Leadership Q&A with Jamie McClave Baldwin

Leadership Q&A with Jamie McClave Baldwin

Find out what Dr. Jamie McClave Baldwin had to say about leadership, business and how those two things intersect below. 

If you could summarize your general philosophy on life, what would it be?

Be generous. Work hard. Stay humble. Forgive easily.

It’s my own version of The Four Agreements (which I love but find hard to remember sometimes). If I find myself off course, I am usually not doing one of these things. When I go back to the basics, the path always becomes clear. 


If you were to summarize your general philosophy on business, what would it be?

See above. 😉


In a perfect world, how would the two overlap?

I’ve never really understood why there would be a difference between life philosophy and business philosophy. Business is simply a reflection of our values and our life philosophy.  I don’t buy it when someone tries to tell me “business is business” as an excuse for treating someone poorly or cutting corners. How you do anything is how you do everything. Freedom is having all parts of your life in alignment. Infotech is a place where we are lucky to have that overlap. Where we get to be kind and generous, work hard, stay humble, forgive easily. We get to be ourselves.


If you were to give a TED talk to an audience full of young women entering the workforce, what are five things you’d like them to know?

  1. Doers make mistakes. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. Forgive your mistakes, learn, move on. We need doers.
  2. Everyone suffers from imposter syndrome. Even the most experienced and educated person in the room. Do it anyway. Be nervous and unready and do it anyway. Do it scared.
  3. Take nothing personally. You will face unfairness. You might feel insulted from time to time. You can’t control what other people do or think but you can control how you react. The difference between humans and most of the animal kingdom is that we get to choose our thoughts – maybe not that first knee jerk thought – but all the ones after that. We all have instant reactions. Learn to pause and think about how you want to choose to react. Let the first feeling pass and then think.  Get in line with your values and act accordingly.
  4. No one is laying in bed at night thinking about the mistakes you made. We all lay in bed at night thinking about our own mistakes – I know I do! So don’t worry so much about what others think about you – they aren’t.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Limit whose opinions you let matter and guide you.
  5. Lead from where you are. Leadership is not about a title. It is about getting off the bench and into the game. Even if that means cheering from the sidelines. Get in the game. Do something to make a difference. Take the initiative. Stand up for someone in need. You might find yourself having made a wrong choice or messing something up but at least you are trying (see #1 above).  
Creating Room for Employees to Volunteer

Creating Room for Employees to Volunteer

In the wake of so many recent tragedies on a national and international level, it is easy for us all to feel hopelessness and despair – a frustration that things feel completely out of our control. Our problems are too big for a single individual to solve them, and we feel powerless to make our world a better place. Yet, as my favorite government educator, Sharon McMahon, says, “The antidote to despair is action.” When the weight of the world feels heavier than ever, I find that volunteerism is an effective means of taking action. Many of us are desperate for ways to see or provide hope, to make a positive difference in the world or our communities. While it may seem small, volunteering can provide a direct means for being the good and taking action where circumstances seem too big for us to have an impact. Companies can play a critical role in encouraging and providing the means for their employees to spend time volunteering. 

Last summer, after months engrossed in research on the impact of the opioid epidemic on children entering the dependency system, I decided to become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program ensures that every child in the dependency system – in foster care, or otherwise involved in cases of abuse or neglect – has someone representing that child’s best interests and giving them a voice in the process. Each state has its own program, so volunteers work close to home. I know that my own child has the security of a safe, loving home with access to everything she needs; and I wanted to be able to help give that to others. I can’t make sure every kid in this country has the shelter, food, education, and affection that they need, but I can at least do this for some.

Anyone with compassion and commitment can be a Guardian ad Litem volunteer; all necessary training is provided after the volunteer screening process. But becoming a volunteer does require two indispensable resources: emotional strength and TIME. Along with the minimum requirement of monthly visits to each family assigned to a volunteer, GAL volunteers are expected to submit reports to the court, attend court hearings, and participate in meetings involving the attorneys and case managers working with the family.  Volunteers often need to spend time interacting with a child’s school and functioning as a go-between among the many agencies involved to be sure the child gets all the services they need. Above all, the volunteer endeavors to make the child feel seen and heard; and this can be the hardest part of the job. It’s a significant commitment, and a commitment that is so much easier to make when you know your employer is behind you. 

During the interview portion of my application process, I was asked how I expected to balance the time requirement of the GAL program while working full time and having my own child to care for. I was able to respond that my work is fairly flexible, and that my employer is understanding and accommodating of non-work priorities. I realized then, and I realize now, that this is remarkable. 

While working for Infotech Consulting can mean demanding schedules and time-sensitive work, when I told my supervisor I was interested in becoming a GAL volunteer, she gave me her full support. In fact, she wrote one of my letters of recommendation. Infotech has allowed me to take an hour on an odd Thursday to attend court or to log off early on occasion to conduct a visit at the only time that works for the caregiver. On one occasion, I had a visit scheduled that was critical in order to submit a report to court; and a longer client meeting was scheduled to overlap with the visit. When I told my boss that I would need to leave the meeting early to make my visit happen, I was met with complete understanding, knowing that she trusted me to meet our client’s needs while still ensuring that I could provide necessary support to the children.  Thanks to this supportive environment, I also had no reservations about being able to attend my first adoption ceremony as a GAL volunteer on a recent Tuesday morning, and I celebrated a happy ending for a baby and his new family. 

Many companies profess a commitment to participating in and improving the communities in which they operate or serve. There is, however, an appreciable difference between encouraging employees to participate in one-off opportunities on weekends or after working hours, and providing an environment where employees can commit to an organization and remain consistently involved. The fact that Infotech has enabled my commitment to the GAL program and, critically, seen it as valuable work is, to me, the epitome of the company living its values: “Family first” and “treat people right.” By empowering employees to volunteer, Infotech shares its best resource – its people and our talents – to make lasting, positive change in the community. 

Creating Room for Employees to Volunteer

Infotech and the Florida Opioids Trial

May 4, 2022, marked the end of a four-year project for Infotech Consulting. We were retained in 2018 by the Florida Attorney General’s office to work with them on a monumental case regarding the opioid epidemic that the State had brought against 12 defendants, ranging from opioid manufacturers to distributors to pharmacies dispensing the drug. The allegations against the companies ranged from racketeering to collusion and public nuisance, causing the opioid epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Floridians, with some 20 overdose deaths still occurring daily. Evidence showed that these companies were complicit in actively marketing and distributing this dangerous product for use (abuse) well outside what was medically justifiable.

The harm caused by the epidemic extends well beyond these tragic, unnecessary deaths. Thousands of babies are born each year with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, basically born in withdrawal caused by their mother’s opioid addiction. Thousands of children are in unsafe homes and placed into foster care because parents are addicted to opioids. Medicaid pays hundreds of millions of dollars each year treating patients with Opioids Use Disorder, a disease that has impacted hundreds of thousands of Floridians in the last 20 years.

Our role in the case involved calculating the economic damages caused by the companies’ criminal behavior. To accomplish this task our team spent thousands of hours over the four-year period, collecting data from countless State agencies and public sources, as well as the defendants’ financial documents. Our team became experts in identifying, understanding and synthesizing the extensive academic research regarding the epidemic’s medical and economic impact. The overwhelming task of first consolidating all these data sources, research articles and financial documents and then performing the precise analysis required to accomplish our assignment required the best team in the country, which, I am happy and proud to say, we have.

Dr. Rob Kneuper was the testifying expert involving disgorgement damages, essentially calculating the ill-gotten revenues and profits flowing to these companies as a result of their flooding the market with opioids. I was the testifying expert for calculating the State’s historical damages caused by expenditures directly resulting from the epidemic, as well as lost taxes attributable to the premature deaths caused by it. Over the course of the case we submitted four reports, testified in several depositions and responded to dozens of defense “expert” reports that tried to excuse the companies’ behavior and whittle away at the damages. Can you imagine agreeing to testify to the effect that these companies didn’t really cause much harm? I cannot.

Over time, 11 of the defendants saw that the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train and settled for more than two billion dollars. Walgreens was the sole defendant left, whose CEO vowed before trial, “We will never settle.” In early April, trial finally commenced in Pasco County, one of the hardest hit by the epidemic. Jury selection took lots of time since prospective jurors were told trial was likely to take six weeks. Rob and I were told we would be testifying toward the end of the State’s case since the lawyers wanted the jury to hear our multi-billion dollar damage estimates as they closed their part of the case. 

The liability part of the State’s case was quite powerful. They heard from Oviedo’s chief of police that his team had busted opioid drug deals in Walgreens parking lots; from pharmacy experts that more than 70% of Walgreens opioid prescriptions over the past 20 years were medically unjustified; that Florida had been flooded with marketing materials falsely hyping the wonderful “benefits” of opioids; from a doctor who testified that during the epidemic 80% of heroin and other illicit drug users started with opioids; from a DEA agent that raided and shut down a Walgreens opioids supply center in Florida. The woman who ran that supply center for Walgreens testified, showing an email she wrote to headquarters saying they couldn’t keep up with demand from the pharmacies, and she suspected prescriptions were not all medically justified. She subsequently broke her foot, took medical leave and learned just before coming back that she had cancer. Walgreens, noting that she was out of leave, fired her. 

The most moving testimony took place earlier this week, when a Jacksonville fire chief who is also a paramedic and nurse described how the epidemic has torn up his city. He showed a map with red dots identifying where opioid overdose deaths had occurred in Jacksonville – the whole map was red. This epidemic touched all demographics. He teared up describing the death of one of his fellow paramedics, who during the day assisted in the treatment of overdose victims, but apparently at night was a victim himself. He talked about visiting the coroner’s office – the morgue – and learning that they had run out of space for victims and had rented a nearby site, bringing in a trailer for overflow.

This fellow was followed by a Mom who had lost her 22-year-old daughter to opioids. She testified for more than an hour about how this sweet, caring girl suffered a serious knee injury in her late teens that required extensive surgery, which was followed by an opioid prescription filled by Walgreens. The surgery was unsuccessful, and she was given more prescriptions to deal with the pain. A second surgery occurred, and more prescriptions ensued. At no point did anyone at Walgreens raise the red flag that she was being over-prescribed. She was hooked and began using heroin. Numerous attempts at rehab failed over ensuing years, and at one point she was spending $160 per day for two potent pills from a drug dealer, essentially spending more than she was bringing in, and stealing both money and pills from her grandmother. She repeatedly told her mother that her life was not worth living, describing being in pain from head to toe, not being able to keep food down, always in gastric distress, describing herself as a “dopesick junkie.” She eventually did die by suicide.  By the time the Mom finished her testimony, she and most watching were in tears, including a number of jurors.

That night Walgreens, who, in addition to enduring that testimony, now also had our teams’ demonstrative exhibits that Rob and I were going to present to the jury during our testimony the next day, showing the billions of dollars of harm in which they played a major role,  asked the Court for a day’s pause in the trial, which everyone read as an attempt to settle the case. That was Tuesday, but by the end of the day no agreement had been reached.  Walgreens asked for a second day of pause, but the Judge denied it, saying, “Let’s get on with it.” So, Rob suited up and went to trial headquarters for the lawyers representing the State, ready to testify. I was told to get in there by close of the lunch break, likely going on the stand after Rob. Those of you who have known me for some time know that I am no fan of dress-up.  As fate would have it, just as I was about to put on my tie, I got the message that the trial was officially over. The lawyer who was going to do my direct testimony said Walgreens didn’t want the jurors to hear about billions of dollars in damages following the heartbreaking testimony earlier in the week. I will be using that same tie for future trials!

Walgreens, the firm that would “never settle,” ponied up $683 million, bring the State’s total recovery to nearly three billion dollars. While Rob and I were somewhat disappointed in not getting to tell our story to the jury, the result is a very good one for Florida. There are similar suits all over the country, but I think Florida’s is the most successful to date. The State has pledged to use these monies for abatement to deal with the epidemic, which still rages out of control. This was one of our teams’ most difficult cases, both from an analytical and emotional perspective. I am so proud of the work we did together for a very worthy cause. Repeating myself, the case required the best team in the country, and they got it!

Seven Years: Life During Capacitor Class Action Litigation

Seven Years: Life During Capacitor Class Action Litigation

The superstition that a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck stems from the Ancient Roman belief that the body renews itself every seven years and that any misfortunes would be remedied after that period of time had passed. I Googled to see if there was anything on the flip side of that coin – was there anything that might bring seven years of good luck? So far I’ve struck out.

Seems that maybe for seven years of good luck you need a combination of comradery, intellect, grit, hard work, integrity, great relationships with colleagues and clients, and one heck of a support staff at work and at home. And this is exactly the recipe that was behind our success in the Capacitors Class Action litigation.

In 2015, Infotech Consulting was first hired by Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs to determine whether capacitor prices were elevated to the direct purchasers, and if so, by how much and how persistently across the class (say that three times fast). I was a Project Manager with Infotech at that time – with no major leadership responsibilities outside of raising my three kids who were 15, 11 and 7 at the time. Seven years later, at the conclusion of the case, I am now President of Infotech Consulting, and my kids have let me know that my leadership “expertise” is no longer needed thankyouverymuch because they are wise citizens of the world at 22, 18 and 14 years old.

In the time that we worked on Capacitors, Infotech Consulting doubled our experts, with the addition of Ph.D. economists Rob Kneuper and Kevin Caves. We increased our staff by 50 percent. We had retirements, kids graduate from high school and college, marriages, and new babies. We’ve become good friends with clients who were once strangers. In short: a whole lot of life happened while we worked on Capacitors.

Seeing that case from pre-discovery through class certification, two trials, and final settlements has been a team achievement for which we will forever be proud. There isn’t one person on our team who didn’t bang their head in frustration work incredibly hard on our database creation, research, and multivariate analysis for Capacitors. Twenty Defendant databases; 100s of 1000s of product codes in need of a secret decoder ring to decipher; 10s of 1000s of data files, most in need of translation, many with missing information that wouldn’t allow us to move forward; all told, our team spent over 30,000 hours to provide analysis and four reports, two depositions, hot tub testimony, and testimony and support during two trials, the first interrupted by a very pesky and persistent pandemic. So much of our work was like that 1000 piece puzzle you worked on over the holidays only to find that the dog ate the last 3 pieces. Or that the pieces from 20 different puzzles had been mixed together. But we sorted it all out. Patiently. Carefully. And put the puzzle together in a way that would withstand 13 opposing experts’ critiques, cross examination from some of the most respected attorneys in Antitrust law, and scrutiny from one very tough but fair Federal Judge.

So what was behind the successful outcome of this intense litigation? Seven years of good luck? Maybe. We for sure had our share. But I’d say our dedication to integrity, our never-give-up attitude, and the synergy that happens when you put top legal minds together with top econometric minds had something to do with it. It is rare we have the opportunity to be involved in every step of a litigation. It was an honor and a pleasure to do so here. I hope we have many more chances in the future.

Seven Years: Life During Capacitor Class Action Litigation

Dr. Kevin Caves Provides “Critical” Economic Testimony in Successful Recovery of $75 Million from Alleged Medicaid Fraud

Dr. Kevin Caves, who joined Infotech Consulting in early 2021, has brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to the team. Prior to joining Infotech Consulting, Dr. Caves provided expert testimony in United States ex rel. Streck v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, which proved critical to a favorable outcome for both his client and U.S. taxpayers. 

In April 2021, the US Department of Justice and Daniel Miller of Walden Macht & Haran, counsel for whistleblower Roland J. Streck, announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb (“BMS”) had agreed to pay the United States and participating states a total of $75 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that BMS knowingly underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. 

Mr. Streck, a former pharmaceutical wholesaler executive, alleged that BMS treated millions of dollars in payments to drug distributors as “discounts,” when in fact the payments were for bona fide services. This allegedly let BMS report artificially low average manufacturer prices to the government, allowing BMS to systematically underpay drug rebates owed to Medicaid programs (and thus taxpayers) in states from coast to coast for many years. 

Dr. Caves provided multiple expert reports and expert testimony analyzing the economics and market dynamics underlying key contractual terms negotiated between BMS and its distributors. Dr. Caves concluded that the contracts at issue were the outcome of competitive arm’s-length negotiations between well-informed market participants rationally pursuing their own economic interests, and that the service fees paid by BMS to its distributors represented fair market value prices for inventory management, distribution, and data services. 

As Mr. Miller explained, “complex commercial litigation law firms like Walden Macht & Haran have successfully litigated declined cases against many of the nation’s largest companies. In this particular case, the results for the taxpayers speak for themselves: we took this case to the brink of trial and prevailed. Dr. Caves’ testimony and expert work were critical to achieving this outcome.

Seven Years: Life During Capacitor Class Action Litigation

Dr. Edward See: Solving Challenges with Beautiful Precision

“Anything that has exact measurements, I love. The fact that you can use Math and Statistics (especially Econometrics) to formulate solutions to economic problems amazes me.” 

For Edward See, a Sr. Economic Analyst on the Infotech Consulting team, there is great beauty in precision.  

“I love to test things in the kitchen – baking and cooking. You know, cooking requires exact measures;  if you screw up the measurement you don’t know what the outcome will taste like or look like.” 

Finding the accuracy in carefully cultivating his yard, in framing the right shot for his photography, or, yes, while creating in the kitchen, there are few places where Ed cannot apply his love of precision. This attention to detail brought him to Gainesville almost six years ago when he was recruited by Infotech Consulting and asked to move back to the hometown of his alma mater.   

“I didn’t find Infotech, they found me, actually,” he said. “I was [working as a Labor Economist and Consultant] in Tallahassee and when I heard about the job I was like, ‘It’s in Gainesville? Sign me up.’ I mean, I’m a Gator. It was like a homecoming for me.”

It wasn’t quite that simple of a decision, but it almost was. While evaluating if Infotech Consulting was the right fit, Ed did what he did best and looked at the data around service years. Everyone had around 10 years of experience, at the minimum. 

“The fact that everyone stays that long means there’s something really good going on. It means people only leave because they retire,” he said.  

Firsthand experience has shown him the thing he loves most about the team of consultants: they take care of each other, always checking in, especially when the hours are long and the reports are due. And the hard work is something Ed doesn’t mind. In fact, he rather enjoys the more challenging parts. 

“I’m always the one saying it’s nice that our work is hard, because if it were easy then our clients wouldn’t need us. So the more complicated it is, we should love it,” he said. “That should be the thinking for everyone; the reason why you’re hired into a job is because you’re suited for the job. So always hope that your work is hard, because anyone can do it if it is easy.”

Hard work requires a way to unwind, however, and over the last year, if you were to find yourself on a Zoom with Ed in his home office, you might see one of his favorite pastimes hanging on the walls – rows of guitars. 

“It’s my oldest hobby from way back when I was in high school. Music is in my veins,” he said, leaning back to show off the instruments. “It’s easier nowadays because there’s YouTube, you can find a tutorial to replicate whatever people or bands are doing. But way back when I was learning, I didn’t have that. We saved the music from FM radio to a cassette tape and then we played it back and listened to the guitar and figured it out.”

Most of the time, Ed plays metal or classic rock songs from Bon Jovi, Metallica, ACDC. But sometimes he ventures into a very different genre. 

“Every now and then, here comes my daughter and she will ask me ‘Daddy, can you play Frozen 2?’” he said. “And sometimes I learn, because she loves to sing along.” 

There’s not a lot of down time, being a parent, a consultant, a chef, a gardener, a photographer and a musician, among other things, but that’s not stopping Ed from always looking for more challenges to solve with beautiful precision. 

“I’m like a jack of all trades, I would say. I can learn quickly and adapt to many situations. The more confusing or harder the situation is, the more I love it because I’m learning.”