February Networking Event

On February 16, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the second event of 2022 and like the January event, we again had 3 first-time attendees. Thank you to super-connector and FOCM member, Nadia Bracken for sharing our event with others.

We spent the first 15 minutes with introductions and general discussion about the weather in various attendees’ cities.  

This event featured a presentation by Kalyan Ghosh, Founder and CEO of Inference, Inc (https://inferenceinc.com/).  Inference, a GLSA client, was formed in 2017 by Kalyan.  He has over 25 years experience in clinical biostatistics, having worked at both big pharma (Merck and BMS) and CROs (Vislation, INC Research and West Coast Clinical Trials). Kalyan is an accomplished presenter and presented an overview of biostatistics and the role that data management and biostatistics have in drug development. 

Please join us next month on March 16 at 7:00 p.m.  Wessam Sonbol, CEO of Delve Health, an e-clinical technology platform service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 – 15 minutes talking about their approach to patient-centered hybrid and decentralized studies in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Kalyan Ghosh, Inference Inc,
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Justin Gundelach, Mayo Clinic
Pauline Luong, Creative Clinical R & D
Chris Bergey, NaviDx
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami College of Medicine
Jon Matheus,  A.T. Pancrazi Real Estate Services, Inc.
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Nielson, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the attendees can be seen here:

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/february-networking-meeting-summary/

Networking Meeting Summary

On January 19, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the first event of the new year and we had 3 first-time attendees.  

We kept everyone in one main room and went around the room having each person introduce themselves.  There was an open dialog and discussion on a variety of topics: expectations for COVID cases and treatments, the impact on travel and conventions/conferences and hopes for it to lessen and burn out and become similar to seasonal flu. The concern for another variant that could put us into strict measures is real yet the thought of having to deal with that makes us tired.

Heal Mary, (https://healmaryapp.com/) a GLSA client is an oncology patient recruitment platform founded by Cassandra Hui. Cass is from the tech industry and she started Heal Mary driven by her personal story: “My mom was told to go home and get her affairs in order, that there were no other options… I’ve made it my mission to ensure that patients know ALL of their options.” We showed a video of Cass explaining the motivation for starting Heal Mary using her tech and Artificial Intelligence skills to make sure patients know of treatment options available via clinical trials. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLB_CmGY3-trX3rKePF0FWw

Please join us next month on February 16.  Kalyan Ghosh of Inference, a data management  and biostatistics service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 minutes talking about the role of data management and biostatistics in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates
Kate Findlen, Life Molecular Imaging
Kimberly Lupo, Portrett Pharmaceuticals
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Charlie Speno, Matrix Medical
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly  Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the event follow:

Networking Screen Shot
Jan 19 2022 Virtual event

Networking Event Summary

On December 15, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was our year-end event and we didn’t have a speaker or theme.

We kept everyone in one room and went around the room asking people to answer a variety of questions. We asked for each person to share what positive or memorable thing happened in 2021 and what they were looking forward to happening in 2022.

  • A representative answer was that while some had caught COVID and it was a bad illness, no one had anyone in their families get severely ill or pass away from it. The outlook for 2022 was felt to be somewhat tentative with the global rise of infections due to the Omicron variant. It was noted that the annual January JP Morgan conference will be virtual again due to the rise in cases. (Occurring today, December 22, Pfizer’s oral dose anti-viral pill to treat COVID was approved.)
  • Michael Young shared that 2021 found him becoming a grandfather with the birth of grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller (pictures below attendee listing). Michael’s hopes for 2022 include completing the first draft of a book he’s writing on “Branding”. He also echoed the feelings of many of us – having the opportunity to see clients, customers and friends in person and a return to in-person conferences. (I think this is the equivalent of a blood transfusion for extroverts).
  • Ires Alliston shared that she is hosting a Female Expert Coaches Summit May 9 – 11 in Daytona Beach, FL. More information is available here: (https://femceosummit.com/).

Movies/TV shows people are watching/recommending:

  • You
  • The Unforgiveable
  • Get Back
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Giri/Haji
  • Yellowstone

Fountain pens

It turns out that Nadia Bracken has found the hobby of collecting fountain pens. Someone else on the call mentioned a former boss who also did so.  There was a discussion about the psychological draw toward collecting such pens.  I subsequently found this discussion group (https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/136590-pen-personality/) .The hobby appears to be more associated with introversion based on the non-controlled survey in the discussion group. Another article on the topic is: https://www.inkedhappiness.com/fountain-pen-collecting-the-psychology-behind-my-madness/

Toward the end of the event, two things occurred after some had dropped off:

  • Dan Weddle sang and played his guitar
  • Michael Young arrived and showed pictures of his adorable 1st grandson

Please join us next month on January 19.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Kevin Boos, Rho
Brian Horan, SupplyRx
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Dan Weddle, AltaSciences
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Maria Frane, Simibec-Orion
Sara Tylosky, Farmacon
Brennan Munley, Rho
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Photo Collection

Revered Industry Professionals
Illustrious Clinical Research Industry Professionals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denise, Zulma and Michael concluding the meeting
Esteemed industry professionals
Dan Weddle performing an original song
Michael Young’s grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller

 

 

Michael Young’s grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller

November Networking Event Summary

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting, fascinating people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On November 17, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event.

Whereas last month we had a featured speaker – Heather Hollick on LinkedIn best practices; this time we just had general discussion and greeting of one another. While there were still a manageable number, I introduced each person and how I know them. There was also discussion and general agreement that when Merck and Pfizer get their oral dose antiviral medicines approved (whether emergency authorization or full approval); the COVID-19 pandemic will become very manageable and the world can return to our new normal; forever impacted but less restricted. (added since the 11/17 meeting – the identification of the Omicron variant may put a slow down on the return; however, early information indicates that while it’s easily transmissible, the symptoms are different and mild, such that as of Nov 30 in South Africa hospital where the doctor found the Omicron variant, no hospitalizations are attributed to it. And now just today, an FDA Advisory panel recommended approval for Merck’s anti-viral pill to treat COVID-19 and reducing hospitalizations.)

We then moved to the evening’s agenda. We had three rooms for people to go to depending on their interests.  The three discussion topics were:

  • Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Networking

Heather Hollick chaired the Networking room. One discussion centered around how sales/business development people use it and consultant/subject matter experts use it to best fill their connection needs. Interestingly, several participants shared that they control their LinkedIn outreach and purposefully limit their contacts to a more easily managed subset (~1000) to maximize the depth of relationships. Several other participants use a more liberal approach and have grown their networks to over 10,000 contacts who then serve as “private wikis” allowing rapid access to large groups of professionals with multivarious experiences.

Please join us next month on December 15 and if you have a Christmas sweater – wear it!

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Kevin Boos, Rho
Valerie Roussin-Paradis, SkillPad
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Nicole Yoon, Mediaiplus
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Lindsey Summers, Green Key Resources
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

November 17, 2021 Networking Screenshot
Networking Event Flyer

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/news/

Drug Development Industry Networking Event

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On October 20, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly pharmaceutical/biotech/clinical research/medical device/drug development industry online networking event (that’s a sentence-full). I know I wrote that in last month’s minutes too, so I promise to acronymize/shorten/bitly it next month, maybe to Pharma/Bio/CRO/Med & DrugDev or PBCMD? Is there a broader term one of you readers can suggest?

While people were arriving into the Zoom room, the first arrivers greeted each other and got their headsets, earphones, etc ready and connected. We started with the acknowledgement that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The advances in cancer therapies over the past dozen years or so is truly remarkable. With genotyping advances, new drugs are designed/created that work very well.  This allows testing to be done prior to drug administration and know ahead of time that certain patients will respond well.  So instead of having to enroll 300 cancer patients in a study to get enough with the defect in order to show statistical significance, the study can be done with fewer patients and to show significance and speed up the time to FDA approval.

We then moved to our featured speaker, Heather Hollick, a friend of mine for several years and the author of “Helpful, A Guide to Life, Careers and the Art of Networking”. Heather focused the discussion on best practices for using LinkedIn. It is an invaluable tool for networking. There are 8 ways that LinkedIn is beneficial.

  1. LinkedIn is how you present yourself to the industry. At a minimum it is your online resume.
  2. Enhances introductions – you know so much more about who you’re being introduced to.
  3. Refreshes your memory on who a person is, where you know them from and how long you’ve been connected.
  4. It helps you prepare for meetings – review who will be in the meeting and find items of commonality.
  5. Find companies that are hiring
  6. Provides links to other websites aiding in your research
  7. Keep track of who is in your network.
  8. Engage in groups and discussions with others that you share interest with.

I like to include how I met people, as a demonstration of the power and benefits of networking. I was connected to Heather via Tanyss Mason. I admit I’m having a difficult time remembering how Tanyss and I first became connections. Heather was in the midst of writing the book when we first met over the phone. When the book was released and Heather was in the RTP, NC area at a book premier and signing event we got to meet in person. Heather co-presented at the 2021 DIA Annual meeting (virtual) with me on a Networking workshop. We’ll collaborate again on this session for the DIA 2022 meeting being held in Chicago.

We typically go into several breakout sessions of 3-4 attendees for about 12 minutes each but this time, there was so much good discussion about LinkedIn and maintaining, nurturing and freshening one’s network that we showed our flexibility and kept rolling with the topic of interest.

Please join us next month on November 17.

Screen shot of Zoom networking

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Christine Narro, Medical Device Co.
Lewis Kelly, Gunvatta
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Michael O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick McCarthy, ValidCare
Joe Dustin, Transcelerate Biopharma
Janie St. Pierre, Accellacare
Ellen Bedenko, IQVia
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Daryl Oberg, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Supporting a MatheusBD Connection

I am excited to announce that, Alicia Kelley Schifano, a connection of mine for over 10 years is hitting the big time!!  Alicia will be a contestant on a new TV show airing Thursday, October 14th on the USA Network.  The show is America’s Big Deal.  It was created by Joy Mangano (from the movie Joy) and it will be hosted by Scott Evans from Access Hollywood!  It will be a bit like Shark Tank but live and “shoppable” so people can buy the products in real time while watching the show.  Alicia will be on the first episode, competing for a retail deal for the Mr. Big Curling Irons!  Here is a link to the video promo: https://youtu.be/t3xJYFU8ugc

Here’s a link to the contestant page:

Please tune in at 9pm, October 14th and watch Alicia shine! And check out the product being offered at a $20 discount at the above link. For any of the FOCM members with long hair, this curling iron is a must in your beauty supplies inventory.  https://www.mrbigcurlingirons.com/

I have known Alicia for more than 10 years, having been introduced to her via TommiLynn Baker.  At our first meeting we talked for hours.  Alicia is energizing to be around; so much energy, passion and enthusiasm.

Networking Stories

When I do presentations and/or workshops on networking it’s been pointed out to me that some of the best “aha” moments or learnings that people take away come from the stories that I share.  So, I plan to to write up these stories in the hopes that they’re helpful or illustrative.

I use fictitious names when I have not asked for or not been given permission to use real names, yet the stories are real.

During the financial crisis of 2008, an acquaintance of mine (I’ll refer to him as John) worked in IT and became laid off.  I do not know for certain (no personality test was given) that John’s personality leans toward introversion, but I’d bet $100 that he is. He’d been unemployed for close to 10 months and was complaining about having applied to hundreds of openings, getting rejection letters, hearing nothing or getting some interviews but no job offers.  After many interviews and never getting the job, he explained that he was being interviewed by people 10-20 years younger than him that had no where near his experience and talents. Over time he was becoming embittered.

I asked for his resume and said I had connections in several of the local companies in my industry and would be happy to send his resume in to them.  His response was something like this: oh the networking approach, well I think that’s cheating.  In an idealized world, I see the point, and it would be nice if everyone were unbiasedly judged/evaluated on their resume.  But we’ve all seen good and bad resumes, which is one way in which recruiters judge/evaluate candidates. Recruiters and hiring managers use a variety of criteria to evaluate candidates: resume content and layout, experience, personality, references, etc.

Networking is most definitely not cheating; it’s a requirement.  I explained to John that networking isn’t cheating – I do not get him the job because I sent his resume to someone I know.  Me, sending his resume to someone I know just gets his resume lifted out of the pile and gets it a second or maybe third look.  Now the resume carries a reference an additional factor giving it more credence.  Chris Matheus or whoever sent the resume to their friend acts like a background check. Getting the resume lifted out of the pile does not get John the job – it gives him a better shot at getting an interview.  He still has to “get” the job, still has to interview (without the embittered chip on his shoulder) and interview well.

Building a network of contacts is a key element in managing your career. It needs to be nurtured, maintained and expanded.  Remember networking is a reciprocal endeavor, you must be helpful to those in your network if you are going to ask for their help.

Summary of GLSA FOCM Event

Minutes of the GLSA – FOCM Meeting of May 20, 2021

So, it finally happened, on that glorious day which shall long be remembered, these minutes will be heretofore submitted to the USA Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute and for reasons unknown, to the Sydney Opera House on the northside bulletin board for public postings.

On May the 20, in the year 2021 of the Gregorian calendar, it was noted that the GLSA (Global Life Sciences Alliance) and FOCM (Friends of Chris Matheus) Networking organization did hold an online (virtual) networking event. The meticulously planned event went terribly awry when but half of the positive RSVPs failed to show up.  That said, it was a resounding success for the initial such event.  A total of 21 attended.

The meeting started off with an acknowledgement that it was Global Clinical Trials Day and a toast was given to the clinical research industry for saving the world from Covid-19 and to James Lind, the Scottish doctor who initiated the first controlled randomized clinical trial on May 20, 1747 aboard a sailing ship. Dr. Lind divided twelve sailors sick with scurvy into six groups of two. They all received the same diet but, in addition, each group was given a different treatment. Only the two sailors who received citrus fruits improved and returned to work.

Chris then introduced the GLSA members to the FOCM community.  After a bit of general discussion, several polls were taken. About half of the group is reluctant to resume conference travel immediately, preferring to wait a few more months. Slightly more than half have been vaccinated or acquired immunity through catching the virus. An interesting opinion was voiced that perhaps as members of the clinical research industry, we should set the example by all being vaccinated.  I, for one and I believe I speak for many of the others have the utmost confidence that not a step was missed, not a shortcut taken in the development of the available vaccines.  Given the prioritization and urgency of vaccine development, we were able to speed up the data review process. The one thing that the sped up development lacked is longer term safety and side effect data.  However, vaccine side effects rarely (I can’t think of any) change the longer from the time of injection.

Then it was time for speed networking!  The assertion has been made by Chris that each of us in the clinical research industry are within 2 degrees of separation from each other. We had 4 different sessions.  Attendees were randomly put into different “rooms” with the assignment to each introduce themselves to the group, sharing where they’d worked the previous 10-20 years and what they’re doing now to see if they could identify who they knew in common.  Good information was exchanged and several new connections were made which can improve the management of clinical trials.

Join us next month – June 16.

Attendees:
David Holland, Cmed Research
Jon Matheus, Pancrazi Real Estate
Sheila Mahoney-Jewels, Life Science Hub
Eric Nier, Block Clinical
Lynne Becker, Power of Patients
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Christine Ver Straate, GLSA
Mitchell Efros, Verified Clinical Trials
Cassandra Hui, HealMary
Denise McNerney, GLSA
Joe Buser, GLSA
Tom Ryan, GLSA
Kalyan Ghosh, Inference Inc
Marty Frazier, GLSA
Tanusree Bhattacharyya, Inference Inc
Zulma Varela, GLSA
Mike O’gorman, Life Science Marketplace
David Gibboni, DJGibboni Consulting
Eric Mayer, EDP Biotech
Craig Fernandes, EDP Biotech
Maria Frane, C3 Research

Selling clinical trial services

One of my sales principles is this: be wherever the users/decision makers/decision influencers of what you’re selling gather.  By “gather” I mean the conferences they attend; be they large (national) or small (regional). I have had fellow sales people tell me these small, local/regional meetings are a waste of time.
I should have put this disclaimer at the start, but it’s my website, so I’ll put it here. Disclaimer: It is acknowledged that I’m not the stereotypical salesperson.  Type A personality I am not; highly competitive I am not.  When selling services, I believe that people buy/purchase/select services and solutions from someone they know and trust;  also known as relationship selling.
So all that is to demonstrate through this short story:
I recently attended a virtual and regional conference on managing clinical supplies for clinical trials.  There were ~80 people in attendance.  I noticed one or two salespeople for manufacturing and packaging companies, none from drug supply management software companies.  At the end of the meeting, a request is made of the attendees for topics they’d like to hear about at the fall meeting. A specific request was made on the topic of managing study drug pooling by the drug management software.  The leader then asked if anyone had recommendations on who could speak to this.
Posted in the chat window was this: the name of one of the software companies followed by the names of two of that companies’ project managers. 
I trust the moral of this story is obvious.