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ISPE South Central Chapter Inaugural Education Seminars

Dwayne E. Ariola, BSBM
ISPE South Central Chapter Inaugural Education Seminars

The ISPE South Central Chapter recently hosted their Inaugural South Central Chapter Education Seminar from College Station, while live-streaming in Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth Area (DFW), and The University of Oklahoma. Each city hosted an in-person networking dinner followed by the sessions on Vaccine/Gene Therapy Manufacturing and Writing User Requirements Specifications.

Robust Industry Presence

There are more than 5,200 biotechnology and life sciences related manufacturing and R&D firms operating in Texas. The state’s existing industry talent pool of 100,000 workers is bolstered by 5,000 industry-related graduates each year from Texas colleges and universities.

Oklahoma has more than 180,000 employed in bioscience and has experienced 41% growth in life science program studies since 2010.

South Central Chapter Inaugural Education Seminar

Our Region is not compact at all and spreads out over miles between Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  It is geographically impossible to have a Happy Hour or Social Event in one location and expect all of our members to attend.

So, we decided to host events in multiple cities with each hosting a Happy hour or social hour with drinks and dinner to be followed by two 45-minute lectures that the members decided were important to the Chapter.  We asked for host locations from our members and conducted a test run for audio and visual tests a few weeks in advance.  I had an Officer or Board member take charge in each city to find food, drink, and location. 

We had over 150 RSVPs.  Members and non-members were charged $25 to help offset the costs and all students were free.  We haven’t done all our calculations, but we may even yield a profit.  We will be doing more of these, and this will lead to the Women in Pharma (WIP) committee being started as our momentum continues.

We take the angle of we are all in this together and there is lots of work to go around, so please help your fellow members, help these young engineers at these Universities learn about ISPE.  They may not come work for you, but they will remember how ISPE helped, mentored, and got them ready for the industry and they will come looking for you or your company in the future.  This event took a lot of work, but it was well worth it.

Dwayne was asked, what prompted you to take leadership of the South-Central Chapter, and what are the goals of the Chapter? His response was, “I love to mentor young Engineers and help others and this position has really offered many opportunities to do just that.”

Attendee Feedback:

Quick Facts about ISPE South Central Chapter

Founded: 2002

Region: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana

Membership: 263 (April 2022)


Dwayne E. Ariola, BSBM
Director of Client Engagement
Greg Trujillo
Business Developer
DPR Construction
Vice President
Evan Michael Ottenweller
Technical Sales Representative
Michael A. Shaw
Barry-Wehmiller Design Group

Board of Directors

Yuk Chun Chiu
Chief Manufacturing Officer
Wheeler Bio
Patricia S. Flaherty, M.Sc.
Director Quality Assurance
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Tim C. Glasson
SVP of Corp Development
AM Technical Solutions
Ivan Kuncheff
Mark Lutgen
Head of Global Engineering, LSS
Millipore Corporation
Carolina Isabel Serrano Martinez
Process Control Engineer
Eli Lilly & Company
Emerging Leaders Chair
Daina Ann Pitzenberger
Healthcare & Life Science Business Development Senior Vice President
Bill Shwaiko
Principal Engineer
Joseph Barry Sullivan, PE
Life Sciences Portfolio Manager Consultant