BIO 2015: WIB + Philadelphia = Success!

BIO 2015: WIB + Philadelphia = Success!

Women In Bio participated in the 2015 BIO International Convention and once again we reunited with friends, met new connections, and created lasting partnerships and strategic alliances.

WIB kicked off the week-long Convention with our Inaugural Roundtable Discussion, where over 40 industry women leaders came together to discuss the importance of women in company leadership positions - illustrating that importance with statistics demonstrating the success of companies with women leaders. We established our goal of having 50% of biotech company boards comprised of women, and the need to continue the education process not only with women, but men as well.

Read the full writeup of the Roundtable Discussion here.

Women In Bio's Inaugural Roundtable Discussion

We continued our activities with the WIB Plenary Event on Monday, June 15, 2015, where 200 women and men enjoyed extraordinary views overlooking Philadelphia at Top of the Tower. We were delighted to have Dr. ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as our keynote speaker. She provided an overview of her career success story, the FDA’s growth and role in the biotech industry, and the process of developing new medicines. She concluded by answering questions from the audience for nearly 30 minutes! It was a fantastic way to get the Convention going!

Relive ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner’s Plenary Event address in our member-exclusive video library!


WIB President, Dimitra Georganopoulou, looks on as ShaAvhrée Buckman-Garner fields audience questions.

WIB had a booth on the Exhibit floor where over 20 WIB volunteers from our various chapters greeted and interacted with attendees, informing them about our rapidly growing organization.

(Left to right) Suzanne Munson, Jocelyne Modine, Helena Riekena, Regina Reynolds, WIB Executive Director, Jamie Strachota, WIB Communications Committee Chair, Sherri Oslick, WIB Board Member, Deb Bowes

Is Lucky #13 in the works? On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, WIB hosted the “Tri-State Area Professionals & Executives in the Life Sciences” Meet-up. Over 60 women had the opportunity to meet and network with other convention attendees from the Tri-State area. Additionally, WIB used this opportunity to gauge interest in starting a chapter in the Philadelphia area, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. We will be in touch soon with those that indicated interest to start the grassroots efforts of identifying leaders to get the 13th WIB chapter off the ground. If you are interested in learning more about the formation of a Philadelphia area chapter, please contact Jamie Strachota at

The scene at Tuesday’s Meet-Up

WIB leaders Dimitra Georganopoulou, Kristi Sarno, and Jamie Strachota were interviewed by GenomeAlberta regarding issues facing women in the life sciences and initiatives WIB is pursuing to overcome those issues. The full interview can be found here. Our YWIB chair Ashley Bowman was also interviewed, by SNNLive at the BioMaryland Booth.

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, WIB hosted our second Meet-Up, “Speed Networking Session for Existing and Prospective WIB members.” Like speed dating, we lined up our attendees and had them talk with the person across from them for 2 minutes before making them switch to the next person. Well over 100 women and men participated in this event, and our line of speed networking attendees spanned the entire meet-up floor, into the Exhibitor floor walkway, and even partially into a company’s booth… an interesting way to meet new people?! Thank you to all that participated!

Wednesday’s Speed Networking Meet-Up

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, the final day of BIO, WIB hosted a panel discussion titled, “Women Moving Forward and Up: Boldly Taking That Next Step,” moderated by WIB Executive Director, Jamie Strachota, at the BioProcess International Theatre. Panelists included:

  • Sherri Oslick, Ph.D., WIB National Communications Chair
  • Deb Bowes, MT, MBEE, past WIB President (2011) and current WIB Board Member
  • Ashley Bowman, WIB National Young Women In Bio Chair
  • Kay Wellman, M.S., M.B.A., Longstanding WIB member and supporter, WIB-DC/Baltimore Chapter

The discussion attracted nearly 60 attendees with standing room only! We discussed the importance of career profiling, self-branding, networking, mentoring, strategic alliances, and the importance of education experience. Thank you to our wonderful industry partner, BioProcess International, for inviting us to speak again this year.

Panelists (left to right): Deb Bowes, Kay Wellman, Ashley Bowman, Sherri Oslick. Standing is Moderator, Jamie Strachota.

Attendees of the WIB Panel at the BPI Theatre

Jamie Strachota introduces the panel

What a busy, crazy, fun - and ultimately successful week! Thank you to all who participated this year, and to Erin Lee and Emma Andrews of BIO for the opportunity to exhibit and host Meet-Ups during this year’s Convention. We look forward to seeing you all next June at BIO 2016 in San Francisco.