Both Forth Bridges

Consulting Team

Lori Wright, President & CEO
Evolution Research Group, LLC

Lori Wright is the CEO of Evolution Research Group, LLC and each of its affiliate companies.  ERG was formed in 2014 by merging Thievon-Wright Consulting Group, St. Louis Clinical Trials, Woodland International Research Group and Woodland Research Northwest.  ERG immediately recapitalized, bringing on private-equity investors, DFW Capital Partners, and became the platform for four additional acquisitions through September of 2017.  At ERG, Lori is responsible for the management of all clinical and business operations, the M&A strategy, execution and integration, and continues to manage several key client relationships.  Currently, ERG is comprised of 9 fully-owned and operated clinical research units, a team of KOLs in various CNS indications, a consulting team and an affiliate network of 11 research sites.  The company has also signed an agreement with a clinical site network in Puerto Rico and is currently engaged in training and site qualification activities.  Geographically dispersed, ERG’s site network is the largest, independent group in the US conducting Phase 1-2a inpatient, complex trials as well as late stage inpatient and outpatient trials in highly specialized populations.

Lori has been in the clinical research field for over 28 years and the majority has been in CNS drug development.  She started her career while in college in the CRO space and, after 8 years, decided to pursue opportunities allowing direct patient interaction.  As Director of Research, Finance and Administration at the Foundation for Depression and Manic Depression and Fieve Clinical Services, Lori participated in over 20 clinical trials managing the team of PIs, Sub-Investigators, CRCs, and the medical/clinical staff and participated as a rater in all trials.  She developed the financial tracking system, recruitment and outreach programs, in addition to managing all business development activities.

Over the past 20 years, she has developed strong collaborative relationships with very high level professionals within the industry including pharmaceutical sponsors, CROs and biotechnology organizations.  Working closely with her own employees and outside consultants, she has become a significant influence in the field of neuroscience research.

Lori is one of the founding members of the CNS Summit, having been a frequent speaker and panel member.

Cynthia Craft RN, Sr. Vice President, Business Development & Operations

Cynthia Craft manages the Business Development team, as well as  business operations at the company headquarters in New Jersey.  Additionally, she leads the clinical site network management activities.  Cynthia previously served as a member of the TWCG Advisory Board and has a long-standing commitment to the success of this organization.

Prior to joining TWCG, Cynthia ran her own successful business as a medical sales consultant in NYC and the NY/NJ Metropolitan area representing a medical device manufacturer.  The clinical focus was in the areas of behavioral health, acute care and long term care.

In addition to other sales management positions, Cynthia worked for Dr. Ronald Fieve as the Medical Administrator for the Foundation for Depression and Manic Depression and Ronald R Fieve, MD, PC. She also held positions at St Vincent’s Hospital and New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center in the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Cynthia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Adelphi University and is a Licensed Registered Professional Nurse.

Cynthia is primarily based at the TWCG headquarters in New Jersey.

Joanne Praul, Vice President Finance

Joanne Praul oversees all financial aspects of the organization.  She serves as the primary contact for all study budgets and contracts, and plays an integral role in the contract execution process.  An essential member of our team, Joanne’s overall responsibility is to enable the business development team to become more productive and responsive to all of our client’s needs.

Joanne joined TWCG in 2009, following 17 years of service with Merrill Lynch in New York City.  Her last position held at the company was Senior Associate/Certified Financial Manager, and she is Series 07 and 66 licensed.

Joanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kean University in Union, NJ.

She works at the TWCG headquarters in Watchung, New Jersey.

Barbara Smallwood, Vice President of Quality

Barbara Smallwood brings more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to Evolution Research Group.  As VP of Quality, Barbara is responsible for quality oversight of all the ERG sites and the Quality Mobile Unit which assists the ERG sites with QA/QC assistance with FDA and Sponsor Audits.  Additionally, she assists with corrective action plans (CAPAs) and conducting site assessments on new potential network members. Barbara has developed a unique training program to ensure a continued “Culture of Compliance” which includes GCP, HIPAA, DEA, ICH and other appropriate guidance’s and regulations.

Barbara began her career in R&D at a major pharmaceutical company, working in pre-clinical, clinical support, and quality assurance in GLP, GMP and GCP areas.

Barbara received her Bachelor’s Degree from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY and a Masters Degree from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Susan Rice, Vice President, Business Development

Susan Rice is responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities for TWCG’s elite network of CNS research investigators.  Over the last decade, she has established strong alliances with decision makers at pharmaceutical companies and CROs, assisting them with all aspects of study start up, including site selection, protocol review and budgeting.

Prior to joining TWCG, Susan began her career in the banking industry and held various volunteer positions on executive boards in both academic and political arenas.

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Montclair State University.

Susan is based at TWCG headquarters in Watchung, New Jersey.

Heidi Davis, Director, Business Development & Marketing

Heidi Davis brings 15 years of clinical research experience to Thievon-Wright Consulting Group.  She is responsible for coordinating the group’s marketing initiatives and developing business from emerging and established companies.  Her expertise lies in site operations and patient recruitment.

Prior to joining TWCG, Heidi worked closely with the late Dr. Dan Zimbroff at Pacific Clinical Research Medical Group.  As the clinic’s Director of Business Management and Development, she oversaw business development, study recruitment, contracts/budgets, human resources and management of PCRMG’s three clinics.

Heidi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and minors in Business and Political Science.

Heidi is based in Southern California.

Jason Hovland, Director, Business Development

Jason Hovland is responsible for developing new business by analyzing market trends from various intelligence sources, as well as maintaining relationships with established clients. Jason manages, and contributes to, internally conducted protocol review processes for sponsors and CROs by compiling scientific and operational feedback from ERG’s portfolio and affiliate sites and facilitating necessary follow-up teleconferences and web meetings. Jason is also experienced with organizing scientific advisory board and/or expert PI meetings, coordinating country and study feasibility projects and developing early and late phase ballpark budgets for upcoming sponsor programs.

Prior to joining Thievon-Wright Consulting Group, Jason worked at New York-Presbyterian-Cornell Campus in the Department of Pharmacy in New York City while earning his Masters of Science degree in Pharmacology/ Toxicology from the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. He also served as Senior Research Assistant for an organic synthesis lab while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Lehman College-City University of New York.

Jason splits his time between his home office in New York City and the company headquarters in New Jersey.

Jeanine Estrada, Director, Business Development

Jeanine Estrada brings 13 years of clinical research experience to Thievon-Wright Consulting Group.  She is responsible for developing business for TWCG’s network of clinical pharmacology and CNS sites, from emerging and established companies.  Her expertise lies in early phase development, core laboratories and patient recruitment.

Prior to joining TWCG, Jeanine worked for over a decade at Clinilabs, a long time partner of the  network.  As Clinilabs’ Senior Director of Business Development and Marketing, Jeanine assumed roles of increasing responsibility including the management of business development, corporate marketing, and patient recruitment activities.

Jeanine holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual and Media Arts from the Emerson College School of the Arts and minors in New Media and Marketing.  Jeanine also holds a Masters of Business Administration Degree in Pharmaceutical Management from Drexel University.

Jeanine splits her time between her home office in Northern New Jersey and the company headquarters in Watchung, NJ.


Jerry Cruz, Director, Business Development Operations

Jerry Cruz works in Sales Support and is responsible for internal reporting and for management of the company’s sales database.  Jerry coordinates many of the activities and related communications between the sales team and the Site offices.

Prior to joining Thievon-Wright Consulting Group, Jerry worked at various Site and CRO companies in operations, marketing and business development.  Jerry held a similar position at CRI Lifetree, prior to the company’s acquisition by PRA Health Sciences.  At ICON Medical Imaging, Jerry developed a new service line for the CRO and Imaging Core Lab in the field of Oncology. Jerry earned his Bachelor of Arts at Georgetown University, majoring in Economics.

Jerry splits his time between his home office in Pennsylvania and the company headquarters in New Jersey.