ARL & DNA Solutions
Dr. Thomas Kupiec, CEO of Analytical Research Laboratories (ARL) and DNA Solutions Inc.
Where is your Hometown? Where did you grow up?
Presently, I live in Edmond. I grew up in Oklahoma City.
Can you tell us about where your education (where did you go to college, please list your degree(s) and graduate degree(s)?
I received a BS in Chemistry and a MEd specializing in Chemistry from UCO. I have a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from OU Health Science Center College of Pharmacy.
Are you married and do you have children and grandchildren? Please list names; optional list ages of children or grandchildren.
I have been married for 33 years to Carolyn Kupiec. I have two children, a daughter that works in public relations and a son that is in the middle of his 3rd year at OU Medical School. I have one grandson that I enjoy fishing with him and attending his ball games.
What do you do in your down time? Do you have any hobbies – like to read, work out, play sports, dance, cards, etc.)
“Are you kidding, what down time?” No really, I work hard and also play hard. I am usually at the gym in the morning at 5:30 which is my time and on weekends spend time at church and with family. I love the water. In the summers, I try to be on the lake skiing and I like to trout fish with my son and grandson. On the weekends, I spend time in the pool. In the summers, I am either at the lake or at home in the pool.
What is something about you most people don't know?
I have a personality disorder, I am an overachiever. Really! But everyone probably knew that. I like music and I play the keyboard.
Which do you use - Blackberry or IPhone and why?
Neither, I use an android, because it is the best value and has the same functions as iPhone.
What brought you to your current field?
It certainly wasn’t me; I think it was by divine intervention. I have been blessed to have great mentors. We are successful because of the great people we surround our self with.
What is a typical work day like for you?
I am up at 4 or 4:30 to the gym by 5:30 maybe to an appointment at 7. I like early breakfast appointments. I am at the office at 8 with an early management team meeting. Typical work days include: dealing with a technical issue, client issue, and a regulatory issue. It is like a rollercoaster. I go from one extreme to the other. I usually put in 12 hour days.
What is one thing about your organization people might not realize or know?
It is a pretty open and transparent culture. One of the employees told me today that the rapid fast pace builds character and gives the individual the opportunity to grow. Either you sink or swim quickly here.
The culture is also great as the employees are involved in the community. Our company has a rowing team. We have participated in the Corporate Rowing team at Chesapeake boathouse for the last several years. Employees also volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and animal rescue organizations. Our companies have a summer and holiday party every year. We promote a family-oriented, culturally-diverse, open and tolerant organization.
What is the next exciting thing coming up for your organization?
DNA Solutions, genetic testing laboratory, is working on moving into clinical diagnostic areas. Analytical Research Laboratories, contract research laboratory, recently developed a research and development department that includes several post docs.
What are the current challenges your organization is facing and what steps are you taking to address these challenges?
Leadership and organizational management is a current and recent challenge. In 2011, we started implementing one leadership book per quarter. The leadership team meets once a week and each member takes a chapter and leads the session. Books include:
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
- 5 Stones for Slaying Giants – Curt Tueffert
- Getting to Yes – Roger Fisher and William L. Ury
Where do you see your organization five years from now?
“Heavens, How would I know?”
We actually have doubled the last five years; however, the larger you continue to grow the harder it is to increase at the same rate. I believe ARL will move into testing larger molecules such as proteins and peptides. DNA Solutions and the genetic world are rapidly changing. We are seeing more emphasis on SNP’s, molecular diagnostics and the Forensic arena.