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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 President and 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.

Albert Berger is the Chief Executive Officer of Confirm Biosciences, which was acquired by CRL in 2021. Before joining Confirm Biosciences, Albert was the CEO of Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, the largest single-site drug testing laboratory in the world, featuring a broad drug and alcohol testing portfolio that includes visual-read screening devices and laboratory testing services. In 2008, he led the acquisition of Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, Inc. by Alere (NYSE: ALR) on behalf of shareholders and private equity ownership group American Capital Strategies (NASDAQ:ACAS). In 2006, he negotiated the acquisition of Redwood Toxicology Laboratory Inc. to American Capital Strategies (ACAS). Previous experience included management roles at Tyco Electronics and United Parcel Service. Albert earned his MBA from Saint Mary’s College and a BS in Organizational Communication from the Hugh Downs School of Communication at Arizona State University.

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).

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

Dan Pichler is the 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. He 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.

T.J. Sotos is the Chief Operating Officer of Clinical Reference Laboratory. TJ has been with the company since 2008, serving in numerous roles in the areas of accounting/finance, supply chain, laboratory operations, customer operations, and sales and marketing. He is responsible for overseeing the core operating functions of the company, which include laboratory operations, supply chain management, facilities, and customer experience. TJ holds a BBA in Business Administration and an MBA, both from Southern Methodist University.

Dr. Stout serves as Chief Scientific Officer. 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.

Brian Coens leads CRL’s Insurer Services business unit, which focuses on providing risk assessment services to life and other insurance companies. He 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. Brian was also instrumental in the founding of CRL PLUS, which is CRL’s affiliate that provides underwriting automation and services to life insurance clients. Brian holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Wichita State University.

Allen Jones is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Clinical Reference Laboratory. He oversees all legal and compliance functions and serves as the company’s corporate secretary. Allen has over 15 years of experience practicing law in corporate and large law firm settings. He earned his J.D. and B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas.

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. Prior to joining CRL, he served as an Assistant Director at Enzyme Technology. Mark 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.

Jonathan Oberg is CRL’s Vice President of Digital Innovation & Strategy. Jonathan has helped companies solve their unique business problems via CRL’s services since 1989, serving in a number of IT-related roles and as a VP since 2007. Jonathan earned his MBA from the University of Kansas, and presently focuses on leveraging CRL’s lab & digital expertise in partnership with key clients to transform business processes.

James Sotos is the Vice President of Wellness and CRL Plus. He brings 10 years of experience across diverse roles, which include leading accounting, supply chain and various operational teams. He previously served as the Chief Business Officer of FormFox, Inc., a leading digital platform for safety sensitive industries. James holds a BBA in finance from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the University of Kansas.

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. He also oversees CRL’s distributor/reseller customer channel. Dan 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. Dan earned his MBA from Baker University.

Frank Ballard joined CRL in 2008 and is the Executive Director of Supply Chain and Facilities Operations. Frank has over 30 years in logistics and supply chain operations with various companies including Garmin, Scholastic, and Wal-Mart. Prior to joining CRL, Frank was a Supply Chain and ERP consultant. Franks hold degrees in Accounting and Business Management along with certificates in Environmental Health & Safety, Analytics, and Demand Flow Technology.

Dr. Clinton is a diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (DABCC).  He serves as the Laboratory Director for CRL’s Lenexa, KS and Olathe, KS general laboratories, and as an Assistant Director of CRL’s Molecular/Esoteric Laboratory. Prior to joining CRL in 2012, Dr. Clinton served as an acting Assistant Laboratory Director in Special Chemistry at ARUP Laboratories while training as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Utah Department of Pathology. Dr. Clinton holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Ph.D. in Molecular Sciences from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center.

Cheryl Hancock joined CRL in 2011 and is the Executive Director of Accounting. Cheryl has over 25 years of accounting and finance experience. Prior to CRL, Cheryl was the Assistant Controller at Waddell & Reed, Inc., a broker/dealer. Prior to Waddell & Reed, Inc., Cheryl was an audit Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was leading financial audits for various publicly traded and private companies. Cheryl is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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.

Iliana is the Executive Director of Customer Operations. Iliana has been with CRL since 1997 and has more than 25 years of experience in customer service. She oversees client and support services across all lines of CRL’s business. Iliana is responsible for directing the teams on the day-to-day operations as well as the analysis and review of the operations, team development, and client satisfaction for optimal client interactions. Iliana and the teams work closely with clients to ensure all needs and expectations are met. Iliana holds an MBA from MidAmerica University.

Valerie Pounders joined CRL in 2022 as the Executive Director of Human Resources. In this role, she offers strategic guidance related to talent acquisition, total rewards, employee relations, workers’ compensation, and other personnel-related matters. With nearly 20 years combined prior experience as Vice-President of Human Resources with Liberty Hospital and various HR & management roles with Walgreens, Valerie provides expertise in team engagement, program development, and change management.  Valerie earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and holds her SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications.

Barbara Rowland has been with CRL since 2018 and is the Executive Director of Toxicology. She manages the day-to-day operations for the CRL SAMSHA certified laboratory. She holds certification with the National Registry of Certified Chemists as a Toxicological Chemist and also the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. She has worked in workplace drug testing for over 30 years and has performed testimony for urines and oral fluids. She was a member of the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Testing Advisory Board between 2008 – 2012. She was President of the Midwest Association for Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring between 2004-2005. She is an inspector for the SAMHSA and CAP Forensic drug testing programs. She received a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Tennessee and later received an MPA from the University of Memphis.

Ray Smith is the Executive Director of Enterprise Services. Ray has been with CRL since 1994, serving in multiple roles on our Information Technology team. Ray has proven to be an innovative, results-oriented leader. Ray is responsible for the daily operations of the entire technical team, ensuring all systems are performing and maintained properly. He strategizes with both business leaders and clients to ensure all service level expectations are met and works to set the strategic direction of our technology.