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 Networking Event in Boston

Crazy, I know, but rather than go back to 2016 and find pictures from a networking back then (which I commit to still doing to get caught up), I decided to go with a more recent event.

On July 27, while in Boston for the 2nd Ophthalmology Drug Development Summit sponsored by Hanson-Wade, a FOCM event was held at the Back Deck, 2 West St., Boston, MA.  This group (pictured) is quite unique in the origin of the connections it represents.  It represents quite a timeline of my life and career.  Attending were:

Christie Schmitt Coombs – we know each other from our home town of Yuma, AZ; having gone to high school together.  Her sister Carolyn and I graduated the same year.  I worked with her sister Linda at a summer camp during college.

John Ketchum – we worked together at Burroughs Wellcome (my first job out of college) and stayed in touch while he traveled the world for Novartis, from which he recently retired.

Brian Langin – we worked together at Quintiles (my job after Burroughs Wellcome) and again at YPrime (where I worked prior to current job).

Amy Zastawney – we worked together at ICON (after a short stop elsewhere, my job after Quintiles).

Brian Langin, Amy Zastawney, John Ketchum, Me, Christie Schmitt Coombs

The FOCM meeting record does recognize that Cory Winters, with Bio-Telemetry Research also attended, but he had to depart early and that was before I thought to take a picture.  FOCM member Vicky Martin brought Cory into the network.  Time will tell if she is to be thanked, we’re just waiting on Cory’s background check to come through.

Also I’d like to point out that our bartender was Denver Lincoln and he took our photo, so I took his so he can get credit for it and to give him some promotion as he works two jobs while working on his stand-up comedy. When he gets famous, you can go through me to get his autograph and to book him for events.

Denver Lincoln


Yumans and Nogalesian Join FOCM at Phoenix Event

On February 8, 2016 while living in Yuma, I had a business trip to San Francisco.  Rather than fly out of Yuma, I drove to Phoenix to fly from there.  That seemed like a good excuse to get people together.  So that night, I invited friends in the Phoenix Metro area to meet at Four Peaks Brewing Company in Tempe.

Pictured receiving their FOCM membership cards are: Greg Stanford, who I have known since 5th grade after he moved from Plainview, TX to Yuma; Denise Jones, who I have known since high school and Jorge Pierson (the Nogalesian) who I met at Univ of AZ.  The overwhelming joy on their faces is genuine.  It was another emotional induction ceremony.

Greg Stanford
Denise Jones
Jorge Pierson