Associate Spotlight – Amanda McGarry
Learn more about Amanda McGarry, Project Manager, and her experiences as part of the Contract Manufacturing division.
Q. Can you tell us a little about your role at PDI?
McGarry: I am a project manager for PDI’s Contract Manufacturing division focusing on new product launches and product lifecycle maintenance. In 2021, I also took on the role of Process Manager for Bill of Materials for all products run at PDI’s NY facility.
Q. What new skills have you learned while working at PDI? How have you developed personally and professionally?
McGarry: During my time at PDI, I studied for, and attained my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. I’ve learned how to write investigations and lead CAPA’s to remediate issues with customer products and improve end-user experience. I’ve been provided the opportunity to attend several management and leadership training courses both inside and outside of PDI to learn about best practices. PDI was also my first fulltime “real” job so I’ve learned how to hone my communication skills to the audience I’m trying to reach, how to interface with customers, and how to work with teams both in the office and working remotely. I’ve also resurrected my high school chemistry knowledge when I’m working with customers and coworkers on formulations and specifications.
Q. What has been your favorite project / program that you have been able to work on while at PDI?
McGarry: Working on the launch of PDI’s first prescription drug wipe is definitely a highlight of my career. This project involved major investments by the customer and PDI in new equipment and processes. I spent hours on the production floor with the customer and PDI’s production team and learned the challenges of installing and using brand new equipment, troubleshooting raw material issues, special processes for material controls and liquid processing for a prescription drug, and the myriad of documentation unique to the RX world and FDA approval that I never would have known had I not had the opportunity to work on this project. I forged long lasting relationships with the team members who worked on this project due to the many hours that were involved in bringing the product to market.
Q. Can you provide some insights on your team dynamics / working relationships with colleagues?
McGarry: The Contract Manufacturing team works with a network of internal support groups in R&D, Operations, Engineering, and Quality to run line trials, launch products, and make product improvements on behalf of our customers. Unlike PDI’s Healthcare and Sani-Pro divisions, Contract Manufacturing does not sell nor market any “PDI” branded products. Rather, we work with our customers to create products to their specifications based on their assessment of the market’s needs. We serve as the conduit between the customer and the stakeholder groups at PDI, translating the customer requirements into the processes and materials necessary for PDI to successfully manufacture the end product.
Q. Do you have any interesting hobbies or fun facts you could share? (personal or work related)
McGarry: Prior to working at PDI, I was pursuing a career in opera. I have a Bachelor’s of Music in Classical Voice from NYU and I worked in the Vocal Company at College Light Opera in Cape Cod, as a Young Artist at Sarasota Opera, and performed outreach programs for schoolchildren in Connecticut with Salt Marsh Opera. I still continue to sing on weekends at a local church and can be heard singing at the occasional wedding here and there.
Q. How long have you been with PDI and why have you decided to stay with the company?
McGarry: I have been with PDI for over 8 years. I’ve stayed with PDI for this long because of the many opportunities to learn and grow. I started out at PDI in 2013 working for PDI Healthcare as an Associate Event Coordinator. With that role, I got to travel to several cities and work at tradeshows and sales meetings interacting with our customers and sales team while learning about PDI’s branded products. During the last 7 years I’ve worked in Contract Manufacturing, I’ve had the opportunity to work with customers on some of the leading brands in the consumer wipes field. I’ve also been able to attend line trials, production runs, observe liquid batching, visit raw material vendors, and spend time with R&D in the lab learning all about the manufacture of wet wipes. Everyone I’ve encountered at PDI has been generous with their time and knowledge and I also get to work with a great team.
Q. How has the company evolved since you joined?
McGarry: The company has physically changed locations from Orangeburg, NY to Woodcliff Lake, NJ which has provided employees with the opportunity to work in a beautiful and inspiring collaborative space. Having R&D in the same building has increased my collaboration with those team members and I’ve learned a lot more about the science behind the wipes as a result. The Contract Manufacturing division has shifted our portfolio from producing mostly cosmetic products to more highly regulated, over-the-counter drug products.