STL Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Mark R. Bamforth
founder, president and CEO
Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, LLC
Mark R. Bamforth helped an American pharmaceutical company grow into a multi-billion dollar company, which led to his 20-plus year career running its operations in the U.K. and Boston. But he grew weary of the bureaucracy that placed limitations on his innovative problem-solving skills.
Having been brushed off by executive recruiters, Bamforth struck out on his own. He convinced his wife to let him risk everything, quit his job and mortgage the family home to start his own company.
He formed Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, LLC in 2010 by rescuing a floundering St. Louis pharmaceutical production facility, which he had vigorously tried to convince his former company to buy. As founder, president and CEO, Bamforth turned the company around in just a few years. The family-type atmosphere includes many executives he brought on from his previous experience, the 160 existing employees whose jobs he saved, and the 65 additional jobs that have been created.
When Bamforth transitioned the old staff to Gallus, he realized many employees’ careers had been stuck in neutral. Re-energizing the workforce became a top priority, as overdue promotions and additional moves built employee morale and retention.
He continues that today with quarterly meetings for feedback and recognition.
Work/life balance remains important, which is certainly demonstrated by how Bamforth still manages to spend a few days during the week and the weekends with his family in Boston.
One of the most unique elements at Gallus is that approximately 50 percent of employees are unskilled workers who gain valuable work experience with on-the-job training.
Bamforth has worked to diversify Gallus’ services to include a mix of large-scale production and research and development suites for smaller biopharm companies and universities seeking lab space for their own projects.
His goal is to annually to decrease the company’s dependence on its biggest — and nearly sole client, when he came into the picture — Johnson & Johnson.
How to reach: Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, www.gallusbiopharma.com