Mariam Darsot, the recently retired president and chief executive officer of Lincolnshire, Illinois-based Nexus Pharmaceuticals, is the Kenosha Area Business Alliance’s 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year, as part of KABA’s Ovation Awards program.
Darsot spearheaded the creation of a family-owned pharmaceutical company that started in her living room and has since grown to have a $100 million manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie. The facility is only the first phase of an expected $250 million investment over 10 years, that is expected to create more than 400 local jobs.
Darsot founded Nexus with her husband Shahid Ahmed in 2003. Today, both Darsot and Ahmed, along with their four children, are all active in the company. Nexus aims to make generic drugs more accessible to hospitals and patients.
“At our core, we care about helping others, and being (privately held) has helped us connect more directly to those people we want to help,” said Darsot. “We have more liberty in choosing partners, vendors, and pricing without being swayed by outside voices. We have taken chances with these choices with finding ways to make generic (drugs) as fairly accessible to patients and hospitals as possible, which is something publicly held companies cannot do as freely.”
In addition to her mission to help improve the public’s access to critically needed injectable drugs, Darsot is heavily involved in the surrounding community. Nexus is donating furniture to the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha and redesigning its space. The company also partnered with the Kenosha Unified School District this year to expose students to the pharmaceutical industry and sponsored the Education Foundation of Kenosha’s annual golf outing.
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