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Spotlight on Executive-in-Residence: Loralyn Mears, PhD

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently unveiled its second group of Executive-in-Residence (EIR) appointees. These highly-skilled life sciences professionals will mentor and advise emerging companies at EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick.  The EIR program was created in collaboration with BioNJ.  

Over the next few weeks, @NJEDATech will delve into the back-stories of these EIRs; next up, Loralyn Mears, PhD, of Parsippany.


 
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Loralyn Mears, EIR – Market Development, has extensive experience selling and marketing products and services for several Fortune 500 life sciences companies. She has closed multi-million- and billion-dollar deals, forged hundreds of partnerships, and launched innovative first-in-world products that have generated significant revenues for a former Fortune 10 employer.
 
In her last few roles, Mears has designed and executed integrated sales and marketing campaigns promoting corporate real estate and facilities management, and information technology and biomarker genomics software to biopharmaceutical customers. Mears has helped drive billions of dollars in revenues by forging C-suite relationships with customers as a trusted advisor and by creating novel sales channels with strategic partners. She has also established world-class competitive intelligence infrastructure and programs, and managed market research teams to track trends and insights and apply data analytics and metrics to measure team performance.
 
Mears has an affinity for creating alliances and partnerships. She believes collaboration and partnerships – whether academic, vendor or practitioner - are key to awareness and market development. This belief is driving her to help CCIT tenants identify and articulate their value to the marketplace. For example, since beginning at CCIT last month, Mears has worked closely with Aucta Pharmaceuticals Founder & CEO Shoufeng Li, PhD to raise his company’s profile at last week’s JP Morgan Chase Healthcare Conference.

Mears earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Queen’s University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Molecular Biology jointly through Case-Western Reserve University and Queen’s University.
 
Why did you choose to apply to the EIR program?
I'm drawn to people who are passionate about their work and about trying to make a difference in people's lives. I love the positive and frenetic energy that comes with start-ups and recall the intensity of midnight pizza meetings and trying to get a solution ready for a customer back when I was part of a start-up. The pressure, the passion, the hope - all combine to create a vitality that's stimulating and energizing. Who doesn't want to be a part of a program that fosters this?! 
 
What do you hope to get out of this EIR program?
In recent years, I've strayed too far from biopharmaceutical scientific research and I miss being part of a team that can have direct immediate impact on human health. I am skilled at translating scientific and technical content and converting "it" into something of measurable commercial value and can help the consumer understand why "it" is special. Helping CCIT tenants  with their efforts in global market development and finding new partners and additional funding, and grow sales, is one way I can give back, and get closer to the science that I've missed at the same time. By doing what I do, I hope to help the tenants here do what they do brilliantly -- making discoveries that will transform patients' lives.
 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard over the years that you hope to impart on these emerging life sciences companies?
Forbes StrengthsFinder changed my life. The philosophy proposed is to let go of all of the skills that you're simply not good at and absolutely nail your Top 3 existing skills. This advice has helped me zero in on roles and projects in which I know I can be the most effective and impactful. According to Strengthsfinders, my Top 3 are:

1) "WOO" (Winning people over) - essential to build relationships in alliances and sales
2) Communications - essential for a liaison role with partnerships and essential for crafting marketing messages
3) Strategy - enormously helpful to assimilate disparate data and identify the right next step based on a situational analysis
 
What is the next challenge you want to undertake in your career?
Recently, I've had a variety of roles in market development and worked for several employers. While my intention has always been to secure a role with a single employer and stay there long enough to learn, grow, advance and have impact, as we all know, there is much churn in the industry today which often results in a premature and unexpected stop on the career path with your employer. I have challenged myself to find a leader, a team, an employer, and a mentor that will help me build the skills and experience that I need to establish a career managing strategic partnerships and harnessing innovation that will have a positive impact on people's lives.
 
More information about EIR program, including eligibility, can be found at www.njeda.com/EIR.

To learn about programs and initiatives that support the technology industry, visit http://www.njeda.com/tls and follow @NJEDATech on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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