Meet the Zurich-Zug Team


Designing Meaningful Events for HBA Members

A Snapshot of HBA Zurich-Zug’s Programming Director’s Role by Carlyn Martina-Mamber

We are a family of four in programming: myself, Katrin, Dagmar and Sabera.

We have bi-weekly calls early on Tuesday mornings. As we are waking up with coffee, we track ongoing events, ongoing sponsorships and brainstorm. Inevitably, my newborn twins also join these calls and offer their fresh insights.

Throughout the week, I have meetings with sponsors, other board members, other chapters and our HBA European programming tower. All these meetings focus on different aspects of collaboration – from co-creating content together with sponsors to sharing best practices with DALs around Europe.

The core of these collaborations focuses on how to bring our community impactful content around overcoming unconscious bias and understanding the future of the healthcare industry. Once the idea is there, we coordinate with the HBA and our wonderful regional director of programming, Diana to get an event registered, have speaker briefing calls with the core team and prep for day-of-show.

The week ends with our HBA-ZZ board meeting. I am always inspired by the passion and energy every single one of the board members brings to the table. As Amy Poehler said, "Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life."


The Backstage Details Matter as Much as the Big Picture

Drawing Back the Curtains on How HBA Zurich – Zug’s Sponsorship Director Looks After Each Corporation, by Katrin Jack

Another exciting week as an HBA volunteer is coming to an end. Let me share with you some of the highlights of my week:

On Monday morning, we had a call with a potential sponsor who I cold-called only the week before about an upcoming event. It was amazing to see that they were interested in the subject. Some things needed to be clarified, so for now – we need to wait, but we are very excited.

Luckily, we have another event in the pipeline that needs to be finalized ASAP. After some discussion, the agenda is set and aligned with our HBA topics. I am working closely with marketing and communications to get an event description drafted. After a couple of back and forth via email, we feel ready to share it for review. A quick call with the sponsor on Tuesday morning, incorporating their feedback and we are set. Now the background work begins.

While there are many great processes and tools in place, I still need to get used to organizing virtual events as requirements are slightly different: event setup, calendar-booking for the virtual platform, technical rehearsal, speaker bios and photos to be collected, etc., all need to be brought together and set up. Due to the holidays, we are slightly behind schedule, but luckily we have the event up and running for registration in less than 48 hours. I am super excited and share the news with our marketing-communications director. We are ready to promote the event.

The board was meeting on Friday, so I provided them with a quick update. A number of registrations for the event we have just opened and the exciting news about the potential new sponsor. With that, I am starting to think of what is still to come: finding new sponsors, new speakers that match our topics of the year, scheduling meetings with sponsors for other events, forms to fill, bills to request...


Making the Recipe for Success Happen

A Peek into the ‘Kitchen’ of HBA Zurich – Zug, Through the eyes of the Operations Director by Hélène Haarmann

My role in the HBA Zurich – Zug ‘kitchen’ is to help each ‘chef’ in getting the best ingredients and tools to create their own specialty of the menu: entrée, main dish, dessert, served with homemade bread.  

For example, I organized a meeting recently with our president Elisa dedicated to our mid-year review in order to assess our 2020 KPI/goals and deep dive on our strategic initiatives. We took the time to celebrate all the initiatives realized since the beginning of the year and identify which worked well and what could be improved. We wanted to make sure that we help our members grow, develop and build their own network in HBA Zurich – Zug. 

In between strategic meetings, I coordinate weekly meetings to track progress and identify new ideas. As a marketing director in my daily life, this is a great opportunity to contribute to the development of the strategy for another important cause: women empowerment. And because we all have different backgrounds, I am learning a lot from the diversified expertise and experience: communication/access, medical… I really enjoy our interactions as a united team and I am always amazed that we are so open and proactive to add surprise items on the HBA Zurich – Zug menu.

For example, I came recently with the possibility to sponsor a scholarship for a young potential Medtech innovator to participate in the ZHAW Swiss Biodesign course and thanks to the high motivation and team effort, we made it happen in two weeks. I have to say that the team had so many ideas, that my biggest challenge, if any, is to be the timekeeper of our meetings and to manage all the passion of each team member for each topic.


Putting the V and the P in Pivoting to a New Norm

A Snippet of What it Takes to be the Vice President of HBA Zurich – Zug by Nicole Formica-Schiller

As vice president and board member of the HBA Zurich – Zug chapter, I am in charge of overseeing key strategic initiatives, external affairs, policy, advocacy, chapter financials as well as liaising and cultivating stakeholder relations with numerous multi-national companies and international organizations. 

This means that in addition to the regular weekly board meetings, my role as HBA Zurich-Zug VP includes attending executive committee calls, the vice president and corporate engagement call with VPs from all other European chapters like HBA London, HBA Berlin, HBA Brussels, etc. as well as global calls with the HBA in the U.S. 

During the last months, we were busy due to Covid-19 as many initiatives which were set-up already last year had to be adjusted to the lockdown situation and the so-called “new normal”. With our great team at the HBA, we were able to handle this unforeseen situation in a professional and timely manner. This is critical in ensuring that our members still feel that we are there with them despite the conditions.

I am often asked, why in addition to my role as CEO and founder of Pamanicor Health AG, I volunteer for a global organization like the HBA. The answer is simple: it is a great privilege to be acknowledged as vice president of HBA Zurich - Zug and to work with so many talented people, sharing my prior and current board experiences to have a tangible impact and be a uniting force for change towards gender parity, diversity and inclusion.


Lots to Talk About and Lots to Do

A Rapid View of the Pace in the Life as an HBA Zurich - Zug Marcomms Volunteer by Maria Guerrero

It’s Sunday morning, time to turn on the computer and work on HBA projects while enjoying a good coffee. I started volunteering for the HBA a few months ago as part of the marketing and communication department. I have been a member of the HBA for years and participated in several events. I have been impressed by their quality, the participants and the sense of community. This time I thought it was time to contribute to their cause.

We have a plan. For the next months, we will post the profiles of members and volunteers in social media. They will explain who they are and what motivates them to be part of this community. Time to draft the questions, decide on the format, the design ... but we are not alone, we have a group of qualified advisors. Sean’s daughter is an expert designer. She recommends an app we can use. After a long discussion we aligned, it’s almost midday and now I am thinking about wine and cheese in Paris.

Monday morning and I received the first profile. It’s from Carlyn, one of our board members. This is exactly what we are looking for. The photo is perfect, she has a big smile in her face and a bunch of flowers in her hand. The phone rings… it’s Sean, he wants me to attend one of the board meetings and present the plans for the HBA Zurich - Zug Chapter Spotlight. Time to prepare the slides. I open the meeting and the board members are absorbed in a discussion about an upcoming event with one the partnering companies. The atmosphere is collaborative, positive and energetic. Every detail matters. We went through the plans for the Chapter Spotlight project and surprise, they like it.

Time to connect with Sean on another Sunday morning to materialize the plans. The internet connection did not seem to be good… and when the camera opens I realised that he has changed from his chic apartment in Paris to a beautiful landscape in the Swiss Alps. Can this be a new background in Zoom?


Engaging Members is as much About Connection as it is About Momentum

A Short dip into the Life of the HBA Zurich – Zug’s Membership and Volunteer Engagement Director by Rita Mantas  

My HBA time begins every morning for 30 minutes. It is what I describe as “energy for the day”. I remind myself of my strategy first and foremost and this helps me define the focus for our weekly board session held every Friday at lunchtime. 

This week, I have my volunteer connect session. It will be the first time for a few of them and I must prepare the agenda well to make them feel strongly engaged and part of our united force. This month our critical milestone is membership retention. I have so many ideas popping up in my head that I need to bounce them off someone. My volunteers are ideal for this and I'm confident that we will identify the best for our chapter. This is the most energizing discussion I have and what I call “time for innovation”. 

Over the weekend I was at the lake and a lady approached me. She was looking to drive a women’s leadership program at her company. Our lakeside chat entailed talking about the opportunities her company can get out of the HBA. She immediately joined our LinkedIn group and became a member. I was so thrilled about this and our "swim to swim" conversation that it took me some time to notice that my strokes and pace on the water picked up due to this great energy. 

"This company fits on our outreach strategy and will be brilliant in increasing our membership,” I thought excitedly to myself. “I must share with the board and set up quickly a ‘Meet the HBA’ session with them." Invigourated by all this, I must have done the fastest swim on the lake ever.

Now... it's already Thursday, I have a call with our top corporate partner. After their successful ‘Meet the HBA’ event, it is now time to maintain the momentum and set up our upcoming educational event. The programming director sends me a text to meet 30 minutes earlier. Together we define what to offer the sponsor based on the packages that we designed. 

Tomorrow, we will be connecting with another chapter. It is always energising to learn from other ‘colleagues’. Our marcomms director is preparing the deck. On my Thursday connect with him, I make sure that the membership communication is on agenda.

It was an enriching week: captivating new members, outreach to a new partner and nurturing our corporate sponsor. It's amazing how much I gather and give every week within the HBA. The outstanding collaboration, open minds and constructive environment grows me personally and projects my career forward.


Sparking a Positive Chain Reaction

How one Opportunity Triggered many Relevant ideas for Members and Sponsors by Dagmar Niedernhuber

Monday morning, I started my week with my daily morning gymnastics and before having breakfast I reflected on my working week, which includes my work for the HBA as a volunteer.

Last week during our weekly call, we talked about our exciting HBA Zurich - Zug Chapter Spotlight project and the team was asked to think of a topic that would fit into this campaign. Suddenly, a very good idea came to my mind – why not host a virtual apéro for our HBA members? I remember that my company did this during the lockdown and it was always fun. I got really excited about this idea and wrote down many notes for our call. As a topic for this virtual apéro, I thought that we should talk about one current ‘hot’ topic among friends and colleagues - “do’s and don’ts of virtual networking". With that set, I began thinking, how should we structure the event? What technical support do we need from our HBA-colleagues if we decide to have a discussion in breakout rooms with small groups?

On Tuesday I presented my thoughts to my team and I was so happy that everyone liked the idea. I would be the lead for the first time. We needed to present the project to the board members of the HBA on Friday, so I had to put an agenda in place – I was getting a little bit nervous…

On Friday, I presented the project to the chapter board and after some great discussions about how to tailor the event, the content and date conflicts, we all agreed to go ahead with this event. How exciting! So what are the next steps? I wrote another to-do-list:

  1. I needed to register the event on the HBA website – Carlyn will help me with this as I have not done it before.
  2. We also needed a technical rehearsal – so I will look for a date to discuss how the technical side of the event is working – send out Doodle-Link to fix a date.
  3. Then we need to do the fine-tuning of the content – this will be done closer to the event.

In addition to this, we discussed other ongoing projects (upcoming events, sponsorship requests, etc.) and who would like to be involved in upcoming projects and what are the roles and responsibilities of each team member. In addition to my ongoing project, I will also be part of another one where we will speak with potential sponsors for a series of events at the HBA. 

That evening, I went through my notes and I felt so happy to be part of this great team and to have the opportunity to develop further and work on exciting projects which are not part of my daily job. And at the same time, I already started to develop another plan on how to involve my company in one of our HBA events…. I will for sure discuss this next Tuesday with my team. 

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