Worcester’s contributions to the international biomedical industry as well as recognition of three new female executives and three member businesses’ milestones were the talk of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s third Breakfast Club of 2019 Thursday morning held at the AC Marriott Hotel.

In her address, Dr. Lisa Olson, vice president of immunology research at AbbVie Bioresearch Center, recounted the history of AbbVie’s Worcester office located on Research Drive and their success as a pharmaceutical company operating on an international scale.

Celebrating “30 years of innovation, 30 years of practicing art here in Worcester,” as Ms. Olson put it, the bioresearch center is also celebrating the approval of Upadacitinib or Rinvoq – a small-molecule pill designed for treatment of moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis in adults – by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August. The approval of the drug marks the second time a drug created, developed, and discovered at AbbVie’s Worcester site has been approved by the FDA.

Calling Worcester “our community and our scientific environment,” Ms. Olson explained how this type of life-changing research and accomplishment makes her, and company employees out of the Research Drive office, proud to operate in Central Massachusetts.

While scientific and biomedical research is their focus, AbbVie is also dedicated to and rooted in the local community. Partnering with a number of organizations, institutions, and nonprofits, Ms. Olson said: “Not only do we practice our art here, but we’re a part of this community and we’re very proud of that.”

Sponsored by Commerce Bank, a Division of Berkshire Bank, with supporting sponsorship from the Worcester Regional Airport, this edition of the Breakfast Club saluted six member businesses experiencing recent growth and expansion, new leadership, and key anniversaries.

Business members saluted on Thursday were Nouria Energy Corporation was saluted for its business expansion and launch of a new cafe-style business model; Manafort Brothers’ 100th anniversary; and ArtsWorcester for their new investment and retail space.

In addition, three new female executives were also recognized as part of the salutes. They are Marybeth Campbell, Worcester Community Action Council’s executive director; Elaine McKenna-Yeaw, Worcester Center for Crafts Executive Director Elaine McKenna-Yeaw; and Beth Barto, LUK Inc. CEO.

During the breakfast, Troy Siebels, president and CEO of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, served as emcee and chief greeter.

Held four times each year, the Breakfast Club draws more than 300 professionals for a networking breakfast in which local member businesses and executives are recognized followed by a keynote speaking program. The next Breakfast Club will be held at Assumption College on December 12. Click here for more info or to register.

Dominique Goyette-Connerty is a communications and marketing associate at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached via email.