Get on Board: Inside the Board of Directors

If you would like to serve on a board, are already on a board, or work with a board, join us for Get on Board! The panelists are directors of both for-profit and nonprofit organization boards, and will address issues relating to service as directors, including the combinations of skills and experiences that boards are seeking, how to best position yourself for nonprofit or for-profit board candidacy, resources available to help you identify and take advantage of both paid and volunteer board opportunities, what it’s like to serve as a director on a board, and issues particular to women on boards.

Panelists include:

Samantha Budd Haeberlein, Ph.D., Vice President, Neurology Clinical Development, Biogen

Samantha has more than fifteen years of pharmaceutical industry experience across Research, Translational Science/Medicine and Clinical Development. Samantha is a results oriented and successful leader of global, multi-disciplinary project teams and line-managed functions. She is currently leading Global Clinical Development for Alzheimer’s disease at Biogen, while overseeing the Pain portfolio through an externalized model. Previously, she held roles at AstraZeneca in the US, Canada and Sweden most recently as Vice President of the Translational Science & Global Program Lead in Alzheimer’s disease. Samantha helped build the Neuroscience Virtual R&D group an experimental business model, and successfully led an Alzheimer’s project through to Ph3 in the virtual setting, as well as securing a peer pharma collaboration for this program. Prior to that Samantha led multi-disciplinary teams in Research, Strategy, Diagnostic and Clinical Development. Samantha has served on the Board for the Stockholm Brain Institute, and currently serves as an Advisory Board Member to Quartet Medicine, and AlzForum. Samantha has a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Dundee in Scotland, and conducted research at Brigham & Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School in Boston, and at The Burnham Institute in San Diego. Samantha is fluent in both English and Swedish.

Ellen Richstone, Board Member of BioAmber and EMagin

From an Operating perspective, Ellen was CEO of the Entrepreneurial Resources Group. She has also been a Chief Financial Officer for both public and private companies ranging in size from early stage to US$3 billion in revenue and Market Caps up to $7 billion. She is a former Fortune 500 CFO (Rohr Aerospace) and former Fortune 500 Treasurer (Data General). Other companies included: Sonus Networks (Telecommunications), Brooks Automation (Semiconductors), Augat (Industrial-Company sold), Honeywell Bull (Computers- Company sold), Data General (Computers-left to become CFO of Honeywell Bull), Polaroid (Consumer Products), and Chemical Bank (Financial Services). Her operating experience includes completing and integrating over 35 acquisitions, raising over US$1Billion in the equity/debt markets and implementing business planning/ operational reviews globally. In addition to M&A, and Finance her skill experience includes: Global (including: China, Europe, India, Japan, S. Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, US), Investor Relations, Crisis Management, Manufacturing, Growth & Turnaround. Ellen was named to the Top 100 Board Diversity Candidates for Public Companies by Agenda (Parent Company- Financial Times). In June 2012, Ellen was elected to the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (New England). She earned her Professional Director Certification for Public Company Directors in 2010 from the American College of Corporate Directors, followed by her Advanced Professional Director Certification in 2011, her Masters in April 2012 and her Executive Masters in November 2013. Click here for her full bio.

Marjorie Ringrose, SVP Boston Director of Social Impact, Social Venture Partners

Marjorie joined SVP in late 2009 and, together with her Boston Partners, is an influential advocate for and practitioner of high impact, engaged philanthropy. She has held positions as President of an executive training company, focused on strategic planning and communications for senior executives from Fortune 500 companies, as a strategy consultant with a leading communications and media firm, and as a teacher at several colleges. Marjorie is on the Board of Directors of the Boston Children’s Chorus and Third Sector New England and is co-Chair of Boston Education Funders. Marjorie holds a BS from Trinity University and an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics.

Yvonne Schlaeppi, Independent Director & Managing Partner, Stratevise LLC

In addition to leading Stratevise’s life sciences and certain of its high-tech transaction advisory work, Yvonne served as independent director on the boards of two life sciences companies owned by Ares Life Sciences, a London-based investment fund with a portfolio of revenue-generating life sciences companies in Europe and the US. She also serves on an External Advisory Committee at the Brigham. For 30 years Yvonne has been a senior corporate executive, global business strategist and international lawyer at companies in different technology and life sciences sectors, as well as being an equity partner and chair of Palmer & Dodge’s international practice group. Before moving into board work and strategic consulting, Yvonne was General Counsel of three global groups: Global Enterprise Technologies, Passport & ID (a privately-held group with government identity and credentialing projects in more than 20 countries, which was the largest provider of digital passport printing solutions worldwide); Organon BioSciences (the spin-out of Akzo Nobel’s pharma, animal health and biotech operations with USD 5+ B sales in 80 countries); and European General Counsel at Johnson Controls (the NYSE listed industrial manufacturer then with USD 4+ B in sales in the EMEA and CIS). Yvonne has lived and worked in Europe and the US and has been responsible for negotiating and closing business transactions in major business centers in the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the CIS. Yvonne is a graduate of Princeton University (the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs). She won a German Fulbright Fellowship (DAAD) and studied at the University of Bonn. Yvonne earned her JD at Columbia University.  

Susan Vogt, Chief Executive Officer, Aushon BioSystems

Susan joined venture‐backed Aushon BioSystems in 2013 as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors. 
Susan brought with her over 30 years experience in the global life sciences, biotech, and clinical diagnostics 
markets including five years as CEO and Director of publicly traded SeraCare Life Sciences, and previous 
experience as a Corporate Officer of publicly traded Millipore Corporation. She has served as an advisor to 
various private and public companies in the life sciences and biotech including private equity/venture capital as 
a board member or consultant. She has previously served on the Boards of Belfast‐based publicly listed Andor 
Technology, UK‐based private company TAP BioSystems, and Justrite Manufacturing Company, a portfolio 
company of private equity investor The Riverside Company, and is currently serving as Vice‐Chair of the Board 
of Trustees of The Cambridge School of Weston. Susan holds a B.A. from Brown University, and M.B.A. from 
Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

Dr. Jill Wittels, Managing Partner of Sostenuto Strategic Advisors, Board Chair, CEO Mentor, and Angel Investor

Dr. Jill Wittels, Managing Partner of Sostenuto Strategic Advisors, is a public Board Chair, private board Director, CEO mentor, and angel investor. She serves as Fiduciary or Advisory Director or Strategic Advisor to technology companies in a wide range of markets. Currently she is Chair of the Board of eMagin (EMAN), an OLED micro-displays company, and an Advisory Board Director for SmartSenseCom, an early stage company with products for better control of high and medium voltage transmission on the electric grid. Her primary non-profit experience was nearly 20 years on the Board of Directors of Fermi Research Alliance, which operates the DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. She also serves as a CEO advisor/mentor to early stage companies in the New England high tech zone in markets from biotech and medical IT to mobile banking security. Since launching SSA in July of 2011, Dr. Wittels has also consulted for several of the top rank Aerospace and Defense enterprises. In July 2011 she retired as Corporate VP of Business and Technology Strategy at L-3 Communications (2001-2011) where she worked directly for the CEO. Her first board directorship was for 10 years as a L-3’s Board Director for Innovative Microtechnologies Inc, a CA based MEMS company. Dr. Wittels has nearly 35 years of experience with business unit P&L management, strategy, engineering management and leadership. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from MIT in 1970 and a PhD in Physics from MIT in 1975. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Corporate Directors Group, Women Corporate Directors, The Boston Club as well as the American Physical Society.


Date and Time:  
October 13, 2015
6:00 - 8:30 PM


5:50-6:10pm: Registration, mingling, and light dinner
6:10-6:30pm: Facilitated networking
6:30-8:00pm: Panel Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Optional networking


Microsoft New England Research and Development Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Sampson Room, Cambridge, MA

Map and Parking Info

We appreciate Microsoft New England Research and Development Center donating the use of their event space.


Members: $35; Non-Members: $55, Workshop and Annual Membership: $120
A light dinner will be served.

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