Three things guide Lori Ball’s professional decisions: availability of any form of leadership, impact and connecting to a greater good.
Ball found all three as chief operating officer of Indianapolis-based BioStorage Technologies Inc., a global company that manages samples for the bioscience industry. In three years, she quadrupled facility space in Indianapolis and abroad, with the company experiencing double-digit percentage growth in staffing.
She also founded the Global Initiative for the Ethical Use of Human Specimens, a collaborative multidisciplinary group focused on improving patient informed consent and maximizing patient privacy.
Ball wasn’t thinking about global biomedical technology when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Anderson University. She first gravitated to coaching, leading to a position as assistant athletic director and sports information director at Manchester University in North Manchester. There, she oversaw 15 sports teams while coaching volleyball and softball.
As the only girl in her Anderson neighborhood playing sports, Ball grew up “having to earn my spot. I developed resiliency, toughness and physical fortitude to compete alongside the boys.”
After scoring an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University—during which time she tested her entrepreneurial skills by starting a woodworking company that built lawn furniture—she went from management positions at Faerber’s Bee Window Co. and Advantage Marketing to Covance Inc.’s Central Laboratory Services.
At Covance, she was global head of supply chain operations and logistics, doing business in South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
“When you get to the gate at the airport and they automatically upgrade you, you know you have too many miles,” Ball said.
“That’s still my life,” she said, having opened BioStorage locations in the Asia Pacific region and created a model for doing business in China. She serves as chairwoman of BioStorage’s China subsidiary and in a similar role for BioStorage in Greisheim, Germany.
When it comes to giving back, much of Ball’s focus is on her neighborhoods.
“I like the idea of protecting history,” she said, having served on historic district boards in Irvington and the Old Northside.
“Beyond the architecture, though, there’s also neighborhood-enrichment activities and charitable organizations connected to both.”
She also is a mentor and created and funded an endowed scholarship at Anderson University for Indiana students with financial need.
“Many people throughout my professional journey have given me chances that weren’t warranted or deserved. But they did it, anyway, and they still do,” she said. “I feel a forever gratitude for that and want to do the same for others who just might see the gray hair and think there might be a little wisdom here. And we both win by having those connections.”•
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