Catherine Veal, Paradigm
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for GWBC Radio’s Open for Business. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:18] Lee Kantor here broadcasting live from the 2022 WBENC National Conference inside the Georgia World Congress, and are inside GWBC’s booth, Booth 1812. So, come on by and check us out. I’m so excited to be interviewing Catherine Veal with Paradigm. Welcome, Catherine.
Catherine Veal: [00:00:35] Thank you.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:36] So, tell us about Paradigm. How are you serving folks?
Catherine Veal: [00:00:39] We are a clinical toxicology lab down in South Georgia, on the coast in Saint Simons Island. And we do testing for physicians, for providers, for their patients to make sure that they are being compliant with their medication plans that the providers have put them on, they’re taking their medications, they aren’t taking anything that the physicians aren’t aware of, or anything that’s too fun.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:09] Some extra help.
Catherine Veal: [00:01:10] Yeah. So, that’s what we do. So, we’ve got a national client base. We service providers out as far as Arizona, as north as Maryland, and then south as Florida, and everywhere in between.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:24] So, how’d you get into this line of work?
Catherine Veal: [00:01:27] I was in the pain management world with a provider and ran a couple of his practices and a couple of surgery centers. And we were using these services that we provide from a few of our competitors now. And there are just some holes in their offerings.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:46] You saw some ways it could be improved.
Catherine Veal: [00:01:48] Yeah. So, we ended up using about three or four of them, and took the pros of all of those, and added some of our own, and opened the first lab back in 2009. And then, I opened Paradigm in 2014.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:05] And then, it’s been an overnight success.
Catherine Veal: [00:02:08] It’s been great. It’s been hard work.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:10] Seven years.
Catherine Veal: [00:02:10] Yeah. It’s been hard work, but it’s been great. We have about 140 employees and over 90 percent of them are women. So, it’s kind of cool.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:20] Wow. Is that by design or by accident?
Catherine Veal: [00:02:23] You know, it wasn’t intentional at all.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:26] You just looked one day and you’re like, “There’s a lot of women here.”
Catherine Veal: [00:02:28] Yeah. Yeah. Well, we’re like, wow. But, yeah, it just happened that way. But we’ve just got a lot of diversity within our employee group, our team members. So, it really benefits us because we’re able to connect with the providers and the patient bases that they have because they are all so diverse being in treatment, substance abuse management, and behavioral medicine. And the areas that we’re in, it’s kind of nice to have our team be so diverse because we can relate really well.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:04] Now, did you get certified right away or was this something that you said, “You know, we’ve been doing this and why don’t I get certified?” Like, how did that come about?
Catherine Veal: [00:03:11] Just recently, so we’re newbies. We’re three weeks now.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:18] So, certification newbie to be –
Catherine Veal: [00:03:18] Yeah. We just started hearing more and more about supplier diversity and what some of the other vendors are trying to do with their spins in that regard. And we didn’t really understand a lot about it. But we’re like, “Wait. We may drop into that bucket.”
Lee Kantor: [00:03:35] “Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this?”
Catherine Veal: [00:03:35] Yeah. We’re like, we probably qualify being owned by a woman. So, we just started researching it. And then, we started this process kind of at the tail end of COVID. And it just took a while because of COVID.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:48] To end, it takes a while. It’s not something you do in an afternoon.
Catherine Veal: [00:03:49] Yeah. Yeah. No. We didn’t realize how in-depth the process was.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:56] Well, it’s important to have a certification standard that is thorough.
Catherine Veal: [00:04:00] Yeah. Exactly. That’s what we said once we got it this month. We were like, “Well, they’re not handing these out left and right.” So, this is great that we –
Lee Kantor: [00:04:09] Let’s not check three boxes and you’re good.
Catherine Veal: [00:04:11] Exactly.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:12] So, now, that you’re here, do you have a booth here or you’re just here kind of wandering around?
Catherine Veal: [00:04:17] We’re just wandering around. We’re in health care, obviously, and there are some payors here, Cigna and Centene, that we either do have contracts with and we’re just trying to add. So, it’s been nice. I mean, we got here today and it’s been very productive and we’re coming back for some of the roundtable meet and greets in the morning.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:40] It’s overwhelming, you walk in and it’s like wall-to-wall.
Catherine Veal: [00:04:44] It’s a lot. We didn’t know what to expect. And the gal that took us to committee to get certified did a little orientation last week to kind of orient us –
Lee Kantor: [00:04:58] To prep you.
Catherine Veal: [00:04:58] … to prep us, and we missed it. My youngest daughter graduated from high school that day and so I missed the orientation. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been a pleasant surprise. It’s a lot of vendors, a lot of booths.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:11] It’s neat to see all the women business owners together also in one place.
Catherine Veal: [00:05:16] Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. And just like trying to figure out what everyone’s purpose and goal is in attending. So, we’ve just stopped at booths that we really probably don’t have any –
Lee Kantor: [00:05:27] Are just curious about.
Catherine Veal: [00:05:27] Yeah. I’m just like, “Tell me what your goals are in attending.”
Lee Kantor: [00:05:32] “What do you do?”
Catherine Veal: [00:05:32] So, we’ve learned a lot just by, you know, networking and talking to people.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:37] Yeah. This is going to be a good association for you. I’m sure you’re going to get a lot out of this over the years that you’re going to be here.
Catherine Veal: [00:05:43] I think so. I was very excited to see some of the staffing companies and logistics companies because we ship all of our samples from all of those areas I said, and we use FedEx, UPS, and we have some great pricing with them. But it was just nice to see some other options that we could maybe partner with.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:03] Right. There might be some partners and collaborators here that you don’t know yet in this room.
Catherine Veal: [00:06:08] Exactly. Yeah.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:08] So, if somebody wants to learn more about Paradigm, what’s the best way to do that?
Catherine Veal: [00:06:14] We have a website, that’s www.paradigm.healthcare. And that’s the easiest way to learn more about us. And, also, there’s a Contact Us tab that you can reach out, as far as being a team member and joining us or using our services, there’s information there for whichever way you want to go.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:35] Well, thank you for being part of GWBC and getting certified. And we wish you the best of luck.
Catherine Veal: [00:06:42] Thank you so much.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:44] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll be back in a few at the WBENC National Conference.
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive.
We believe diversity promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy. That’s why we not only provide the most relied upon certification standard for women-owned businesses, but we also offer the tools to help them succeed.
The Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC®) is at the forefront of redefining women business enterprises (WBEs). An increasing focus on supplier diversity means major corporations are viewing our WBEs as innovative, flexible and competitive solutions. The number of women-owned businesses is rising to reflect an increasingly diverse consumer base of women making a majority of buying decision for herself, her family and her business.
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