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Consulting Services

Do you, your department or your company need training on networking? Chris is available to present or conduct training sessions, via the web or in-person.

Membership in the FOCM Network allows access to the Network’s experience set to help solve your business issues or to provide an additional set of eyes at a situation that has you stumped.

How to Network

What has worked well for me is to make the most of any opportunity to attend a training session, course, seminar, conference or convention specific to my industry. While at any of these events, make it a point to introduce yourself to whoever you sit next to in the session and at lunch. During the conference breaks, I think one of the most important things to do is visit the exhibit hall. Make it a point to stop at each booth and introduce yourself and ask what they do and what makes their product/service unique. Be ready to give them a concise summary of your experience and responsibilities and exchange business cards.

Find out if there are local networking groups for your industry or interests. A few sources to utilize are: LinkedIn ( and MeetUp ( If there aren’t any, start one. An example: Wilmington, NC has 2500+ people employed by companies involved in pharmaceutical clinical research. Three industry acquaintances and I started the Wilmington Pharma/Bio/CRO Networking Group. We meet monthly, except in the summer and have 10-30 attendees each month. Its rarely the same group and others attend as they are looking for work or have moved to the area and want to know what is going on. It allows others to get to know you and you to know them and their companies. There is some truth to the statement: its not what you know, its who you know. While a friend or acquaintance may not be able to hire you him/herself, a recommendation from them helps your resume rise up out of the pile of resumes so that you can get an interview. You still have to succeed in the interview but getting to an interview is immensely helpful and increases your likelihood of getting the job.

Example of FOCM Business Services

A couple of years ago, a friend was going to open a retail business and knew the theme she wanted, but was unsure of the name.  I offered to tap into my network of and see what we could come up with.  I emailed a group of about 30 people and we conducted a name brainstorming session via email.  Within a week, we had over 100 names and about 15 which she felt were very good ones.  There is so much talent and experience in the FOCM Network, tapping into FOCM members to solve business problems is one of the benefits of membership.

Bar Jokes

A penguin, a lion and a bear walk into a bar.

The bartender says, “is this some kind of joke?”


A horse walks into a bar.

The bartender says, “why the long face?”


A termite walks into a bar and asks: “is the bar tender here?”

None of us are “right”

Political Posts are available for FOCM members only. To access this area, use the link at the top of the page to become a FOCM member.

As we embark upon another Presidential election in this highly polarized political environment, we should be mindful of these passages from the book “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schulz:

“Think about the accusation that people who disagree with us “don’t live in the real world.”  What we really mean is that they don’t live in our model of the world; they don’t share our vision of how things are.  By failing to see the world as we do, they actually are undermining its reality and threatening its destruction – at least, unto us.  But, of course, we are doing the same to them. Implicitly or explicitly, we are denying that they possess the same intellectual and moral faculties that we do – and denying, too, the significance and value of their life experiences, from which, inevitably, many of their beliefs arise.

We assume that other people are ignorant because we assume that we are not; we think we know the facts and we think those facts determine our beliefs.  Put differently, we think the evidence is on our side.”

So as we debate issues in this forum, let’s remember that someone with a view different from ours isn’t necessarily ignorant.

The Power of Networking

Why network?

I learned the need to network firsthand through that great teaching methodology; personal experience.  I worked for 14 years for the pharmaceutical company BurroughsWellcome Co (it was my first job out of college).  I truly was blessed to have my first job be so ideal for me, my interests and my skill set.  Throughout the 14 years, I was able to take on different positions, giving me broad work experience while receiving excellent training helping me grow personally and professionally.   I expected to work there for a long, long time.   But when marketplace forces began to pressure the pharmaceutical industry, merges and acquisitions were no longer rare events in the industry.  In 1995, I was shocked to be laid off.  While engaging in my job search, I realized that virtually all my industry contacts were all within the company.   Those who kept jobs with the new company quickly became busy with their new roles.  Suddenly, those of us who were laid off were on the outside.

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