1412 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10019
The Curtis Center, 250-S Independence Square West, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Account wins 5
Active business clients 14
Brands by 2021 sales
Brand-product accounts held 31
$25 million or less 4
$25 million-$50 million 5
$50 million-$100 million 6
$100 million-$500 million 7
$500 million-$1 billion 2
$1 billion or more 2
Products not yet approved/launched 5
Brand Strategy/Creative Development 25%
Bristol Myers Squibb
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Oncology
Agency of the Year, Category II
“In 2021, as it has year after year, Calcium continued to demonstrate substantial growth and success,” agency managers say. Among many highlights, Calcium registered a near 30 percent increase in revenue, derived from both existing and new clients. The agency also onboarded more than 50 new employees, including many strategically important hires and fresh new talents and voices.
Perhaps most significantly, agency leaders say, Calcium established an equity partnership with NexPhase Capital. According to Steven Michaelson, founder and former CEO, “NexPhase represents exactly the kind of financial partner we were searching for: one that recognizes our unique strengths and wants to build upon them. Calcium remains independent but now has the financial backing of our NexPhase Capital partner.”
The year also brought exciting leadership changes. Steven Michaelson has been elevated to Founder and Chairman of the board, while agency Co-Founder Judy Capano has assumed the CEO role.
Long-time Managing Partner and creative leader Steve Hamburg was named Chief Strategy Officer; Maha Elashri joined the agency as Chief Client Officer; and Liz Gopaul joined as Engagement Lead. Greg Lewis continues in his role as agency President.
According to Lewis, the “future is beckoning, and Calcium has expanded its leadership team in order move forward in the strongest way possible.”
With a variety of important new client engagements under way such as with Pfizer and Genentech; several key product launches planned or executed; existing client relationships thriving; and an ambitious growth plan being implemented, Calcium leaders say they anticipate a fertile growth environment in 2022 and beyond.
According to Capano, Calcium is “strongly equipped to deliver the kinds of ideas, initiatives, and innovations that clients are looking for – the ones that truly move the needle.”
The leadership teams says not surprisingly, Calcium continued to win industry accolades in 2021, receiving Agency of the Year recognitions from both Med A News and PM360. “Awards are gratifying, but they’re really just a reflection of our ability to nourish the growth of our clients, their brands, and the amazing people of Calcium,” Michaelson says.
On the expansion front, the agency announced the formation of Vitamin MD, a division dedicated to providing leading-edge medical education and communications solutions.
“With experienced M.D.s and Ph.D.s in its talent pool, Vitamin MD will answer the industry call for scientific and medical content that is authoritative, timely, and highly engaging,” agency executives say.
The division is led by industry veterans Lauren Lazar, M.D. as Executive VP/Medical Director and Brad Quosig as VP, Client Engagement Lead.
As a way of further strengthening the strategic underpinnings of its all offerings, the agency has established the Integrated Strategy Group, led by Hamburg.
The leadership team says this group brings together highly skilled leaders across the disciplines of medicine and science; social and behavioral science; customer segmentation, journey mapping, and experience strategy; and omnichannel engagement and activation.
“By developing leading-edge tools and platforms and stimulating cross fertilization across these disciplines, Calcium can generate richer ideas that engage audiences more holistically and activate them more powerfully,” agency executives say.
According to Hamburg, “Getting strategy right is a precondition of getting everything else right, which is why our capability is now state-of-the-art.”
In 2021, Calcium also expanded its footprint with the opening of a Miami office. “With key Calcium members migrating south, we wanted to tap into the multicultural Miami talent pool,” Michaelson explains.
Structure and Services
Since its inception, Calcium has emphasized the value of the agency’s lean, agile, and non-bureaucratic structure, which enables greater effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness in meeting client needs.
“Fortunately, this approach continues to prevail even as Calcium has become much larger,” agency executives say.
According to agency leaders, “The essence of Calcium continues to be nourishment – nourishment of clients and their brands, of the agency’s extraordinary people, and of the pursuit of health across the globe. Calcium’s nourishment is delivered through the strength of its insights, ideas, imagination, and innovation as well as through its culture of commitment, integrity, and respect.”
Management says Calcium uniquely nourishes brands by focusing all its knowledge, skill, creativity, and innovation into a logical, stepwise system called The Growth Process.
“This process ensures that all strategic, creative, and engagement initiatives are driven by the most salient and meaningful insights and are aligned with a central, guiding force called the Core Brand Idea,” management says. “By maintaining a high degree of single-minded focus, Calcium enables entire communications ecosystems to speak with a unified strategic and creative voice–thereby heightening impact and productivity.”
Additionally, Calcium has expanded its global reach, by establishing a consortium of like-minded agencies across the globe. “From this group, Calcium can build micro-networks with intention – an ability to select partner agencies whose expertise and culture align to the specific needs of its client,” executives say.
Don Feiler, partner and chief technology officer, continues to advance Calcium’s digital capabilities with the introduction of the proprietary platform, Calcium Connect. “Calcium Connect delivers highly targeted, personalized messaging to patient and HCP targets, and data integration – with near-real-time feeds – drives responsive, contextual omnichannel marketing for all target groups,” Feiler says.
The Calcium Technology Team continues to expand its technology footprint in omnichannel marketing, adding IQVIA OCE and Salesforce Marketing Cloud certifications to complement its robust Veeva practice.
On the creative front, Chief Creative Officer June Carnegie remarks, “As Calcium grows, and our presence is felt more and more in the creative community, we’ve been fortunate to continue to build on our already award-winning team with such super talents as Sherman Yee, Senior VP Creative Director of Art and David Hurwitz, Senior VP Creative Director of Copy. I’m so excited to see what innovations they will bring in 2022.”
The Calcium Project Management team, led by Dave Herman, Executive VP, Operations and Delivery, also experienced a growth infusion during 2021. “It’s vital to ensure our clients always receive a flawless product, which is delivered on time and within budget, every time,” Herman says. “This is the experience we deliver, regardless of how small or large the project is.”
Calcium also announced a robust DEI initiative in 2021. “In keeping in the spirit of an agency that puts people above everything else, we announced the creation of our DEIBA (diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility) department, which will enhance our agency culture and client offerings in every way possible,” says Melissa Morrow, Partner and Chief People Officer.
On the people front, Calcium created the People and Culture Group. According to Morrow, “We remain a ‘people first’ agency that recognizes the importance of supporting our people in every dimension. With that in mind, we instituted Cal U (training and development program) and evolved our Culture Club (social and event programming). In everything we do, we ensure we listen first and implement second. At Calcium, we know that our people are our greatest asset.”
Calcium is committed to bringing its core strategic, creative, and engagement expertise to an even wider base of clients, from big pharma to smaller, more entrepreneurial biopharmas, and the agency is rapidly expanding the range of tools and services it provides, management says. “Healthcare is never standing still, we are keenly attuned to emergent needs – to address these needs, we build and amplify our offerings, and focus on the acquisition of agencies whose services expand upon our core areas of expertise,” says Garth McCallum-Keeler, Chief Growth Officer.
Calcium will continue its “grow, build, and buy,” strategy in 2022, executives say. According to Michaelson, “We’re currently in the process of adding complementary capabilities through acquisitions. Our goal is to add leading-edge resources that improve our overall ability to nourish brands and grow businesses.”
“As we approach our sixth year, we are poised for even greater growth based on the strength of our agency offerings, our values-driven culture, and a talented team of driven, highly empathetic leaders,” Shapiro says. “In partnership with our clients, we will orchestrate meaningful and lasting change in the world of health.”
Nourishment continues to be a fundamental human need,” agency leadership stated. “That’s why Calcium is proud to provide ongoing support to The Great American Milk Drive. In partnership with Feeding America (the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization), The Great American Milk Drive delivers milk – and vital nutrition – to families across the United States, in communities large and small. Together, Feeding America and The Great American Milk Drive deliver more than 44 million servings of fresh milk each year to families in need. That’s the kind of nourishment we’re honored to support.”