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Former Pfizer CEO, Chairman Ian Read to enlighten attendees at Benson Blackburn NextGen Speakers Series event on Feb. 28

Ian Read, former CEO and chairman for Pfizer, will share insights and stories from his four decades with the pharmaceutical company during the Benson Blackburn NextGen Speaker Series event on Feb. 28 in Naples.

The prestigious NextGen Speaker Series brings together business and community professionals to encourage leadership, mentorship, empowerment and philanthropy. Keynote speakers are world-renowned entrepreneurs and distinguished CEOs who share their extraordinary life journeys with audience members.

Read joined Pfizer in 1978 as an operational auditor and quickly ascended through the company’s leadership team. Until 1995, Read worked in Latin America, including key appointments as chief financial officer of Pfizer Mexico and country manager of Pfizer Brazil. In 1996, Read was appointed president of Pfizer’s International Pharmaceuticals Group, which led to a series of promotions that included being named executive vice president for Europe in 2000 and corporate vice president in 2001. Additional areas of responsibility included oversight of operations in Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Read later became senior vice president and group president of Pfizer’s Worldwide Biopharmaceutical Businesses. He was appointed CEO in 2010, and a year later, became Pfizer’s chairman of the board. Read retired as CEO in December 2018 and as board chairman at the end of 2019.

Pfizer is a premier, innovative biopharmaceutical company that collaborates with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world.

Read, who has a home in Bonita Springs, was born in Scotland and raised in Zimbabwe. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College London and earned Chartered Accountants certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

The NextGen event begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 at the main clubhouse of Grey Oaks Country Club, 2400 Grey Oaks Drive North in Naples. Tickets are $30 and available online at NextGenNaples.com.

The NextGen Speaker Series was founded by Michael Benson, CEO of Benson Blackburn, a wealth consultancy firm advising affluent families, business owners and family offices. The series has hosted 17 events and drawn more than 3,000 attendees since its inception.

In addition to Benson Blackburn, visionary sponsors include Arthrex, Cohen & Grigsby, eBella Magazine, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Germain Lexus of Naples, John R. Wood Properties, Longevity Solutions, Lurie LLP, Marsh Private Client Services, Meristem Family Wealth, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, Oberon Securities, Pure Insurance and Unity Jets.

The Speaker Series’ community partners include Florida Gulf Coast University, Hodges University, Florida SouthWestern State College, Imagine Solutions, Leadership Collier Foundation, The Immokalee Foundation, Community Foundation of Collier County and Champions for Learning.

Each session, Benson Blackburn nominates a focused charitable organization in honor of the featured speaker. The beneficiary of the Feb. 28 event will be the Neighborhood Health Clinic.


About Benson Blackburn

Benson Blackburn, LLC provides wealth strategies, corporate and specialty solutions with the goal of creating best thinking during the planning process. Areas of focus include estate tax planning, wealth accumulation, family office services, executive benefits planning and business protection planning. The company is a member of M Financial, which distinguishes itself as one of the nation’s premier financial services distribution companies, serving affluent individuals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and Fortune 1000 companies through an exclusive network of more than 140 successful and innovative independent financial service firms. For more information, visit bensonblackburn.com.

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