CEO of Carolina Liquid Chemistries Exclusive Interview

3 minute read

Phil Shugart

Q: How did you start your career with Carolina Liquid Chemistries (CLC)?

A: In 1997 after working 20 years in the medical device industry, I founded CLC in Southern California as a company making chemistry reagents. Now we offer more than 100 different reagent kits that are specific for our product line of chemistry analyzers that range in speeds from 200 to 8,000 tests per hour. To sell and support these highly complex systems requires dozens of nationwide technical sales and service, and an equal number of headquarter employees. We are poised for rapid growth over the next several years.

Q: Can you tell readers what goes on behind your doors every day at CLC? And how your company is playing a key role in innovative health care?

A: CLC is a medical device company that develops and markets clinical chemistry systems for hospital and physician office laboratories. These systems are used to measure patient blood for things such as cholesterol, glucose and sodium to aid physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Today, we have more than 500 laboratories using our chemistry systems.

Q: What led to your expansion in 2012 and move to Wake Forest Biotech Place?

A: The appeal of Biotech Place was the first class laboratory space, being in a community of scientists, and the impressive image it gives to our customers.

Q: What was the significance of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit for tenants in Biotech Place?

A: For the vice president of the United States to deliver a speech at Biotech Place highlights the importance of this facility and how what we do here helps to boost the economy. For me personally, that introduction was a high point of my career.

Q: CLC has opened a state-of-the-art customer instrument training and demonstration center. Can you tell us about it?

A: Every week we bring to Biotech Place medical technologists and physicians from all over the U.S. to a weeklong training session on how to operate our chemistry analyzers. All of our guests have been highly impressed with Biotech Place.

Q: Do you have any future goals/projects that you can mention?

A: CLC is developing several new tests for monitoring pain medication use. Shortly, we will bring to market the first and only point-of-care method for testing for hydrocodone (Vicodin), the No. 1 opioid for treating chronic pain. Other unique tests are in our pipeline.

Q: What is your favorite way to relax when not working?

A: Traveling, especially in Europe, is what I love to do. And I mean travel, like rent a car and go to as many places as possible, as opposed to staying in one city for a week.

Q: What would readers be surprised to know about you?

A: It is usually surprising to people that I have a 7-year-old son. Everyone always thinks he’s my grandson.

Q. Do you have any parting thoughts?

A: My grandfather and father used to ford the Yadkin River in a horse-drawn wagon to bring their tobacco here for auction. Their way of life was tobacco, and today mine is medical diagnostics.