Meet Ovation:
Emma Bagley

Ovation’s dedicated team is central to our vision of advancing human health and patient outcomes. Our rich, diverse genomic datasets utilized in biomarker and drug discovery and our top-tier laboratory operations software deployed for clinical diagnostic testing are all brought to fruition by a collaborative team of engineers, sequencing experts, biobanking operation gurus, and others. 

Meet Emma Bagley, the Head of Human Resources, who orchestrates the talent behind Ovation’s groundbreaking products. Our team had an insightful chat with Emma, diving into her passion for human resources and how she fosters growth and development within Ovation’s workforce.


Q: What motivates you each day?

People are the most important asset to any company. A company can only succeed with the right blend of talent and culture. I go to work every morning with the goal to attract, develop, and retain exceptional individuals so that Ovation can reach its full potential. 

Q: What attracted you to a career in Human Resources?

Human Resources (HR) felt like a natural path for me. During my college years, I studied both psychology and business, quickly uncovering the essential connection between a company’s success and its talent. This realization aligned with my skills and passion, leading me to HR right after college. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience working at different companies, including large public companies to fast-growing startups like Ovation.

Emma enjoying a hike with her fiancé

Q: What is your favorite thing about working in HR?

HR has undergone a substantial transformation. Once viewed as “the police” and confined to administrative tasks like payroll and benefits, the HR function has evolved into a strategic pillar integral to decision-making processes. This is what I enjoy most about HR—partnering closely with senior leadership to influence the company’s success.

Q: How does HR directly impact Ovation’s success?

I stand by the belief that people are an organization’s most valuable asset. In HR, we touch upon every phase of the employee lifecycle—from talent acquisition and brand positioning to talent retention and development. The gamut of HR—Benefits and Compensation, Talent Management, People Metrics, HR Technology, Recruiting—all contribute to the employee experience. My daily goal is to ensure Ovation excels in all facets of HR, so that we can attract and retain the brightest minds for the company’s success. 

Q: What made you choose Ovation?

Before joining Ovation, I held leadership roles in larger HR organizations within bigger companies. When I met Barry Wark, Ovation’s co-founder, in the fall of 2019, I was captivated by the incredible work he and the team were doing, their ambitious goals, and his clear vision. I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of his team.

Embarking on my first role at a startup, I leveraged my leadership experience at larger organizations to help Barry and Winston Brasor, Ovation’s other co-founder, build a great company. I was excited about the challenge of recruiting a team from scratch. Now, almost four years later, it’s incredible to recognize how far Ovation has come, the talent we’ve hired, and the culture we’ve nurtured. It’s a privilege to be part of this journey. 

Q: How do you spend your time outside of work?

As a resident of Portland, Maine, I cherish any sunny day with temperatures above 50 degrees. I love going on hikes, exploring Portland’s amazing restaurant scene, and spending summer days at the lake. I love to travel and see new places, but I equally love time at home with my fiancé, my black lab (Kolby), and our new kitten (Kiwi).

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