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Meet Our Leadership Team

Tim Sotos is Chairman of the Board of Clinical Reference Laboratory. He has been Chairman of the Board since 1995 and has been with CRL for over 25 years. He holds a B.S. in Economics and an M.B.A., both from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.

Robert Thompson is Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Reference Laboratory. Prior to joining CRL, Robert was the CEO of Emerge Diagnostics, a company focusing on its proprietary soft tissue management EFA-STM program, based on its own electrodiagnostic instrument. Prior to that, Robert spent 11 years as the CEO of eScreen as it grew into the largest provider of employment-related medical services in the country, including drug testing and pre-employment physicals. Previous experience includes roles as CEO of Orasure Technologies and CFO and COO of LabOne. Robert earned his MBA from Harvard and a BSE from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Stout serves as Chief Scientific Officer and Laboratory Director for CRL’s General Laboratory. He provides scientific direction and research leadership for all of CRL with particular focus on research for CRL’s Insurer Services business. Dr. Stout, who has been with CRL since 1983, holds more than ten U.S. Patents in science, including one for immunoassay method and apparatus development (U.S. Patent #4,414,324) and one for methods of determining chronic Hepatitis C infection (U.S. Patent #10,051,253). He is the author of numerous research and review articles and is a regular presenter at scientific meetings and conferences. Dr. Stout holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from U.C.L.A. School of Medicine.

Kathleen Ruegsegger is Chief Operating Officer of Clinical Reference Laboratory and oversees all Laboratory Operations, Information Systems/Information Technology, Supply Chain/Facilities and CRL’s European operations.   Prior to joining CRL, Kathleen was COO of Original Juan Specialty Foods, serving as the company’s senior executive leader. She brings over 16 years of manufacturing and supply chain leadership experience in companies affiliated with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science companies and laboratories.  In 2010 she joined the Microbiology Division of Thermo Fisher as U.S. leader of process manufacturing and supply chain activities, and later assumed the role as global leader of operational excellence for the division.  Previous roles include Vice President and General Manager within Fisher Scientific International as well as commercial and operational leadership roles with Pierce Biotechnology, a leader in protein detection technology. Kathleen earned her BS in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and began her career as a research scientist.  She later earned an MBA from Keller Graduate School.

Dr. Fehling has been with CRL since 2008 and is a certified High Complexity Laboratory Director by the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB). Dr. Fehling leads CRL’s Personalized Medicine business unit and serves as the Laboratory Director for CRL’s Molecular / Esoteric Laboratory. More broadly, Dr. Fehling provides scientific leadership across all business units at CRL with her extensive experience in laboratory management, new assay development, and business development.  Prior to CRL she served as the Director of the Genomics Laboratory at Children’s Mercy Hospital, and the Director of Genomics at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Fehling earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Texas A&M University. In addition to her HCLD certification, Dr. Fehling is a certified Technical Supervisor in Molecular Diagnostics and a Clinical Consultant by the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB).

Susan Meyer, who has over 25 years of human resource experience, has been with CRL since 1994 and has served as VP of Human Resources since 2007. She is responsible for the Human Resource operation, which includes leadership development, corporate staffing, employee relations, compensation, benefits, and the company administrative function. Ms. Meyer holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas.

Stephen Nixon is the CFO of Clinical Reference Laboratory and has over 17 years of accounting and finance experience. Prior to CRL, Mr. Nixon was with Tyr Energy, serving as their lead accountant. Prior to Tyr Energy, Mr. Nixon was with KPMG, where he served as an audit Senior Manager, leading SEC registrant and private company audits. Mr. Nixon is a certified public accountant and holds a B.S. and a Masters in Accountancy from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Dan Pichler is Chief Information Officer of Clinical Reference Laboratory. Dan is an IT innovative career technology leader with over 25 years of leadership experience delivering creative, business-driven outcomes and value-driven solutions. Dan has proven leadership experience ranging from evaluating and implementing technologies, building and migrating data centers, partnering with business executives, building and executing aligned strategies, and achieving organizational objectives and goals by leveraging IT capabilities. Dan has both an MBA and a Masters of Information Systems Management.

Dr. Kuntz has been with CRL since 2006 and is a Board Certified Toxicologist. He is a national expert in urine adulteration and drug detection in urine, oral fluid, hair, and sweat using GC/MS, GC/MS/MS and LC/MS/MS. He has worked in workplace drug testing for over twenty years. He has testified extensively for employment hearings, child endangerment proceedings, military court-martial courts, Federal merit system protection boards, the FAA, and Department of Energy regarding drug use, interpretation, and adulteration of urine samples. In addition to workplace testing, Dr. Kuntz has been involved for many years in developing drugs of abuse testing panels for medical professionals. Dr. Kuntz is an inspector for the SAMHSA and CAP forensic drug testing programs. He currently serves on the editorial board for Clinical & Forensic Toxicology News and as a consultant to the MRO Examination Development Committee for the Medical Review Officer Certification Council (MROCC). Dr. Kuntz received his B.S. in Pharmacy from North Dakota State University and practiced five years as a retail and hospital pharmacist. He went on to receive his Masters of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North Dakota State University. He further completed a post-doctoral program in biochemical toxicology at Washington State University and the University of Utah.

Dr. Clinton is a board certified clinical chemist by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Clinton serves as the laboratory director for CRL’s EU Laboratory and for CRL’s Olathe, KS laboratory, and as an assistant director of CRL’s General Laboratory and Molecular/Esoteric Laboratory. Prior to joining CRL in 2012, Dr. Clinton served as an assistant lab director and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Utah/ARUP Laboratories. Dr. Clinton holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry at the University of Utah/ARUP Laboratories. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (DABCC).

Dr. Verbeek joined CRL-EU in 2008 and is responsible for the operation of CRL’s European operation based outside of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Dr. Verbeek’s professional career spans over 25 years, beginning in global research, development and marketing of oncology drugs from Chiron/RPR in the Netherlands and Novartis and Roche in Switzerland. Dr. Verbeek has spent the second half of his career supporting the pharmaceutical industry in global clinical trials as Eurofins Medinet’s CEO and CRL.Medinet’s President. While President of CRL.Medinet, Dr. Verbeek partnered with CRL for a decade before officially joining the company. Dr. Verbeek has contributed to or authored numerous publications, abstracts and book chapters. Dr. Verbeek has a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the University Quebec, Montreal, Canada.

Brian Coens leads CRL’s Insurer Services business unit, which focuses on providing risk assessment services to life and other insurance companies. Mr. Coens has been with CRL since 1988 and has more than 25 years of experience in the life insurance industry, specifically in risk assessment and laboratory services. Mr. Coens was also instrumental in the founding of CRL PLUS, which is CRL’s affiliate that provides underwriting automation and services to life insurance clients. Mr. Coens holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Wichita State University.

Dan Wittman leads CRL’s business that focuses on the laboratory and risk assessment needs of employers and related intermediaries that ultimately serve employers. Employer and related customers rely on CRL for drugs of abuse, wellness, clinical and other laboratory and risk assessment services. Mr. Wittman also oversees CRL’s distributor/reseller customer channel. Mr. Wittman previously served as Executive Director of Toxicology Sales & Marketing for CRL. He has held numerous positions as he has advanced in leadership and responsibility since joining CRL in 1996. Mr. Wittman earned his MBA from Baker University.

Mark Magee has been with CRL since 1983 and has served as a CRL Vice President since 1988. He oversees CRL’s general laboratory operations, including the areas of chemistry, hematology, serology and urinalysis. In addition, Mr. Magee oversees customer operations for CRL’s Insurer Services business. Prior to joining CRL, he served as an Assistant Director at Enzyme Technology. Mr. Magee holds an MBA and a Masters in Physiology from the University of Kansas. He has a B.S. in Cellular Biology from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Plapp received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Following residency, he joined the faculty of the University of Kansas School Of Medicine, where he practiced pathology for five years. He then became Assistant Medical Director of the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City. During the next five years, he and his colleagues invented the solid phase red cell adherence method for pre-transfusion serologic testing that is presently marketed as Capture P and Capture R by Immucor, Inc. In 1987, Dr. Plapp joined Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO, where he served as Medical Director of Saint Luke’s Regional Laboratories starting in 1991. In 2015, he became a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Kansas University Medical Center, where he serves as medical director of Clinical Chemistry and Point of Care Testing, and also provides Laboratory Director services to CRL. Dr. Plapp has given more than 130 invited presentations and published more than 100 abstracts and 80 scientific articles. He holds seven patents and one software copyright. He also co-founded ClinLab Navigator, LLC, which is a comprehensive resource for healthcare professionals containing more than 800 laboratory test interpretations.

Dr. Tilzer received his medical training, residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas Medical Center. He was on the faculty of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the KU School of Medicine, eventually serving as professor of pathology, where he was nationally recognized for his pathology research. He was the first to suggest use of anti-progestins for treatment of inoperable meningiomas, a treatment still used today. He invented and patented novel techniques for extracting DNA and RNA using gel barrier technology, and in 1990, started Isogene Biotechnology, Inc., a biotech company that sold DNA purification systems. Known for his expertise in Patient Blood Management, Dr. Tilzer’s career also includes leadership roles in blood banking, including CEO of the American Red Cross Southwest Region. Most recently, he has served as Medical Director of the KU Hospital Clinical Laboratory, became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 2009, and currently provides Laboratory Director services to CRL. Dr. Tilzer is also the co-author of the Laboratory Test Handbook, which was the second largest-selling laboratory medicine book in the country.