Board and Officers

Jennifer Byrne

Founder & President, Greater Gift

Jennifer Byrne is the Founder of Greater Gift (501(c)3). Through Greater Gift, over 80,000 vaccines have been donated to children in need in developing countries in honor of clinical trial participants. Each vaccine recognition expresses gratitude for the medical heroism of a trial volunteer or life science individual who is advancing health advancement locally to affect global impact…. one child at a time.

Formerly, Jennifer was the Chief Executive Officer of PMG Research, Inc. (PMG). During Jennifer’s 25 year tenure, PMG conducted over 7500 clinical trials with the inclusion of 150,000 trial participants across the development of hundreds of compounds and medical devices. Jennifer and her team established PMG Research as a market leader and also as a health care institution partner of choice. With her leadership, PMG Research transitioned successfully to both a private equity partner, Frontier Capital, and in December of 2015 to a global Contract Research Organization, ICON plc.

Jennifer is highly committed to building better bridges between patients and their health care providers to the life science community. Strategically, Jennifer is committed to help lead the transformation of clinical research as a care option for all patients within their natural continuum of care. She also strives to work within the ecosystem to drive more value through the improvement of the clinical trials enterprise.

Jennifer was recognized as a CenterWatch Top 25 Innovator and currently serves as an Advisory Board member to CISCRP, the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and Advisory Committee Member for NC Biotech Piedmont Triad. She is also a Board Member of the Hospice Foundation and Summit School. Jennifer earned her bachelor of science in Nutrition at Texas A&M University.

Amanda Wright

Executive Director, Greater Gift

Amanda began her career in clinical research in 1998, working as a Clinical Research Coordinator within the PMG Research organization. Since that time has served in various roles across the site enterprise including leadership roles in operations, patient engagement, business development and marketing. In addition to a passion for patient engagement, Amanda has dedicated a great deal of her time to forging mutually valuable strategic partnerships. These partnerships are novel within the industry, and include executive-level decision makers across stakeholders. Building consensus while creatively collaborating with a diverse range of contributors is essential to adapting to the changing landscape, while never losing sight of the importance of keeping patients at the forefront of innovation and collaboration.

Amanda has been involved with Greater Gift since its inception in 2010, and has been an active advocate for building awareness and participation with Greater Gift throughout industry constituents. As of 2013, Amanda assumed the role of Executive Director for Greater Gift, and since that time, she has led program development and expansion to include more than 30 industry partners.

In addition to Greater Gift, Amanda serves on numerous boards and committees throughout the industry, many of which are centered around the engagement of patients and enhancement of the clinical trial process to address current industry trends.

Darren White

Treasurer, Greater Gift

Darren White is a finance executive and business management consultant.  He spent 17 years of his career at PMG Research, Inc. where he served as the Chief Financial Officer.  During his tenure at PMG he led and developed the financial infrastructure needed for accounting, treasury, corporate finance, financial operations and study budget negotiations teams.  Early on, he was involved in the development of the legal and human resources departments.  He played a key executive role in the impressive growth PMG experienced and developed an expertise in site budget negotiations and financial operations of clinical trials, all things accounting, finance and FP&A related to operating a successful site network and site growth and expansion through mergers and acquisitions.  Darren was crucial in leading the transition of PMG from being a private, closely held, company over to Private Equity in 2012 and then again in December 2015 from Private Equity over to a Publicly held global Contract Research Organization, ICON plc.      

He has been involved with Greater Gift since its inception in 2010.  As of 2013, Darren became the Treasurer and continues to be responsible for the financial aspects and reporting for the Board.  He believes strongly in the mission of Greater Gift and is honored to be a part of the work done in advocating for and celebrating clinical trial participants while also saving lives by providing support for vaccines to children in need.       

Darren has served on various committees, boards and conferences in and out of the research industry.  He currently serves on the Hayworth Christian School Board where he also serves as Treasurer.  Darren is a graduate of High Point University.    


Joan A. Chambers

Senior Strategic Advisor, SCORR Marketing

With more than 20 years of experience in the clinical trial industry, Joan is a health science executive who brings a unique blend of strategy, leadership and competitive intelligence skills to SCORR's clients. She designs and excutes collaborative solutions that drive brand awareness and improve market share and profitability.

As a published author and presenter at many industry conferences, Joan synthesizes her understanding of critical issues and business challenges into viable client solutions. She advises on thought leadership opportunities that maximize SCORR's clients' visibility and impact.

Prior to joining SCORR, Joan was the chief operating officer at CenterWatch, where she set the strategic direction and finacial goals for the organization and managed all departments. Her career also included roles at Cambridge Healthtech Institue, the Tuft's Center for the Study of Drug Development and PAREXEL.

Mark Lacy

Founder and CEO of Benchmark Research

Mark Lacy is founder and CEO of one of the most prominent and respected Integrated Site Networks in the world - Benchmark Research. Mr. Lacy’s dedication to the advancement of clinical research is represented in his continued service on the Board of Advisors for The Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP), having served seven consecutive years. Mr. Lacy is a founding member of the Executive Committee for the PharmaTimes U.S. Clinical Researcher of the Year competition, having served the last two years as Chairman and Master of Ceremonies. In 2014 he was recognized by Vaccine Nation as one of the ‘50 Most Influential People in the Vaccines Industry’, and in 2011 by PharmaVoice as one of the ‘100 Most Inspiring People in the Life Sciences Industry’. In 2010, Mr. Lacy was selected by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top four ‘Established Entrepreneurs’ for his success in growing Benchmark Research. Mr. Lacy’s active participation with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) has encompassed serving as Chair of the Site Manager’s Forum, Chair of the Finance Committee, being elected to the Board of Trustees, and in 2015 being honored for Innovation in Clinical Research (merging Urgent Care with Clinical Research).

Karen Nowatkoski

VP, Clinical Operations Site Management

Karen oversees and provides global management for the Worldwide Clinical Trials’ team of Clinical Operations Directors and Managers, as well their CRAs (Clinical Research Associates). She spends a significant amount of her time collaborating directly and visiting with members of the Clinical Operations team across the globe.

Karen has been involved in clinical research for over 25 years. She has vast experience managing global clinical trials, including executive level responsibility for clinical operations management, site management, and clinical monitoring teams. Karen is a collaborative leader and she’s someone who can partner with and bring people together. She also possesses an action-oriented mindset. In her previous role, with PAREXEL, Karen was responsible for developing strategies to improve patient enrollment in order to meet customer expectations through the Alliance Site Program.

During this time, she worked in the pharmaceutical, CRO, and private practice environment working to deliver medicine in a more streamlined, cost effective manner. She has worked for Cognizant Technology and for Quintiles, another industry leader, where she spent fifteen years in several key roles.