Ceci Zak named the 2017 STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition) by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)

Ceci ZakThe Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) announced that it has named Ceci Zak, principal and COO at Batten & Co (a strategic consulting firm within the Omnicom Group), its 2017 STAR (Strategic Transformation Achievement Recognition). Each year, the HBA honors a STAR who stands apart as a truly exemplary role model by demonstrating a long-term commitment to the HBA’s strategic goals of furthering the advancement and impact of women in the business of healthcare. Ceci will be formally recognized in New York City on Thursday, 11 May 2017, at the HBA’s 28th Woman of the Year event, a premier annual event celebrating the achievements of remarkable leaders in healthcare attended by more than 2,000 industry executives.
A long-term member of the HBA, Ceci has held numerous global and chapter-level leadership positions in countless initiatives that directly contributed to the HBA’s ability to grow and thrive.
“I had the opportunity and pleasure to observe Ceci’s leadership firsthand as she speedily progressed through increasingly senior roles on the executive committee on the HBA board of directors, ultimately serving in the chair role in 2009,” said Laurie Cooke, HBA CEO. “Ceci continually demonstrates visionary leadership and clearly sets operational goals that enable an organization to achieve the highest levels of performance.”
In addition to serving as HBA board chair in 2009, Ceci has also served in a variety of leadership roles at the chapter and global level. She played key roles on the Woman of the Year committee, provided mentorship to two chapter boards, served as a trusted advisor, was elected to the global nominating committee responsible for choosing the HBA board slate, and drove several key initiatives with executive women and a program to engage past HBA senior leaders.
“Ceci’s deep understanding of the healthcare and life sciences industry and her business acumen have been invaluable assets to the HBA,” said Rhonda Johnson, EVP, Market Performance Group, and 2017 HBA board chair. “She is a very resourceful, trusted leader, and serves as a mentor to many women in the industry.”
“Since the days of carrying the bag, I’ve been in awe of the caliber and talent of women that make up the DNA of the HBA familylikeminded women who are motivated to improve healthcare outcomes while championing each other’s professional and personal dreams. I’m humbled to be a part of this family,” said Ceci. ”Through the leadership roles I have held within the HBA, I recognized my strengths and professional desires, while constructing personal aspirations that I didn’t think possible. These aspirations have led to successes exceeding my expectations and continue to take me on an awesome life journey. Receiving this prominent recognition not only validates the work I’ve done, but inspires me to do more work around women’s leadership development.”
Ceci is a 20+ year pharmaceutical industry veteran and currently principal and COO at Batten & Co, a strategic consulting firm within Omnicom, which builds and activates ambition for corporations by operating at the intersection of business, brands and culture. In this role, she focuses on helping the C-suite articulate, align and activate their True North across internal and external stakeholders. Previously, Ceci was COO of healthcare at DAS/Omnicom, a global conglomerate of professional service agencies. Prior to Omnicom, Ceci held various senior executive roles at Sanofi, leading global franchises including Allegra, Actonel, Nasacort and Xyzal as well as Centers of Excellence in Learning and Organizational Development, Digital and Commercial Innovation. Ceci started her career at Roche Pharmaceuticals and has held a wide variety of positions in sales and marketing, ranging from product and franchise management, managed markets strategy and operations, sales management as well as market research and sales training.
Active in the community, Ceci currently is a board member of HealthRight International, a global NGO focused on empowering marginalized communities to live healthy lives, as well as Julia’s Butterfly Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing funding to families with chronic and terminally ill children. In addition, she is actively involved with the Pachamama Alliance, a nonprofit organization that strives to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their land and culture. Ceci is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School.
“There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to change the trajectory of women leaders in the industry, but through the courageous mission of the HBA, I know the industry can make the shift,” said Ceci. “By focusing its mission on achieving gender parity in leadership positions, the HBA is a trailblazer in an area that needs abrupt transformation in order to drive the cataclysmic change that is needed in healthcare. My hope is that senior executives realize that the external rate of change is happening faster than the internal rate of change and one of the key ways to close that gap is to diversify executive leadership–something the HBA knows a lot about.”
“We are so proud to see Ceci recognized by the HBA for her contributions to the organization and its mission to further the advancement and impact of women in the business healthcare,” said Dale Adams, chairman and CEO, DAS. “We place a significant focus on advancing our top female talent to senior roles within our organization and our agency networks. Ceci has been a champion for this cause both internally and externally, and it’s through the efforts of people like her that real, impactful change will happen in this critical area of developing and advancing female leaders.” 
About the HBA
The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) is a global nonprofit organization serving a community women and men in leading life sciences, biotech, pharmaceutical and supporting companies. The HBA has nearly 120 Corporate Partners and nearly 8,000 members served by more than 20 chapters and affiliates across the US and Europe.