These All-Star Teams are Pushing the Boundaries

The LTEN Excellence Awards All-Star Team category honors training departments, teams, or work groups that have ‘gone above and beyond’ to meet organizational needs in proactive ways, consistently setting new benchmarks for excellence. This year, AbbVie and Bayer share the spotlight as the winners, showcasing their outstanding achievements. While we applaud their remarkable accomplishments, let’s not forget to celebrate the exceptional finalists who’ve also made waves in the life sciences sector through their innovative training efforts.

Read on to learn more about the winning entries and meet the other finalists in this category, Genentech, Teleflex, Align Technology, and Eli Lilly teams.

The LTEN Excellence Awards is an annual competition spotlight and recognizes innovative L&D initiatives, teams, leaders, and partnerships. Learn more about the awards competition here.

Pictured above: The Bayer Team Poster Presentation

AbbVie Global Learning Team

Elevating Skills, Driving Innovation

The award spotlight shines brightly on the AbbVie Global Learning Team, a group of 31 individuals who have made an indelible mark on global capability development at AbbVie.

Nurturing Skills, Elevating Proficiency

At the heart of AbbVie’s success is the Global Learning Team’s dedication to fostering competence and skill development. This team’s impact has been monumental, with a strategic vision that encompasses both present and future skill requirements across various functions. The result? The creation of “The Academy,” an ecosystem designed to enhance proficiency in key competencies at AbbVie.

Through meticulous strategic planning, competency development, content design, readiness, and platform implementation, they’ve engineered an environment that not only meets AbbVie’s business needs but also empowers employees to thrive. Their approach is marked by measured precision and an unwavering commitment to collaboration, ensuring that every function’s voice is heard and represented.

A Pathway to Excellence: The Academy’s Evolution

The story of The Academy’s inception in 2020 and its ongoing evolution is a testament to the Global Learning Team’s foresight and dedication. This global learning ecosystem has become a pivotal hub for enhancing skills and product knowledge across various sectors of AbbVie, including Commercial, Medical, Market Access, Public Affairs, and Government Affairs.

Central to this endeavor is the design of competencies that lay the foundation for brand and in-field excellence at AbbVie. The team recognized the potential of technology to transform learning, resulting in an updated learning portal that caters to a diverse range of global and affiliate audiences. The benefits of this platform overhaul are vast, from significantly impacting performance to saving time and resources for both learners and the organization.

Collaboration at its Core

Collaboration has been the backbone of the Global Learning Team’s journey. A prime example is their approach to content development priorities, where cross-functional working sessions were held to ensure alignment with learner needs. By curating playlists of learning assets and tailoring content, they’ve not only saved costs but also delivered tailored and impactful learning experiences.

Strategic planning has been their North Star. Continuous communication with AbbVie leadership and various functional teams guarantees that The Academy’s strategy is intricately woven into the business’s larger goals. This team’s dedication is unwavering, as they continuously seek new opportunities to refine their vision and mission for The Academy, ensuring it remains at the forefront of driving value and impact.

A Ripple of Inspiration

AbbVie’s Global Learning Team is more than just a group of experts; they’re catalysts of inspiration. Their commitment to digital excellence is infectious, and The Academy stands as a testament to their ability to leverage technology for modern, effective learning. By emphasizing digital fluency and analytic capability, they’re preparing AbbVie to deliver enhanced customer experiences, ultimately impacting patient lives.

This team’s success has also rippled through AbbVie’s functional teams and affiliates, sparking interest in adopting The Academy’s platform for learning. Their achievements have positioned The Academy as a top priority in Commercial Excellence for 2023, showcasing the crucial partnership between the learning platform and the business.

Acknowledging Excellence

The AbbVie Global Learning Team’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable, resulting in well-deserved recognition. Their dedication, collaborative spirit, and commitment to innovation have earned them the prestigious AbbVie Presidents Award in H1 2022.

As training professionals in the life sciences sector, we can’t help but be inspired by AbbVie’s Global Learning Team. Their journey exemplifies the power of teamwork, technology, and strategic planning in driving not only organizational growth but also the development of individuals. We invite you to explore their story further and witness the transformational impact of excellence in action.


Masters In Training Core Project Team

The Bayer Masters In Training Core Project Team, a diverse team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from across Europe, Africa, Canada, and the US has achieved remarkable feats in advancing training proficiency and innovation. Bayer partnered with Ashfield Excellence Academy for this initiative.

Fueling Capability and Confidence: The Masters In Training (MIT) Program

Bayer’s Masters In Training Program was no ordinary initiative. As trainers across local country teams faced the challenge of inadequate formal L&D training and the need to deliver impactful training for customer-facing teams, Bayer rose to the occasion. The MIT Program emerged as a solution, a comprehensive training endeavor to empower local trainers and elevate their capabilities.

The Bayer core team collaborated closely with the Ashfield Excellence Academy (AEA) to craft a robust MIT Program. Blending learning interventions with external accreditation in mind, the team embarked on an ambitious journey to enhance the skills and confidence of Bayer’s local trainers. This endeavor was a testament to Bayer’s commitment to nurturing its internal talent and ensuring trainers were equipped to excel in their pivotal roles.

A Tapestry of Learning: Designing the MIT Program

The core team’s dedication to quality and innovation was evident throughout the MIT Program’s development. This holistic initiative encompassed self-paced learning, live sessions, coaching, mentoring, and rigorous assessments. With participants hailing from diverse backgrounds and regions, the program’s structure was designed to cater to a global audience, necessitating translation and simultaneous interpretation.

The team’s collaborative spirit shone through as they developed nearly 50 learning assets, each meticulously reviewed and improved by multiple SMEs. Practical exercises, eLearns, interactive PDFs, job aids, virtual classes, and more were carefully crafted to ensure the learning journey was both impactful and engaging. The core team also championed peer learning through buddy groups, fostering a supportive community for participants.

A Symphony of Success: Delivering Impact

The core project team’s dedication went beyond the call of duty. Each member, while juggling their full-time roles, invested time, expertise, and passion to deliver the MIT Program’s success. They embraced a learner-centric approach, actively seeking feedback and adapting content to enhance the participant experience. From real-world journals to innovative coaching methods, the team’s commitment to learning principles was unwavering.

Their efforts reached beyond the program itself. Bayer’s commitment to sharing best practices and insights led to proactive feedback and recommendations from participants. This created a positive cascade effect, building a culture of continuous learning and development within Bayer. The team’s ability to adapt and solve challenges ensured a seamless experience, while their celebratory spirit added moments of fun and camaraderie.

Inspiring Excellence: A Legacy of Impact

Bayer’s Masters In Training Core Project Team has set a remarkable example, inspiring both internal colleagues and the wider life sciences industry. Their inclusive approach, commitment to development, and dedication to delivering a world-class learning program have left an indelible mark. By upskilling local trainers and fostering a culture of continuous learning, the team’s efforts have reverberated across Bayer’s functional teams and Therapy Areas.

Meet the Bayer Team:

Bayer Pharmaceuticals

  • Laura Boswell, Global Cardiovascular Commercial Learning & Development Manager/MIT Project Lead, Germany (now Marketing &MSO Chapter Lead South Africa}
  • Rosie Gill, Global CV Learning & Development Manager (now Associate Market Manager—Cardiorenal), Canada
  • Claire Keromnes, Associate Director, Strategic Marketing, Cardiovascular TA, Germany
  • Alison Faulkner, National Training Manager, UK
  • Mario Kossmann, Head of Customer Excellence Academy, Germany
  • Adrienne Magirl, Global Oncology Commercial & Training Excellence, US
  • Alan Johnson, Senior National Sales Trainer, Canada
  • Quentin Descat, Global Cardiovascular—Commercial Launch Brands Lead + Learning & Development Lead, Germany
  • Valeria Muurisepp, Global CV Commercial Learning & Development Manager, Germany
  • Angels Turull, Global Commercial Training Manager, Spain

Meet the Finalists


Turning Clinicians into Sellers

Abiomed recognized a unique challenge within its U.S. field team – a substantial portion were clinicians with limited or now experience selling in the healthcare industry. Leadership understood that empowering these clinical representatives with sales training aligned to Abiomed’s values would lead to more effective and meaningful physician engagements. Their mission was to create a model that fostered patient advocacy, promoting medical advancements without the perception of pushiness. This revolutionary approach has led to a harmonious blend of sales and clinical expertise, setting a new standard in the industry.

A Model of Transformation: Sales Training with a Purpose

Clinicians were finding that the traditional sales mode and approach often clashed with their intrinsic values and, as a result hindered their ability to advocate passionately for patients. Abiomed’s Sales and Commercial Training Team embarked on a journey to bridge this gap. Their innovative model represents an evolution in training, using language and strategies that resonate with Abiomed’s values. This approach has sparked deeper engagement and collaboration between surgical and cardiology teams, resulting in a more holistic approach to patient care.

A Catalyst for Advocacy: Transforming Clinical Roles

In a world where medical device sales professionals often possess clinical backgrounds, Abiomed’s team recognized the need for a paradigm shift. They understood that advocating for patients should be an intrinsic part of the field team’s role, irrespective of someone’s clinical experience. With their 24/7 commitment to patient care, the field team stood on the front lines of medical advancement, and the Sales and Commercial Training Team aimed to empower them to embrace their new roles as industry representatives and patient advocates. To take on this challenge,  Abiomed chose revamp their training program and partner with Integrity Solutions to help team members shift their view of selling so that it aligned with their values of advocating for better patient outcomes.

Going Beyond: A Journey of Impact

The Abiomed team went above and beyond to meet organizational needs in proactive ways. They initiated training from the top down, securing buy-in from organizational leadership. Training cascaded from leadership and management teams to the field sales organization. The challenge of training clinical teams, who are often engaged round the clock, was overcome through innovative regional two-day training sessions. These sessions reinforced the new sales model and ingrained it as an essential part of the organizational culture.

Empowering Advocates: The Impact

The impact of Abiomed’s Sales and Commercial Training Team resonates across multiple dimensions:

  • Enhanced Engagement: Employee engagement scores soared by 17 points after the implementation of the new training model.
  • Training Excellence: Post-course survey scores consistently averaged 8-9 out of 10.
  • Positive Testimonials: Countless testimonials, including recorded videos, attest to the transformative impact of the training.
  • Demand for Excellence: Managers are actively requesting additional training for their teams, indicating a strong appetite for continued growth.
  • Improvement in Work-Life Balance: Field team members reported improved work-life balance, fostering a more rewarding professional experience.
  • Performance Surge: The new sales model translated to improved sales performance and quota attainment, as highlighted by anecdotes from field team members and managers.

Team of Visionaries: Champions of Transformation

The success story of Abiomed’s Sales and Commercial Training Team is etched with the names of dedicated professionals who have led the charge:
– Sheila Gebel, Sr. Director Global Training & Nursing Programs
– Jim Mulholland, Associate Director Sales Training and Development
– Justin Morris, Commercial Trainer

A Legacy of Empowerment: Abiomed’s Sales and Commercial Training Team

Abiomed’s Sales and Commercial Training Team has not just transformed sales training; they’ve revolutionized the way clinicians advocate for patients and shape medical advancement. Their innovative model bridges the gap between clinical expertise and salesmanship, fostering a culture of patient-centered advocacy.

For more information, contact Justin Morris at his LinkedIn.

Align Technology

Sales Associate Development Program

Align Technology’s Sales Associate Development Program has redefined success by nurturing a pool of Early in Career (EIC) employees and developing them to be successful Territory Managers (TM). This program isn’t just a training initiative; it’s a testament to Align Technology’s commitment to innovation, growth, and empowerment.

A Pillar of Transformation: A Vision Realized

Established in 2015, the Sales Associate (SA) program embarked on a journey with a handful of EIC employees, designed to empower them for full-time Territory Manager roles. What began as an experimental endeavor has evolved into a cornerstone of Align Technology’s success in the USA.. This transformation has been driven by continuous iterations, investments, and enhancements, resulting in outstanding performances and continued investment as the program evolves.

A Path to Excellence: Align’s SA Program

Align Technology’s SA program stands as a testament to the organization’s dedication to developing and nurturing talent. New Sales Associates are brought to the Raleigh, NC headquarters, where they undergo a comprehensive 12-month training and development program, focused on clinical knowledge and professional business skills through a blended training program, combining classroom education, hands-on experiences, and ongoing development. Once certified, they compete with industry-experienced external hires for vacant TM positions across the US. The success of this model is evident, with 41 SAs promoted to TM positions in 2022 alone, filling critical gaps in the business.

Beyond Industry Standards: Program Enhancement

Align Technology’s SA program sets itself apart from industry competitors through continuous enhancement:

  1. Innovative Training Model: Align is unique in investing and leading a dedicated 12-month in-house and field training program, a distinction within the dental/orthodontic sector.
  2. SMILE® Sales Methodology: This proprietary methodology, recognized as “Best in Class” by the Brandon Hall Group, permeates the SA training program, equipping future TMs with exceptional skills.
  3. Coverage and Support: SAs provide territory coverages during medical and maternity leaves in the field, ensuring seamless customer interactions and gaining valuable field experience. This dual-purpose initiative is a testament to Align’s commitment to both customers and employees.

Going Above and Beyond: A Path to Excellence

Align Technology’s SA program isn’t just about training; it’s about results. The program’s enhancements have delivered remarkable outcomes:

  1. Accelerated Readiness: Curriculum improvements have reduced the average program duration from 12-14 months to 9 months before promotion.
  2. Exceptional Performance: SA performance standards meet and exceed overall expectations once they become TMs.
  3. Cost Efficiency: By leveraging on-staff faculty for certification instead of contracted advisors, Align saves ~$25,000 per certification cohort, four times a year.

Inspiring the Industry: A Legacy of Excellence

The impact of Align Technology’s SA program reverberates across the organization and the industry:

  • Talent Pipeline: A remarkable 140 Align employees, constituting ~15% of the entire US Sales Force, have emerged from the SA program.
  • President’s Club Winners: An astounding 29% of 2022 President’s Club winners began their Align journey as SAs.
  • Rapid Growth: Since 2020, 73 SAs have ascended to full-time TM roles across the country, from Los Angeles to New York.
  • Remarkable Returns: With an annual investment increasing each year since 2020, the SA program continues to generate impressive returns, a testament to its value.
  • Continually meeting the needs of our internal and external customers:  The program structure evolves each year to insure our SA’s are trained on current market trends in a rapidly changing environment.

A Celebration of Excellence: Align’s SA Program

Align Technology’s Sales Associate Development Program is not just a training initiative; it’s a legacy of empowerment, innovation, and growth. This development program has become a cornerstone in shaping the future success of Align Technology.

Meet the Team

  • Brian Groves – Sr. Director, Americas Sales Development
  • Jimmy Kitson – Director, Sales Leadership & Development, Americas
  • Chris Cassell – Director, Sales Development Operational Excellence
  • Alexandra Angeli – Senior Sales Associate Supervisor
  • Josh Snead – Senior Sales Associate Supervisor
  • Paige John – Program Improvement Specialist
  • Asyia Robertson – Event Management Specialist
  • Austin Cook – Talent Acquisition Partner
  • Letitia Powell – Human Resource Business Partner

Eli Lilly

Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team

The Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team at Eli Lilly is a dynamic group of professionals whose remarkable expertise drives the success of clinical trials. With meticulous strategy and execution, they ensure that every selected site is poised for success. The team’s profound commitment results in sites exceeding enrollment goals, minimizing protocol deviations, prioritizing participant safety, and delivering advanced patient care and education.

Collaboration for Progress: A Legacy of Service

This team’s service extends beyond Eli Lilly’s walls. Collaborating intimately with individual study teams and external partners, they craft a training experience that transcends conventional norms. Prior to the team’s inception, each study team managed its own training, draining resources and time. By centralizing site training, the team empowers study teams to focus on trial operations, thereby optimizing efficiency and effectiveness.

Custom Crafted Learning: Elevating Impact

Eli Lilly’s Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team revolutionizes training through an innovative approach. The team designs a blended learning experience that leverages e-learning, motion graphic videos, high-fidelity graphics, and targeted manuals or job aids. The result? A modular, role-specific training that empowers each site member with tailored knowledge, enabling them to focus more on patient care and less on extraneous modules.

The Pandemic Pivot: Resilience in Action

The global pandemic thrust unprecedented challenges upon organizations. For the Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team, this meant reimagining their approach. Traditional in-person training was no longer viable. The team swiftly developed an adaptable training process, accommodating rapid development timelines and late content additions due to evolving operational procedures. This agility ensured that sites received the right information at the right time, enhancing information retention and site readiness.

Fostering Inspiration: Impact Beyond Boundaries

Eli Lilly’s trailblazing solutions extend beyond clinical trials. The use of motion graphic videos to communicate protocol details and operations has inspired the creation of patient-facing informed consent videos, ensuring consistent messaging to potential participants. Moreover, the team’s manual of operations, born out of a single trial’s need, now serves as a template for numerous trials, illustrating the team’s impact on efficiency and scalability.

The Architects of Excellence: Eli Lilly’s Dream Team

The unparalleled excellence achieved by the Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team is driven by dedicated individuals:

  • Faithe Hamer, Associate Director
  • Margo Blatz, Associate Director
  • Aaron Harpel, Associate Director
  • Kelli Pacuch, Associate Director
  • Colin Barnes, Associate Director
  • Gary Patterson, Associate Director
  • Manju Anjanappa, Research and Development

Eli Lilly’s Clinical Trial Design Capabilities, Site Training Team has transcended traditional boundaries, pioneering excellence and innovation in clinical trial execution.


Powering Learning Evolution: Genentech’s CMG Training & Development Metrics Team

The CMG Training & Development Metrics Team at Genentech is a vanguard of progress, catalyzing the transition towards a learning organization. In the realm of training and development (T&D), the absence of a structured data collection system hampered growth. The team orchestrated a monumental shift, crafting a comprehensive quarterly training report for CE/Squads and T&D. By reconstructing data collection methodologies and purpose, this team brought forth a paradigm shift in the way learner information was gathered and utilized.

Navigating Transformation: A Journey of Service

The CMG Training & Development Metrics Team’s service transcends numbers and metrics; it fuels meaningful transformation. Their meticulous data collection initiative fostered a harmonious collaboration between T&D and the field. The result? Elevated learner engagement, a continuous cycle of measurement and evaluation, and the dynamic enhancement of training programs to elevate employee capabilities. Armed with post-program evaluations, teams adeptly fine-tuned programs to align with evolving learner needs, thereby shaping a culture of data-driven evolution.

Illuminating the Path to Excellence: An Extraordinary Odyssey

Taking proactive steps to meet organizational needs, the team embarked on an incredible journey. A series of concurrent pilots, data fluency workshops, department feedback cycles, research endeavors, and data science consultations paved the way for a standardized post-training survey. A wealth of resources, from guidelines and KPI decks to communication templates, were meticulously curated to facilitate seamless change management within the department.

Beyond Boundaries: Inspiring Progress

The ripple effect of the CMG Training & Development Metrics Team’s work extends far beyond Genentech’s walls. Their pioneering data collection efforts foster a consistent measurement framework, empower ongoing enhancements, and showcase alignment with strategic initiatives. The wealth of training analytics now fuels data-informed business decisions and process improvements. The team’s dedication culminates in insightful reporting to CMG customers, revealing tangible behavior change and highlighting their role as value drivers.

Trailblazers of Excellence: Genentech’s Dream Team

The CMG Training & Development Metrics Team’s exceptional journey is orchestrated by the following dedicated individuals:

  • Lauri Binsfeld – Operations Manager, Genentech
  • Michelle Luong – Director, Genentech
  • Nestor Navidad – Director, Genentech
  • Ashley Summers – Operations Manager, Genentech
  • Jennifer Tran – Applied Analytics Specialist, Genentech

Genentech’s CMG Training & Development Metrics Team etches their mark on the canvas of innovation, propelling learning evolution through the power of data.

Teleflex — Teleflex Interventional Cardiology and Radiology Training Team

The Teleflex Interventional Training Team embraces each day with a profound understanding of their impact on both patients and healthcare providers globally. Comprising experts in the field, the team fuels over 150 learning opportunities annually, designed to amplify sales force performance and foster continuous improvement. With a collective experience of over 75 years, they dive deep into challenges, crafting scalable solutions, engaging content, and driving the learner experience to new heights.

Nurturing Growth: A Service that Resonates

The Interventional Cardiology and Radiology Training Team’s commitment reverberates across the organization, clients, and learners. Amidst a rapidly growing sales force, their 2022 goal was clear: cultivate the Interventional sales force to ensure a 36% growth. Their efforts were vividly displayed in the immersive four-week onboarding training program for 45 new hires, a part of the thriving sales force.

The onboarding journey embraced a blend of online pre-work assignments, hands-on classroom training, and an invaluable field ride experience with trained Field Sales Trainers. Rich in diversity, their training methods incorporated online modules, simulations, scenarios, videos, hands-on experiences, case studies, and product demonstrations.

Metrics and Evolution: Measuring Success

Measuring the impact of their training, participants were evaluated on quiz scores, product demonstrations, hands-on activities, cath lab demonstrations, sales process knowledge, and final test scores. Achieving a cumulative score of 85% marked the passage into the territories, a testament to the team’s commitment to excellence.

Beyond Boundaries: Driving Innovation

Teleflex’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the horizon. Following the acquisition of Essential Medical, Inc. in 2018, the team took on the Herculean task of not just training the sales reps on the MANTA™ Vascular Closure Device but also creating a comprehensive physician program. This initiative involved proctor training, physician evaluation criteria, documentation, and collaboration with the sales force. Their diligence resulted in the successful signing off of 192 physicians as proficient MANTA™ Device users in 2022.

Inspiring Brilliance: Teleflex’s All-Star Legacy

The ripple of the Teleflex Interventional Training Team’s impact reverberates widely. Beyond their commitment to new hire onboarding, they lent their expertise to supporting Fellow dinners, the Mechanical Circulatory Support group, and a groundbreaking collaboration with The Jacobs Institute. Their dedication transcends numbers, nurturing lasting relationships, aiding growth, and fostering immersive experiences.

A Team of Visionaries: Faces of Excellence

The journey of excellence at Teleflex is steered by the following outstanding individuals:

  • Michelle Hosselkus – Director of Training, Interventional Cardiology & Radiology, Teleflex
  • Ben Dorle – Sr. Sales Training Manager, Interventional Cardiology & Radiology, Teleflex
  • Laura Almeroth – Sales and Marketing Enablement Manager, Interventional Cardiology & Radiology, Teleflex
  • Nicol Toddy – Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Interventional Cardiology & Radiology, Teleflex
  • Heather McAllister – Sr. Learning and Development Specialist, Interventional Cardiology & Radiology, Teleflex

The Teleflex Interventional Training Team shines as an embodiment of unwavering dedication and transformative growth. Their journey from new hire onboarding to innovative physician training programs stands as a testament to their pursuit of excellence.

About the LTEN Excellence Awards

The LTEN Excellence Awards recognize the innovative and inspiring work done by life sciences training professionals at pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and diagnostics companies (“practitioners”) and the strong support, innovation and creativity of training industry partner companies (“providers”).

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Interested in sponsoring this year’s awards program? Contact Gregg Haunroth at

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