Walking the Talk
Susan Cuozzo is not your conventional leader. And because of that, neither are her team members. Instead, you could call her both exemplary and personally warm—which may explain why, since she founded the first U.S.-based office of Virgo, a London-based healthcare communications company, in New York City in 2012, she hasn’t lost one team member. In fact, Susan’s dynamic approach to healthcare “communications without compromise” draws team members closer—especially since she takes each on a weekly one-on-one walk, the team member lowers their guard, and productive conversations result.
By 2013, Susan led and secured Merck Respiratory medical education business, then she became pregnant. The London office responded to the good news by sending a U.K. team member and hiring another executive director to ensure the agency’s growth while she was out on maternity leave.
When Susan returned, she found that new team members needed guidance and mentoring, rolled up her sleeves, and provided the support to ensure Virgo culture flourished in New York. She lead Scientific Services and Editorial, ensuring that all medical writing was aligned with clients’ strategy and reflected Virgo’s creative vision, while also running the day-to-day business with the Executive Director of the Client Services Team. When he recently moved out of the country and left Virgo, Susan proposed new ways for the broader team to collaborate.
This year Susan came up with a more effective way to maintain proactive new business momentum. She realized basically everyone, senior or not, had an interest in new business engagement and she thought anyone interested should have a chance to do it. She set up monthly new business meetings and left them open to the entire staff so that everyone could feel engaged and contribute to the future success of Virgo. The “walks” paid off—and Virgo continues to expand.