CPA keeps health lab on its fast-growth pace
Stephen G. Carroll, CPA
Chief financial officer
Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc.
Known as a specialist in advising early-stage businesses, Stephen Carroll is making sure that Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. continues its remarkable growth. One of the nation’s fastest-growing companies, HDL’s workforce has increased from 11 to nearly 700 employees in less than four years.
The company is a leader in health management. It provides advanced diagnostic testing that identifies genetic and other risk factors that could be missed by traditional testing.
HDL’s data is designed to help doctors provide more effective, customized treatment for patients in four areas: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease. The company also hires health coaches to assist patients in meeting disease management goals.
Carroll, a Certified Public Accountant, met Tonya Mallory, HDL’s CEO, president and co-founder, when she was solidifying her business plan and raising capital. Mallory’s idea was innovative, but Carroll says he had no idea the company would grow so fast. “It was not evident from day one,” he says. Revenue growth during Carroll’s tenure has exceeded 680 percent and is still climbing.
The company is a good match for Carroll, who is a strong believer in fitness and good nutrition. “I could see that Tonya was the real deal in understanding how medicine is going to have to change and move toward wellness, prevention and diagnosis,” he says. “She had a good vision, and it aligned with my belief.”
Mallory, in turn, appreciates Carroll’s financial expertise and entrepreneurial spirit. “He has a great understanding of a startup environment,” she says, adding that he also believes employees must be flexible and willing to grow with the company. “That is a rare trait. He has been a great asset for HDL’s growth.”
Carroll has been instrumental in all of the financial aspects of the company’s two-phase expansion in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park. The $68.5 million expansion will more than quadruple its former space when it is completed next year.
“Purchasing and expansion decisions need to be made quickly and therefore financing must already be in place,” Carroll says. “I was able to establish financing arrangements that allowed us to grow how and when it best served the business.”
At HDL, Carroll is known for his friendly, personable demeanor as well as his open-door policy. “He’s the ultimate professional, but he’s very personable with a great sense of humor,” Mallory says.
Carroll describes HDL as a company full of overachievers, “which is good.” He believes his greatest contribution is providing sound leadership in using company resources to fulfill its entrepreneurial vision. “It can be a great drain on resources to be as entrepreneurial as we are,” he says. “I try to help people understand the cause and effect in business decisions from a financial perspective.”
HDL employees appreciate having the freedom to be creative and innovative, he says. “Without great people that step up every day, we couldn’t do what we are doing.”