AWESOME Transformative Leadership Panel focuses on storytelling for business leaders

August 12, 20213 minute read

Storytelling has become an important leadership skill for many business situations. AWESOME presented a Transformative Panel on “Using Stories to Drive Change, Engage Your Team and Succeed” to help leaders develop, improve, and apply their storytelling abilities.

The discussion led by Irene Birbeck, a partner with Clarkston Consulting who, in addition to specializing in the implementation and optimization of complex, global quality systems, has had ownership of several of Clarkston’s professional development initiatives and is a member of the firm’s Core Values Committee. During the AWESOME Transformative Leadership Panel on August 26, Irene also will share storytelling best practices and a tool-kit for leaders to use to further develop storytelling skills. 

Panelists include Laura Deschenes, Head, Supply Chain & Operations, Cell Therapies at Takeda; Katie Holman, Chief of Staff to the CSCO and Director of Business Performance Management at General Mills; and Patricia Marseille, Director, Supply Chain Trade Management at The Walt Disney Company.

Laura Deschenes is the head of Supply Chain and Operations for Cell Therapies in Takeda Pharmaceuticals R&D division.  Over the past two years, Laura has built a world-class team to deliver experimental medicines made of living cells through the ultra-cold chain to patients all around the world.  Laura and her team are very proud of their record: 100% on time in full delivery of cell therapies to patients!  Previously, Laura led the revitalization of Takeda’s clinical supply chain, establishing end-to-end control and visibility in an area historically focused on the last mile. Over a nearly 20-year career she has led functions, projects, portfolios, and teams across various stages of the R&D lifecycle from early discovery to the cusp of commercialization. Laura began her career as lab scientist in preclinical and early clinical formulations but soon discovered a passion for shaping the interfaces between scientific experts where the whole of the project is greater than the sum of its parts.  Laura holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Texas, and a B.S. in chemistry from Boston College. 

Katie Holman is the Chief of Staff to the CSCO and Director of Business Performance Management at General Mills. Prior to this, she was Supply Chain Director for the Cereal OU. From April 2017 to September 2020, she was the Director of Supply Chain for the General Mills Global India Center in Mumbai, India, where she established a Global Planning COE. She has held various leadership positions in Manufacturing, Engineering, and Continuous Improvement at General Mills. Katie began her career at Anheuser-Busch InBev, where she held roles of increasing responsibility in Operations, Maintenance, and Engineering. She received her MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia

Patricia M. Marseille is a heart-centered, integrous, conscious leader. She jumps out of planes in the middle of a pandemic simply to seek truth in conflict. Where others see a crack in the wall and want to solve the crack, she asks the question, “Do we need the wall?”  Patricia is well known for the type of leadership that is always self-examining for optimization and truth, intentionally seeking out solutions based on intention vs problem solving. For her, it’s not enough to lead people or want to lead people. It’s about the service to the ones you lead and providing the kind of guidance that is fun, aspirational, and purpose-filled. This is the space of leadership from which Patricia functions. She’s also an executive at the Walt Disney Company, works in supply chain, is a leader in Diversity Equity & Inclusion and is often requested as keynote speaker in leadership development professional events. 

The event is sponsored by Virtual Event Super Visionaries EY and Johnson & Johnson and Virtual Event Visionary Clarkston Consulting.