NEW HAVEN: If Yale students find a reason to protest the 2017 Yale Class Day speaker they may have most of America and God himself, herself[?] to deal with.
Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball and former general manager of the Red Sox, will be this year’s Class Day speaker on Sunday, May 21, during Commencement weekend.
A graduate of Yale College (Class of 1995), Epstein is a former sports reporter and sports editor at the Yale Daily News.
As General Manager of the Red Sox he helped deliver the World Series to Boston fans after a wait of 86 years – and he was only 30 at the time.
Apparently either success went to his head, or he was up for another challenge when he joined the Chicago Cubs as president of baseball operations. Cubs fans had loser bragging rights that even surpassed the Red Sox. They hadn’t won a world championship since Roosevelt was president, that’s Theodore Roosevelt.
NEW HAVEN: Leonard Bell Co-founded Alexion Pharmaceuticals [Nasdaq: Alxn] in 1992 in a small lab in New Havens’ Science Park with Stephen Squinto Ph.D. and David Keiser. Today as Bell announces his retirement as Chairman, [ he retired as CEO in April of 2015] the company has a market capitalization of $29 billion and occupies the signature building in downtown New Haven housing more than 1,000 employees. Keiser retired as president in 2008 as president and Squinto as Executive VP in 2014.
Dr. Bell's efforts were first covered in Business New Haven in 1994 and he was recognized as a greater New Haven Healthcare Hero in 2011. Bell said of his departure and the future, “I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved over the past 25 years, and I have great confidence in the future of the company.. I am very much looking forward to spending increasing time with my family, and also exploring new and different opportunities.”
Alexion drug development has been toward rare diseases, but it still has been among the fastest growing and most successful start ups in Connecticut history. In 2008 when Keiser retired, Alexion had sales of $76 million, 2016 sales were $3.1 billion. As CEO, Bell engineered two major acquisitions in 2015 to diversify the company’s drug pipeline, totalling nearly $10 billion dollars in purchase costs, a gamble on two drugs that had not received final FDA approval.
[see The Future is Suddenly Uncertain and The News is Not Completely Good ] the drugs Strensiq and Kanuma did receive approvals and while reportedly off to a slow start, are expected to eventually produce sales of more than $1.5 billion.
With a new headquarters, hefty profits, and more than $3 billion in sales, 2016 was to be the best year ever as Bell contemplated his retirement. A controversy and an internal investigation in November, led to questions about financial controls and the resignation of the company’s CEO and CFO.
In response to the allegation and investigations, Alexion stock began to tank and two class action lawsuits were filed. By early January the company had an interim CEO, David Brennan a board member and former CEO of Pharma giant AstraZeneca and it satisfied itself no material effect were caused by the shortcomings.
Before founding Alexion, Bell was an attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and assistant professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Bell’s current stock ownership of the company has a value of approximately $50 million.
NEW HAVEN: Howard Pitkin a former Connecticut banking commissioner was elected to the board of Continuity, a "leading provider of compliance management and regulatory technology."
CEO Michael Nicastro made the announcement saying, “Howard has been involved with and has managed many different facets of compliance over his 40-year career in banking oversight. This level of expertise along with his relationships with the 49 other state regulators as well as federal agencies will be integral to Continuity as we continue to build compliance solutions on our compliance platform for financial institutions.”
Connecticut Technology Council Announces the 2017 Women of Innovation® Finalists and Awards Gala.
HARTFORD: The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) announced the 50 Women of Innovation finalists for its 2017 Women of Innovation awards program.
The finalists are scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, drafters, entrepreneurs, and technicians from Connecticut’s business, academic and technology community. There are eight categories [see below] and the finalists will be recognized and a winner will be announced for each category at the Women of Innovation® Awards Gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville on March 29 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The women tech leaders live and work in cities and towns from across the Nutmeg state, with representatives from Suffield to Greenwich, from Mystic, to Danbury.
A diverse group of twenty companies are represented by the women innovators as well, from Sikorsky in Stratford, to Sonalysts Studios in Waterford and Bioarray Genetics in Farmington.
Daniel Fitzmaurice Appointed Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven
Eileen O’Donnell, Chair of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven Board of Directors, announces the appointment of Daniel Fitzmaurice as their next Executive Director effective March 13, 2017.
Mr. Fitzmaurice comes to the Arts Council from neighboring arts organization Creative Arts Workshop where he has served as Executive Director since 2015. Under his leadership, Creative Arts Workshop has expanded its visibility, programs, and fiscal stability. Prior to this, he was the Managing Director of the Elm Shakespeare Company.
“We are thrilled to welcome Daniel to the Arts Council during this important transition,” said Ms. O’Donnell. “As an arts leader, collaborator, and innovator, he is exactly what our regional arts and cultural sector of the 21st century needs.”
Robert F. Polito was named chair of the Masonicare Board of Trustees. As Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender with Webster Bank for 23 years, Polito served on the board of the senior living and healthcare non-profit for 10 years. Polito chairs the Investment Committee and IT Steering Committee of Masonicare and has been involved in fundraising for The Masonic Charity Foundation. He earned his B.A. in public policy from Eastern Connecticut State University, an M.B.A. from the University of New Haven and a post-graduate business certificate from UCONN.