The Perfect, Imperfect Man!

By RJ Palermo, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives for INTERPHEX

Growing up, my Dad and uncle had great admiration for Italian American coaches like Joe Paterno and Vince Lombardi. Lombardi really resonated with my Dad.  As first generation Italian-Americans, my dad and his brother were always involved in sports, especially American football. It was a way of life for them growing up in Southwestern PA.  I shared their passion by playing and coaching for 19 years of my adult life. 

I started getting reacquainted with Lombardi when the Packers won the Super Bowl and brought the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.  I have seen specials on Vince Lombardi on the NFL Network, a great one on HBO, and even saw the play “Lombardi” on Broadway. 

The play was awesome!  Mitch Albom, the author and journalist (Detroit Free Press, ESPN’s Sports Reporters and “Tuesdays with Morrie”) was sitting in front of me! Dan Lauria, who plays Lombardi, does a great job and so does Judith Light (“Who’s the Boss”) playing Marie, his ever-supportive wife.  But Michael McCormick, who plays Keith Nobbs, a sports reporter who moves in and lives with Lombardi, and also serves as narrator of the play, recited a line at the end that I will never forget, “Vince Lombardi was “The Perfect, Imperfect Man.” 

When I heard that, I thought about what I have observed over the last 13 years on INTERPHEX, the largest event for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in North America.  How does that relate? The industry I serve has men and women who are always looking for perfection. They need and have to! Our technical professionals are like umpires or referees at sporting events . . . “if you are good nobody talks about you . . . but if you are bad, the Press and Government will never shut up.” You see nobody is perfect, but the willingness to do what is right and what it takes to be smarter, better, more resourceful and quicker is what drives everyone who is looking to or currently manufactures pharmaceuticals or biologics. Every spring at INTERPHEX, I get to see this with my own eyes and I commend and admire them, just like Lombardi, for what they do for all of us!    

RJ Palermo is the Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives for INTERPHEX.  Contact RJ at


Official blog of: INTERPHEX New York -
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