Maximize Your Purpose

September 21, 2022


Ask Joanne Rupprecht why she decided to take the next step of her career at Boulder iQ, and you’ll get a response you may not be expecting.

“It’s all about helping people maximize their purpose,” she says. “I’m all about breaking down obstacles, eliminating fear, and paving a way for people to get through to what they really need and want to do.”

The new senior vice president, regulatory and quality, is a highly experienced regulatory affairs advisor, federal agency/life sciences attorney and educator. She arrives at Boulder iQ with more than 35 years of healthcare product development experience, a long list of certifications and accolades, and expansive expertise in law, compliance and entrepreneurship.

But what she’s bringing to Boulder iQ goes much deeper. “Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to amass a tremendous amount of information, experience and energy – all of which means nothing unless there’s a transfer to the future.” At Boulder iQ, she says, she has a golden opportunity to do just that.

From veterinary dreams to social work
Like many of the entrepreneurs with whom she works, Jo’s path has not been a linear one. Growing up in Dolton, Illinois, a south suburb of Chicago, she wanted to be a veterinarian. Armed with an undergraduate degree in animal science from the University of Illinois, she got what she considered her dream job at Abbott Laboratories. Working her way up, she moved into regulatory affairs and found it even better than her original dream.

After her mother passed away, Jo threw herself into volunteer work, becoming a certified minister of care with the Archdiocese of Chicago. “It was hard. Yet I learned so much about people that would enter into everything I did down the line.”

She continued volunteering during and after starting her family, both in Illinois and Colorado, where the family moved when her husband, a pilot in the Air Force reserves, took a position there. Spurred to advocate for the vulnerable, she decided to attend law school, at night, and extended her volunteer work there. She reactivated the Elder Law Society at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and served the elderly, sick and disabled, with a particular focus on veterans.

Stints with local law firms, and her own firm followed, giving her a solid legal foundation and more experience in anticipating and evaluating business risks, public policy, and governmental influences – all of which she put into play in helping entrepreneurs positively impact operations and protect their businesses.

Pulling together her passions
She’s worked in academia, in regulatory affairs and quality, but found her real academic passion in teaching. She’s an adjunct professor in the master’s program in biomedical sciences and biotechnology at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. Her current classes include Biomedical Entrepreneurship, and the Regulatory Environment of Life Science Innovation for Medical Devices, Drugs and Biologics.

Among her achievements and passions, though, Jo considers her family the greatest one. The tight-knit group includes her husband, a daughter working in biomedical engineering in California, another daughter studying conservation at the University of British Columbia, and a son at Montana State University.

“I’ve worked as a social worker, attorney, teacher and coach,” Jo says. Every one, she stresses, has helped her develop real strengths in knowing how to break down obstacles in product development, and how to take away the fear of doing business in a regulated environment. She even loves working with the FDA.

“Here, at Boulder iQ, I have a wonderful home for applying those skills and strengths, helping entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams and maximize their purpose.” Jo takes the old adage, “do what you love and the money will follow,” a step further. “Some people are so poor that all they have is money,” she says. “Now, I have the chance to help entrepreneurs make a real difference in the world, and work with Boulder iQ’s incredible team of experts.”