Member Spotlight: Charlotte Enghave Fruergaard
Charlotte Enghave Fruergaard joined ISPE in 1995. A member of the ISPE Nordic Affiliate, Charlotte has been an ISPE Nordic Board Member for 10 years, two of which she served as Chairman. She has also been a member of the ISPE International Board of Directors and has sat on several ISPE committees, including the Sterile Products Processing SOP Steering Committee, the European Affiliate Council, the European Strategic Forum, Women in Pharma®, and the Annual Meeting Program Committee, serving as the Chair of the 2017 Annual Meeting. At the ISPE 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo, Charlotte was the recipient of the Richard B. Purdy Distinguished Achievement Award, which is presented to members who have made significant, long-term contributions to ISPE. The award, named after one of the Society’s founders who was also an accomplished Member President, was presented to Charlotte at the ISPE 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo. We talked with Charlotte about her involvement with ISPE and some of her thoughts regarding this wonderful accomplishment and recognition.
When did you join ISPE, and what are some memories of your involvement with the organization?
I started working for NNE almost 25 years ago and joined ISPE in 1995. My first volunteer role was as a discussion leader at the annual Barrier Technology Conference; the following year I was a speaker and the year after, I suddenly found myself leading the conference with Jack Lysfjord.
In 1999, Gert Moelgaard and I, along with a few others, began to discuss ways in which to grow the ISPE Affiliate in the Nordic region (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland). At that time, our membership was just under 300; within six years we had more than 1,000 members. I served for more than 10 years on the Nordic Board of Directors and was Chairman for 2 years in 2006 and 2007.
In 2007 I was elected to the International Board of Directors and after serving 2 years as a Director, I was appointed Officer and became Chairman at the ISPE Annual Meeting in 2012.
Can you tell us about some of the great experiences you have had with the organization?
My greatest experience has been my role with the International Board of Directors. The positions I held during the time I served on the Board, both as Director, and particularly the officer roles, gave me exceptional insight into ISPE, enabling me to understand the ISPE organization in its’ entirety. My Chairmanship of the ISPE International Board of Directors occurred during a challenging period when change was needed. I participated in hiring two new CEO’s and, while serving on the Board, worked with three ISPE CEOs. The ISPE organization is very complex, comprised of the ISPE Headquarters, Chapters and Affiliates, and the many different committees, each of which has highly engaged volunteers. Understanding this and helping to lead the organization in the right direction while dealing with the financial challenges inherent in a not for profit organization, has indeed been an experience that has given me a great deal of personal development and growth.
What volunteer activities have you led, and what were the outcomes? Any current activities you’d like to talk about?
Being an active member has been an important part of my growth in ISPE. I was very new to this industry when I became involved and I quickly established a network within the industry that, in my opinion, is very valuable. I’m able to contact somebody in almost every company in the world if I have a question or if I am looking for information.
Being an active member also means that I have been involved in many volunteer activities. My focus area within NNE is within aseptic processing and isolator technology, and participating in ISPE’s Sterile Products Processing Community of Practice is important not only for me but also for NNE. One of my latest achievements was initiating and leading a survey on Aging Facilities.
Another recent role I’ve undertaken is with the ISPE Woman in Pharma initiative. The idea came from Randy Perez, who asked me to lead a Women in Pharma program for the ISPE 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo held in Atlanta. I reached out to Fran Zipp and we arranged a Panel discussion. Fran has a strong network of women holding high level positions in the US, and the event was a tremendous success. Today, Women in Pharma has an active steering committee, and we organize several different activities at most of the international events. Our next step is a mentoring program, which we plan to launch in Q1 2019. One of my goals as Chairman was to stimulate a more global and diverse culture within ISPE, and I believe the Women in Pharma initiative is a great example of this.
I’m very privileged to be from Denmark, as we have equal opportunities and great benefits. An example is Denmark’s maternity leave program, which provides a total of 1 year of leave that can be shared between both parents. These benefits help our citizens enjoy a healthy work-life balance. I believe ISPE has a place for everybody… ISPE is a leading and vibrant organization that is filled with people from different professions, different cultures and of different ages and career stages. If you want to be active, it is very easy to get engaged in ISPE.
Congratulations on receiving the Richard B. Purdy Distinguished Achievement Award at AM2018. Can you share with us your thoughts on this great accomplishment and recognition?
Thank you, it is a great honor and a very prestigious award. When I try to explain it to my friends in Denmark, I tell them that I have received an Oscar within my field of work. For me this is the greatest work achievement that I have ever experienced.
When I became Chairman of ISPE I did it for 3 reasons: as a professional, because of all the knowledge I gain through ISPE; as an employee, to be part of shaping the industry and to be closer to our customers; and finally as Charlotte, because personally it has given me, and continues to give me, so much as a volunteer. Being part of ISPE is like being part of a family, and for me, the Annual Meetings are like a big family reunion.
I’m honored but humbled by receiving this award, and I would not have been able to be an active ISPE volunteer without the support of my company NNE and the support at home from my husband Jesper and my son Victor.