One of the world’s best-known investment specialists, George Soros brings his skills to many different areas of life, including a dedication to philanthropy as part of the Open Society Foundations. The hedge fund expert has recently made his way back to the U.S. political landscape as a leading figure within the Democratic Party, which George Soros believes shares many of the values he has treasured as a liberal and member of the 1960s counterculture; Politico reports Soros has been keen to play a role in important elections and political campaigns throughout the 21st-century, such as the 2004 and 2016 elections campaigns for The White House, according to Politico. Although he has been mentioned by many conservatives as a major force in the Democratic Party, Soros has largely remained independent of the political scene in 2008 and 2012.
The major areas of concern for George Soros are often seen as national politics where the more than $50 million spent by Soros on the Presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton in 2004 and 2016 have been seen as a sign of his willingness to become involved in national politics. However, George Soros is less well-known as a man who has played a major role in the development of a grassroots movement to assist local politicians from minority groups to achieve important offices across the U.S. Politico reports one of the main areas of concern for the founder of Soros Fund Management has been the issue of criminal justice reform across the U.S. and this area has prompted the decision to create a new PAC dedicated to campaigning on behalf of minority and female candidates for prosecutor and district attorney positions in local and state level elections; for many of those backed by the George Soros the first indication they had of the backing of the billionaire was seeing television ads backing their candidacy.
Many question just how a single person can have such a major effect on the U.S. political scene with such vast sums invested in Democratic candidates and campaigns. The answer is that George Soros has been an icon on Wall Street and across the global financial markets with a personal fortune estimated by Forbes to have reached $25.2 billion. What makes the rise to power and influence of George Soros even more impressive is the fact he survived the Holocaust of World War II when his native country of Hungary was invaded by Nazi forces; Soros later completed a refugee journey to London where he began a financial education and career taking him to New York as one of the most respected hedge fund managers in the world.
In the business world, women like Susan McGalla are making their own mark. Like many other women, she has cracked that glass ceiling because of her hard work, tenacity and ability to overcome any challenge. She has stared down and conquered glaring inequities faced by many women in the corporate world such as sexism, unequal pay and lack of respect.
When McGalla first started out after graduating from Mount College, there were very few women in the board room. Today, not only is she proving that women can succeed in the board room, they can also successfully run their own companies. McGalla started her marketing and merchandising career at Joseph Horne Co. After an 8-year stint, she moved on to American Eagle Outfitters. McGalla moved through the ranks and eventually became CEO. She launched a number of initiatives to help women determined to succeed on the executive level. Wet Seal was her next stop. After a year, McGalla decided it was time to strike out on her own and accomplish her long-term goal of owning her own company.
Pittsburgh-based P3 Executive Consulting currently helps corporations achieve success in finance, personnel recruitment, location and other pertinent areas. She is also the Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburgh Steelers. McGalla attributes her success to hard work, passion and confidence. McGalla says no women should expect things to be served up on a silver platter. Regardless of the obstacles, women can achieve great things if she has the will and determination.
McGalla has no problem with making herself known. She says that the roadblocks that locked women out many years ago are nearly non-existent now. Thankfully, through legislation and changing attitudes, women have the ability to present themselves as formidable leaders in the corporate world. McGalla says she tries to be a positive role model for women rising up through the ranks. The opportunities are there, but women just have to assert themselves, according to Mcgalla.
When Scott Rocklage joined 5AM Ventures in 2003, he had more than 30 years of experience in healthcare management. Scott was the President and CEO of Nycomed Salutar, and the CEO and Chairman of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Rocklage also has an extensive research and development background. After receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT. That’s when his love of research really got started. He conducted research in Richard R. Schrock laboratory while he attended MIT. Schrock won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005. Rocklage work at MIT gave him the impetus to seek more than 30 U.S. patents during his career.
Rocklage joined 5AM Ventures because of the company’s diversified portfolio. The team at 5AM Ventures has a vested interest in companies in the medical technology, biopharmaceutical, and research sectors. Rocklage and his team evaluate product development cycles, corporate spin-offs, and innovative technologies. Scott was named managing partner in 2004. He uses the hands-on approach when the company assumes short-term operating roles, and when there is a new startup involved in the portfolio. Rocklage and his team maximize equity returns by finding non-equity capital and by creating early exit strategies. Dr. Rocklage likes to access capital from government agencies, but he also builds alliances with life science companies.
The 5AM Ventures portfolio is filled with companies that are on track to produce better-than-expected returns. Some of the companies in the 5AM portfolio are Aprea Pharmaceuticals, Biodesy, Ambrx, Alexza Pharm, Cidara Therapeutics, ENVOY Therapeutics, DVS Sciences and IKARIA Critical Care. But that is just a short list of the companies Rocklage and his team nurture in one way or another. 5AM is an early seed company, and the company has more than $1 billion in assets under management. Rocklage is a master when it comes to raising capital. Dr. Rocklage has raised over $500 million in initial public offerings in the past.
Dr. Andrew Rocklage is a member of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council board and he is a director of MDS Proteomics Inc. He also serves on the Whitehead Institute board. His list of accomplishments also includes research and development positions at the private pharmaceutical company Catalytica, Inc., and Nycomed.