March 7, 2016

TBJ names 2016 Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Each year as a part of its annual Women In Business Awards, Triangle Business Journal selects a female executive who has impacted the Triangle community not only with the work she’s accomplished throughout her career, but also her dedication to the community’s greater good. We call it the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s winner checks all those boxes and then some. A seasoned entrepreneur and biotechnology executive, Christy Shaffer has amassed more than 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry. She began her career as a clinical scientist and later became associate director of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co. In 1995, she joined Inspire Pharmaceuticals as its first, full-time employee. There, she was instrumental in raising more than $300 million for the company, including taking it public in 2000.

As president and CEO of Inspire, Shaffer expanded the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenue of more than 0 million. She retired from Inspire in 2010 and it was acquired by Merck the following year. Shaffer now spends her time serving as general partner of Durham-based venture capital firm Hatteras Venture Partners. She joined the firm in 2011 as a venture partner and managing director of Hatteras Discovery; and she became a full partner in the firm last year. Additionally, she serves as a board member of five Hatteras portfolio companies and chairs three of them.

Shaffer’s community involvement is also undeniable. She played an integral role in enhancing entrepreneurship and innovation across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus for several years, resulting in a significant increase in the number of startups over the last few years. Shaffer also serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Foundation board of the N.C. School of Science and Math (former chair), the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center Advisory board (chair), the N.C. Science Festival Steering Committee, the Carolinas Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Chordoma Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s regulatory initiative board. “I am so honored to receive this prestigious Women In Business Lifetime Achievement Award,” Shaffer says. “It is certainly privilege to join the ranks of so many other women in the RTP area who have made outstanding contributions to business and society. Although this is a Lifetime Achievement Award, I feel that I have just begun to make a real impact and hope to do so for years to come.”

Shaffer will be celebrated at this year’s Women In Business Awards event to be held on April 4 at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. Cameron Snipes oversees research and production of weekly industry lists and Book of Lists.

Cameron Snipes Research & Logistics Director Triangle Business Journal