Andy Eckert BioHealth

5 Questions about Andy Eckert, BioHealth Nomad

“5 Questions With…” is a weekly BioBuzz series where we reach out to interesting people in the BioHealth Capital Region and Greater Philadelphia to share a little about themselves, their work, and maybe something completely unrelated. 

Well, we decided to shake things up. Instead of publishing an interview-style “5 Questions With…” featuring one of our community members, we asked our community “5 Questions About” our very own Andy Eckert.

Andy has worked with BioBuzz for the last decade to help spread the word of the BioHealth Capital Region even before it was branded with that name. His background includes years at MedImmune supporting the Commercial Operations Organization before becoming a BioHealth Nomad working with various clients in Operations, Communications, and Strategic Services.  

With that being said, here’s what some of those who’ve worked closely with Andy over the years cared to share…

Chris Frew
Andy has been part of BioBuzz since the beginning. How did the two of you meet and how has Andy contributed to the growth of BioBuzz?

Andy joined me at BioBuzz 10 years ago and has been an important part of our growth as a community-led company, and is someone who has worked with dozens of organizations across the regional biotech community as a communications consultant for more than a decade. In fact, his journey in Biotech actually started over 20 years ago in the early days of MedImmune working in sales operations.  

I first met Andy through Jamie Lacey-Moreira as he was looking to expand his communications and marketing experiences. We had just begun expanding BioBuzz into Montgomery County and Andy volunteered his time and passion to join me in helping to grow the community. Since then, he’s been a part of our growth each step of the way. So, if you’ve been to a BioBuzz event in the past decade, there is no doubt that Andy’s face was at the front table greeting you and welcoming you to the event. It wasn’t easy running BioBuzz for so many years as a volunteer-based organization, but Andy made it a lot easier.

As BioBuzz evolved beyond a networking event organization and grew into a community-led media company, Andy has played a valuable role in our communications and editorial strategy. He has aided in story development and community engagement, and has consistently run our social media over the years. The “5 Questions with…” segment was Andy’s idea that he developed and has run for the past year; with the exception of this one 😉

Andy’s impact on BioBuzz and our regional role as an industry media partner carries on a legacy of journalism that started with his Father, Barton Eckert, who had a renowned career in journalism and media as a business anchor on WTOP radio, reporter-anchor on Washington’s WTTG-TV, a broadcaster for BizNet and a writer for the Washington Business Journal. Andy has definitely followed in his Father’s footsteps and it’s been an honor to have him as part of my journey over the past 10 years.

Jamie Griffin Strachota
Andy has been in the industry for many years. What’s one way he’s helped you professionally since knowing him that’s memorable?

Andy, Andy, Andy. He was my communications consultant for Women In Bio, and his job was to consolidate all of the chapter happenings (events, podcasts, member highlights, etc) and incorporate other interesting industry news in a weekly e-newsletter. Keep in mind, WIB is a volunteer organization so the balance between keeping to my deadlines and nudging our volunteers for the necessary information to populate the enewsletter really requires an approachable and flexible personality. And Andy fit the bill. 

He was a joy to work with, quick with jokes to keep me on my toes, and went above and beyond to make sure his work was polished and reader-friendly. WIB leaders dedicate an enormous amount of volunteer hours into making the nonprofit organization a leader in promoting women in the life sciences, and the e-newsletter was a major vehicle to spotlight all of those efforts – and Andy took professional ownership to ensure the collective chapter work was properly conveyed to our readership. We *may* have had an entire staff meeting learning about sugar gliders. I loved the impromptu mini-marsupial lesson and it was neat to see Andy in his element.

Judy Costello
You and Andy have known each other for many years. What’s a great memory you have that you’d like to share?

Working with Andy on a variety of marketing initiatives, one of the lasting memories is an older one: his friendly greeting near the entrance to BioBuzz events—making sure attendees knew each other and networked while waiting to complete their name tags… something none of us will take for granted post-Covid!

Miko Neri
You and Andy have known each other for many years. What’s a great memory you have that you’d like to share?

I met Andy for the first time in 2017 and what caught my eye was this vintage hard case briefcase that he was carrying. It was so uncharacteristic that it was funny. When I think about it now, that briefcase is actually symbolic of one of Andy’s widely known and most popular projects – BioTalk with Rich Bendis – and I bet it has traveled extensively that people who work in MoCo’s biotech industry would recognize it too. 

It’s easy to love Andy. He’s a super guy! So easy to get along with, a genuine, dependable friend who cares. He takes my calls all the time and gives great advice. We have enjoyable conversations – anything from Pearl Jam and concert experiences, sleep deprivation from overactive cats, gym routines and working out, advancing in careers and education, his admiration of his dad, lunches that never happen, stories about Kentucky and whiskey and vacations, you name it. First memory of Andy – that old school briefcase. Memory yet to be made – having a beer that he has yet to buy me!

Rich Bendis
Andy has been working with you for several years as a consultant for BHI, and to help produce the BioTalk podcast.  How has Andy’s work contributed to BHI/BioTalk over the years, and the work you do to grow the BioHealth Capital Region brand?

Andy has been a tremendous marketing and PR resource for BioHealth Innovation for several years. Andy helps us with our PR releases, our BioHealth weekly newsletter, and keeps the BioHealth Capital Region newsletter updated with current news.

He is also the producer of my BioTalk podcast where we have interviewed over 90 BHCR Innovators and Leaders over the last 4 years. In addition, Andy supports the BioHealth Capital Region Forum which will be our 7th Annual on September 14th and 15th as well as our BHCR Investment Conference which will be our 4th Annual on Sept. 28th and 29th. We are lucky to have Andy as a valuable resource to BHI and the BHCR as he is a true Terp and very committed to growing our ecosystem.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about the guy who puts this weekly segment together. We appreciate him and it’s clear many in the region do as well. Thanks to Andy for helping to grow the community and thanks to each of the contributors above who shared their time and fun memories!