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Educate. Enlighten. Empower.

It is the responsibility of our leaders to invest and develop the next generation of talent, by developing leadership skills we not only elevate our organisations but ourselves as leaders.

From Manager to Leader, this year’s Women in Leadership Forum invited senior leaders within pharma to share a defining moment in their leadership journey so we all can learn strategies for success, feel connected to a wider community and start to sharpen our leadership skills.

2019 Program

Welcome & Introduction from the Chair

Alise Cortez, Working on Purpose radio show host. 

From Manager to Leader
Sit back and listen to pharma leaders as they share lessons learned in their journey From Manager to Leader. How can you use these defining moments for your own career development?

X Effective communication strategies  -How does the delivery of both verbal & non-verbal cues affect our ability to communicate & influence?

X Authentic leadership  -How has your life experience affected your leadership style? -Why you don’t have to act like a man to be taken seriously

X Building a future fit workforce -What structures are in place/need to be removed to ensure everyone can fulfil their full potential?

X Creating allies, acknowledging privilege & advocating others -How can women learn to navigate their careers like men?

X Preparing yourself to be in a male-dominated environment. -What does it mean to be one of the only women in the room?
Confirmed Speakers:

Hugh Welsh, General Counsel, Secretary & President DSM North America

Amy Peck, CEO/Founder, EndeavorVR

Hong Cheng Ph.D. MBA, Head of Research Strategy & Effectiveness for Global Research, Sanofi.

Shen Chen,Ph.D., Sr. Director, Analytical R&D, Alcami Corporation

 Hope Mueller, Vice President of Quality, Horizon Pharmaceuticals

Campfire session with Alise
Join speakers on the sofa with Alise to delve deeper into their stories & ask questions about your own career challenges.
Build your Personal Brand  
In this speed networking session, we challenge you to think about what you need this year to help build your personal brand. Be prepared to ask for three things you need & to share ten intentions to help others achieve theirs.
If you are interested in participating in a future session, please get in touch with Lisa Storey at [email protected].

Meet Our Speakers

Alise Cortez

Alise Cortez is an Engagement and Development Catalyst based in Dallas. She designs and delivers professional development, leadership, and engagement workshops and speaks on various related topics. She is also a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. 

Alise began this career in 1998 as a staffing professional at Analysts International, progressed to corporate recruiting consulting at VoiceStream/T-Mobile, and went on to HR System implementation and change management consulting projects at Hewitt Associates and PepsiCo. She also co-founded and served as VP of Sales & Marketing at Improved Experience, a consulting firm that offered online feedback solutions and research for the HR and Recruiting industry.

Today, she is focused on igniting meaningful development that increases employee satisfaction, engagement, and performance within organizations.

Shen Chen, Ph.D

Dr. Shen Chen recently joined Alcami Corporation, an end-to-end pharmaceutical contract service organization, as a Sr. Director to lead analytical functions from multiple sites for product development, including API, oral solid doses, and injectables. Prior to Alcami, Dr. Shen Chen was the Director of Pfizer Essential Health, Pharmaceutical Science. Her main responsibility was to lead R&D functions for Pfizer CentreOne, a global CMO embedded within Pfizer. Her team was focused on tasks which included solving technical challenges from those associated with fill-finish product development, late phase development and technical transfer, to the manufacturing of sterile injectables. She has more than 20 years of experience in Pharmaceutical R&D with sterile injectable development and manufacturing scale-ups. In recent years, her team helped its partners launch nearly 10 products. Previously, Shen held various technical leadership positions in the legacy Hospira Global R&D. Most recently, prior to her position with PC1 R&D, she was the R&D Director for Product and Plant Supports. In this position, she supported life cycle management activities for all US marketed products for legacy Hospira, including market expansions, API changes, line extensions, and registration for grandfathered products. Her team provided technical support for troubleshooting of manufacturing, process improvements, drug shortages, and warning letter-associated remediation activities occurring at different manufacturing sites to fulfill FDA commitments. She also led the legacy Hospira R&D generic group for generic injectable developments, including obtaining approval and launching of many injectable products in global markets.

Hong CHENG, Ph.D., MBA

Hong Cheng is currently the Head of Research Strategy and Effectiveness for Global Research at Sanofi, a large international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France.  The company is one of the top 3 multinational companies in China.  Dr. Cheng joined Sanofi in 2010.  Since entering the biopharma industry as a bench scientist in 1997, Dr. Cheng  has worked in small to medium sized US-based biotech companies (ArQule, Inc. and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) as well as large international pharmaceutical companies (Novartis and Sanofi).  Along her career path from a scientist, a leader of global scientific teams to a strategic thinker, Dr. Cheng has gained a deep understanding and appreciation for the challenges of R&D productivity, and the struggles for efficiency and innovation in biopharma industry. Her passion is seeking an effective path for drug discovery and development, especially at the interface of China and the US, in order to enable companies to deliver effective and affordable medicines.  Dr. Cheng received her B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Organic Chemistry from the University of Maryland, conducted her postdoctoral research in Harvard Medical School, and received her MBA, Executive MBA Program, from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2015.

Hope Mueller is a results-driven leader who enjoys heading organizations, improving system performance, and launching efficient programs.  She is a successful executive, sits on multiple non-for-profit boards, and has launched a local scholarship fund. She is also the chairman and president of a charitable organization that helps children and their families during critical junctures of their lives.

She provides value through the construction, training and mentorship of highly productive teams. She is a change agent with excellent strategic vision, tactical execution, communication and organizational capabilities. Hope partners to motivate teams and colleagues with a positive approach, investing in people and exceeding company goals. She has the rare ability to turn vision into reality.

Amy Peck is the founder & CEO of EndeavorVR, a leading global VR/AR strategy & consulting firm. Amy speaks regularly on Enterprise VR/AR and has long been an evangelist for this technology. She holds several advisory board roles, is Co-chair of the VRARA Enterprise Committee.

Amy's passion for virtual reality began at Leap Motion where she launched the Enterprise division working with clients across every major vertical including healthcare, entertainment, retail, hospitality, education and government.

It became clear that there was a need to help foster VR/AR development in the commercial arena and more importantly, shepherd these critical early wins. EndeavorVR was conceived for this very purpose.

Hugh Welsh

Mr. Welsh is the President, General Counsel & Secretary of DSM North America, a global leader in Life Sciences & Material Sciences. Traded on the Amsterdam stock exchange with 24,000 employees worldwide and $12 billion in annual sales, DSM develops, manufactures and sells nutritional and food ingredients, biomedical materials, specialty plastics and resins, fibers and renewable energy.

Hugh currently serves on several DSM global and regional management teams and has direct responsibilities in DSM’s nutrition and food specialties operations as well as responsibility for legal, government affairs, communications, corporate partnerships and DSM’s sustainability initiatives in the North America region. Before joining DSM, Hugh worked for the American Standard Companies, McCarter & English LLP and others. Hugh currently serves on the Board of Directors of, Partners in Food Solutions, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Patheon, Africa Improved Foods and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

He received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics and History from the University of Massachusetts in 1990 and his Juris Doctorate in law from SetonHall University School of Law in 1993.