By Maddie Withrow 
Member Spotlight

Marie E. Lamont has more than 25 years as a global biotech leader. She has held senior leadership positions in many areas focusing on patient services, corporate strategic planning, data and analytics, commercial operations, finance and accounting, and payer contracting and reimbursement. At Inteliquet, Marie is responsible for the overall vision and operations with the goal of providing patients and physicians access to the latest and best treatment options and care available. She helps commercialize Inteliquet’s offerings of intelligent technology, insights, and services to improve the clinical trial process, research, and translational medicine.

How did you become an executive in the health care industry? Did you always have an interest in health care?
Early in my career, I had an opportunity to consider a number a biotech offers.  I jumped at the chance to join Genzyme, which was well known for its intense focus on patients.  Genzyme was launching a humanitarian program that offered free Rare Disease therapy for patients or countries that had no ability to pay.  Uniquely cutting edge at the time, this was a decisive factor for me as patients’ survival was contingent on these drugs.  I knew this was the kind of company I wanted to support.
 
You have extensive experience advising women on networking best practices, particularly within the life science and technology industries. What is one thing WBL members in those industries should keep in mind when building a strong, lasting network?
Networking is all about developing relationships.  You must grow and nurture those relationships; don’t treat them like a transaction.  I have some wonderful, talented WBL friends I met at the Annual Summit.  Catching up with each other every year is a joy.
 
Another one of your specialties is creating high-functioning leadership teams. How do you build a successful team? How can WBL be a useful resource during the process?
First, it is important to break down silos and believe in problem solving for the entire enterprise, not just your area of purview.  I also strive to lead by example, which means fostering mutual respect, keeping commitments and expecting the same. It is important, especially in leadership, to show that you are working alongside your team, not just handing out tasks.

You attended the WBL reception during the J.P. Morgan Conference in San Francisco this January. Did the conference meet your expectations? What did attending a WBL event at an industry conference such as this mean to you?
There is an undeniable energy at JP Morgan, which I’ve only seen at JP Morgan and Bio (annual Global Biotechnology Conference).  The energy and excitement around the innovation and change is palpable.  Opportunities for collaboration, partnering and sharing abound!  The conference absolutely met my expectations.  I am in the middle of a Series D fundraising round for Inteliquet and was fortunate to have a number of meetings associated with that activity.  JP Morgan provided the venue for me to embark on a journey of dialog with potential strategic partners.

You have continually dedicated time and effort towards nominating colleagues for WBL membership. What are the benefits of exposing other women executives in your company to the WBL network?
WBL members are your squad! This is a group of incredibly supportive senior executives.  WBL members have provided guidance, connections and support to me, and I have offered the same back to other members.  The programs are diverse and relevant—as is the membership.  

Personally or professionally, what might the WBL network be surprised to know about you?
I had a chance to negotiate directly with the Russian Minister of Health in 2009/2010 for Rare Disease patient support funding. Participating with our retinues around the table, it was a requirement that we each have two translators to ensure translations were correct. Imagine how long those few days of negotiations were where each statement, question or answer was spoken in the local language, then translated twice.
 
In 2007, I met former Australia Prime Minister John Howard at another Rare Disease event.  If you see me at this year’s WBL Summit, ask me about The Box!