FOCM Membership Ceremony

You would have thought those first days of Covid lockdowns would have been a great time for me to try to catch up on my backlog of posts. But no, here I am during a snow storm warning in Wilmington, NC doing some catchup.

So, Mike Jones sent me this picture in June of 2014, so it had to be at a DIA Annual Convention. This is of dear friend and former co-worker at ICON Clinical Research, Robin Tuck receiving her FOCM membership card.  The sheer joy on her face says it all doesn’t it? Clearly this was before I’d been taught how to edit photos by FOCM member Michelle Jacobson. She literally changed reality in front of my face by lightening and changing the contrast of  a back lit photo.  FOCM will provide 1 year free FOCM membership ($20 dollar value) to the first person who contacts me who will then be sent this photo, lighten it up and return it to me. Upon receipt of improved photo, the membership will be issued.

Robin Tuck FOCM Membership Ceremony

FOCM at DIA 2019

The annual Drug Information Association (DIA) conference in 2019 was held in San Diego June 23 – 27. It was a busy, busy conference making it memorable and historic. On Sunday night FOCM, Zymewire along with Almac, MC10 and Medable hosted “Clinical Reconnections”, the pre-DIA networking event at Social Tap Eatery. This was the 4th year of this event. Over 320 people attended.

Along with Michele Sacher, we presented on Self-Branding for Social Media. We added Christina Cantrell for the next workshop on the importance of knowing yourself for effective networking.

Several months ago I posted about Jodi Andrews receiving her FOCM card. There were two other card ceremonies, one each for Meghan Alonso and Rhonda Rusinski. I’ve known Rhonda from the early 2000’s having met while we were both working at ICON Clinical Research. Meghan had recently joined Clinipace and she asked her colleagues who would be a good person to connect with, someone known as an industry connector. They directed her to me. It was a pleasure to welcome them both into the organization.

Sunday Professional Development Workshops
Clinical Reconnections
Meghan Alonso FOCM Card Ceremony
Rhonda Rusinski FOCM Card Ceremony

Epic FOCM New Member Inductions

Twas (still thinking of Christmas stories) a fantastic week in May in Valley Forge, PA. Attending the Arena International Outsourcing in Clinical Trials East Coast meeting turned out to be truly historic and the pictures prove it.

A FOCM networking event was held on Monday 20 at J Alexander’s restaurant in the King of Prussia Mall area. As usual, I didn’t take attendance, but I do recall that in attendance were: Dave Gibboni, Christian McCracken, Pete Nieto, Kate Mullis, Vicky Martin, Scott Robertson and probably, possibly, Ted and/or Richard Gastineau. Some of us managed to get a picture taken.

Pete Nieto, Christian McCracken, Chris Matheus, Dave Gibboni

There were three FOCM membership card ceremonies. Two of the recipients are clinical research industry veterans, heavyweights, emerituses (emeritae?), big deals to be sure. And one recipient has a bright future now that he has his card. The joy on these people’s faces is undeniable. And a current member displays the FOCM nametag sticker. Scroll down to see.

Bill Taaffe
Mike Ruane
Kevin Keenan with Sue Ruane photo bombing this somber event
Mike DeBerry

New FOCM Member

While attending SCOPE in mid-February in Orlando, I had the good fortune of welcoming Marie Perrone into FOCM. I had met Marie several years before via an introduction by long-time FOCM member, friend and former co-worker, Deb Nichols. It took so long for Marie to get her card due to some strange, but ultimately explainable issues in the background check that is run on all FOCM member candidates. The joy of receiving her card and the overwhelming relief to have resolved the items of her past is quite evident in the photo of this memorable event.

Marie Perrone receives her FOCM Membership card
Photo taken by Deb Nichols

FOCM Welcomes New Members

On a warm, pleasant evening in October, the 1st day of the month to be precise, a significant event in FOCM history occurred; 4 new members received their cards.

I was in the RTP area to attend the Arena International Clinical Trial Supply Southeast meeting and hosted a FOCM networking event at the Sheraton Imperial Lobby Bar.

Attending that night were long time* members as well as first timers+.  As best I can recall, the following people were there: Michael Williams*, Kris Gustafson*, Mike Burrows*, Rosina Pavia*, Paul Oldfield*, Tim Sauls*, David Holland, Carolyn Waff+, Lauren Sherwood, Israel Bocanegra+, Shae Wilkins* (traveled the farthest) .

Receiving their membership cards were: Lauren Sherwood, Carolyn Waff, David Holland and Israel Bocanegra.  As you can expect, emotions ran high during the card ceremony, with many people wiping tears from their eyes.  The look of sheer joy on their faces the moment they realized they’d completed the sometimes long, sometimes short, but neverthless arduous and rigorous initiation process.

Carolyn Waff

David Holland

Lauren Sherwood






Israel Bocanegra






Happy Inductees – 10/1/2018

FOCM at Global Clinical Supplies Conference

The month was April, the year 2016, the event: the #1 clinical research industry’s clinical supplies conference – Global Clinical Supply Group.  Several important events happened with photographic evidence to support it.

It was my honor to give a FOCM membership card to one of my favorite co-workers of all-time, Roxann Pinguelo.  Is she thrilled or what?

Roxann Pinguelo

FOCM also welcomed Ryan Jarvis to the organization and Russ Brierley and Renee Brown were on hand to witness these ceremonies.

Ryan Jarvis

Russ Brierley, Ryan Jarvis, Roxann Pinguelo, Renee Brown

Historic FOCM Card Ceremony

This FOCM card-membership ceremony was a very significant one for several reasons –

  1. It just happened on November 11, 2017 – making it very recent given my usual delay in posting such things
  2. It’s too important to delay until I catch up
  3. recipient and I probably first met when we were pre-schoolers and
  4. we spent our formative years in that oasis in the desert known as Yuma, AZ
  5. we slow danced to Stairway to Heaven or maybe it was Nights in White Satin in 8th grade
  6. wandered around Yuma on New Year’s Eve with a few friends and a few bottles of Boones Farm wine generously donated by our sisters when we were 13

At the recent Kofa High School reunion, this significant event (photo below) was captured.

Jody (Ambur) Nestell received her FOCM membership card.  Other than family members, I believe she is the youngest card-holder that I’ve known the longest.  Perhaps only Brady Leffler and Jody’s cousin, Ray Face, if they’re ready to accept the responsibilities of card holdership could surpass this.

Jody (Ambur) Nestell receives her card!


FOCM Membership Card Ceremony

On February 23 and 24, 2016, I found myself in Miami attending SCOPE (Summit for Clinical Operations Executives).  It is always fun to attend conferences and see old friends and make new ones.  At this meeting three people received their cards.

The first night, my friend Angela Radcliffe had arranged reservations for 16 at a restaurant’s private room and due to some issues had no RSVPs by 3 p.m. and was going to cancel it.  I asked her to give me an hour and I’d see what I could do.  We ended up getting 20 people and they had to move us to a larger room.  It was a great dinner where a lot of people met each other for the first time and Angela led it by sharing a personal story about what drew her into clinical research and everyone else shared their path to the industry.  It was a really memorable night.

On the second night, we arranged a group go to dinner at Larios, the restaurant owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.  That was also a great group of people.  Not in the pictures: Brian Langin, Alicia Foley, David Fairbrother, Amy Zastawney.

Left side: Nick Hargaden, Cindy Howry, Richard Gastineau

Right side: Bonnie Moore, Julie Orr, Dave Kirschenbaum, Kim Assal, Ted Gastineau

Dan Weddle

Laura Peters

Janet Shropshire

New FOCM Membership Ceremonies

On February 10, 2016, while attending Arena International’s Outsourcing in Clinical Trials Northern California three people received their FOCM cards.

Adam Kuzmicz, who I have known for 10+ years.  Adam is with Parexel.  The photographer really captured his extreme happiness at this moment.  He later said, it was one of the happiest moments of his life.  At least that’s how I remember it.

Barry Murphy with Novotetch was next to receive his card.  He is a little more in control of his emotions than Adam was.

Donna Fraser with Novotech also received a membership card.  Her joy at the moment is quite evident!

Welcome them to FOCM!


Adam Kuzmicz

Barry Murphy

Donna Fraser

FOCM Activities – January 2016

January 27, 2016 – I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was in the Houston, TX area for a PRA National Sales Meeting and they’d invited vendors that they partner with or were considering partnering with.

As is my custom, I email everyone I know in the area when I’m traveling and invite them to meet me for drinks/dinner.  I was very fortunate that former co-worker Lori Engallina Smith and her husband Wayne Smith joined me that night, along with my co-workers.  I’ve known Lori since 2002 when I first joined ICON Clinical Research’s Interactive Technologies Group.  This was my first meeting of Wayne.  Wonderful people, great Americans.  The ceremony was powerful, such excitement and thrills.  I forget the name of the restaurant, but it was a Mexican restaurant -shocking, I know.

Welcome Lori and Wayne as card carrying members of FOCM!

Lori Engallina Smith


Wayne Smith
















And the following day at the PRA meeting, I ran into Dorothy Brown, yes, THE Dorothy Brown.  We’d worked together at Quintiles in the early 2000’s.  Not that long ago, really, no really, it wasn’t, well it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.

Dorothy Brown