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Virtual panel discussion with Lilly CEO highlights fifth Lilly Day at Purdue

Friday, August 28, 2020

Dave Ricks

A virtual panel discussion with David Ricks, chairman and CEO of  Eli Lilly and Co., who is a 1990 graduate of Purdue’s Krannert School of Management, highlighted Lilly Day at Purdue on Thursday (Aug. 27).

The multifaceted event was designed to introduce Purdue students to the global pharmaceutical company and the career opportunities that exist within the Fortune 200 company.

"Lilly’s unique relationship with Purdue goes back to the early days of both institutions. Purdue people have been part of many of Lilly’s most significant advances in medicine, including insulin, production of the polio vaccine and now our work to defeat COVID-19," Ricks said. "We’re eager to see the skills and ideas the next generation of Boilermakers will bring to advance our purpose to make life better for people around the world."

Ricks became Lilly’s chairman and CEO in 2017 after stints as president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, Lilly USA and Lilly China, as well as general manager of Lilly Canada. He joined Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate and held several management roles in U.S. marketing and sales before taking leadership roles abroad.

Ricks’ influence extends across the health care industry. He is chairman-elect of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA). He also serves on the boards of Adobe, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and chairs the Riley Children’s Foundation’s board of governors. He is a member of The Business Council and the Business Roundtable.

In addition to Ricks, Lilly panelists included Joy Fitzgerald, vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, and two early career professionals, who are Purdue alumni: Rapheal Davis (consumer science '16), sales representative, Diabetes Business Unit, and Helen Flynn (biology '19), scientist, Medicines Innovation Hub.

Students from all class levels learned about Lilly ­– the largest private employer in Indiana – and its more than 130 years of hiring Purdue graduates in areas such as engineering, science, information technology, statistics, finance, human resources, marketing, procurement, supply chain and sales.

Lilly employs nearly 1,700 Purdue graduates – more than from any other university.