Through the “People of PGS” series, we continue to spotlight the names and faces behind the great work we do in PGS. Next up is Vanessa, Site Leader at Meridian in St. Louis, who also has competed on Team USA’s Dragon Boat Racing team!
While Vanessa started her career designing high-speed manufacturing and packing machinery for another industry, today she is proud to say that her role at Pfizer and her time in the pharma industry give her the opportunity to help patients.
Vanessa’s 22-year pharma career has brought her to nine different roles in three countries and four U.S. states, all within manufacturing. One of her most recent positions was also one of her most memorable. As Production Director at the PGS site in Andover, Massachusetts, she was responsible for overseeing the manufacture of a critical component of the COVID-19 vaccine – the vaccine drug substance.
“Getting the manufacturing suite and Quality Control labs at PGS Andover ready to make and test the COVID vaccine has been a huge effort by so many people,” Vanessa said. “We have continued to rise to the challenge of doing and making more, ahead of plan, which has also meant hiring and training many new colleagues as well as supporting each other to be sure we can meet the ever-increasing need. The effort required to make this all happen has indeed been a breakthrough for the site.”
Now she’s taken on a new challenge as the Meridian St. Louis, Missouri, Site Leader. She’s thrilled to be working at the Meridian site with a very engaged and dedicated team.
“Everyone is focused on balancing all commitments to ensure we are delivering for our customers and patients,” Vanessa said. “It’s a very dynamic environment.”
What people might not know about Vanessa is her hidden talent and passion for paddling canoes. She even represented Team USA at the Dragon Boat Racing World Championships in China in 2017 and Thailand in 2019 (the 2021 Championships in Hong Kong were unfortunately canceled due to COVID).
“It’s enjoyable because it’s a team sport so it’s great to feel that team energy; you’re all making a boat go fast together,” Vanessa said. “It can be very physically challenging and it takes a lot of work to be able to compete at the highest level, so I enjoy the physical challenge of pushing myself to be better.”
Vanessa also appreciates the parallel between the teamwork and cooperation required in dragon boat racing and in the critical work the PGS team does every day. Her experience – at work and on the water – demonstrates true #Excellence. Kudos to you, Vanessa, and thanks for all you do!