Honoree Guest Post: PharmaLogics Talks Social Responsibility

PharmaLogics Recruiting Team Photo

This post was written by PharmaLogics Recruiting, a Small Business of the Year Honoree. Hear more from PharmaLogics Recruiting at Nailed It: A Conversation With Successful Business Leaders on Thursday, October 6.

Our mission at PharmaLogics Recruiting is to become the number one bio-pharmaceutical recruiting company in the world by placing top talent at companies devoted to the development of medicine that improves and saves lives. To us, this mission is not just a sentence on the wall of our office; it’s a way of life. It’s what we’re passionate about, it’s why we come to work every day, and it’s what drives us forward. We are not scientists. Therefore, we will not discover the next breakthrough therapy in gene mapping or find the cure to cancer. Instead, we will play our part and make this possible for others to do.

Our world of recruiting is dominated by companies who are “headhunting” with recruiters that have earned a reputation of poaching employed persons and stuffing them into jobs they may not be qualified for, in return for big fees that are often in excess of $50,000 per placement. We wanted to alter that perception and knew we could do better, so we did. PharmaLogics chooses to be paid by the hour for the work we actually do. By taking this approach our recruiters earn an income based on their ability to submit the best and most qualified candidates while providing an unmatched level of service throughout the entire recruitment process. Our results are clear: we provide great candidates, decrease the time to fill a position by 27%, and save our clients an average of 60% on recruiting costs compared to industry standards.

Last year, we placed over 250 people for a single Boston-based client who saved $2.5 million compared to what they would have paid a traditional recruiting firm at a 25% placement rate. Imagine what kind of research that organization can now fund with an extra $2.5 million dollars.

Here’s another scenario: a brilliant scientist (or two, or three) discovers what could be the cure for cancer, ALS, or Alzheimer’s. They start their own company which fumbles within a couple of years because they can’t get their product to market due to their inability to compete in the mega-hot bio-pharmaceutical candidate rich market (happens all of the time). Smaller organizations cannot typically take advantage of the services of recruiting firms due to cost forcing them to lose out on being able to attract the right people which for them, can be the difference between success and closure. Our Small Business Platform was designed for these organizations specifically. It is our most affordable platform offering lower hourly rates and is customizable to their differing needs.

Talent is the driver for R&D success. We don’t know science, but we know talent. We are dedicated and focused on improving the hiring process for bio-pharmaceutical organizations. By placing top talent at companies devoted to developing medicine, we play our small but important part in enabling others to improve and save lives.

This post is a part of a series of posts written by Small Business of the Year Honorees. Stay tuned for more insights from our honorees leading up to the October 6th event.

Investing in Boston’s Future Business Leaders Through City Awake

City Awake Delegates

Rooney_JimToday’s post is written by James E. Rooney, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Boston is home to the largest proportion of young adults of any other U.S. city, and Greater Boston is known for having the most talented young workforce in the world. In fact, Mayor Walsh has called Boston’s young talent not only an economic engine for the Commonwealth, but also our city’s competitive advantage.

With thousands of students graduating each year from our colleges and Universities making up a huge part of our region’s workforce, at the Chamber, we see tapping into this young talent as crucial to ensuring the long term success of the city. Which is why in May, we announced an exciting new partnership between the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and City Awake, and added City Awake founder, Justin Kang as our new Director of Social Innovation. In this unique partnership, City Awake acts as the social innovation lab for the Chamber, seeking to mobilize and empower young adults as active stakeholders in the civic dialogue of Greater Boston.

We are excited to launch our first joint collaboration, a program called, City Awake Delegates. During this nine-month period, 600 delegates – diverse in gender, ethnicity and industry, and ranging in ages from 21 to 39 years old – will participate in a series of programs that will build community, discuss policy issues facing the Greater Boston community, formalize and prioritize potential solutions.

We knew there was a lot of talent in Greater Boston, but the response to our call for nominations was staggering. Within 10 days of the call, we received more than 1,600 nominations, a clear demonstration of the incredible and powerful network of young professionals in Boston. Delegates were nominated by a diverse coalition of 300 businesses, nonprofits, and elected officials.

City Awake Delegates will also include a Leadership Council which includes fifty of Boston’s most influential leaders.

We are kicking off the Delegates program on September 26, in conjunction with HUBweek, with a day-long summit at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute called, “Our Convention.” At Our Convention, delegates will hear a keynote address from City Council President Michelle Wu, and begin a dialogue about the future of Boston.

After Our Convention, delegates will remain engaged throughout the year, participating in a series of breakout retreats where smaller groups will dive into specific issues such as cultural vibrancy, healthcare, affordable housing, and public safety, among others. The program will culminate in a report that captures the process, discussions and findings of these retreats.

One of the best parts of this program? It’s free and flexible for delegates, thanks to our incredible partners including presenting sponsors the Barr Foundation and John Hancock. We’re also thankful to Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for supporting this investment in the next generation of Boston leaders.

For more about City Awake and upcoming programs visit www.CityAwake.org.

 James E. Rooney is President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce




Honoree Guest Post: Applied BioMath Talks Social Responsibility

Applied BioMath Team Photo

This post was written by Applied BioMath, a Small Business of the Year Honoree. Hear more from Applied BioMath at NailedIt: A Conversation With Successful Business Leaders on Thursday, October 6.

Drug development is expensive, time-consuming, and has a high rate of failure. According to a statement issued by the FDA in 2004, a 10% improvement in predicting failures before clinical trials could save $100 million in development costs per drug. The founders of Applied BioMath realized that our technology-intensive approaches could save drug developers time and money, savings that could be passed through to the consumer.

As we created the company, the founders shared a sense of responsibility to help society in additional ways. We annually donate a portion of our profits to charity. Although Applied BioMath is small and young, we have already donated thousands of dollars to groups including the Avielle Foundation and the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Research Center.

We make it a priority to support our local community. Massachusetts leads the world in biology, education, and computing. Our company relies on all three of these cornerstones. We strive to ensure that Boston does not lose its edge and we make every effort to help future leaders in these fields. In a recent team-building activity, our team at Applied BioMath built bicycles and awarded them to students identified as high performers in STEM from a local elementary school, all of whom were female! I could feel the students’ excitement when we presented them with the bikes and when they met with our scientists, more than half of whom are women.

As Applied BioMath grows, we hope to provide increasing benefits to society as we demonstrate how our approaches impact drug R&D costs, continue to support local and national charities, and enhance our community.

This post is a part of a series of posts written by Small Business of the Year Honorees. Stay tuned for more insights from our honorees leading up to the October 6th event.

7 Steps to Handling a Business Crisis Like a Crisis Professional

Guest Blog Photo

Today’s guest post comes from George Loan Baker, Partner and Executive Leadership Coach at innerOvation.

George BakerYou get into work on a Monday morning after a great weekend in mountains camping with your family totally “off the grid.”

You’re set for a great day. Then you open your email and see an urgent message from your boss that your team screwed up with a client in a major way over the weekend. He wants to see you before 10 am in his office.

You pride yourself on great pre-planning and execution. Crisis management is not your strong suit.

What do you do?

I’m a former fire chief of twenty years turned executive leadership expert.

I found that a simple, 7-step process, that fire fighting professionals use all over the country, has been a hit with my business clients in helping manage crises.

It’s called “S SLEEVO.”

Here’s how it works:

1 – Size up

First, consider the actual current conditions. Get an honest perspective. What damage has been done? What else is going on in the company that might affect the outcome? What action can begin to change the results from the weekend for the better?

2 – Sufficient Help

What resources—people and equipment—do you need to address the issue properly? Do you what you need? Is your team able to take the actions needed to stop the bleeding and then over-deliver in a way that can satisfy the client and your boss? Who else do you need to help? What is the contingency if the issue is bigger than identified in the size up? How can you get what you need?

3 – Life Safety

What are the considerations for the safety and wellbeing of your customers, employees and your business? What safeguards are in place?

4 – Exposures

What if this fire spreads? Where could this issue end up? Is this issue from the weekend going to affect other clients?

5 – Extinguish

Put the fire out. In other words, gather what you have and know from steps one through four and deliver. Begin to extinguish the fire before you meet your boss and then let him know your plan for dousing the conflagration and follow up.

6 – Ventilate

Ventilate is the about removing of smoke, heat, and lethal gases. It’s about clearing out the aftermath of the crisis. What is your plan to deal with the toxic/interpersonal issues that arise? How do you take ownership and not personalize it? How do you move on?

7 – Overhaul

Make sure the fire is out, locating and snuffing out every last ember in order to prevent rekindling. Is the job done? Did you fully deliver what was promised? Has an evaluation taken place and processes put into place to prevent a future issue. Have the changes been communicated to all stakeholders? You don’t want to walk into the same situation next Monday morning.

And that’s S SLEEVO. It’s so effective that many new chiefs carry a laminated card with the acronym on it, so as to not miss any considerations.

Once you have the process down, it can be done in seconds. And it doesn’t apply only to large emergencies. It has applications to smaller sparks as well. Consider how this can be applied when an employee rushes into your office with a burning issue.

George Loan Baker is Partner and Executive Leadership Coach at innerOvation, LLC. He can be reached at George@innerOvation.com. Contact him to learn more about applying S SLEEVO in your office – and about creating a harmonious workplace that minimizes the need for it.

Meet the Chamber: Director of Business Development, John Joy


John Joy (left), Liz Brunner (center), and Candy O’Terry (right) at the Chamber’s  Women’s Network event in June

“He works the room like no one you’ve seen.”

You can’t miss him at a Chamber event – he makes introductions, makes jokes, makes his job look like a breeze. John Joy is the Director of Business Development, and when he started working at the Chamber, the Sox were entering the 82nd year of their World Series drought, the B’s and C’s were playing at a different Garden, and Wilson Philips held the top spot on the year-end Billboard top 100 (hint: it was 1990).

Since John came on two and a half decades ago, the Chamber has seen four different presidents and four different offices, and when asked about his tenure, John says that you might as well be able to say he was born here.

As the Chamber’s newest (and youngest) addition, I had the good fortune to catch up with our longest-tenured employee for a quick Q & A. Here’s what John Joy had to say.

Loaded question here – who’s your favorite president?

Well Jim Rooney – of course!

Is there any particular moment or story that you feel encapsulates your time at the Chamber?

The fun moments are, for me, especially being in Business Development – just hearing the great stories that you get when members attend events and they send you emails or just positive feedback saying, “Wow, thank you for that introduction to this company. We really it hit it off well, and now we have a meeting set up, and I think we’re going to be doing business with them.”

Hearing stories like that, it makes me feel great as to why I’m still here – helping companies, helping members build those relationships. It’s been a great opportunity for me – you really do work with a wonderful staff, a great team. And I love having the opportunity to know what’s going on in the business community, of having access to a lot these recognized local and national speakers, building strong relationships with members, connecting them with other business leaders, and providing them that access to help them grow their business. At the end of the day, when I’m able to do my job, and hear all of this great feedback of what the organization is doing, that makes me feel great. I wake up every day, and I still enjoy what I’ve been doing for more than a quarter of a century. And thanks to the many breakfast events, I do wake up every day saying, “oh wow, they do feed me as well!” – and I don’t take that for granted.

How has your role changed and grown since first started ?

I started off in the mailroom. I worked my way up from there and became an administrative assistant, and then I was a membership coordinator, and I think I’ve been in this role as Director of Business Development for ten, fifteen years now. It’s really been a great experience. I love being in Business Development, but I also have learned a lot from [the other department]- I just love working with the members and the Chamber team. It’s a small organization, so I have the opportunity to connect with other departments and learn what’s going, whether it’s policy, communications, the marketing team, I get to hear what the other teams are doing because it really is a great team environment.

What are you looking forward to in the future of the Chamber?

I’m really looking forward to seeing how our work reaching out to the innovation space shapes up, and how the Chamber can really play a role with connecting the startup community with the more-established companies that we have here. I know we can play more of a role in that space, in building that bridge. The other thing I’m looking forward to is just continuing to be bold on the policy initiatives that we play a role in, whether it’s pay equity, being vocal on the energy regulations – I think it’s really bold to take stands on these issues.

What’s something that people might not know about you?

There are a lot of things that people don’t know about me! I enjoy walking. Doing a couple of miles in the evening, my wife and I will get out as much as we can, to do our walk. And I’m a really good basketball player. I do take on my son every now and then, and of course, I let him win – even though he’s a good player as well. I love the water and boats, so any time that I can get down to the Cape to fish, it’s something that I love to do. I used to ride ATV’s – people probably can’t picture me riding an ATV!

Tell me about your family.

I have two kids; a 20-year-old daughter who just finished two years of college. She’s taking some classes to become a paralegal and ultimately, she wants to work in a law firm. And I have a 14-year-old son who will be starting high school this fall. So I’m starting to get my life back now, little by little. My wife and I celebrated our 20-year anniversary this past year. We’ve been together now for about 25 years, and I keep getting younger every day.