By Sanji Bhal, Director of Marketing & Communications
These past 25 years in business have been filled with growth and success which wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our hardworking employees. As a part of this celebration, we’re launching a three part blog series to spotlight our employees around the world, sharing what makes them a special asset to our ACD/Labs family. This first blog post is dedicated to team members based in our Canada headquarters!
ACD/Labs was founded in 1994 and opened its first office in Toronto, Canada. To put this in perspective in terms of how long we’ve been around: while our team at the time was setting up our space, Brent Pautler, an Application Scientist in our technical support and services team, was just entering fourth grade!
Over time, our Canada-based team has continued to grow and attract talent in many different ways. Some of our employees were already familiar with our solutions while others found us through personal connections:
- “I initially applied for a Trainer position with ACD/Labs. While I was interviewing, another position for Technical Editor came up and I was offered that job instead. I loved the idea that my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry got me an interview to begin with, and I was excited to combine chemistry with IT in this new career.” – Sherry Myles, Marketing Systems Coordinator
- “I was introduced to ACD/Labs through SciFinder as an undergraduate. A few years later, a mentor from graduate school referred me to ACD/Labs’ North American recruiter.” – Mary McKee, Account Manager for the mid-Atlantic U.S. region
- “I used ChemSketch during college but wasn’t really aware of the vast capabilities of our software until I was hired in 2017. After having a couple of interviews, my decision was made once I met with some teammates and realized that it would be a very enjoyable employment experience.” – Laura Zepeda, TSS and Customer Success Coordinator
- “A close friend did Aikido, a form of martial arts, with ACD/Labs’ sales manager at the time and he mentioned he was looking for a sales coordinator. That’s how I began my time here!” – Catherine Commins, Managing Director of HR, IT, AR, AP, Finance, and QMS
- “We had ACD/Labs SpecManager and NMR Predictors in my graduate laboratory class and I visited the hospitality suite at the Experimental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Conference (ENC) as a graduate student and postdoc where I met several people that I now work with.” – Brent Pautler
But before even learning about the company or considering ACD/Labs as an employer, our employees have always shown an interest in chemistry from their childhood or early adulthood. For example, Nikki Kuter, TSS, says that her curiosity about how things work is what drew her to science originally, and chemistry was a natural choice as she was always fascinated by understanding the world on a molecular level. For Rodito Buan, IT Manager, he fondly remembers his dad letting him play with computers as a child. Sherry Myles loves logical solutions and when she took her first computer programming course, she knew it was what she wanted to do as a career due to the fulfillment received when making sense of a complex problem. In graduate school, Brent Pautler used ACD/Labs’ NMR software and predictors, and Laura Zepeda’s favorite science experiment in college was when she extracted caffeine from various sources and determined the concentration in her analytical laboratory class.
Fast forward to our current work at the organization, one customer-related story stands out to Grace Kennedy, Account Manager of the Central U.S. and Canada territory:
“One of my favorite customer related experiences was when ACD/Labs hosted a user symposium that I had the opportunity to attend. We had a full day program, lunch included, and various speakers throughout the day. In my eyes, the best part was after the meeting had officially ended – one of the attendees asked a question and another user of our software from a different company provided his advice on how he uses ACD/Labs’ tools to address similar work. From there, all of the attendees essentially formed a circle and began discussing how they each use the software. Here we had users of our software, from different organizations, coming together to share ideas and tips with each other. At the end they said ‘can we do this more often?!’”
When it comes to our products, Nikki Kuter has expressed the most excitement about ACD/Structure Elucidator as she finds the algorithms fascinating. Like many others, she was also excited about the official launch of Katalyst as it provides a much-needed solution for experiment management in many different industries.
The work we’ve done over the past 25 years is important and shows our passion for helping scientists and their organizations innovate faster and collaborate more effectively. Mary McKee says it best – “Cheers to another 25 years of advancing science!”
Stay tuned for part two and three of the series where we spotlight employees in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Belarus, India, and Russia. But before you go, check out some fun facts about our employees:
- Catherine Commins loves to read and is obsessed with Twitter (of course she follows @ACDLabs)!
- Grace Kennedy hoola hoops, and her longest continuous hoola hooping record is 3.5 hours.
- Karim Kassam, Senior Director of TSS, is a sports car enthusiast and loves to maintain, detail, and drive his car. He is also a Rubik’s cube pro, and at the age of 12 he figured out how to solve the puzzle in under a few minutes.
- Laura Zepeda, Customer Success Coordinator, enjoys knitting and crocheting stuffed animals in her spare time.