Michelle Ann Lemasters

Director, Teva Global Operations IT
2019 Teva Rising Star

With Teva: 9 years

We believe in the power and promise of enabling, developing and recognizing women in becoming exceptional leaders at Teva. As the premier catalyst for development of women in the healthcare industry, the Healthcare Business Women’s Association (HBA)’s Rising Stars program honors top talent who exhibit exemplary leadership and are role models who have made notable contributions. We asked this year’s Teva Rising Stars to share their career journeys and advice. These are their stories.

Best career advice: “Keep your candy bowl filled.”

How did you get your start in your career?

I received my degree in Chemical Engineering and started my career with a Process Control Integration company that implemented manufacturing automation to the pharmaceutical industry. It was a wonderful place to learn, but I knew quickly that I wanted to be more involved in a company that actually makes the medicines. I moved into a Technical Services engineering role at a biologic company and felt that I had finally found my place.

The most surprising professional advice I ever received:

“Keep your candy bowl filled.” During a summer internship while studying for my engineering degree, a mentor said the best advice for my future career was to always keep my candy bowl filled because it would help build relationships and allow me to learn continually in an informal setting… and of course provide my colleagues and I with a much needed afternoon treat. Through the years as people have stopped by my desk for chocolate, I was able to gauge the pulse of my team, learn what was going well and what things we may need to improve. So, an Irish crystal bowl has been traveling around with me from desk to desk for more than two decades and remains well-stocked.

Most memorable experience at Teva:

Being the IT representative for Mergers, Acquisitions, & Divestments in North America was one of my most memorable experiences at Teva. It pushed me outside the typical boundaries of my role as I was leading IT Compliance and Validation Services at the same time. Seeing the first deal complete that I had worked on from early discovery and negotiation to closure was very rewarding.

Biggest career risk:

A one way ticket to Singapore -- my first long-term overseas assignment to support a new manufacturing facility preparing for new product pre-approval and launch. It was the single biggest leap for my growth personally and professionally. It was the first time I truly appreciated the responsibility of being a recognized topic expert and since I was on the other side of the world from my close-knit family, I learned I really could manage things well on my own.

Advice I’d give my 22 year old self: 

Always listen to your inner voice – it will be right more often than you think.

What I wanted to be when I grew up:

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom and a scientist/engineer. As a child, my playroom was filled with Legos and chemistry kits and dollhouses in equal measure.

My motto: 

Embrace the Change.