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News and Press: MichBio News

December 'On the Road' With Stephen Rapundalo

Thursday, December 17, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Oesterle
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A month may have passed on the calendar but the update will be short given the intervening Thanksgiving break.


I attended the Annual Retreat of the Council for State Bioscience Associations (CSBA), coordinated and hosted under the auspices of BIO. This year’s event took place in Scottsdale, AZ. I know what you’re thinking – what a nice location. Yes – the organizers always endeavor to host them in “warm” communities, but for the record, we had a 90 minute delay to our golf outing tee time due to heavy frost. Believe it or not, it was actually colder there than in Ann Arbor…who would have thought! 


Fun aside, the meeting was a great opportunity to gather with about a 100 peers and support staff, and discuss best practices for member management and association activities. The general session included a discussion of a promotional campaign regarding the value of bioscience innovation and how to message that at the federal level, as well as to the general public. Business sessions focused on a range of topics: small company funding models (including a presentation by NCI SBIR), entrepreneurial support services, board engagement strategies, member services and purchasing program engagement best practices, and an update on the 2016 BIO Convention in San Francisco. I participated in two panel discussions and spoke about our experiences working with service vendor partners to maximize member benefit and savings.


Last week was a bust by and large as I took time out to undergo the first phase of surgery for cataracts (the other eye gets done next week). Notwithstanding my visually impaired state, I participated in two virtual meetings: 1) Community College Consortium for Biotechnology Credential Advisory Council (which I co-chair) and 2) national webinar regarding the federal 340b drug discount program wherein some states are trying to exert undue authority over the program with implication for the biopharma industry.


Last week, I was one of three guests at MSU Technologies for a forum with trainees of the MSU BEST (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) Program, a NIH-sponsored initiative focused on helping trainees develop the necessary skills to develop a professional path that suits their interests, skills and goals. The other panelists included Anne DiSante, Associate Director at MSU Technologies, and Julie Rojewski, PhD, BEST Grant Project Coordinator. The two-hour session was coordinated by Scott Phillips, Founder and CEO, of The SearchLite. Trainees queried us on a variety of topics related to industry careers, advancement, job hunting, networking and more.


To close out the month, David McGuire and I visited Scott Merz at MC3 Cardiopulmonary at its new facility in Dexter. The company has been around since 1991, but its expansion earlier this year puts it on a path to be a leading medical device developer and manufacturer in the cardiopulmonary space. Back in November, MC3 announced that they had acquired all the surgical cannula product assets from Terumo Cardiovascular Systems.

On behalf of MichBio – Kate Oesterle, David McGuire and Nancy Marcotte – and myself, have a fun, healthy and safe holiday season. We’ll catch up with everyone in 2016!

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