Why did you get into this industry?
I have always lived at the crossroads of science and communications. For as long as I can remember, my passion has been health and science, but I was also a skilled writer at a young age. I wanted to follow my passion professionally, so after graduating from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University I made my way into the healthcare industry. The rest, as they say, is history.
Who helped you out along the way?
I have taken so many learnings from people along my journey. Every person I meet, and every situation I find myself in, is there to direct or in many cases re-direct and educate me. I have been mentored by many prominent healthcare leaders on the client and agency side of the business, including my current business partner and manager of the last 15 years, [Real Chemistry] founder and CEO Jim Weiss.
Were there any interesting events that changed your career?
Most events that have directed my career have been anchored in two areas: Always being where the action is and never being afraid to step up in times of need or crisis. I have never chosen opportunities because of what they could do for me, but rather how they impacted those around me, including the healthcare industry and patient communities we serve.
When I look back to how I got here, I can honestly say it was about doing the best job possible in the moment — whether it was bringing some of the biggest breakthrough medicines to market or stepping up when other leaders around me could not. I also believe that nobody ever graduates from the work and I love everything about our industry, from editing copy and counseling CEOs to leading our 2,000-person company through a pandemic. It is these moments and stories that make a career.
Do you wish you would have done something differently?
There are always things we wish we would have done more of or done sooner but not necessarily differently. Each experience, good or bad, amazing or challenging, is an opportunity to learn, grow and pivot. I enjoy the ride and believe navigating through uncharted waters is what provides us with the perspective and knowledge to take on whatever comes our way.
When did you know you were in the right place?
In 2020, when the industry came together in unprecedented ways to solve the most unimaginable health crisis of our generation. Over the past year, I watched many of the scientists, public health officials and pharmaceutical executives that I have known for years step up to take on this pandemic. All of this has made me take stock of the important work and impactful people who have touched my life.
Did you consider other professions?
I’m a total science geek. I love solving problems and helping others. If I were not working on the business side of science, I would be working as a physician — educating and treating patients to live the healthiest lives they possibly can.
What other goals do you have for your career?
My goals and the company’s goals (which are pretty much one and the same) are directly correlated to our No. 1 priority: patients. Getting the right treatment to the right patient at the right time and ensuring equitable access to care is what gets me, and all of us at Real Chemistry, up in the morning.
As an industry, we are at a point where we can do this better today than ever before, owing to the innovation and technological breakthroughs we’ve seen over the past year — which many experts say would normally take 10 years to become reality. I’m so excited for what comes next because now we know what’s possible when this industry comes together to solve our biggest health challenges.