Neil has a Diploma of Physical Education from the University of Otago and a Teachers Diploma from Auckland Secondary Teachers College. Neil started his working life as a High School Teacher at Westlake Boy’s High School in Auckland where he taught physical education, biology, and social studies. Neil joined the pharmaceutical industry as a sales rep for Ciba-Geigy in 1983 and then held positions at Ebos Dental & Surgical, Adis International, and Oxford Clinical Communications (OCC) before starting AXIS Healthcare Communications in 1999. Neil sold AXIS to UK-based Huntsworth plc in 2007. In his current role as Global CEO of Huntsworth Health Neil leads a group of best-in class agencies specializing in strategic consulting, medical communications, brand promotion, interactive media, and sales training. Huntsworth Health provides a full spectrum of global healthcare communications services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Neil is on the Board of Directors for St. Mary’s Hospital and the startup data management company Steel Orca. Neil is a popular speaker at industry conferences and was voted one of the 100 Most Inspiring people in healthcare in 2005. As an avid supporter of all things NZ, Neil has been involved in the Ambassadors Shield Rugby match with the NZ Ambassador for the past 15 years and has also worked with NZ Trade and Industry assisting NZ healthcare technology companies understand the US market.
Dr. Geoff Nichol
Geoff Nichol graduated BMedSc MB ChB from the University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He graduated MBA from Warwick University in the United Kingdom. Geoff trained as a pulmonologist in Christchurch, New Zealand; Adelaide, Australia; and at the Brompton Hospital in London, United Kingdom. He joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1989. Currently Geoff serves as Executive Vice President of R&D at Sangamo BioSciences, a Bay area biotechnology company developing therapeutics using its highly specific zinc finger gene modification technology. Prior to joining Sangamo, Geoff had a distinguished career in clinical therapeutic development, serving with SmithKline Beecham, on the senior management team at Novartis, and as Senior Vice President of Product Development at Medarex Inc., until its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 2009. Geoff has played a leading role in the development of Augmentin BID, a commonly prescribed antibiotic, Foradil and Xolair for the treatment of asthma, and Yervoy, the first “checkpoint inhibitor” immunotherapy for treating cancer, and the first treatment to prolong survival in advanced malignant melanoma, a deadly cancer.
Dr. AnnMarie Oien
AnnMarie Oien is a recognized expert and strategist in the Lockheed Martin Corporation for Lean Six Sigma facilitation, particularly in Root Cause Analysis (RCA). She is responsible for facilitating high impact Lean and RCA events, mentoring others for event facilitation, advising on approaches and developing tools to assist facilitators in events. Dr. Oien joined Lockheed Martin in 1997 as a Research Scientist, after receiving her Doctorate in Physics for developing the first laser atomic cooling facility (via Magneto-Optical Trapping) in the Southern Hemisphere, at the University of Otago in New Zealand. At LMCT Dr. Oien specialized in solid state laser and Raman laser development, developing three Raman Laser systems for limited field testing in laser radar imaging applications. She assumed the role(s) of a capture manager, technical lead, and principal investigator/program manager of 15 contracts specializing in laser systems of $0.1-3M size, eventually moving to program portfolio and functional management for ladar sensing applications. Dr. Oien brought her scientific and management experience to bear in the Lean Six Sigma and Root Cause Analysis role in 2008, working with teams to establish the practice of advanced RCA application in Lockheed Martin. Dr. Oien is also a certified master black belt in lean six sigma process improvement, deploying statistical analysis and advanced team facilitation techniques in another 100+ projects. Dr. Oien has received numerous awards for her work in lean six sigma and RCA.
Catherine Bollard received her MB ChB (1991) and her MD (2005) at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is Board certified both in Pediatrics (FRACP) and Hematology (FRCPA). She worked both in New Zealand and London, England before moving to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas in 2000 where she rose through the ranks to Tenured Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Immunology and the Director of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center Pediatric Lymphoma Program. In August 2013, she moved to Children’s National and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. She is currently Chief, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine and Director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy (CETI). She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and is President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). She serves of multiple boards and committees at a national and international level. Catherine serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), is a member of the NIH Clinical Oncology (CONC) study section, a member of the Cellular, Tissues and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee for the FDA and Chairs the NHL committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. In addition, she is an Associate Editor for the journals Blood and Cytotherapy. Her bench and translational research focuses on the development of novel cell therapies for malignancies and viral-associated diseases.
Regional Associate Member Liaison
Nigel Bain graduated from the University of Otago in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science, with honors, majoring in Mineral Technology. Nigel has worked in the US mining industry for over 30 years starting with mine engineering roles and progressing into roles in senior management. He is currently the General Manager of Barrick Gold’s Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture Mine. His resume features roles with mining companies ranging from some of the smallest in the industry to some of the world’s largest producers, in commodities ranging from industrial minerals to precious metals. Most recently he has managed gold mines in Nevada, specializing in underground extraction. Over his career, Nigel has helped to develop and implement new initiatives and technologies that have worked to improve safety, productivity, and the working culture of underground soft-rock excavation with great success. He has been repeatedly recognized by a number of regional and national organizations for his leadership in underground mine safety. But he is proudest of the USA National Mining Association’s Sentinel of Safety award, presented to the SSX mine where he was the General Manager. In addition to once receiving this prestigious award, Nigel has managed a number of different mines similarly nominated. Nigel is a past Chairman of the Nevada Mining Association and provides support to a number of community outreach and education initiatives in rural Nevada.
Dr. Helen Heslop
Helen Heslop is a medical graduate from the University of Otago who is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Dan L. Duncan Chair at Baylor College of Medicine, and also directs the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. She is also Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center. Dr. Heslop is a physician scientist engaged in translational research focusing on adoptive immunotherapy with gene-modified effector cells, to improve hemopoietic stem cell transplantation and cancer therapy. She is a Doris Duke distinguished clinical research scientist and serves as Principal Investigator on several peer-reviewed research programs, including an NCI-funded program project grant (Enhancing T-Cell Therapy of Cancer) a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) award (Immunotherapy of Lymphoma) and a SPORE in lymphoma from the NCI. She is also the principal investigator on an NHLBI-funded training grant in Cell and Gene Therapy. She is the current President of the Foundation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and a past President of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Jonathon (Jono) Wong
Jonathon Wong (Jono) is the Head of Strategy & Operations - Global Product Partnerships at Google. Jono works closely with senior leaders across Google’s Global Partnerships team to drive the development and execution of business strategy, product partnerships, and operational initiatives in a number of key areas including mobile, digital advertising, and programmatic trading. Prior to joining Google, Jono spent nearly six years with Deloitte Consulting’s strategy and operations practice in Wellington, Washington D.C., New York, and San Francisco where he focused on corporate strategy and M&A. In 2011, Jono was selected as the U.S. Deloitte Rising Star to attend the SNS Future in Review technology conference, and in the same year was appointed to The Center for the Edge, Deloitte’s technology research and thought leadership group based in San Francisco. Jono also co-founded a seed-funded startup (Elevent Inc.), where he managed the product development of a visual decision making platform. Jono holds a Bachelors of Commerce with Honors (first class) in Economics from the University of Otago, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
John Crowe has spent 16 years as a Finance executive at J.P. Morgan in London and New York. He currently leads the finance team for the Investment Bank's Sales organizations and is focused on optimizing the firm's client franchise. After graduating from the University of Otago in 1993 with a BCom (Hons) and LLB, John worked at The Treasury, Wellington, where he provided advice on State Owned Enterprises, including the privatization of Forestry Corporation. In 1997 John moved to London and worked as a credit analyst, engagement controller and program controller before joining J.P. Morgan. John is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
Chris graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1996 with a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Economics and Finance. Before University he attended Otago Boys High School. Chris has over fifteen years of experience in the US capital markets industry. He is a founding partner of Greenstone Value Opportunity Fund, a US based hedge fund focused on value and distressed investments. Prior to founding Greenstone in 2008, he spent six years at the investment banking firm of Stonegate Securities, Inc. His diverse roles included sell-side analyst, and investment banker, where he was integrally involved in raising over $400 million in capital for small cap public companies. Before this he worked for a US private investment fund, where he was involved in identifying publicly traded investment opportunities and performing due diligence. In New Zealand Chris worked for the meat processor, Alliance Group, Ltd in various roles, and fisheries company, Moana Pacific Fisheries, Ltd. Mr. White is the current holder of NASD Series 7, 63, and 65 designations. Along with sitting on the board of the University of Otago in America, Mr. White founded an internship program with the University to assist graduates in finding internships with US funds and leading financial institutions. He also sits on the board of directors for the American New Zealand Association (ANZA). Chris and his wife live in Dallas, Texas with their two children.
Born in Invercargill (nee Ward) and graduated from Otago in 1981: BA (double major in French and Economics), Post Grad Diploma (Economics). Jacinta specialized in Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, and worked in related roles for the State Services Commission, NZ Employers Federation. She joined Fletcher Challenge in 1986 as a divisional Human Resources Manager, moving into a range of Corporate HR and Organization Development roles in 1989 for 10 years. She was also a trustee of the Fletcher Challenge Trust, founding chairperson of the NZ Employment Equity Trust, Director of Enterprise New Zealand, and chief judge of the Young Enterprise Awards, Director and Board member of Netball New Zealand and lead of the ‘Future Direction’ organization review for Netball New Zealand. Since moving to the US in 2000, Jacinta acted as the International Netball Federation’s (IFNA) mediator for the USA national representation issue (2008-2010), and was a founding Director of the New York chapter of KEA (Kiwi Expats Association). Jacinta is currently employed by TayganPoint Consulting Group since 2011 and consult in project and change management, communications and organization strategy. As a Southlander and Otago graduate, Jacinta has a long and happy association with the University, and has a daughter who transferred to Otago from her US University and will complete her BSc in 2016!
Catherine Fay Shyer was born in Auckland, New Zealand and attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart (Auckland, Wellington) and Otago University, graduating in 1976 with a BS in Consumer and Applied Science. Upon graduation, Mrs. Shyer joined AC Nielsen, the world’s leading marketing information company that offers market research and services in more than 100 countries. Mrs. Shyer served AC Nielsen in successive levels of management including a two-year international assignment in Toronto, Canada. Upon return to New Zealand in 1990, she was appointed Managing Director of AC Nielsen – New Zealand. Mrs. Shyer married Robert Shyer, Chairman of the Zyloware Corporation in 1993 and moved to the United States. Their child, Elizabeth, was born in 1996. She graduated Hotchkiss School in 2014 and currently attends Marymount Manhattan College. Mrs. Shyer is a Commissioner on the Salisbury, Connecticut Planning and Zoning Commission and Vice President of the Lake Wonoscoponuc Association. Mrs. Shyer shares her husband’s interest in travel and in contemporary New Zealand art. Mrs. Shyer lives with her husband and daughter in New York City and in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Dr. Andrew Hamer
Dr. Hamer is a Medical Director Global Development, at Amgen Inc. Prior to that he was VP of Medical Affairs at Capricor Therapeutics, a small biotech company, from November 2013 to August 2015. He had a twenty year career as a cardiologist and clinical researcher. In his clinical practice, he combined all aspects of inpatient and outpatient cardiac care along with hospitalist responsibilities, in a geographically isolated part of New Zealand (Nelson/Marlborough). These activities led to his stewardship in numerous national healthcare quality improvement roles including Chairing the Cardiac Society 2008-2009, National Cardiac Surgery Network 2009-2011 and New Zealand Cardiac Network 2011-2013. Dr. Hamer is an experienced clinical researcher having been the principal investigator in over 35 global multicenter clinical trials in acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, hypertension, cholesterol disorders, atrial fibrillation, and diabetes. Dr. Hamer received his education at Cathedral Grammar and Christ’s College, Christchurch, and his MBChB from the University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand. He served as a house office at Wellington Hospital, New Zealand, a senior house office at University College Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, London, UK, and, an internal medicine and cardiology registrar at Canterbury Area Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand. Andrew was a clinical research fellow at Green Lane Hospital, Auckland for 2 years, prior to a post Fellowship year in Cardiology at The Deaconess Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1995-1996.
Sir Murray F. Brennan
Inaugural Member of the AUOA Honorary Advisory Board
Sir Murray Brennan was born in Royal Oak, Auckland New Zealand and graduated from the University of Otago with a BSc in 1962 and MB ChB in 1964. Murray served as the President of the University of Otago Student Association, played rugby for the University of Otago Rugby Club and played 12 games for Otago during the 1964-65 seasons. Murray has held positions as Professor and Chairman Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 1985-2006; Member Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; Director of the American Board of Surgery; Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer; President of the Society of Surgical Oncology; President of the American Surgical Association; President of the Society of Clinical Surgery; and President of the James IV Association of Surgeons. Murray holds Honorary Fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. Honorary Doctorates from the University of Goteborg, University of Edinburgh, University of Otago, and The Imperial College, London. Murray is presently Chairman Emeritus Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Director of the International Center and Vice President for International Programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Murray currently lives in Westchester, New York, and is married with four children. Murray’s eldest son Sean is living in the Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, with his wife Rachael and two grandchildren where he has established an international award winning vineyard Brennan Wines www.brennanwines.com Murray was the President of AUOA from 2008 until 2013 and was one of the founding members of the new Board that established AUOA as a legal charitable entity in the US. Murray is an inaugural member of the AUOA Honorary Advisory Board.
Inaugural Member of the AUOA Honorary Advisory Board
Jennifer (Jenny) Schreiber grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. She enrolled at the School of Home Science, University of Otago in Dunedin, graduating with a Diploma of Home Science. She was then appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in the Clothing Department at the School, a position she held for two years before travelling overseas. Jenny has lived in the United States for nearly 50 years, initially in San Francisco and then in Los Angeles. She and her husband Richard Schreiber have two adult daughters. Jenny has been a principal in the interior design firm, Jennifer Schreiber Interiors, since 1978. During this time, she has worked on independent design projects, as a showroom manager for a New York based textile company, and as a design consultant. Jenny continues to work occasionally on design projects on the east and west coasts. Jenny was a Board member of the Alumni of the University of Otago in America, Inc. from 2003 to 2012. She was recently appointed an Honorary Advisory Board member. Jenny has also been active for over forty years in many volunteer organizations in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.
William ‘Bill’ Lindquist
Inaugural Member of the AUOA Honorary Advisory Board
William (Bill) Lindqvist was raised in Bluff, New Zealand and graduated from the Otago University School of Mines in 1964. After completing a PhD in Economic Geology at the Imperial College in London, UK he spent the next 40 years exploring for gold and base metals for three major mining companies on several continents. Bill has been based in the U.S. for 35 years and is currently self-classified as "semi-retired". He occupies his time with junior exploration company board work, charitable activities, bird watching, and his children and grandchildren. He lives near San Francisco with his Invercargill-born wife, Helen, a fellow University of Otago botany graduate. Bill was a founding member of the new Board that established AUOA as a legal charitable entity in 2008 and served as Vice President of that Board until 2012. Bill is an inaugural member of the AUOA Honorary Advisory Board.