Oh What a Wonderful (Mc)DAY: The View From My First Three Weeks
I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Stipa, the President of McDAY, a year and a half ago in Asheville, NC during a trip to support a dear friend running a marathon. Full transparency, we were not participating in the race! However, we were slinging waters and protein bars with the best of them. We were gathered together in the beautiful mountain town that blustery winter weekend to cheer on and support someone who we both happen to love very much. As fan girls, we had plenty of time to get to know one another, exchange stories and backgrounds, and of course – carry out our duties as snack providers and paparazzi.
I would have to say that my budding interest in McDAY began that very day, when I had my first conversation with Susan. Her warmth, eloquence, and intellect had me stricken – and immediately, I wanted to learn everything I could about her and her company. As a self-proclaimed boss lady, I was obviously enamored by her journey and her climb to the top. We discussed her years at Foster-Wheeler and Roche, her experience as a chemical/process engineer, and lessons learned along the way.
I have to say, I was most interested in what it was like to wear a hard hat for decades! Only kidding – but what I did take away from our conversations most was her empathetic and attentive nature, and interest in my story. I brought her up to speed on my former position and experience within the healthcare technology industry and my own personal journey. Naturally, we touched on our dating lives, tennis, and good bourbon – it was a quick and natural connection, one that I will never forget. That conversation led to many more conversations and eventually, a brunch in Philadelphia when I was visiting for New Year’s Eve, where we simply looked at one another and said, let’s do this.
I write this now, April 24th, 2018 – three weeks into the job, days after return home from my first pharmaceutical manufacturing conference, Interphex, in New York City – whereby we represented our gracious client, iBio CDMO. And I can honestly say, it is with unequivocal cheer and empowerment that I wake each morning with bright eyes (metaphorically!) – feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and energized to work for McDAY.
We hit the ground running at Interphex, setting up numerous meetings for Dr. Barry Holtz, President of iBio. The meetings ranged from gatherings with editors of biopharma publications, like Karen Langhauser with \
Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, to securing association memberships with Gil Roth and Pharma and BioPharma Outsourcing Association, all the way to entertaining clients and friends at various networking events. The receptions included an Enterprise Ireland event and the “main event,” which we hosted at the Perfect Pint, ranked the “Best Irish Pub and Best Rooftop Bar in NYC”! The reception was a blow out and you couldn’t turn your head 10 degrees without seeing a smile on someone’s face and/or engaging conversations flowing. Susan’s familiar charm was evidently contagious and clearly transferable into the professional relationships that she has fostered with both her employees and her clients. Being immersed in such a positive environment and feeling the good energy was just lovely and I feel so honored to be a part of this organization. It is a true depiction of leadership stemming from the top – with all of its style and grace.
I thank the cosmic marathon forces above for leading me to McDAY and I truly hope that everyone has the pleasure of working in such an inspiring, encouraging, and gracious environment as I am experiencing. It’s a real dream.