most recently, Dalia created a top-notch specialty business team that has become an essential part of our organization. She is an enthusiastic and passionate leader who ensures we are serving our patients, while also delivering on our strategic objectives. Actelion is proud to recognize Dalia as our 2015 HBA Rising Star.

Anne Marie Robertson, executive director, marketing
Helsinn Therapeutics (US), Inc.
Anne Marie quickly established herself as a leader within the commercial organization at Helsinn. She contributes to the success of Helsinn by providing leadership to all commercial/development products and all marketing initiatives. With her keen business acumen, innovative approach and collaborative communication abilities, she continues to contribute to Helsinn’s success. Anne Marie continues to build out her team; she is focused on mentoring others and working toward helping Helsinn develop its commercial organization.   

Megan Robinson, senior vice president, creative director brand development
Sudler & Hennessey
An award-winning creative talent, Megan inspires and directs her team to consistently deliver outstanding work. An insightful strategist and charismatic new business leader, Megan helped develop our pitch process and training program. There is a pattern here; Megan uses her powers for good. She takes her own exceptional abilities and translates them into inspiration, training and encouragement for the entire Sudler team. Megan is a Rising Star who helps others shine, as well. Congratulations, Megan.

Sandy Rodriguez, senior director, corporate communications
Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
Sandy joined Takeda in 2005, and held various roles of increasing responsibility until she assumed leadership of the TPUSA communications function in 2011. Sandy is responsible for shaping all internal and external communications related to significant company milestones. She is a creative problem solver with a keen ability to formulate high-level strategies while leading her team and engaging her peers with her vision, positive energy and an exceptional professionalism.

Valentina Roselli, senior manager, advisory services
EY
Valentina started her career at EY in 2005 coming from a boutique management consulting firm in Rome. She worked in different countries within our EMEIA region broadening her expertise in large transformation projects. In 2011, she joined the Swiss practice to focus more on the life sciences sector, contributing to helping companies navigate through transformation. Valentina’s leadership and commitment demonstrate her passion for building a better working world.

Emily Segalla, vice president, group copy supervisor
Flashpoint Medica
Emily is recognized for being the staffer who everyone turns to for great strategic thinking and creative ideas. She has a real knack for honing in on key insights and developing communications that drive the brand forward. No matter how complex the challenge, Emily brings passion and dedication to find the most creative solution. She has helped lead the team to remarkable achievements, including an agency review that scored the highest ever at the client.

Wendy Short-Bartie, product director, Zykadia
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Passionate, innovative ad results-driven, Wendy has been a successful, committed and recognized leader at Novartis for 10 years. Demonstrating excellence in multiple roles, Wendy consistently seeks ways to drive business performance while keeping the patient at the forefront of all decisions. Simply put, Wendy is a balance of smart, drive and joie de vivre.  

Kiley Smith, senior manager, fraud investigative and dispute advisory services
EY
Kiley has distinguished herself over her career for the commitment, passion and excellence she brings to clients, teams and our global community. Clients rely on Kiley to lead the development and delivery of complicated solutions in an aggressive bribery and corruption enforcement environment. Teammates seek the opportunity to work with Kiley for the precise direction, independence and support she provides. Kiley has supported corporate social responsibility initiatives with this same enthusiasm throughout her career

Amy Stafford, zone vice president
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Amy is a Rising Star within Boehringer Ingelheim. She has quickly progressed through the company and was name West zone vice president of sales in November 2013. Amy serves as the sales organization lead for several teams, including the respiratory champion team, PM training and development, and the field force effectiveness pillar, which includes performance management and incentive compensation.  She is a mentor to several female leaders within the company and exemplifies leadership excellence.

Kristin Stephens, vice president, clinical operations
Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co
Kristin’s contributions as a Takeda leader are evident in the successful execution of major clinical programs under her leadership. She consistently demonstrates her ability to work cross-functionally and collaboratively while exemplifying outstanding leadership behavior. Kristin’s strategic approach continues to shape the global organization she leads. She is well-respected by her team and her peers, and maintains a positive, can-do attitude about everything she does.

Patricia Vera, director, financial operations
Daiichi-Sankyo Inc.
Tricia plays an integral role on the finance team and is viewed as a leader and role model by her colleagues. Tricia consistently goes above and beyond, including serving as the vice president of the women’s forum, involvement in the mentor program, designing activities to promote engagement within and outside of her team, and endlessly working to pursue excellence and support her colleagues to drive business results. Tricia truly exemplifies all qualities of a Rising Star

Laura Wallace, director, risk management and epidemiology
Purdue Pharma LP
Laura Wallace is confident, focused, organized, intelligent, well-liked and caring, an excellent communicator and quick thinker. She contributed substantially to our company’s new strategy. She publishes and presents on pain treatment in children and safe use of new medicines. She provides scientific and strategic insights on selecting new diseases for business development. Laura is an excellent mentor of women at formative stages of their career. Laura is a rising leader who radiates positivity.

Julie Weber, consultant
Insigniam
Julie is a remarkable businesswoman, creative thinker and change agent. With more than two decades of experience, Julie has developed market-leading products, implemented large-scale organizational change and led strategy development and implementation. Julie’s breadth of experiences in R&D, commercialization, project management, marketing and sales allow her to immediately contribute in a variety of situations. Julie leverages her adventurous nature and wit when working with clients to open up the world of possibility and achieve unprecedented results.

Jillian Welker, director of agency operations
PALIO, an inVentiv Health Company
Jillian is a highly energetic and motivated leader within our agency. Her ability to drive through volumes of work while respecting individual needs and garnering respect for herself is uncanny. Always calm under pressure, Jillian thrives on finding innovative, efficient solutions for all challenges. She is an excellent communicator and builds partnerships with clients and vendors. Jillian is vital to our ongoing success and has great potential for being a significant force in healthcare marketing.

Jennifer Wellman, co-founder and head of regulatory strategy
Spark Therapeutics Inc.

Jennifer is one of our most versatile leaders, having played across regulatory affairs, clinical operations and program management while supporting the drafting of the company’s prospectus.  Jennifer’s contributions to the success of Spark are endless, as are the hours she works, the dedication she exhibits and the respect she has earned.  Her strong scientific background in gene therapy and business instincts continue to make her an asset to the overall success of the organization. 

Pamela Yanakopulos, partner
PwC
Pamela is the life sciences industry leader in PwC’s Capital Market & Accounting Advisory business. Pamela oversees a national team that focuses on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, initial public offerings and complex accounting advice in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. She is a trusted advisor and energetic thought leader in the industry. Pamela is also dedicated to diversity and is the diversity leader for PwC’s Midwest deals business.