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ISPE Spotlight: Q&A with Thomas Hartman, ISPE President & CEO

ISPE Spotlight: Q&A with Thomas Hartman, ISPE President & CEO

Thomas Hartman, ISPE’s President & CEO and active ISPE Member for over 20 years, speaks with us on his favorite ISPE memories, his real-world examples on the benefits of ISPE, and why volunteering is so important. Join us as we get to know Thomas a little more.

Tell us about your journey as an ISPE Member for over 20 years.

I am often asked about how I became an ISPE Member some 20 years ago. As an emerging leader in the pharmaceutical industry, I had knowledge gaps that only ISPE could bridge. You see I moved from the chemical industry to the biotechnology industry. The ISPE Baseline® Guide: Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities was instrumental to bridge my knowledge gaps, but also the networking with other ISPE Members enabled me to expand my network and grow professionally to the position of Vice president in a major pharmaceutical company. Frankly, I do not know why anyone in the industry would not want to be part of an organization whose stated vision is to provide solutions to complex pharmaceutical industry challenges through innovation, member and workforce development, technical, regulatory and compliance collaboration.

Can you share a favorite memory in your time as an ISPE Member?

My favorite memory was around 2007 when my colleagues and myself presented at an ISPE conference. We were very proud of the recent biotech manufacturing facility expansion and we had the opportunity to present at the opening of the conference. I still can envision how the room filled to capacity and all the preparation paid off as there was quite a bit of engagement by the audience. This experience cemented the value of the networking that ISPE offers.

Another noteworthy humbling experience was when I was advised that the ISPE Membership had voted for me to be part of the International Board of Directors.

What are the top 3 reasons you would tell someone to join ISPE?

This one is easy. ISPE provides ongoing personal growth and development in 3 key areas, namely technical, regulatory and compliance, and leadership. All these together are a powerful way to invest in yourself and your future growth.

Why would you recommend others volunteer with ISPE?

ISPE is made up of volunteers that come together as a community of subject matter experts with deep knowledge in many areas that are relevant to the industry. ISPE’s content is very relevant as the senior industry members that make up the board provide that strategic direction on a regular basis. Being part of the volunteer network places you in a unique position of recognition for the subject matter expertise that you bring to the table and share. That is industry recognition. This sharing through our communities of practice translates into even more in depth understanding of not only the core subject matter but extends through other Communities of Practice (COPs) and ultimately throughout our knowledge networks. It is a model that is unique in the industry and frankly second to none.

Tell us a bit about your career history and how you ended up as the President and CEO of ISPE

I graduated from Villanova University with a degree in mechanical engineering and later went back to school to obtain an MBA from Eastern University. I spent the first part of my career in the chemical industry holding a number of positions in a central engineering function for an international chemical company. This role took me to many parts of the world including living in the Netherlands for nearly 5 years. After about 20 years, I transitioned to the Biotech industry that is when I became affiliated with ISPE. Eventually, I became part of the ISPE International Board of Directors and served on the executive committee in the roles of board secretary, treasurer, and Vice-Chair.

They say ‘timing is everything.’ I had just retired from my role in GSK as vice president of GMP Operations in March of 2020 when the ISPE CEO opportunity became available. This has been one of the most satisfying experiences in my life because I believe ISPE plays a significant role in the industry in terms of supporting our member companies and their drivers to bring transformational medicines to patients worldwide.