HBA San Diego is Off to a Great Start

The HBA’s first six months of transition to its innovative regional model allowed for the formation of a new chapter to serve healthcare and life science professionals throughout San Diego. As we begin the second half of 2018, I want to take the opportunity to share our chapter successes to date and provide a preview of the exciting programming and chapter growth planned for the remainder of the year.

The formation of the San Diego chapter has brought new energy to the previous HBA activity in the area and allowed us to focus on building broader diversity within our chapter leadership as well as our growing membership. At the start of the year, the chapter board identified our key initiatives: 1) Offer the highest quality experience to our membership, including expanded networking opportunities, 2) Become a prominent organization for leadership development and 3) Provide maximum value in our program content. Thank you to our chapter board members, our volunteers and the many, many local HBA champions whose commitment and enthusiasm have made this initial vision a reality with the robust activity of the chapter to date. Our achievements in the first half of 2018 include:

Corporate Partner and Sponsor Engagement
We are pleased to announce two new corporate partners headquartered in San Diego: Illumina, Inc. and Synthetic Genomics. Illumina’s tremendous support of HBA San Diego to date has been championed by Karen Possemato, VP marketing and communications. The HBA Pacific region also welcomes BDO as a corporate sponsor, with a special thank you to BDO executives Gina Tapper, one of San Diego’s chapter advisory board members, and Susan Linna, who serves on the Seattle affiliate leadership council.

The success of our early programs in 2018 is due to our sponsors, to whom we are especially grateful: Illumina, Syneos Health, Hologic, Takeda and BD.

Programming Centered on Leadership Development
In addition to our well-attended educational programs and networking events, the HBA Pacific region launched its 2018 group mentoring program. I am pleased to note that our local participants represent 30 percent of the total registered at the regional level for this highly sought-after program. What makes our program successful at the chapter level is the commitment of our exceptional mentors, led by Lynn Nye, Medical Minds, who assists as deputy director of the regional program. Also serving as mentors this year are Grace Park, BD, Tanya Russell, Pfizer, Karin Blair, Evoking Insights, Cristina Giachetti, Consultant, Kathy Holdaway, Executive Coach, Shani Green, SGC Insights, Lisa Hellmann, Hologic and Isis Montalvo, Palomar Health.

Expansion of Chapter Leadership with New Advisory Board
This extraordinary group, representing diverse executive experience in healthcare, consists of five people who have a deep commitment to advancing the HBA’s mission and assisting the chapter in its strategic direction by providing industry viewpoint and guidance. You can find out more about these accomplished individuals in our posted announcement.

Membership Growth
Since the start of January 2018, our new member sign-ups within the chapter has grown our membership by 30 percent. Historically our HBA San Diego members mostly represented bio-pharma and pharma companies with research centers based in San Diego (about 70 percent of total membership), but this recent growth reflects the diversity that exists within our local targeted constituency with members from a wide variety of companies and institutions, including Illumina, ACADIA, Greenwich Biosciences, Dexcom, Salk Institute and the University of California, San Diego. Most importantly, we have growing interest from the start up community and women founders that support the robust, diverse healthcare industry in San Diego.

What’s Next
The plan for the second half of 2018 is to continue to grow our membership through engagement of new corporate partners based in San Diego, and to throw a broader net to the local healthcare industry with a pilot program for an Entrepreneur affinity group. We will kick this initiative off later this summer with a planned joint networking event on 23 August with the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE), to be hosted by BDO. Details will be posted on our chapter website soon. Educational programs will continue to offer robust and relevant content. Planned events include: patient centric medicine, to be hosted by Janssen in September, and a leadership panel in November focused on best practices to achieve diversity and gender parity, hosted by Takeda.

Finally, look for HBA San Diego to offer more in the way of networking opportunities – certainly our most popular events. We will be adding a number of HBA Supper Club events hosted by our advisory board members and other local leaders, and we will continue to hold frequent Meet the HBA events to welcome our new and prospective chapter members. Our board leadership, as well as all of our members, are vital to the success of the chapter; I truly value your ideas and I am grateful for your participation so please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas or suggestions.

Have a pleasant summer.

Michelle A. Youngers
President, HBA San Diego