With the “Spotlight on a Rising Star” series, we want to learn more about the people behind the award. In this third interview, we talked with Lisa Stockman. Lisa runs the communications business line at Syneos Health™, which is home to 1,500 talented agency staffers at leading brands in advertising, public relations, managed markets and medical communications. She was awarded an HBA Rising Star in 2005 and Luminary in 2014.
Please tell us a bit about your background.
I have over 25 years of communications experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector for clients including AbbVie, Amgen, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Roche, as well as consumer goods companies including Coca Cola. I was a founding member of the inVentiv Health PR Group in 1995 and now lead its communication business line.
Your company has recognized 54 HBA Rising Star and eight HBA Luminary alumnae since 2002. How has your company been able to sustain the program year after year?
We believe in the mission of the HBA and leverage our corporate affiliation with the HBA to support and celebrate our talent. Last year, our company expanded our connection to the Rising Star and Luminary program to include a robust internal nomination process. Each fall, we solicit nominations from across the global enterprise for our internal Syneos Health Rising Star and Luminary award. This year, 27 exceptional women were selected from across the business by leadership, in partnership with human resources, based on their ability to exemplify the HBA’s mission of recognizing women who make an impact. From those internal winners, two were selected as our HBA honorees – HBA Rising Star Amy J. France, vice president, finance, and HBA Luminary Kellie Malloy, executive vice president, clinical solutions.
How does your company keep the past recipients involved/engaged (polishing their stars)?
We celebrate the expanded group of women selected as Syneos Health Rising Stars and Luminaries at a series of events internally with past recipients and our leadership. We also print each year a Rising Star and Luminary yearbook with all of the newly minted honorees and all of our past recipients. Our new honorees and select past recipients also attend the WOTY luncheon. The entire class receives an annual membership to the HBA, and is encouraged to engage with regional HBA chapters, volunteer at local area events or participate as a mentor or mentee. Finally, all of our new honorees and alumnae are reunited at the HBA Annual Conference in the fall.
List three common theme/attributes amongst all the alumnae?
Committed. These talented women are loyal and committed to the company and their colleagues. The average years of service of our alumnae is 12.25 years. This retention is impressive, and speaks to the support and opportunities that the company provides to this high level of talent – and all talent.
Inspirational. Our alumnae are known for their ability to motivate their teams to deliver great work to our clients, and ultimately to the patients they serve. Each of these women inspire their teams, their colleagues and each other.
Authentic. While our alumnae are impressive and accomplished, they are also approachable and “real.” They share freely, letting people get to know who they really are. They serve as a role model for others showing you can be yourself and still succeed.
The HBA 2017 theme was Transforming with G.R.I.T. (Gratitude. Resilience. Influence. Tenacity) Which one of these did you focus on in 2017? Why?
Resilience. Our company merged last summer, creating a wave of changes. It was imperative for me, as a leader, to help my team assimilate the change without losing focus on our business. This required them to bounce back from the changes quickly.
And last question: What is your 2018 word of intent?
Purposeful. It’s always busy yet busy isn’t a business outcome. I realized that I needed to be purposeful about where I am spending my time, blocking out time to think and being with customers to hear what they need.