Movers & Shakers Featured

9:57am EDT January 26, 2005
BioAdvance, the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania, appointed Michael Pellini its first entrepreneur-in-residence. Pellini is a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia Bioinformatics Alliance (GBPA), a regional coalition comprised of academia, research institutions and private sector entities, and assists its effort to ultimately provide new solutions to major medical and life sciences challenges. Pellini also helps related emerging life sciences companies in the BioAdvance portfolio with business and strategic counsel.

Pellini previously spent five years as CEO of the Boston-based biotech firm Genomics Collaborative Inc. (GCI), recently acquired by SeraCare Life Sciences Inc. GCI developed unique expertise in applying the science of genomics to complex drug and diagnostic discovery decisions. GCI's scientists and their innovative technology offered a highly efficient platform to discover and validate genomics-based drug and diagnostic targets.

Pellini received his medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and his MBA from Drexel University, and trained as a primary care physician in the Thomas Jefferson University Health System. Before attending medical school, he worked in the investment banking industry in Philadelphia and Australia.

Pellini serves on the board of directors for Genomics Collaborative Inc. and Malvern Pharmaceuticals Inc., the board of trustees for the Coriell Institute of Medical Research, the editorial board for Biotechnology Healthcare, the executive committee for Jefferson Medical College and the biotech council of Boston College.


The Philadelphia 100 Hall of Fame named Aavalar CEO Joseph Yesulaitis one of the 2004 inaugural members. Yesulaitis made the list of elite entrepreneurs for founding and operating two companies recognized for fast growth. The companies are unrelated, and both have appeared on the Philadelphia 100 list.

Since its founding in 1999, Aavalar twice made the Philadelphia 100 list of fastest-growing, privately held companies. Yesulaitis also served as CEO for ALTA Technical Services Inc, which was on the 100 list from 1992 to 1996. The list is ranked annually by the Wharton Business School, Philadelphia Business Journal and the Entrepreneurs Forum.

Aavalar has also been ranked among the 100 fastest growing consulting companies in the nation by Talent Economy Magazine two years in a row, and Yesulaitis appeared on Inc magazine's Inc 500, a list of the nation's fastest-growing, privately held companies. PMA CAPITAL CORP.

Joseph W. La Barge joined PMA Capital Corp.'s Corporate Legal Department as an assistant vice president-assistant general counsel. His principal responsibilities are securities law compliance, corporate ethics and corporate finance.

For the past five years, La Barge worked as a business and finance associate with the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP. His focus was corporate finance and securities matters.

La Barge received his bachelor of arts degree in education and psychology from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. He received his Juris Doctorate from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Temple Law Review.


ACE Westchester Specialty Group appointed Paul Forbes vice president and program manager of the ACE Administered Programs Unit. Forbes oversees the development of new programs for ACE Westchester Specialty Group's Program Division.

He worked in a variety of leadership roles in underwriting and program management at Fireman's Fund, Professional Underwriters Co. and CNA. Forbes received his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Delaware. In addition, he holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) professional designations.

ACE Westchester Specialty Group is the U.S.-based wholesale-focused excess and surplus property and casualty operation of the ACE Group of Companies, which is headed by ACE Ltd.


Scanvec Amiable Inc. appointed William H. McDonnell chief financial officer.

Most recently, McDonnell worked for FNX Ltd., a global financial risk management software development company, as corporate controller and vice president of finance. Prior to that, he was a senior audit consultant at Unisys Corp. and senior accountant at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., which is now Aventis. McDonnell holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Georgetown University, and passed the CPA exam in 1993.


Guy Carpenter & Co. Inc. selected Nicholas L. Durant to lead the Directors & Officers Practice within the firm's Professional Liability Specialty. Durant, a senior vice president of the firm, is based in Philadelphia and reports to Andrew Marcell, managing director and global leader of Guy Carpenter's Professional Liability Practice.

Durant played a major role in the development of the LEAD model, a Guy Carpenter proprietary tool to assess D&O risk, which is without peer in the marketplace. Guy Carpenter & Co. Inc. is the world's leading risk and reinsurance specialist and a part of the Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc.