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associate director
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Co.
Cambridge, Mass.

PAST Vachon parlayed his BS in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management into a long career working on both the operational and sales side of the hotel industry. That all changed when a college friend suggested he’d be a good fit handling the Lilly account for McGettigan Partners, a third-party meeting management company purchased by Maritz. Twelve years later, he joined Millennium.

SUCCESS STORY His biggest accomplishment was a weeklong meeting this year that aimed to do no less than help bring about a cure for cancer by convening 1,150 people from the global Takeda family and about 150 external participants to collaborate on moving the field of oncology forward. “It was a high-profile event,” he says. “I told people that this would be a career-altering event, one way or another.” Fortunately, his CEO was elated with the week full of the main events, ancillary meetings, collaborations, and from-the-heart stories of Takeda and Millennium employees who are cancer patients and cancer survivors. “Knowing the efforts my team contributes to the company’s ultimate accomplishments make me feel so fortunate to be able to come to work every day. I would love to be out of a job because we find a cure.”

A-HA MOMENT The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals, along with numerous state ethical codes, provided Vachon with his biggest “a-ha moment.” Today’s pharma meetings need a lot of attention to detail to ensure that there’s a good business reason behind every decision. “We’re trying to do something that’s for the betterment of humanity,” he says. “You don’t want perceptions or bad press to take away from the ultimate goals.” —Sue Pelletier