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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
FOCM also welcomed Ryan Jarvis to the organization and Russ Brierley and Renee Brown were on hand to witness these ceremonies.
This FOCM card-membership ceremony was a very significant one for several reasons –
It just happened on November 11, 2017 – making it very recent given my usual delay in posting such things
It’s too important to delay until I catch up
recipient and I probably first met when we were pre-schoolers and
we spent our formative years in that oasis in the desert known as Yuma, AZ
we slow danced to Stairway to Heaven or maybe it was Nights in White Satin in 8th grade
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
On December 9, 2015, while in RTP on business, Chris McArthur received his FOCM membership card. It’s taken a while to post this as there were some troubling inconsistencies in his background check but all has been resolved. A simple mis-identification from the juvenile court system records. We welcome Chris with full membership privileges. His 2016 membership dues were waived. Invoices will shortly be going out for 2017.
Chris and I have known each other ~8 years; having wroked together at ICON in the late 00’s and early ’10s. Chris is now Director of Business Development at INC Research.