Standing along Pine Street in St. Louis, watching a pop-up bike lane in action, I struck up a conversation with a 64-year-old MetroBus...
AGE, LIVED IN COLUMBIA, HOMETOWN: BB: 27, five, Joplin EB: 28, six, St. Louis
JOB DESCRIPTION: BB: Half my time is spent on what I would consider typical duties: development, HR, legal, account service and problem solving. The other half is creating opportunity through innovation by utilizing Pure’s resources as an incubator for new start-ups. By the end of this year, we should launch two to four new start-ups. EB: I’m responsible for understanding, interpreting and communicating scientific information for the development and promotion of a new cancer therapy.
EDUCATION: BB: B.A. in politics with an emphasis in poverty studies from Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.); J.D./MBA at MU EB: B.A. in biology pre-med from Covenant College; Ph.D. in molecular microbiology and immunology from MU
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: BB: Columbia Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Centennial Investors, United Way board of directors, University Club board of directors, co-founder and board member of Good Hope Educational Initiative, trustee of The Center (Missouri Business Week) EB: Boys and Girls Club board of directors, 2009 co-chair of Diamond Night (Boys and Girls Town)
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: BB: I started an event marketing company in late 2006 while attending the law/MBA program at MU and quickly saw an opportunity to expand the business. Pure, a multi-perspective strategic communications firm, launched in 2007 with Arable Entertainment. Verity Interactive and Insight followed shortly thereafter. EB: After graduating from college, I moved to Columbia to attend graduate school. After completing the six-year program, I joined Immunophotonics.
A COLUMBIA COUPLE WE ADMIRE AND WHY: Rod and Marsha Uphoff: What’s not to like? Both were/are highly successful professionals who are not only known in our community but also internationally for their expertise. Oh, and they love to drink wine, have fun and dress up for Halloween.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: EB: Both of my jobs are about helping people live a better life. One is highly technical and could literally change the way we view cancer. The other is about inspiring individuals to live a healthier and more energetic life. BB: I get to work alongside incredibly brilliant people who are constantly creating innovative and impactful ways to serve our clients. Sometimes in meetings I just sit back and am in awe of the magic.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD BE: EB: Cardiothoracic surgeon or Supermom BB: Professional golfer (this is fantasyland, right?)
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: EB: Finishing my Ph.D. It’s a rough process. BB: Managing growth. It sounds stupid, but I never understood how a company could grow itself to death until my companies went from 10 to 60 employees in the span of about a year. Lots of sleepless nights.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: EB: In the medical start-up world, groundbreaking ideas don’t usually make it to market. The ones that make it found a way to match financing with expertise and make it through the gauntlet. BB: Although most people are recognized only for their successes, entrepreneurship is all about trying and failing. The goal is to innovate, fail small and win big.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: We love traveling, drinking wine (and beer), playing golf and pretending to be chefs.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: EB: Ragtag: It’s unique and a great date spot. BB: No. 18 tee at Old Hawthorne (when I’m playing well)
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: EB: Somehow managing to finish my Ph.D., become a fitness instructor and marry my wonderful husband all in the past two years. BB: Assembling an absolutely amazing team that is creative and innovative, as well as being wonderful people. It shocks me what we have/can accomplish.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: EB: Have performed cardiothoracic surgeries on animals. Oh, and I have to wear a mask to sleep. BB: Was attacked by a lion in Africa and came very close to being mauled 100 miles from the closest hospital. Makes you appreciate life and realize your place in the food chain.