Executing the Dream I: Assembling the Dream Team to Build a Company Culture of Success

Thursday, September 12 2013
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Location: MassBio, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA

Please join us for the third part of our Adventures in Biotech series, as a follow up to earlier programs on building and financing the dream. Once the capital has been raised it is time to build the team. In this forum we will explore biotech models (virtual to traditional), culture, and hiring. Our panel of speakers will share their perspectives from non-profit, traditional biotech, VC, and HR. The discussion will include a look at culture – choosing the culture, and setting the culture - and hiring – the impact of the culture on hiring, making those first critical hires, hiring timing, and making hiring decisions.

Please bring your comments and questions to contribute to this conversation.


  • Faraz Ali, VP, Head of Program Management & Commercial Development, bluebird bio
  • Wendy Arnold, Director, Human Resources, Celgene Avilomics Research
  • Richard Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, CEO & CSO, Flatley Lab
  • Craig Greaves, Recruiting Partner, Third Rock Ventures


  • Patrick Marshall, Co-Founder/Chief Business Officer, StratAcuity


This Forum is presented by the Business Development & Finance, Human Resources, and Marketing & Communications Forum Working Groups.

Speaker Bios:


Faraz Ali, VP, Head of Program Management & Commercial Development, bluebird bio

Faraz Ali is the Vice President of Commercial Development at bluebird bio (www.bluebirdbio.com, NASDAQ: BLUE), a leading clinical-stage gene therapy firm.  Prior to bluebird bio, he obtained considerable experience launching and commercializing novel therapies for severe, orphan indications in a variety of roles of increasingly global leadership over a 9+ year period at Genzyme Corporation.  Faraz started his career in technical roles at GE Healthcare, developing software for medical imaging equipment and for hospital information systems.  He derives greatest professional satisfaction from helping to bring new treating options – and therefore hope -- to individuals affected by serious medical conditions.  Faraz received a BSc from Stanford University, and a MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.  He is the proud father of identical twins who teach him more about nature vs nurture every day than can be learned from years of biology class.  Faraz shares news and views on developments in the healthcare space at: http://twitter.com/#!/farazali.

Wendy Arnold, Director, Human Resources, Celgene Avilomics Research

Wendy Arnold joined Avila Therapeutics in 2011, a start-up company focused on covalent drugs.  Avila was acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2012 and was named Celgene Avilomics Research to differentiate the site’s unique focus.  Celgene has over 4,800 employees globally, operations in over 50 countries with a focus on the Discovery, Development and Commercialization of Innovative Therapies for unmet medical needs in Cancer and Immune Inflammatory Diseases. Wendy has been supporting both small to mid-size Pharmaceutical companies for over 15 years and prior to Celgene, supported other Biotech companies including Inotek, Transform, and Agios.  Prior to this, Wendy worked for California based company, Amylin Pharmaceuticals where she was in charge of leading the staffing function which resulted in significant growth for the company.  She later moved into a Generalist role there before to moving to Boston in 2006.  Wendy holds a BS in Social Work from Colorado State University.  

Richard Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., MBA , CEO & CSO, Flatley Lab

Dr. Fitzpatrick is a co-founder of Flatley Discovery Lab (FDL) and serves as its CEO and CSO.  FDL is an independent not-for-profit biotech focused on the discovery and development of small molecule CFTR modulators.  FDL has screened over a million compounds in the last three years and has recently selected its first clinical candidate.  Richard received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from Babson College.  He has spent more than 20 years in biotechnology working on a wide variety of projects, including DNA and peptide synthesis, protein separation and purification, and drug discovery and development.  Prior to FDL, Richard spent ten years at Genzyme Corporation as a Principal Scientist working in drug discovery for infectious disease, oncology, and metabolic indications.

Craig Greaves, Recruiting Partner, Third Rock Ventures

Craig Greaves joined Third Rock Ventures in 2009 as Recruiting Partner and heads up recruiting for senior leadership roles at the venture capital firm and its early-stage portfolio companies. He has more than 25 years of global human resources and recruiting experience, including 17 years in the life sciences industry. Prior to Third Rock, Craig served as a corporate recruiting leader at both Biogen Idec and Cubist Pharmaceuticals and as a retained executive search consultant. During his tenure at Biogen, the company grew from a research organization of 350 employees to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with more than 4,300 employees located in 20 countries. Craig also led the integration of the domestic recruiting organizations when Biogen merged with IDEC Pharmaceuticals in 2003. Craig holds a BA from Trinity College.

Patrick Marshall, Co-Founder/Chief Business Officer, StratAcuity

Patrick is the Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder for StratAcuity and Co-Chair for The MassBio Human Resources Working Group.  Since 2000 StratAcuity has played an integral yet behind the scenes part in the recruitment and hiring of nearly 1,000 people ranging from Research Associate to Chief Science Officer within the Boston area biopharmaceutical industry.  StratAcuity clients range from incubator to ‘big pharma’ and include organizations focused in diagnostics, delivery and scientific discovery technologies.  StratAcuity was formed shortly after the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis in Patrick’s daughter this experience has provided Patrick with a unique perspective and understanding of our complex and promising industry.  Patrick is a frequent speaker on rare diseases and patient advocacy as well as being a recognized expert in the development of early stage scientific teams, compensation, and motivation. Patrick earned his BS from the University of Wisconsin, Stout and is an active fund raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other causes relating to health, education and housing in emerging countries.

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