WEST Wisdom Blog

2019 #WESTawards: Own It #WESTorg

Posted by Diana Anderson on Jan 14, 2019 8:15:00 AM

Join WESTorg at Takeda on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, for the #WESTawards to honor individuals in the Boston science and technology community that embody WEST’s 2018-2019 theme, ‘Own It: Empowering Your Career & Your Life’. 

WEST is a learning community that provides women in the enterprise of science and technology with the inspiration, knowledge and connections to reach their full potential. Please join #WESTorg and our sponsors, Takeda, Johnson & Johnson and Safety Partners at Takeda’s Cambridge offices for the 2019 #WESTawards and Networking Night to honor individuals in Boston’s STEM community who embody WEST’s mission and our ‘Own It’ theme in their service of inclusivity and empowerment in STEM and STEM initiatives that benefit the community at large.

The 2019 Own It: #WESTawards recipients have done too much to list comprehensively, but check out these highlights.

5-minute read

Denise Aronson, CEO and Founder, Safety Partners, Inc.

Denise Aronson parlayed her lab safety experience into a small, woman-owned business, thus allowing her to balance her career with parenthood. Aronson used Safety Partners’ recruiting and corporate culture to emphasize peer-to-peer relationships and mentoring, helping others bridge their scientific careers and family life. Aronson actively volunteers with several local non-profits including WEST, AWIS, MassBio, the North Shore Technology Council and The Bioscience Network.

Kira Connaughton, Senior Specialist Talent Development US, Takeda

Kira Connaughton is being recognized for her co-leadership role, with fellow awardee Julia Curran, of Takeda Boston’s HBA (Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association) group. Kira works tirelessly to raise awareness about diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. Her work includes orchestrating support within Takeda to invest in programs and activities focused on the development of women.  For example, she co-led a Takeda panel discussion on fostering women’s leadership, represented Takeda in J-WIN and HBA events, and coordinated a women’s panel discussion for Takeda Boston’s 2018 summer interns.

Julia Curran, Manager Oncology Therapeutic Area Business Operations, Takeda

Julia Curran has been passionate, innovative and broadly impactful in her dedication to diversity and inclusion. She has served as an ambassador for Takeda R&D Diversity & Inclusion initiatives at internal and external events. Julia has represented R&D at Takeda’s Women’s Day in Japan. She also proposed an innovative International Women’s Day “selfie campaign,” which has been adopted globally by Takeda. Julia has been involved with the Boston chapter of HBA since 2013, and currently co-chairs Takeda’s HBA Ambassadors with fellow awardee Kira Connaughton. Julia is an active member of Boston Biotech and Pharma Women’s Networking Forum.

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., Executive Vice President, Global External Innovation & Partnerships, Chief Business Officer, Ipsen

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch, Ph.D., J.D., is a role model at Ipsen, known for her outreach and support to help women at Ipsen fulfill their potential. Magovčević-Liebisch’s determination, confidence and perseverance have garnered her a reputation as a fearless leader at Ipsen, as well as in the broader life sciences community where she is often asked to speak about her experiences and life story. As a passionate advocate for lifelong learning in the arts and sciences, Magovčević-Liebisch actively serves on the boards of the Boston Ballet, Museum of Science and Suffolk University.

Finola Moore, Associate Director of Immune Tolerance, SQZ Biotechnologies

Finola Moore empowers and supports women scientists not only at SQZ, but in the greater Boston community. She is a role model for confident and effective leadership. Moore mentors the next generation of women scientists through the AWIS mentoring program and various alumni associations. She champions work-life balance for herself, her direct reports and those she mentors.

Rebecca Murphy, Marketing and Commercial Executive Assistant, bluebird bio

Rebecca is an engaged member of bluebird bio’s bWILD employee resource group (Women Influencing Leadership Development). She is part of the bWILD Outreach Team and has also facilitated bluebird bio’s partnership with WEST. Rebecca’s routine contributions of creative ideas, her work and impact reflect her deep dedication to diversity, inclusion and the development of women across bluebird bio and beyond. 

Mark Parrington, Senior Director, Head of External R&D Americas, Sanofi Pasteur

As a senior leader at Sanofi Pasteur, Mark Parrington actively encourages the development and advancement of women. Parrington is a prominent supporter of MA-WISE (Massachusetts chapter of Women Inspiring Sanofi Excellence).Parrington's support extends beyond participation, he routinely volunteers and is well-known for recruiting through friendly challenges to spread the impact and mission of MA-WISE.

Ann-Marie Richard, Ph.D., Patient & External Association Engagement Lead, Pfizer

Ann-Marie Richard, Ph.D., has established herself as a bridge between researchers, patients and the patient advocacy community. Richard is a leading member of the Greater Boston group of ADVANCE (African Americans Dedicated to Value Added Networking for Corporate Excellence). Richard is also the Founder and President of the Dominican Health and Education Initiative, a non-profit attempting to elevate health and education standards on the island of Dominica.

Karen Single, Executive Director, Professional Career Development & Alumni Services, Academic Affairs, MCPHS University

Karen Single has long been known as a champion for women in STEM. Her zeal to see MCPHS students succeed extends beyond her role as Executive Director. Two years ago, Single created the Women in Stem Careers program with the help of a grant from Sanofi Genzyme. Through Single’s initiative, the program partners undergraduate female students who need an extra boost with mentors like herself.

Peter Stebbins, Transactions Lead, Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center

Since 1990, Peter Stebbins has championed diversity and inclusion at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center, continually connecting J&J with opportunities to support gender equality and LGBTQ rights. Recently, Stebbins helped lead J&J’s Boston efforts for the J&J WiSTEM2D program which nurtures undergraduates interested in science and engineering. Stebbins also volunteers for The Possible Project, an after-school program teaching entrepreneurship to Boston and Cambridge public high school students.

Joseph Vogel, Senior Manager of Program and Alliance Management, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Joe Vogel has made a tremendous impact by leading the development and launch of Alnylam’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Under his leadership, Alnylam has established two employee resource groups, launched an internal workshop on managing unconscious bias, developed a strong internal and external D&I brand for Alnylam and increased involvement with local biotech affinity groups. Joe is heavily involved with the community organization OutBIO, an LGBTQ, drug development professionals networking group. Joe will be spearheading Alnylam’s participation in the 2019 Boston Pride initiative.

Daphne Zohar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PureTech Health

Daphne Zohar has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the top innovators under 35 for her industrious work and success as a serial entrepreneur. Zohar has founded or co-founded of 5 biotech companies, PureTech Health, Follica, Libra Biosciences, Karuna Pharmaceuticals, and Satori Pharmaceuticals. Zohar has extended her endeavors to venture capital by founding PureTech Ventures. An active member of Boston’s philanthropic community, Zohar sits on the Technology Development Fund Advisory Board at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Board of Advisors of Life Science Cares as well as acting as an Editorial Advisor for Xconomy.

WEST Stand Out Volunteer and Supporter Awardees

WEST advocates for women in the Boston–Cambridge STEM community with the help of the community as volunteers and contributing supporters. This year, the #WESTawards recognize the following individuals for their time and effort on behalf of WEST and our mission.

  • Diana Anderson, Blogs
  • Tatiana Demidova-Rice, Events
  • Stella Kafka, Event Social Media
  • Peng Meng Kou, Events/Programming Committee
  • Angie O'Donnell, Workshop Leader
  • Karen Perez de Arce, Events
  • Kanoelani Pilobello, Marketing/Events
  • Anne Weeks, Events

Join WESTorg at Takeda on January 23rd for the #WESTawards and Networking Night to honor individuals in the Boston science and technology community that embody #WESTorg’s 2018-2019 theme, ‘Own It: Empowering Your Career & Your Life’. 


Click here to learn more about  the event and get registered 


Stay informed about upcoming WEST events  by signing up to receive our newsletters here 


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Topics: Events, Women, Science, Career, Awards, Community, Giving Back, Interview, Cambridge, Success, Network, Inspire, Women in STEM, Networking, Upcoming Events, Professional, Biotech, Rockstars, Connect, Making a Difference, Inspiration, Role Models, Volunteer, Compensation, Strengths, Support, Leaders, Impact, Own It, Sponsor, Advocate

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