Why these 5 regulatory professionals can’t wait for RAPS Convergence 2022

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RAPS Convergence is a cornerstone of education and networking for regulatory affairs professionals. After two years of virtual conferences, the premier regulatory affairs gathering is once again a live event. 

Regulatory professionals are taking over Phoenix, AZ. from Sept. 11-13 for RAPS Convergence 2022. We’ll descend on the Phoenix Convention Center for three days of connection, education and inspiration. It’s time to reunite.

The Convergence 2022 Planning Committee and RAPS staff have been working hard to make this conference as valuable—and fun—as possible for attendees. RAPS reached out to members who are headed to Convergence 2022 to find out why they’re coming; what they’ve missed about in-person conferences; and what they can’t wait to do in Phoenix. Here are their stories. 

Kimberly Belsky

Executive Director Regulatory Policy & Intelligence and AdPromo, Regulatory Affairs, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Chair, RAPS Convergence 2022 Planning Committee 

How many times have you attended Convergence? At least six? (or seven? maybe eight?!) 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022? The learning, engaging, and energy that comes from being together, in person! And being in Phoenix, I’ve never been to Phoenix. 

What’s your favorite Convergence memory? Participating in a dine-arounds years ago and not knowing anyone else in the dinner group, then years later, seeing someone at a company office and both of us looking at each other, recognizing each other (and pointing at each other at the same time with big smiles!) and that bond that was still there years later after the great discussion we had at dinner so many years ago. 

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about attending? Amazing things can happen when we make that decision to go—join us and see what your "amazing" will be! 

Why is it important for us to go back in-person? It’s the experience in between the sessions, the interactions with others in the hallway, in the exhibit area, the shared learnings at the solution circles, meeting each other on the street — that’s all part of the learning and networking continuum that only occurs in person. 

Susan Carino

Principal Consultant, Integrated Project Management Company, Inc. 

How many times have you attended Convergence? This will be the fifth RAPS Convergence I've attended. 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022? I visit Phoenix annually in January for the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. The convention center is centrally located downtown, and the airport is close by. The weather is always sunny and warm. The Desert Botanical Garden is so unique and definitely worth visiting. 

What’s your favorite Convergence memory? When I received my RAC certification in 2012, I remember seeing my name listed among all the new RAC certification holders on a large banner at Convergence. It was nice to be honored by RAPS for this achievement in this way. 

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about attending? We've demonstrated as a profession that we can be successful working remotely but the greatest thing in life is experiences. This isn't just a conference; it's a convergence of like-minded regulatory and quality professionals who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences with one another. Being there in person gives you a chance to cross paths with people who you would never have met otherwise. Convergence gets you out of your comfort zone and that's when real growth happens. 

Why is it important for us to go back in-person? There is something special about meeting with people in person. You feel more connected to one another as a result.  When you get to know someone, both professionally as well as personally, you understand better how you can help them.

Thomas Hutchinson, MS, RAC, FRAPS

Principal Consultant, QRE MedTech LLC 

How many times have you attended RAPS Convergence? I have been attending Convergences for quite a long time—my earliest saved records date from 2006. 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022? During the last few years there have been such a large number of global regulatory changes either under development or implemented. We can all research the information and participate in digital meetings, but in my opinion, there is nothing as efficient and comprehensive for learning as face-to-face contact and discussion. The agenda for this year is comprehensive and spans both regulatory changes and emerging technologies that drive the regulations. 

What’s your favorite Convergence memory? 2006 was special for me as I was presenting for the first time at Convergence on the FDA combination product regulations as part of a panel discussion with representatives from the Office of Combination Products. 

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about attending? Beyond the technical regulatory information that you can learn, there are opportunities to assess and explore your career direction, garner expert advice from people who are eager to share and support each other and learn from the best minds about what is really happening now and how to navigate our increasingly complex profession. 

Why is it important for us to go back in-person? I firmly believe that in-person communication is the most dynamic way to learn and grow. Also, I am looking forward to seeing many friends whom I have not seen in the last two years! 

Kim Young

Director, Global Regulatory Intelligence, Instem 

How many times have you attended RAPS Convergence? About five. 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022? I am so much looking forward to talking, living and breathing all things regulatory affairs. RAPS always has knowledgeable speakers with topical presentations and prime vendors exhibiting solutions to our challenges. Attending RAPS Convergence supports my regulatory intelligence role which involves gathering information and data needed to drive our software development for the life sciences industries. An extra exciting bonus is making new acquaintances both personally and professionally. Lastly, I will finally have the opportunity to meet those whom I have only spoken to virtually over the past two years. 

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about attending? RAPS Convergence is a must for anyone new to regulatory affairs, in a new regulatory affairs role and those senior strategic decision makers seeking up-to-date information. RAPS Convergence provides engagement opportunities, development building and champions our profession in a way no other conference does. 

Why is it important for us to go back in-person? Networking, Networking, Networking! Some of the best conversations occur informally in the queue for lunch! Meeting someone in person strengthens and beneficially builds upon the “virtual” relationship. 

Christie Hughes

Principal Consultant, Qserve Group

How many times have you attended RAPS Convergence? Six. 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022? I cannot wait to see colleagues face-to-face that I have been unable to see since 2019. I look forward to networking and meeting folks to discuss the challenges of the last couple of years to learn from them how they approached these. The best learning is from experiences. 

What’s your favorite Convergence memory? I met an amazing group of people with diverse regulatory backgrounds at the 2017 Convergence. They took me in and allowed me to be part of their larger network of people. These relationships have been invaluable ever since. 

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about attending? Take the jump and show up with the will to meet as many new people as possible. You just never know who you may be able to help and who will be able to help you in the future. Your professional network is one of your best assets.  

Why is it important for us to go back in-person? We as humans need personal interaction. We need to not only hear but to see each other and to feel each other's energy. We also need opportunities to network that simply are not possible when only in virtual settings. 

Why are you excited for Convergence 2022?

Share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #RAPSConvergence before, during and after this year’s event to keep the conversation going. 

Registration for Convergence 2022 will stay open throughout this year’s conference. Browse the agenda here.

 

© 2022 Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

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