LTEN today has announced the winners of the 6th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards, the only professional awards program specifically recognizing excellence, innovation and performance in life sciences training. Awards were presented at a special ceremony held during the LTEN Connect virtual training forum.

Awards were presented in eight competitive categories determined by a panel of judges, and the LTEN Board of Directors also selected two individuals as Members of the Year. Those honors were based on nominations from LTEN members, leaders and staff. Excellence Awards recognize both primary market life sciences companies and supplier partner companies that help power and support training initiatives. The annual awards ceremony was live-streamed and can be viewed here:

“This was a great year for the Excellence Awards,” said Dawn Brehm, LTEN executive director. “We again had a record number of nominees, giving our judges a tough job to review and rank some truly amazing work. Still, we were able to recognize and honor some very deserving winners and we even launched a new category for the competition, Non-Commercial Training Efficiency, which recognizes the work of our non-commercial training partners.”

Two LTEN Members of the Year were selected for 2020, one from primary market members and one from the industry supplier community, based on their ongoing support and involvement in LTEN. The 2020 LTEN Members of the Year are:

  • Jim Page, director, sales training & development, Sandoz, and a member of the LTEN Advisory Council
  • Carole Gins, vice president, IC Axon, a division of GP Strategies, and a member of the LTEN Advisory Council and the LTEN Preferred Industry Partner Council.

Here are the winners in the eight competitive categories in the LTEN Excellence Awards:

All-Star Teams (primary market) – The Amgen Global Learning & Performance Team (Amgen) for a project that worked across four business units and utilized a storytelling approach and The Sysmex Center for Learning (Sysmex America) for scaling training during a rapid growth period using streaming technologies.

Emerging Leader (primary market) – Richard “Brad” Rzendzian, The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, for engaging cross-functional partners to increase quality, save time and save money.

Innovation (primary market) – Tara Leahy of Daiichi Sankyo and Vernon Watt of AstraZeneca, who partnered to utilize an innovative multi-modal approach to product launches.

Training for Change (primary market) – Terah Benjamin of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, who executed a product launch in the middle of a merger.

Non-Commercial Training Efficiency (primary market) – Kelly Rebmann of Sanofi Pasteur, who redesigned curriculum to minimize travel with still achieving objectives.

Innovation (provider) – CMR Institute, for its comprehensive, year-long leadership development approach, and Matrix Achievement Group, which innovated microlearning for virtual training.

Industry Partnership (provider) – ACTO, Axiom & AstraZeneca, who all came together to support a new indication that transformed physician perceptions.

Learning Content (provider) – Tipping Point Media, which used virtual reality to enable the patient perspective in training.

Also honored at the ceremony were the two 2020 winners of the new field trainer scholarship program, which helps cover cost for selected field trainers to attend LTEN events. The LTEN Field Trainer Committee created the scholarship program, solicited applications and suggested winners to the LTEN Board of Directors, who made the final decisions. The 2020 field trainer scholarships went to Julie Fassel of AztraZeneca, for demonstrating training excellence, clinical acumen, peer leadership and entrepreneurship, and Rosa Hanks of CooperSurgical, who shepherded the “Be a Star” sales training program at for the Fall 2019 plan-of-action meeting.

A special issue of LTEN Focus on Training magazine will be released in August 2020, spotlighting the winners and finalists in the 2020 awards competition. For more information on the awards and/or to view past winners, visit

LTEN congratulates all winners, and thanks all nominees, finalists and judges for their participation in the 6th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards. Nominations for the 7th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards will open late in 2020.


The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 2,100 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.


For more information contact Nannette Nolan, LTEN director of marketing communications, at

About Our Incredible Finalists

After weeks of anticipation, we are thrilled to announce this year’s LTEN Excellence Awards finalists and honorees! The full press release is available here. Join us on June 10 at the LTEN Connect Virtual Learning Forum to celebrate our finalists and announce the winners.

Explore the Finalist Tool Kit.

“While we won’t be gathering for the live LTEN Annual Conference this year, we’re still committed to recognizing and honoring the LTEN members and training industry leaders who so richly deserve it,” said Dawn Brehm, executive director of LTEN. “We look forward to our virtual awards ceremony at the LTEN Connect event, where we’ll also be honoring our LTEN Hall of Fame inductees and recognizing the winners of our first field training scholarships for LTEN events.” 

The finalists for the 6th Annual LTEN Excellence Awards are:

Practitioners All-Star Teams:

  • Abbott EP Education, Abbott
  • Amgen Global Learning & Performance Team, Amgen
  • The Americas’ Commercial Training Team, Baxter International
  • Novartis Market Access and Patient Specialty Services, Novartis
  • SK Training Team, SK Life Science, Inc.
  • The Sysmex Center for Learning, Sysmex America

Practitioners Emerging Leaders:

  • Jerad Abbott, AbbVie
  • Richard “Brad” Rzendzian, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
  • Amanda Harris, Johnson & Johnson Medical Device
  • Andria Cox, Sanofi
  • Tiffani Higgins, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Practitioners Innovation:

  • Gilbert Marchany III, AbbVie
  • John Broadwell, Biohaven
  • Tara Leahy, Daiichi-Sankyo & Vernon Watt, AstraZeneca (co-finalists)
  • Lauren Griffey, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Katrina Church, Merz North America
  • Sarah Pinson, UCB

Inaugural Practitioners Non-Commercial Training Efficiency:

  • Kelly Rebmann, Sanofi Pasteur

Practitioners Training for Change:

  • Barbara Pattullo, Genentech
  • Missy Lay, Grifols
  • Nancy Quast; Christine Rivero; Heather Duncan; and Deb Topka, Sandoz
  • Terah Benjamin, Takeda Pharmaceuticals 
  • Commercial Training & Development Team, Teva Pharmaceuticals

Field Trainer Scholarship Winners:

  • Julie Fassel, AstraZeneca
  • Rosa Hanks, Cooper Surgical

Providers Industry Partnership:

  • ACTO with Axiom and AstraZeneca
  • IC Axon, a Division of GP Strategies with Novartis
  • Proficient Learning with Chiesi USA
  • Scrimmage with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Unboxed Training & Technology with GlaxoSmithKline

Providers Innovation:

  • AdMed
  • CMR Institute
  • Matrix Achievement
  • Scrimmage
  • ScienceMedia

Providers Learning Content:

  • Axiom
  • IC Axon, a Division of GP Strategies
  • Illuminate
  • Maestro
  • Tipping Point Media

For more information on the LTEN Excellence Awards and to view past winners, visit