Q&A with PharmaSUG co-chair Josh Horstman

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The smallest aircraft I’ve ever flown on was the one I took from Raleigh to Hilton Head, South Carolina to attend my first PharmaSUG – the Pharmaceutical Industry SAS Users Group.  That was in 1997, and it’s been my pleasure to work with this great group of volunteer SAS leaders since that time.  Registration for their annual conference (May 13-16 in San Francisco) is now open.  Don’t miss your chance to learn and network with the world’s largest gathering of SAS users in the pharmaceutical, health care and related industries.

 I checked in with Josh Horstman, one of two co-chairs, to find out more about this year’s conference.

Q: Why did you get involved with PharmaSUG?
Horstman: I first attended PharmaSUG in 2004, when I began my first job as a statistical programmer using SAS.  I learned so much and met so many great people that I kept coming back for more.  In subsequent years, I started volunteering for various conference roles.  Getting more involved with running the conference has really helped with my career development and expanded my professional network.  It's also a ton of fun!

Q: What is your role at this year’s conference?
As Academic Chair, I oversee the development of the conference program.  That includes building the master schedule of nearly 200 paper presentations, posters and hands-on workshops.  I put together a team of 24 wonderful volunteer section chairs who select the papers, work with the authors, and run the conference sessions.  I'm working closely with Richard Allen, our Operations Chair, on the session logistics and with Craig Brelage, our Publications Coordinator, on the conference program guide.

Q: How is this year’s conference different from previous ones? What’s new?
We're mixing some things up this year.  Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, we'll kick off Sunday evening with a short opening session and enjoy a light-hearted keynote presentation from consultant, statistician and SAS Press Author Art Carpenter, followed by an informal mixer.  Everyone will reconvene Monday morning for a technical keynote featuring some very special guests we'll be announcing soon.  We've also expanded the paper presentations to seven concurrent tracks to accommodate the record number of paper submissions received.  It's shaping up to be a great conference!

There's still time to register  and make  reservations to stay with us in the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, one of the largest and tallest hotels on the West Coast. Conference dates are May 13-16 in San Francisco. See you there!

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About Author

Michael Smith

Marketing Specialist

Michael H. Smith joined SAS in 1988. He has enjoyed working directly with SAS users groups throughout the US since 1995. He currently supports PharmaSUG and other special-interest groups. He has been blogging about SAS users groups since 2009.

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