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HBA Central New Jersey Event – Creating a Culture of Advocacy, Inclusion and Growth


On 21 February, HBA Central New Jersey and Bristol Myers Squibb held a networking and fireside chat event with BMS's Adam Lenkowsky, Chief Commercialization Officer, and Wendy Short Bartie, SVP of U.S. Oncology and Hematology, where they discussed creating a culture of advocacy, inclusion and growth. The event was held at BMS's Princeton Pike location with over 200 HBA and BMS B-NOW members in attendance. 

BNOW1After the networking portion, where folks could mingle, reconnect, and make new connections, the chat began with opening remarks from HBA CNJ's VP Lisa Yates and B-NOW's Carla Daily. Adam and Wendy discussed their career journeys and the impact key relationships had on their progression. Adam and Wendy started in Sales and have moved through the ranks to lead significant teams in the Commercial Organization. 

They shared insightful experiences and perspectives on leveraging your network as you continuously create and cultivate it. Wendy shared her essential tip, “be excellent, be risky, and be political.” You cannot showcase your abilities without excelling in your role and sometimes taking risks on roles outside your scope. Being political is not harmful; it is networking and ensuring the right people are watching you succeed. Those people become your Sponsors, not Mentors, Adam explained, where there is a crucial difference: Sponsors see you shine and advocate for you to continue to move to bigger and better opportunities, while mentors can see you fail and help you dust yourself off for the next one.

The event closed by discussing the critical nature of DE&I. Wendy challenged the group to not only identify and work against Microaggressions but also employ what she calls "Microlifts," small chances to lift others by mentioning their success, performance, or impacts. We must all work together because, as Adam quoted a colleague, Diversity is making numbers; Inclusion is making numbers count. 

HBA CNJ would like to thank Bristol Myers Squibb's sponsorship and hosting of this event, particularly the B-NOW and Events teams Charmi Patel, Melissa Dolled Filhart, Carla Daily, Kara Bugy, and the HBA Leadership and Event planning teams Sharon List, Stephanie Hondorp, Juliet Hart, Lisa Yates, MonaKay Rifi, Sumathi Madadi, and Savannah Liscoppi.

Missed it? Join HBA Central New Jersey at their next event on 10 April for a workshop to map and strengthen your network.