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Dorothy Czylyski is the Partner and President of No Fixed Address Health, the healthcare division of No Fixed Address Inc., an independent and borderless full-service agency. Her expertise lies in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, where she has proven to be an effective client services, marketing, and operations officer. Dorothy has a track record of translating organizational and brand strategy into action and leading successful business growth initiatives.

Before joining NFA Health, Dorothy held senior positions at Fresh Squeezed Ideas, Klick Health, SCRIPT, and Publicis LifeBrands Medicus. Her leadership style is based on her passionate commitment to engaging cross-functional teams to achieve internal company and external business objectives. Dorothy is an accomplished leader who excites, engages, and energizes people to be successful and deliver results.


tune in

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:51] Dorothy Czylyski shares her professional background at an agency in the pharmaceutical industry
  • [09:13] Lessons learned working at an agency 
  • [13:39] Career growth and adapting to mergers
  • [19:35] Dorothy talks about the genesis of No Fixed Address Health and what it accomplishes
  • [26:52] How Dorothy achieved work-life balance when building a full-service marketing agency in the pharma space
  • [37:50] How NFA Health landed its initial clients
  • [46:11] Where Dorothy drew her motivation 
  • [49:17] NFA Health’s customer success stories

In this episode…

The pharmaceutical industry is a rapidly evolving landscape with constantly changing regulations and market trends. To navigate the complex landscape of the industry and achieve their business objectives, partnering with a marketing agency is crucial. 

In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has had very few full-service agencies, leaving companies with limited options for marketing and other services. Scientist Dorothy Czylyski saw a gap in the market and decided to take action. As the healthcare industry is highly regulated, it requires a unique approach to marketing to ensure compliance. To grow a successful full-service marketing agency in this space, it is fundamental to have a deep understanding of the industry’s needs and challenges. From acquiring clients to overcoming challenges and maintaining a work-life balance, Dorothy shares her journey of building No Fixed Address Health from the ground up.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz chats with Dorothy Czylyski, Partner and President of NFA Health, about growing a marketing agency in the pharma space. Dorothy shares her professional background working at an agency in the pharmaceutical industry, lessons learned, the genesis of NFA Health and what it does, and how she achieved work-life balance.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “You don’t need two bosses running an agency that just merged.”
  • “Do what you do best.”
  • “If you’re in the right place at the right time, good things happen.”
  • “Don’t just set a goal, but put it against a timeline.”

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:15 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. Dorothy Czylyski of And Dorothy I always like to before I formally introduce you, I always like to mention other episodes people should check out of the podcast. Since this is part of the top agency series a couple of good ones. I had Kevin Hourigan Spinutech, he’s been in Agency World and agency since 1995. And he talks about the evolution of his journey in agency and entrepreneurship. So that was a fascinating one I talked with Todd Taskey, Todd Taskey, who also the Second Bite Podcast, basically helps match agencies with private equity, and help sell agencies and he talks about valuations and the agency landscape. And sometimes those agencies sell that get more on the second bite than they do on the first because they sell the private equity, and then private equity sells again, and they have stake in that. So it’s an interesting take on selling your business. And then another one was Jason Swenk, who also talked about building his agency up to eight figures selling it, and then he has a separate business also buying up agencies. So that was interesting episode as well. That many more on and this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that, we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch or on a podcast. We do the strategy, the accountability and the full execution. Dorothy we call ourselves kind of the magic elves that run around in the background and make it look easy for the hosts in the company. So they can create great content and create great relationships. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships, I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions, and go to To learn more, I’m excited to introduce Dorothy Czylyski and she’s an agency executive with over 20 years of success working with pharmaceutical clients across North America. And she found her health care agency, No Fixed Address health which is She did it in collaboration with No Fixed Address, Inc. And it’s a rapidly growing consumer agency with a unique full-service model of incorporating all advertising disciplines under one roof. current clients include Johnson & Johnson innovation, Novo Nordisk Estelle and many, many more. And her vision was to offer clients working in the pharmaceutical industry, a patient-first agency partner, by bringing the consumer experience into the healthcare space. And Dorothy, thanks for joining me.

Dorothy Czylyski  3:22 

Thank you for having me listen about my journey and how we do pharma advertising.

Jeremy Weisz  3:27 

I want to talk a little bit of your background, and some of the lessons you’ve learned there and then transitioning into why and how you started your own agency. And you were telling me a little bit about a lesson you learned from a previous boss in an agency about people?

Dorothy Czylyski  3:51 

Yes, great question, because I’ve carried that forward 20 years now. So I’ve been working within the agency space for 20 years. My background is actually in science, which is what has kept me doing science and working with pharmaceutical clients. So I have a Master’s of Science in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology. So I always thought I would be in the space, but I never — when you’re young, you don’t really know exactly what job you’re going to get.

Jeremy Weisz  4:23 

What did you think you were going to do at the time?

Dorothy Czylyski  4:26 

A doctor. Oh, yeah, I think a lot of us who are interested in science, we always think we’re going to go to medical school, we’re going to be doctors, that’s what I thought I was going to be and then as you grow up and develop, you develop other interests. So some of those other interests that I had was a little bit more in the I’m not going to say marketing because you don’t get to do a lot of marketing in high school. You don’t really know what that is. But writing, I was strong in English. I was a very good writer and considered myself to be a creative. So that was like, maybe the right brain left brain kind of thing, which I kind of developed a little bit later on. So when I was doing my master’s in pharmacology, it’s there that I got exposed to the pharmaceutical industry. During my master’s, I was actually helping to run a clinical trial. And that kind of sparked my interest, I thought, well, that’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to work for a pharmaceutical company. And so when I graduated, I actually learned very quickly that I couldn’t, I couldn’t just go and be a marketer in a pharmaceutical company, because that’s not where you start off. You could be a sales rep. So everybody knows what that is, right? A pharma sales rep. So that’s what was offered to me at the time, I was early in my 20s. And it is not what I envisioned for myself.

Jeremy Weisz  6:01 

Did you end up doing it?

Dorothy Czylyski  6:02 

No, I thought, well, I can’t be a sales rep, I couldn’t understand what the job was, at the time, the way I pictured it when I was 22 is I would have a bag with medication. And I’d be driving around the city trying to sell it to doctors. That’s what I thought it was. It is not that at all. But that’s what I thought it was. And I thought, ah, that is not what I want to do, and actually ended up reaching out to a recruiter that I did have that I knew. And she put me in touch with an agency. And I had no idea what an agency was, again, it’s not something that they expose you to in school. And she said, well, they really would love…

Jeremy Weisz  6:51 

After I started my agency, Dorothy, I still didn’t realize I was an agency. Oh, but someone said to me, who’s been in it for a while, you’re an agency. I’m like, what’s an agency? So even being an agency, I didn’t realize it was matrices. So I get it.

Dorothy Czylyski  7:08 

It’s true. So what does that mean? Right? Like, what do you do? They said, well, they really want to talk to you because you have a science background and you know how to write. Right? All right, so I went to this interview. And that was my first exposure ever, I was inside an agency and really just trying to understand what they do. And that’s when I learned that their clients are pharmaceutical companies. And they do a lot of the materials, they produce a lot of the materials that a pharmaceutical company puts out or gives to their sales reps. But even broader than that, like slide decks for conferences, and maybe a detail aid that our rep would have, or a patient brochure, we go to our doctor’s office, and you get a patient brochure, those kinds of materials. I thought that was wild, I thought an agency does that. In my mind, I thought why doesn’t the pharmaceutical company do that? That was my initial impression. And now of course, it’s because they’re not an agency, either. They don’t have these big marketing departments with people who can write or are creative, etc. So I thought that was really neat, and I took the job. So my first job ever was essentially a medical writer, which allowed me to use the science that I learned in school, I could read a clinical paper and a clinical trial. And I could write information on it. So I could write a patient brochure. I could write up some slides with scientific information, I could contribute to a detail said that a pharma sales rep would eventually get in their hands. So that’s how I started, I loved that. I really did.

Jeremy Weisz  9:02 

What were some of the lessons you learned, whether it’s in marketing, specifically in pharma, or I’m sure there’s a number of lessons. What was one of those?

Dorothy Czylyski  9:13 

Yeah, I think a really key one early on that I learned, I think that was related to even what is marketing in the first place was you need to be able to understand and figure out what is the so what, of what you are writing. So that was really important. And it’s not easy, right? We’re used to I can take a paper and write a slide deck, right? We can all do that because we can make a summary that’s what they teach you in school. But if you’re trying to then put a bit of a marketing angle or spin onto it, you need to be able to take that information and come up with the what is the so what of what I am writing. And that’s not easy, because I learned not everybody can do that. I give a very good example, we had a couple of people with PhDs at the agency who are also medical writers. And some of them and I can think of one person specifically who really struggled with the “so what.” Like, they could produce really beautiful slides. And then there wasn’t that like, so what’s the punchline? And I remember my boss saying, at the time, some people just get it. And some people don’t, like it’s not a natural progression of your thinking. So that really fascinated me. And actually, I ended up taking some marketing courses as a result, because I’ve never done that I always took science.

Jeremy Weisz  10:56 

I was gonna ask if you had any mentors, either actual mentors or books or courses, because, I’ve had a lot of, really, it’s not easy. It’s you figuring out a hook. And this applies to any marketing, any email we send, anything on our website, anything. So what, what’s the hook, what’s going to get people in? And I’ve had a lot of direct response marketers on the podcast before and it was like, I didn’t realize as I started kind of peeling off the onion. How many resources are out there on just this one, not small, but this one really important topic. So who were I don’t know, some, if you had any mentors, whether it’s distant through books or courses or actual mentors?

Dorothy Czylyski  11:46 

Sure. So courses for sure, that’s just hearing that I thought, ooh, I don’t have any marketing training, I enjoyed the writing, I appeared that I was good at it. So maybe it came naturally to me, as my boss said, some people have it, some people don’t. Maybe I had it to a certain extent, but then it made me uncomfortable, I felt okay, I need some training here if I was going to pursue this kind of a career, so I actually, I did night school. So I was still working full-time. And I took a it was called a business management certificate at the time, that included I had to take a series of eight courses over probably took me almost three years, where it was like marketing, 101, corporate finance, business strategy, business fundamentals, kind of like your, like a mini MBA. And my work paid for that. So they did sponsor in a way helped put me through, but it took a long time, because I was doing it at night. But that kind of just gave me a different perspective. Because again, in university, I didn’t take any courses like that it was just completely science-based. So that really helped. And then of course, doing your job, you gain experience, writing, the various pieces that I was doing early on in my career, so kind of that in combination with the courses, I felt I got more confident in the role and just really understanding, what is it that we are here to do? What makes the clients happy, etc.

Jeremy Weisz  13:31 

So what was one lesson? What was another that you learned throughout your agency career?

Dorothy Czylyski  13:39 

So through my agency career, so that was kind of medical writing, I did that for maybe five years in my first job, and then I thought, okay, well, maybe time to move on and do something else. And this actually comes full circle. So I’ll mention it. I got called by a previous boss of mine that was working with me in the first job left and went to run the healthcare division at publicists. Publicis had a healthcare Division at the time, it was called Publicis Welfare. She went there to be the managing director, and a few months after called me and asked me to come over and read because she wanted somebody who could do the writing, but also had the science background. So I made that jump, went over into Publicis, which is actually where I met Serge Rancourt, who was the president of Publicis at the time, who is now the founder of No Fixed Address. So I met him there very early on in my career, he was the president and I was a junior, kind of five years in experience, medical writer, essentially. So that’s how we first met but I went there. It was a big leap because I really enjoyed what I was doing. And then the agency maybe a month in ended up merging. So this is interesting too, because that’s what agencies do, Publicis Welfare, merged with another agency called Medicus LifeBrands. Medicus LifeBrands still exists. They’re based in New York. And so I didn’t have a job at Publicis while care any longer after four weeks, and they had put me into Medicus. So it was a different building, different team, different people. And a lesson there was actually it was a mentor now of mine that I’ve kept in touch for 20 years, the managing director at Medicus LifeBrands, who was waiting for me on the day came and said, we don’t know what to do with you, really, because they just transferred you over here. So tell me what you do, or what you’ve been doing in the last five years, which I did. And then reassuring, various a to say, we don’t really know what to do with you. Because there wasn’t a role. She just had to kind of take me in because the two agencies merged. And she was very confident that we’ll figure it out. But the words that she said to me, those words, were just do what you do best. And we’ll figure it out. That’s what she said to me. So that’s what I did. kind of gave it my all.

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