Learning to build a healthy company culture; becoming an empathetic, yet effective, leader; and giving back to individuals and the industry are just a few of the important skill sets learned by the Ferolyn Fellows. They are also key traits embodied by the program’s namesake, Ferolyn Powell.
The Ferolyn Fellowship, now in its third year, recently announced its new class and continues to make an impact on the industry with its focus on providing mentoring and networking opportunities to individuals who have demonstrated a strong passion and aptitude to transform healthcare. Participants are chosen with an eye to identifying those at the point in their career where they can most benefit from all the program elements to propel their career trajectory.
Third class eager to make their mark
This year boasts another impressive class with the selection of three very talented individuals: Neil Zimmerman, R&D engineer manager at Half Moon Bay Medical; Amanda French, co-founder and CEO at Cadence Digital and former Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellow; and Ridhi Tariyal, co-founder of NextGen Jane, a women’s health company.
“Connecting these bright minds and providing them the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, as well as each other, offers an invaluable path to growth,” said Liz McDermott, sister to Ferolyn Powell and co-founder of the Fellowship. “Most entrepreneurs learn about leadership by watching others in their organization, but it can be challenging to identify role models, especially in an industry where companies often aren’t able to invest a lot in early leadership development. This is just one of the ways that the Fellowship fills an important void.”
“Ferolyn was all about building a strong culture in an organization: treating everyone with a high level of interest; working hard, yet showing vulnerability; and always nurturing a strong sense of curiosity and passion for solving problems,” said Ferolyn’s other sister and program co-founder Marian Powell.
While the Fellows learn alongside outside advisors, they also each have an assigned mentor, chosen for their deep industry experience and ability to connect them with the contacts most suited to their focus area. This year, Fogarty Institute graduates Surbhi Sarna has become a mentor, joining Jon Coe and Angela Macfarlane.
“Up-and-coming leaders are so busy these days that they don’t have the time to deliberate on the complexities of what they are trying to accomplish and the questions to ask to help them along the process. This is an important role the assigned mentors help with,” said Liz. “In addition, this year we are really emphasizing the value of giving back – connecting to help others, so we ‘keep growing the tree,’ and the impact keeps compounding.”
Former Fellows blaze their path
Highlights of the recent class of Fellows include Anura Patil being named chief operating officer for Tueo Health, a company founded by Fellow Bronwyn Harris; and Shreya Mehta, the chief technology officer of Zenflow, helping raise an impressive $31 million in Series A funding.
The first class also continues to thrive with Matt McLean, now serving as vice president of research and development for Half Moon Medical, a Foundry company; and Julia Fox, who has been named senior director, corporate collaborations at HeartFlow, the Institute’s first company to graduate.
The first two classes are actively embracing the concept of paying it forward, as they have been integrally involved in helping select the third class and continue to meet regularly to discuss the program, challenges facing their companies/startups and life in general. Impressively, these busy professionals continue to prioritize work/life balance, not only building successful careers and generously mentoring others, but also finding time for pursue hobbies, build relationships and even start families.