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About the New Jersey Chapter

New Jersey Chapter Statement of Value

New Jersey ISPE is an organization of, and for, professionals in the ever changing Life Sciences Community. As such, we strive to provide value to our various constituencies – owners, consultants, designers, contractors, vendors, students and the un- and under-employed – in a number of critical areas:

  • Wide range of multi-level Education and Training whether you are a newly graduated student or a multi-decade veteran, to enable you to be more successful at your current or yet-achieved "ideal" responsibilities within the Life Sciences community;
  • Sharing of Industry Trends to enable you to provide greater value to your employer, colleagues and the Life Sciences community in general, as we all strive to succeed in a "do more with less" environment;
  • Providing a forum in which you can share your expertise, experiences, innovations and thoughts/dreams with your colleagues via seminars, articles, roundtables, task forces and so on, where you can positively contribute to the future of the Life Sciences community;
  • Encouraging "work hard, play hard" opportunities where socialization and networking provide forums to informally expand your professional and personal network, resulting in friendships that last for decade

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New Jersey Chapter History

By Bruce Eckman

The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering ( ISPE) was founded in 1980 by a group of individuals, a number of whom were from New Jersey. One of the Charter Members, Jim O'Brien is still active in the Society and New Jersey Chapter today. During the formative period, participation in ISPE required travel to locations often remote from the heart of the pharmaceutical industry here in New Jersey.

As 1986 arrived, a member from Merck, John Stefanowicz recognized that ISPE meetings should be more accessible to members near their places of business. Thus the concept of ISPE Chapters was born. New Jersey members created the first ISPE Chapter in 1986 with John as the first president. We had only about 25 Chapter Members that first year. Our total membership has steadily grown over the ensuing 20 years until we now number nearly 2000 Chapter members including 72 student members.

The Chapter's first meetings occurred at the Tower Steak House on Route 22 in Mountainside, New Jersey. The first Chapter meeting took place on September 23,1986. Early steering committee/board members included Mike Sisti, Wayne Sadowski, John Lee and Jean O'Connor in addition to John Stefanowicz. Others who were involved included Elliott Goldberg and Karen McCullough. This author joined the Chapter at the end of the first year of existence (spring 1987).

In January of 1987, we had our most famous guest lecturer, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra who autographed pictures, answered questions and put in a good word for his son's flooring business. Another meeting that year featured 20 of us having polite dinner conversation as the scheduled speaker did not appear.

Our Chapter, as the first, is proud of the many "firsts" we count among our accomplishments. Based on previous successful table-top shows and seminar programs held by ISPE in New Jersey, the Chapter initiated an annual Vendors Night in 1989 with thirteen tables in the basement of the Tower Steakhouse. Our membership had grown to almost 400 at this point. A few years later, on February 24,1992, Bob Lechich and Joe Manfredi kicked off ISPE's Student Chapter program with the original Student Chapter at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

Chapter Meetings

The New Jersey Chapter follows a tradition of producing 8-10 local meetings each year. The program year starts in September and now goes through our large Chapter Day in mid-June. Fortunately most of our members are situated within 100 miles of our meeting spot, eliminating the need for extensive travel or overnight stays.

One of our longstanding primary goals has been to serve all of our membership with interesting and timely topics. We cover such diverse topics as validation techniques, facility design, management methods, and clinical supplies, right on through to lighter topics such as Improving Your Memory.

The New Jersey Chapter has always been proud to offer guided tours of various types of pharmaceutical facilities in the Metropolitan Area. We have toured locations at Bristol Myers Squibb ( Hopewell and New Brunswick), Merck ( Rahway), Schering Plough (Union and Kenilworth), Hoffman La Roche (Nutley/Clifton), Becton-Dickinson ( Franklin Lakes), Wyeth (South Brunswick and Pearl River, NY), Novartis (East Hanover and Summit), Catalent ( Somerset) and Johnson & Johnson ( Raritan).

We have also observed the operations of such equipment manufacturing companies as Getinge, Cozzoli, Glatt Air Techniques, B Braun Biotech (now Sartorius), US Filter, and A C Compact Press.

Several unique tours over the years include the Waksman Institute on the campus of Rutgers University, and the Pepsi bottling Plant in Piscataway which we toured as part of our first Chapter Day. Visits to several microbreweries along with wine-tasting and holiday parties served to create a well rounded and popular program structure over the years.

Long Term Commitments

We have almost thirty members of our Chapter who predate the Chapter formation (September 1986). In addition to Jim mentioned previously, we have Jim Agalloco, and Vic DiChiara who both joined the organization in 1980. Don Sutaria and past president Joe Manfredi both joined in 1981 and are still active.

Our Leadership  

The New Jersey Chapter, originally named the North Jersey Chapter, has had a total of twenty-four Chapter Presidents. Two have gone on to become Chairman of the International Society and many more have taken on leadership roles in the Society.

The Chapter Presidents with their years of service follow:




Harry Segner


Genesis Engineers

Paul Malinowski


Becton Dickinson and Co.

Antonio Crincoli


Bristol-Myers Squibb

Nandita Kamdar


Johnson & Johnson

Scott Hickok



Gordon Leichter



Jim Breen


Johnson & Johnson

Dragutin Stoicovici



John Postiglione


Spirax Ultra Pure

James Livolsi



Janit Buccella



Bob Ranard



Jerry Guillorn


Skanska USA

Jenny Wong


Astra Zeneca

Emad Youssef


PS & S

Chris Martinson


Whiting Turner

Dominick Smith



Tom Creaven


Schering Plough

Bruce Eckman



Jim O'Brien



Joe Manfredi


GMP Systems

Mark Milano


Lockwood Greene

Bob Lechich



Ed Blejwas


Blejwas Associates

Bruce Eckman



Dick Rooney



Elliott Goldberg


Jacobs Engineering

Ernie Rottman



Mike Sisti


Syska & Hennessey

John Stefanowicz