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Midyear Forum – Leadership, Workforce, and Overcoming Challenges in Life Sciences

September 14, 2023 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

$12.00 – $450.00

1 half-day program. 2 insightful tracks.

We’ve identified the challenges. Now let’s work together to develop lasting solutions.

Join us for a half-day program to elevate your Life Sciences Leadership, Workforce, and organizational problem-solving skills. With 2 in-depth tracks, insightful panels, and planned discussions, you are sure to walk away with inspiration to get to the next level.

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  1. Leadership – Take your organization up a notch with effective leadership and decision-making skills. Hear from leaders on why they chose SC as the place to grow their business, strategies on how to overcome business challenges, and tips and tricks to build a strong work culture.
  2. Workforce – We’ll start with an overview of SC’s Life Sciences workforce dilemma and the urgency of building and retaining talent. Educational leaders (from 2-year, 4-year, and Certificate programs) and HR directors will share their perspectives on how it’s going and what needs to be done in the future. Then we’ll break into a discussion to create strategies and build connections between industry and educational institutions to elevate South Carolina’s workforce.

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8:00 am Registration and networking, light breakfast provided

9:00 am – 9:09 am Kickoff, welcome, agenda – James Chappell, CEO, SCbio

9:10am – 9:40am  Keynote – Full Speed Ahead: How USC’s New BullSteet District will become a Hotspot for Health Science Research

  Julius Fridriksson, Ph.D – Vice President of Research, USC       Robert Hughes – President, Hughes Development

9:45am – 10:30am Leadership Track – Why South Carolina is Right for Life Sciences

  • Dan Nodes – Chief Operating Officer, Vikor Scientific
  • Jody Chastain – President and CEO, The Ritedose Corporation
  • Samantha Spratt (moderator) – Business Recruitment Officer, Upstate SC Alliance

9:45am – 10:30am  Workforce Track – What’s being done?  What’s Next?

  • Erin Ford – COO and EVP, SCbio
  • Stephen Cutler, Ph.D – Dean and Professor, USC College of Pharmacy
  • Tim Hardee, Ed.D. – SC Technical College System

10:30 am – 10:50 am Extended Break and Student Registration 

10:50 am – 11:35 am  Leadership Track – Accepting the Challenge to Improve the Health of our Rural Communities 

  • Alan Myers – General Manager Southeast Region, Quest Diagnostics

10:50 am – 11:35 am Workforce TrackSkills-Based Hiring vs. Traditional Methods: More Candidates, Better Fit? 

  • Cynthia Young, Ph.D. – Founding Dean, College of Science, Clemson University
  • Joe Spiotta – Talent Acquisition Manager, SHL Medical

11:40 am – 12:25 pm Leadership TrackCultivating Belonging – Your Brand’s Secret Weapon

  • Christopher Fortier, PharmD, FASHP, CPEL – President, 503B Outsource Compounding, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Taini Coriano-Navarro – Contamination Control & Sterility Assurance Leader, Cytiva
  • Melanie Stith (moderator) – System Chief Administrative Officer, Roper Saint Francis Healthcare

11:40 am – 12:25 pm Workforce Track – Closing Workforce Gaps for a Stronger Ecosystem

  • Lou Kennedy – Owner, Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Cynthia Young, Ph.D. – Founding Dean, College of Science, Clemson University
  • Stephen Cutler, Ph.D – Dean and Professor, USC College of Pharmacy

12:25 pm – 12:30 pm Wrap-up comments

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Box Lunch + Networking AND Career/Internship Fair

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Career/Internship Fair:
South Carolina students will meet with hiring companies in the Life Sciences to learn about available internships and jobs. A list of available positions will be provided prior to the event.

Committed companies:
Nephron Pharmaceuticals
Rhythmlink International
Charles River Labs
DPX Technologies
Poly-Med Inc.
The Ritedose Corporation
SHL Medical

Thanks to committed sponsors: SC Power Team, Richland County Economic Development, Dominion Energy, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please email Carla Whitlock. 

Leadership Track Sponsor:


Workforce Track Sponsor:

Meal Sponsors:


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September 14, 2023
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
$12.00 – $450.00


Columbia Convention Center
1101 Lincoln St
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.