People are the Chemistry: Beth DiPaolo
At Lancaster Laboratories, we believe that our people provide our strength. Their dedication to quality, professional competence and hard work is the key element in the company’s success. In this regular feature, we introduce you to some of the people who have helped make Lancaster Labs an industry leader.
Beth DiPaolo is the managing director of Professional Scientific Staffingsm (PSS), Recruiting and Organizational Development at Lancaster Labs. Championing a company slogan, “People are the most important element in our chemistry,” Beth has hired hundreds of people since her career began in 1987. Seven years ago, Beth took her knack for discovering talented employees and began a new innovative business model for Lancaster Labs, Professional Scientific Staffingsm. Placing our people at the customer’s site, PSS grew 100 percent in 2009 and expanded to 14 sites in North America and Europe since its inception. Beth earned a B.S. in Business Management/Human Resources from the State University of New York and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Development. She is certified as Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
What does your current job entail?
I am responsible for ensuring PSS is providing service excellence to our clients. We place our professional teams in client environments to provide insourced scientific services. This involves establishing partnerships with our clients to see how we can best serve them, recruiting and hiring the best, setting metrics and communicating that service excellence vision to our employees so they in turn can take great care of our clients. Most importantly, developing and leading our on-site technical leaders are key so they ensure our people are motivated and happy, operations are efficient and quality-focused, and most importantly, our clients are delighted.
What is the scope of PSS?
With approximately 200 PSS employees at client sites throughout the U.S. and Europe, the PSS program is receiving global interest to expand this service due to emerging market needs and the success we are having with our current clients. Consequently, PSS is growing technically and geographically. And because we are part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, this more easily and effectively expedites and supports our global implementations and operations.
Given all of your responsibilities, how would you describe a typical workday?
Given the varied PSS sites, travel to these locations is essential to ensure our employees and clients are happy. My responsibilities range from managing PSS business development efforts, establishing client relationships by understanding their needs and expectations, coordinating the recruiting and hiring efforts of each project, ensuring we are exceeding our performance metrics, facilitating leadership training, motivating teams by creating a shared vision of service and quality excellence that fosters collaboration, developing people, and most importantly, rewarding and recognizing the efforts of our staff by celebrating successes along the way. It is a great job because you get to connect, appreciate, and value our employees’ and clients’ efforts, input and commitment.
How would you characterize your leadership style?
One of the reasons I returned to graduate school is to focus on inspirational and transformational leadership. I believe my style is one that uses positive use of self that inspires people to do the same and transforms people, teams and client organizations. I believe in our people and try to see the positive and potential, create and inspire people to a shared vision through listening and getting people’s ideas and inputs, and transform that into a collective transformational effort. I value teamwork and collaboration and am very grateful for the people I work with; they inspire me daily. Letting people know you care and believing in them and are there to develop and support their success is what makes people, teams and organizations even greater.
You’ve been here for more than 23 years and seen countless changes. Is there anything that hasn’t changed during your tenure?
Absolutely, that “people are our chemistry,” (and biology for that matter)! Our founder, Dr. Earl Hess, one of my personal heroes, created an environment where if you found great people and took great care of them, they in turn will take great care of your clients. That is still alive and well today. Also, our foundation was built on high quality, ethics and service standards. This is core to our business and hasn’t changed. Our vision with PSS continues to demonstrate those core values of quality, integrity and service, through taking great care of our people.
What is the thrust of your work as it relates to clients?
Our PSS technical services include routine testing, method development, and validation for both large and small molecule testing in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, molecular and cellular biology. We also do cell bank manufacturing, engineering and medical device testing, genomics, bioinformatics, sample management, quality assurance, technical training, physical testing, environmental monitoring sampling, project management and clinical submission support. We haven’t had a situation yet where we were asked to provide a service where we weren’t successful in doing so. This is one of the reasons why we have grown at such an exponential rate.
What awards/special corporate recognitions have you or your team received?
We are very excited and honored for the recognition our clients have given us. At two locations where team sizes included more than 70 and 80 people, we received the vendor of the year awards for outstanding quality and service. In both scenarios the clients recognized us for outstanding HR practices in addition to laboratory expertise.