About Us

Michael R Swearingen

Mike’s broad background in healthcare includes 30 years of management experience with increasing responsibilities at Eli Lilly & Co., and Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care. He is currently Managing Director of Blackbriar-LLC International Consulting. Mike’s leadership and analytic ability have been demonstrated in strategic thinking across International healthcare advocacy, policy, and KOL identification-categorization. He has worked with key thought leaders, professional medical associations, grass roots organizations, elected officials, and government agencies, to create major enduring initiatives such as “Diabetes Awareness Days,” numerous national and international medical education conferences, advisory boards, state and federal advocacy training workshops, and national sales and management meetings. His global experience includes North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. In the U.S., Mike has been a catalyst for passage of several state legislative measures to improve healthcare outcomes. Mike was instrumental in the passage of a state licensure requirement for Diabetes Educators in the States of Kentucky and Indiana. Mike has been recognized as an honorary Physician Assistant in Indiana, and in 2014 the Diabetes Care Education practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded him the national DCE Champion Award.

Contact Mike at: mike@blackbriar-llc.com

Consulting Alliances

Larry Ellingson, R. Ph.

Larry K. Ellingson of Fountain Hills, Arizona, holds a BS in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota, and an Executive MBA from Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts. Larry retired from Eli Lilly and Company in May 2001 after serving as leader of global diabetes for Lilly for more than half of his career. He held several other positions at Lilly including Director of Pharmaceutical New Product Planning for gastrointestinal, skeletal, endocrine, infectious diseases, and any additional marketed products in those areas in the late 1980’s.

Larry continues to remain active with committee work and board positions for a multitude of organizations. Among them are NDSU, Research Park, International Diabetes Federation, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Nurse Practitioners Healthcare Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association. His contributions to the Association have been abundant, far-reaching, and have spanned more than 20 years. Within the Association, Larry has been a member of the Industry Advisory, Strategic Marketing Task Force, Strategic Planning Task Force, Big Ticket Task Force, Pinnacle Society, and most recently, the Income Development Committee. He has been Chair/Vice Chair for an equally extensive list of bodies within the Association including the Board of Directors, Fundraising Committee, Executive Committee, and Nominating Committee. He has unquestionably been a positive force and integral to mission delivery.

Larry has been honored several times for achievements in his field. He was honored by being the first and only non–scientist to receive Eli Lilly’s President’s Award and the Lilly Research Award for contributions to diabetes research. In 2001, Eli Lilly created the Ellingson Legacy Award to honor those who provide outstanding service to the customer and Ellingson, himself, was the first recipient. NDSU awarded him the highest honor in 2007, naming him An Outstanding Alumni of the Year for his contributions to the field and to the university. The American Diabetes Association’s Indiana market office presented him with the J.K. Lilly award for his contributions and service in the cause to Stop Diabetes® in 2004, and the home office bestowed Larry with the Charles H. Best Medal for Outstanding Service for his exceptional contributions as Chair of the Board in 2006. Larry most recently received the Wendell Mayes Jr. Award for his extensive service to diabetes advocacy in November, 2013.

Contact Larry at: larryellingson@gmail.com

Sylvia Lion

Sylvia Lion, Paris, France, graduated from the Pharmacy faculty of Nancy, France and a 3rd cycle of the Business School, Institut Superieur de Gestion in Paris.

Sylvia’s background is in healthcare industry, where she held several management positions in marketing and corporate affairs (external relations). Her experience covered from OTC companies ( Aspro Nicholas), medical devices( Becton Dickinson, Johnson and Johnson), to prescription medications (Servier, Zyma/Novartis, Lilly), both at national and international levels. The European focus extended to Asia, Middle East and Africa

Sylvia has served on the board of EURADIA , an alliance of NGOs and Private entities to promote Diabetes research to the EU Commission and as vice president of SWEET, a pediatric group to improve quality of care in Children. While evolving in her professional positions, Sylvia co-founded with a group of thought leaders the Diabetes Education Study Group of EASD, a pilot group in patient education. Co- author of articles around this subject, she gave conferences and organized workshops to educate and promote the concept.

She is an active member of professional and patient organizations including the EASD, European Association of the Study of Diabetes, ADA, American Diabetes Association, and ISPAD, the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes

Her contribution to corporate liaison boards , International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Diabetes Federation Europe( IDF Europe), European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE),Primary Care Diabetes Europe(PCDE), International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, EURADIA, SWEET, Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes ( FEND)and EASD study groups, Life for a Child, Insulin for Life was recognized recently .Sylvia received awards and medals from IDF and IDF Europe, as as the EASD Albert Renold Medal for distinguished services

Several of the organizations named previously recognized Sylvia’s partnership during official events and through messages

Today Sylvia continues to support several NGO’s and her main focus is :

  • Strategic planning
  • Project management
  • Thought Leaders management
  • Advocacy
  • Education and events

Contact Sylvia at: sylion20@gmail.com

President, Kelly Diabetes Associates, LLC.

Dr. Kelly received his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, his Doctorate at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.Dr. Kelly was formerly an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Medicine. His responsibilities during that time included; Director of the Metabolic Support Service at Truman Medical Center, President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ACCP Research Institute, and Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He joined LifeScan in 1992, where his responsibilities included; Director of Professional & Government Affairs, Director, Managed Health Care, and Director, Diabetes Programs. In April of 2007 he accepted a position as Director of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute for North America, and served in that position until March, 2009. Dr. Kelly is Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, and his research and experience includes a number of publications, participation on editorial boards and review panels of several journals, and various committees of professional organizations. He is a Certified Diabetes Technology Clinician (DTS), a Certified Professional Coder (AAPC) and a Certified Endocrine Coder (AACE).He has remained involved with the J&J Diabetes Institute, and teaches a wide variety of topics from medical standards and decision points in therapy, to blood glucose pattern management and medical coding applications to diabetes care.In addition, he also serves as faculty and educational programming staff for Children with Diabetes, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the College Diabetes Network. He is currently President of Kelly Diabetes Associates LLC, a diabetes consulting firm whose activities center on developing diabetes health management and educational programs for health care providers, pharmaceutical, medical device and telemedicine companies, related to strategies to improve diabetes management.

Contact Kim at: kkdiabetes@gmail.com

Anne Marie Bergevin

Trained as a dietitian, Anne Marie quickly broadened her skills upon moving from the food industry into the pharmaceutical arena. She has a well- rounded background with experience in training & development, sales management, marketing, alliances & business development, operations, grants management, advocacy and medical affairs across several therapeutic areas (most notably growth hormone therapy, cardiovascular, men’s health, women’s health).

Recipient of an Excel Award from Eli Lilly and Company’s Global Marketing and Sales Organization for an outstanding pre-launch campaign in Brazil for a novel, first-in-class, diabetes drug.

Anne Marie’s footprints at the national (Canada) and international levels are well characterized through her intense customer focus, exceptional interpersonal skills, versatility in adapting to change, and diplomacy working across cultures. This has made her a precious contributor on several corporate liaison boards of various professional Societies, including The Endocrine Society (TES), European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)American Urology Association (AUA)Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), American Heart Association’s Pharmaceutical Roundtable and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, she is fluent in French and English. Now living on the West coast of Florida, she focuses her advocacy skills on the preservation of mid-century modern local architectural treasures via her role on the Board of Directors of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation.

Contact Anne Marie at: annemariebergevin@yahoo.com

Paul B. Madden M.Ed.

An accomplished advocate, speaker, educator, trainer, and business development leader, Paul has also served on numerous leadership teams including, The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Diabetes Educators, (AADE), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Diabetes Education and Camping Association, (DECA), Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association (DESA), Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, T1 Today, d/b/a Children with Diabetes (CWD), Diabetes Hands Found (DHF), and Project Hope.

Paul has a special focus on patient advocacy, partnership recruitment, business development, education/certification and training programs. During his career at Joslin, he took the lead to raise over 25 million dollars for clinical and research programs.

As Chair, Medical Advisor for MyCareTeam Co., and the Timesulin Co. he has advised on education/support programs, and business development.While he was Project HOPE’s Global Health, Senior Director for Diabetes/NCD, Paul took a lead with colleagues and vital partners to develop, initiate and oversee unique and successful training programs for professionals, community health workers and peers improving patient centered care programs.

Contact Paul at: pmadden9@gmail.com

Charles L. Renfroe

Charles Renfroe, a longtime health advocate in diabetes and HIV/AIDS, has a distinguished track record in directing advocacy and communications programs, including almost 20 years of corporate experience at Johnson & Johnson and BD (Becton Dickinson).He has directed global outreach programs and relationships with diabetes organizations and patient advocacy groups worldwide. He has served on the Board of Directors for the JDRF, the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) and the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, as well as industry advisory panels for all major diabetes organizations.

Charles has been recognized with a number of distinguished service and volunteer awards from the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association, Children with Diabetes, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Latino Health Access, and San Francisco Suicide Prevention. His career also includes stints as Manager of Media Relations at SRI International, the Menlo Park, CA think tank, and staff and teaching positions at the University of Mississippi and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Contact Charles at: crenfroe2013@gmail.com