November / December 2021

Emerging Leaders Editorial: What a Year It Has Been!

John Clarke
Emerging Leaders Editorial: John Clarke

The 2021 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo brings my year as ISPE International Chair of Emerging Leaders (EL) and Emerging Leaders representative on the ISPE International Board of Directors to an end. I would like to say thank you to all the Emerging Leaders members and volunteers for the hard work throughout 2021, despite an ever-changing environment from both personal and professional points of view.

There has been so much achieved, and I would like to use my final article to focus on three of my own highlights from the year.

A New Name for Our Community

In January, it was announced that the ISPE Young Professionals community would be renamed the ISPE Emerging Leaders community. This was a welcome improvement to better describe the diversity across our members. As we approach the one-year milestone since the change was made, we can reflect on the success of the changeover. This could not have been achieved without support from our Chapters and Affiliates. With their help, we have seamlessly switched out the name on all communications materials and adopted the title of Emerging Leaders both in name and philosophy.

Our First International Hackathon

In February, the ISPE Emerging Leaders held our first ever international event, a fully virtual Hackathon in association with Bayer. Over 50 participants representing 20 different ISPE Chapters and Affiliates took part in the event. For pre-selection for the grand final, each team was asked to put together an online video to showcase their ideas. The result was fantastic content from each team that highlighted the talent and commitment of the Emerging Leaders involved to solve an industry problem. The event has provided a road map for organizing similar events in the future and I am excited to take part in the next one, which will coincide with the 2021 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo.

Working with the Board of Directors

The most rewarding aspect of my tenure as the Emerging Leaders International Chair has been representing the Emerging Leaders on the ISPE International Board of Directors. Attending the board meetings and taking part in ISPE initiatives as the Emerging Leader representative showed me the strategic and long-term vision for ISPE as an organization. It was always plain to see the value placed on ISPE members and volunteers and the criticality of the engaged network of Affiliates and Chapters.

I would like to sincerely thank the members of the ISPE Board for the year of guidance and development I have received from taking part in these discussions and decision-making during such a challenging year.

New Leadership in 2022

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Heather Bennett as the ISPE International Emerging Leader Chair for 2021–2022. Heather steps into the Chair role at the 2021 ISPE Annual Meeting in Boston, and Zen-Zen Yen becomes International Emerging Leader Co-Chair for 2021–2022.

Heather Bennett

Heather acted as Emerging Leader International Co-Chair for 2021 and offered great support to me and members of the Emerging Leader community throughout the year. She has been an active member of ISPE, volunteering with the Bay Area Chapter and on the International Emerging Leader Committee. Heather will be the Emerging Leader representative on the Board, and will work with Zen-Zen to continue the success of our international Emerging Leader community in 2022.

There has never been a better time to volunteer with your local ISPE Emerging Leader Affiliate or Chapter.

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