Session 205
Managing Power Imbalances – How to Navigate Partnerships Where One Partner is Significantly Larger Than the Other

Partnerships between large organizations and smaller firms can generate massive value, but often bring unique management challenges since dissimilar size partners can have very different views of perceived and real power, culture, processes, appetite for risk, execution speed, and autonomy.

Partnering leaders from large and small pharmaceutical and technology companies share their experiences and insights from different sides of so-called "David and Goliath" alliances. Please join them for a conversation about lessons learned regarding:


Jessica Wadd
Vantage Partners

Jessica Wadd is a Partner at Vantage Partners, where her practice focuses on helping companies maximize the value of collaboration–with customers, suppliers, and partners. She frequently leverages ideas from the fields of behavioral economics and game theory to help clients develop practical approaches to improve their businesses. Jessica has worked with clients across a broad range of industries, including high-tech, manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, healthcare, and professional services.

Prior to joining Vantage, she was a strategic relationship manager at Lincoln Financial Group where her responsibilities included negotiating and managing several of the company's most critical alliances. Jessica holds an MSc in Behavioral Economics from the University of Nottingham as well as BAs in both English and Economics from Bryn Mawr College.

Outside the corporate arena, Jessica co-led an initiative with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) at the United Nations, to develop and implement a strategy for partnerships with private sector companies./p>


Steve Pessagno
Business Development & Alliance Management

Steve Pessagno is an employee of GlaxoSmithKline, where he has worked in a variety of business development and commercial roles for the past 16 years. Originally from Baltimore, Steve is now a resident of Philadelphia, where he earned a BA in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He then worked in medical publishing in New York City in the mid-1990s and then earned an MBA from the University of Michigan. Steve joined GSK in 1998, spending the first phase of his career the company's US Pharmaceuticals business; he worked in Sales, Marketing, New Product Planning, and Commercial Operations. Steve then became an individual advocate for the childhood cancer community through a 6-month project he completed from July 2011–January 2012 at Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation through GSK's PULSE volunteer partnership program, whereby the company lends out leaders to work full-time with nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations on special initiatives. Steve's PULSE assignment resulted in the creation and launch of the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (, a member-based non-profit composed of organizations and individuals who collaborate on projects to improve the lives of children with cancer and their families. Upon his return to GSK in 2012, Steve joined GSK's Worldwide Business Development Alliance Management team. As an Alliance Director for the company, Steve implemented the company's Center of Excellence for Alliance Management; has managed a portfolio of Oncology alliances; and now specializes in Integration & Separation alliances resulting from Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments.

Amy Walraven
President and Founder

Amy Walraven is the President, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Humaitrix. With more than twenty years of expertise identifying, assessing, targeting, and resolving fraud and credit risk issues, Amy has pioneered advancements in the detection of first party fraud schemes including credit bust outs, synthetic identities, and organized syndicated fraud activity. A career risk manager, Amy has developed and implemented business practices, scoring models, and clustering algorithms to detect organized fraudulent activity at every point of a customer engagement. Her next generation solutions have helped mitigate identity risk throughout the customer lifecycle and are leveraged to enhance compliance while minimizing customer friction.

Prior to founding Humaitrix, Amy worked at several major financial institutions including Bank of New York, MBNA America, Bank One and spent 10 years at JPMorgan Chase establishing the Identity Risk Management practice for Consumer and Business Banking. She is a recognized subject matter expert regarding first party fraud and is a regular panelist and presenter at industry conferences and webinars, sharing her expertise with prominent risk associations, as well as, government agencies such as the Federal Reserve and Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the House Financial Services Committee task force for Artificial Intelligence.

Troy Windt
Associate Vice President, Global Alliances & External Relations
Reata Pharmaceuticals




Joy Wilder Lybeer
Senior Vice President, Enterprise Alliances

Joy Wilder Lybeer is Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships and Channel Distribution for Equifax where she has a proven track record of driving sustainable growth for the company’s Enterprise Alliances (EA) Group, the Insurance vertical and the Inside Enterprise Sales function.

Prior to this role, she served as leader of the Equifax Financial Services Group, leveraging her 25 years of strategic and operational experience in the banking industry. Also, she had enterprise responsibility for the company’s Auto vertical and Retail Banking practice where revenues more than doubled during her tenure. Wilder Lybeer has been recognized by both the Automotive and Banking industries as a top leader in these verticals. She joined Equifax in 2009.

Before joining Equifax, Wilder Lybeer served as executive vice president and head of Retail Branch Banking for SunTrust Bank with oversight responsibility for 1,700 locations and 12,000 associates. She also served on the company’s Executive Management Committee as SunTrust’s Chief Strategy Officer and director of corporate strategic planning and line of business strategies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Wofford College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude as the class valedictorian.