Headshot of Lou Kennedy, Speaker at the Women for Women Summit

CEO, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Lou Kennedy is CEO and Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation – a certified woman-owned business. She has held a variety of marketing and operational roles at Nephron and created the Nephron national sales force.

Under Kennedy’s leadership, Nephron experienced unprecedented growth. The company employs nearly 2,000 people, produces one billion doses of life-saving medication annually, and is a nationwide leader in manufacturing opioid-free pain management drugs.

Kennedy has been widely recognized for her achievements in business and leadership. As a worldwide pandemic reached South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster appointed Kennedy to #acceleratesc – the state’s coordinated COVID-19 advisory and recovery team.

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce celebrated Kennedy as its 2020 Business Leader of the Year. She has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Award, and an Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) at the NAM Institute STEP Ahead Women’s event. Nephron won an honorable mention award for Global Facility of the Year in 2017 from the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). The award hailed Nephron’s innovation and automation. Kennedy, who has served as member of the judge’s panel for the global facility of the year award, joined the ISPE board of directors in 2019 and served until 2022.

Kennedy is Chairman of SCBIO, a statewide association promoting the life sciences industry. Kennedy is a member of the Columbia Urban League board and a recipient of the Urban League’s award for impact on education. Kennedy is Governor McMaster’s appointee to the South Carolina Research Authority executive committee. She is past Chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

Kennedy received South Carolina’s highest civilian honor – the Order of the Palmetto – from Governor Nikki Haley in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding service. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from the University of South Carolina.