March Networking Event Summary

On March 16, the GLSA and FOCM held their monthly online networking event.  We start the meeting with a featured presenter spending 10 – 15 minutes presenting information about themselves and a clinical research topic of relevance to them.

This event featured Wessam Sonbol, founder of Delve Health. Wessam has been in the clinical research industry for 23 years. Many of these years have been in leadership and founding roles in the technology and product development to facilitate trials. He founded Delve Health in 2018.  Delve Health provides innovative decentralized clinical trial solutions to improve clinical trial conduct for patients, caregivers, doctors and pharma/device. Offerings include ePRO/eCOA, eConsent, study tasks, wearables and biosensor integration, EMR data collection and Real-world evidence capabilities.

After the presentation, there were questions, answers and discussions.  We then allowed newer participants the opportunity to tell us about their history in the industry and the group can be of help.

Attendees (bolded names indicate first time attendees):
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Heather Hollick, Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Michael Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Taylor Biche, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Neilson, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/

Please join us on April 20 where the featured presenter will be Amy Baxter, MD; CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. PCL’s NIH-funded pain relief device is an ingenious intervention to reduce needle pain and fear – improving patient participation in clinical trials.

Selected screen shots appear below:

Delve Health Presenting
Screenshot #1
Screen shot #3
Screenshot with Teddy in lower left
Screenshot #2

 

 

FOCM Members in Chicago at ASCO

Yes ’tis true I am only 8 years behind in posting photos of members captured at various conferences.

This photo was taken at ASCO in June of 2014 in Chicago.  American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has been held in June in Chicago for many, many years. It is one of the largest Oncology focused conferences.  It draws medical and clinical oncologist, oncology RNs, oncology NPs and PAs. The exhibit hall is huge and takes place at McCormick Center in Chicago.

I was working at YPrime at the time and was fortunate to be selected to attend. One of the things I love about conferences is running into friends and former co-workers. In most cases, its both. This time I ran into two of my favorites: Erica Hill and Sue Ruane. I’d  met them both while working at ICON Clinical Research.

 

Erica Hill, me, Sue Ruane

Dabbling with YouTube

So, as many of you know I am an extremely well known social media influencer*. What many of you may or may not know is that I have been dabbling in creating content for YouTube. I have even gone to the extreme of creating a character, Uncle Robby.  Uncle Robby stops by to put up and take down outdoor Christmas lights.

For the cooking videos, that’s me, yep,  just me, no character, simply dull me.  After posting one cooking video, my brother (Jon) provided me with some brutally honest feedback and so I enrolled in an extensive series of media training courses*. I believe that my performance has improved immensely.  The entire premise of this particular cooking series is to demonstrate my culinary belief that virtually any food that I enjoy can be put into a tortilla with cheese and salsa and be particularly tasty.

Leftovers from dinner the night before are especially good in a tortilla with cheese and salsa with an egg added making for a delicious breakfast burrito.

I have made a pot roast, carrots and potatoes burrito. I have made a boneless pork ribs, sauerkraut and carrots burrito. My most recent one was chopped shrimp and couscous to  which I added tomatillo salsa, red chiles and red onions.

I trace this back to my childhood. I grew up in southwestern Arizona, about 10 miles from a Mexico border crossing. Mexican food was a staple, such that we didn’t even think of it that way. That the high school cafeteria had chimichangas (fried burritos) as an option everyday wasn’t noteworthy.

The great thing is I’m doing what I love to do and the various platforms on which I post things is paying me to do so. I average around $10,000 per month and am often paid to attend parties and dining events.* People ask to get their picture taken with me.+ https://focmnetworking.com/networking/focm-membership-ceremony/

https://studio.youtube.com/channel/UCfWmjoxVPupz8ZeNwVAh1CA/videos/upload?filter=%5B%5D&sort=%7B%22columnType%22%3A%22date%22%2C%22sortOrder%22%3A%22DESCENDING%22%7D

*Fact checkers have determined that these statements are false.

+Fact checkers have determined that this statement is somewhat true.

February Networking Event Summary

 

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/

 

 

 

Confessions of a Salesman

So after 16 years of selling e-clinical technologies (technologies used in clinical trials), I felt like I had truly absorbed vast amounts of technical knowledge.  After all, sales is learning some words to say in the right order to demonstrate one’s knowledge.

I know there’s probably more to it than that as there are technical sales people that have done real work and know exactly what they’re talking about.  For example, I can say, yes we’ll provide you your data in a flat ASCII file.  I have absolutely no idea what that means, stands for, looks like and how it happens.  There are some who do know. I’m told it’s a computer file (not a manila folder file) that has rows and columns with info in each cell.

So after those 16 years I go to another e-clinical tech company and in helping prepare a proposal I demonstrate my expertise thusly by writing this:

We need some words here to describe the application architecture.  The CIO is to provide some dazzling descriptions of this stuff.  To help him with it, here is a start from which he can edit my text.

We utilize a three layer approach (see image below).  The integration layer, known in tech language as “the back end” has a persistence layer as well as this really cool feature known as “hibernate”; similar to what bears do in the winter, the data rests in small caves until the proper conditions occur for it to be released.  Herein is also a rectangle labeled DAO and another one that says Resource.

In the business layer, we utilize a spring framework, which resembles a complex set of slinkies going down a never-ending escalator.  This endless loops allows for us to refresh data continuously.

For the “front-end” or presentation layer, also known as the user interface (UI) or graphical user interface (GUI – pronounced ‘gooey’), we have 5 rectangles of different sizes and the components of this layer are listed below:

Application Architecture

January 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:

Screen Shots

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

Resume Review

As I hope is clear from previous posts, networking is essential to improving your ability to make an employment change.  Getting referred into a company or an endorsement via an employee submitting your resume, gets your resume a second look. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter reviewing resumes.

The information below was submitted to me by Dick Winokur, who I have known for 11 years.  We met when he was working for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis (now Sanofi). When I first started FOCM Networking and launched the web site  he shared some information with me that he relied up on in his career.

WHAT SMART RESUME REVIEWERS LOOK FOR

  1. They keep the job criteria firmly in mind–look for “buzz-words.”
  2. They look for a stated job objective.
  3. They look for the “can-do” candidate.
  4. They read between the lines for the “will do” candidate.
  5. They search for consistent career advancement.
  6. They look for job results versus activities.
  7. They notice how the resume appears.

ASK YOURSELF: IF I HAD TO LOOK THROUGH 200 RESUMES IN THREE HOURS, WHAT WOULD I LOOK FOR?

Additional resources:

https://www.agbsearch.com/tips/top-10-tips-for-writing-job-winning-resume

https://www.michaelpage.com/advice/career-advice/cover-letter-and-resume-advice/how-write-winning-resume-0

Virtual Networking Meeting 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, topic 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, Simbec-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

Esteemed Industry Professionals
Revered Industry Professionals
Heralded clinical research industry professionals
Dan Weddle performing an original song
Denise, Zulma and Michael concluding the meeting
Oliver Kiesing Miller, grandson of Michael Young
Oliver Kiesing Miller, grandson of Michael Young

 

Halloween Fun

So one member of FOCM, Jack Minster, a member in good standing shared with me the fun he has at Halloween in his home town. Here is what he shared with me:

I know all the kids in my neighborhood.  However, strangers from other areas bring their kids to my neighborhood on a mission to collect as much candy as they can.  I am not kidding.  It’s a racket for these people.  So I make these little grubbers earn it.  I lure them in with real pumpkin jack-o-lanterns I carved, and interesting “scary” decorations.  But then I activate a remote control device and a very disturbing very loud animatronic ghoul pops up out of the liriope leaves (from laying to standing).  It’s shrieking with eyes blinking.  Kids scream staring at it.  But the noise from this sets off a sound-activated giant animatronic spider which leaps out immediately after, directly behind them making loud “scree” noises.  By now the kids are totally freaked.  Then by the door, rising up out of the ground come more, sound-activated even scarier ghouls saying “Welcome to our graveyard, join us…”

Groups of kids run away screaming, they just bolt, whole herds of them running back down my lawn lacking the courage to follow through and knock.  Last year a group of tween girls made it through the gauntlet of horror, knocked, and I overheard one say, “I will have nightmares from this for the rest of my life.”