Kellen Company first U.S.-based association management company to manage an association office in China
BEIJING (January 16, 2009) — the Drug Information Association (DIA), the global, multidisciplinary, non-profit association that provides a neutral forum for the exchange of information critical to the advancement of the drug discovery and lifecycle management processes, has opened an office in Beijing, China and selected global association management firm Kellen Company for full-service association management.
“China’s pharmaceutical industry has become a major force in drug discovery and development,” explained William Brassington, acting DIA worldwide executive director. “As the premier provider of neutral global forums for the exchange of information, education, and training, it is imperative that we solidify our presence in the region.”
“Kellen Company has a proven track-record advising associations in China,” said Alfons Westgeest, Kellen Company group vice president who oversees Kellen Europe and the company’s global initiatives. “We look forward to applying our expertise in membership and program development and teaming up with DIA headquarters staff as well as the DIA China Advisory Council’s unique understanding of the pharmaceutical industry, to ensure that DIA accomplishes its long term goals in China.”
DIA’s regional office in China adds another dimension to DIA’s worldwide operations. DIA’s headquarters in Horsham, PA (USA) is supported by regional offices in Basel, Switzerland, Tokyo, Japan, and Mumbai, India.
“DIA’s success in China depends on our ability to engage local thought leaders in DIA’s unique educational and networking events, where they will be able to exchange professional experiences,” said Marie A. Dray, president, DIA board of directors.
The Provisional Advisory Council of China (pACC) was established in May 2008 and will continue to provide support and strategic oversight for DIA’s presence in China. The pACC has over 25 active members, who are from a pharma industry, regulators, SFDA-CCPIE, and academic background. The pACC will focus on developing a strong membership and volunteer base, strategic alliances, conferences and training programs, and local and student chapters. DIA board member Ling Su, PhD, vice president, clinical research & development – Asia Pacific, Wyeth, China, is pACC chair.
“An influx of western-trained scientists and increased access to global markets are extending the development opportunities available in China,” said Ling Su. “DIA’s presence in China will certainly contribute to meeting the enormous needs in training, education, and information sharing and exchange in global drug development and access to new medicines. DIA will follow the same successful formula used in North America, Europe, Japan, and India while working collaboratively with the SFDA, the China-based pharmaceutical industry, CROs, research institutions and other stakeholders.”
With offices in the U.S., Europe, and China, Kellen Company offers a complete range of services to international, national and regional associations, professional societies, foundations, and businesses. Under the leadership of Westgeest, along with Randy Ma, Kellen Beijing office manager, Steven Basart was appointed director DIA China, who will provide with his team:
- Full-office outsourced management of DIA in China
- Management and logistical support for pACC activities
- Conference and training course organization and support
- Membership development and recruitment
Ma brings over ten years of experience in managing international associations. With degrees in Sinology and Law, Basart has accomplished skills to lead the DIA team, which also includes Ting Chen, an experienced meetings manager, who has an education in pharma-trade and has worked for Reed-SinoPharma prior to joining Kellen Company and Stephanie Liu, program coordinator, who has a customer service background.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with DIA to maximize opportunities for the life sciences industry in China and are confident that we can help propel the association’s global development,” added Peter Rush, Kellen Company chairman and chief executive officer.