I don’t talk much about my personal life here, and there’s probably a post I could write about how having an active personal/family life sometimes needs to be kept on the down low professionally, unfortunately. The truth is that I started Comprendia and the San Diego Biotechnology Network in 2008 as part of a plan to realize my dream of being a parent. Being single, and in marketing, isn’t the easiest path for this undertaking as travel and work schedules tend to interfere. Add to that the field of biotech, and the limited number of locations to work, most with no close family, and it seemed almost impossible.
Working from home as a consultant/community organizer, with complete control over my travel, was the ideal path for me, and I am grateful for those of you who have supported me in myriad ways over this past 7 years. I was able to adopt a 13 year old girl in 2011 and she just turned 17! With college expenses coming, her impending driving capabilities (ugh), and her increased maturity, it’s time to put Comprendia on hold for now. I’m going to finally make my father happy and get a “real” job (he stopped asking only about 3 years ago). I have taken a position heading up marketing at SGI-DNA, a move that I am very excited about. I could make a list of all the great things about this new position, including the promise of synthetic biology, the opportunity to work with product management to take their marketing to the next level, and the chance to work at one of Craig Venter’s companies. Being in San Diego biotech for 18 years, I’ve come to appreciate the value that he brings in not only “star power,” but in funding and invigoration of the local life science landscape.
I plan to keep up the blog on this site with periodic posts on the state of the industry, and will likely still post a few daily updates on Twitter. I have met so many incredible people on my journey that I will certainly keep in touch with the science communication, etc. community. I believe very strongly that life science companies should learn to bridge the gap with their customers using more social and digital media. You may have noticed through recent posts my frustration in this area, and that I feel life science companies are well behind the curve. Perhaps, perhaps I would be staying with Comprendia if this part of the business had taken off. However, I’m happy to be able to apply what I’ve learned at my new job. I’ve been ramping down the work here for the past year or so in anticipation of full time employment, so thankfully I’m the only full time employee and have only a handful of projects to wrap up.
Along the way, we developed some interesting “assets,” including the Biotech Marketing Group, which has nearly 5,000 high quality members on LinkedIn. It’s future is unclear, and I’m open to suggestions. As a born marketer, it was painful to me to turn off the lead generation on this website, but I’m happy to use my expertise at the new job. You can still contact me for speaking engagements or for interviews, etc.
If some of you are here wondering if the San Diego Biotechnology Network (SDBN) will continue, the answer is yes. The SDBN has always been a resource that I’ve been able to ramp up or down as needed, and we’ll continue to have bimonthly (or perhaps quarterly) events and keep up the web resources. You may notice that future events will have…a distinct genomics flair! Of course this is not a stretch in San Diego. Also, I plan to continue to support the local science communication community by hosting and sharing events. There is a real groundswell in this area happening, and you can see a recent talk I gave to learn more.
If you want to know my secret, I hope to someday retire and to run Comprendia and the SDBN similarly to how Ed Greene of Ed’s Jobs List does (although I do get seasick).
Please keep in touch!