For the Record with Brad Goskowicz, CEO, Microbiologics

May 31  

Brad Goskowicz joined Microbiologics as Chief Marketing Officer in 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2010 as part of a planned transition. Brad has a degree in Medical Technology with a double major in Chemistry and has been an executive in the Medical Device Industry for over 25 years. Some of Brad’s achievements include winning the Cornerstone Award and Granite Equity Partners Executive of the Year, being listed as one of the 100 People to Know in 2017 by Twin Cities Business, and being named as a finalist in the 2016 EOY Entrepreneur of the Year and 2013 Marquette College of Health Sciences Alumnus of the Year. Brad was also inducted into the U.S. Speed Skating Hall of Fame as a Contributor to the Sport. 

In addition to his duties as Microbiologics CEO, Brad is actively involved with the Greater Saint Cloud Development Corporation, the Saint Cloud Downtown Council, Central Minnesota Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the American Association of Lab Accreditation, and sits on the AOAC International Board of Directors. 

Give us Microbiologics’ elevator pitch. 

Microbiologics is a leading biological products and services provider, focused on protecting the health and safety of people around the world. We partner with healthcare and life-science companies to co-create and provide biological control materials, research and development assay services and consulting for microbiology, molecular diagnostics and virology. At the heart of everything we do is an uncompromising commitment to supporting our partners on the frontlines and creating confidence is science. 

As a leader, how has your role changed during COVID-19?  

I believe the principles of the role are unchanged. Extending and inspiring trust, defining purpose and communicating a clear vision are more important than ever. What has changed dramatically is the tactics needed to be effective within that role. The communication piece has become more important, even as it has become more difficult. As a leader, I am finding new ways to be visible, to be present. It has become more important to create confidence and reassurance. It is critical to recognize that everyone has suffered significant losses in their lives and are struggling with daily challenges. Flexibility, creating support and an additional emphasis on wellness has been critical for us getting through the year successfully. 

How have you pivoted your company to address the needs that have risen since the onset of COVID-19? 

When the pandemic and lockdown hit, our business saw large drops in revenue as our pharmaceutical, diagnostic and clinical partners shifted all resources towards, testing methods and the creation of new antivirals and vaccines to fight COVID-19. In April of 2020, we decided to build out specialized facilities that would enable us work with the virus, so we could support our partners on the frontlines. Within two short months, we had remodeled an existing facility, developed protocols, trained staff and had initiated projects to support our partners, many of whom were involved with BARDA projects as part of Operation Warp Speed. That initial facility has since increased capacity and we have added two more facilities with a fourth in the planning process. I am continually in awe of our folks here at Microbiologics and their ability to pivot so quickly and so successfully. 

Where are the big milestones to come in the next few years for Microbiologics? 

2021 marks the 50th Anniversary for Microbiologics, and our coming milestones are all about adding capacity and capability. We believe that after reaching record levels in the last year, we can double our size in the next 5-6 years. Our long-term goals have a lot to do with sustainability. One of our goals is to be in business for one hundred years. Lately, I have been thinking about what a Microbiologics Super Bowl commercial would look like in 2030. 

What does leadership look like to you? 

Certainly, there are dozens of skills, traits and actions that are associated with great leadership. To me, the most important traits that great leaders have in common are being genuine and truly caring for others. Being genuine inspires trust, especially when the going gets rough. In the case of truly caring for people, having empathy, I don’t think you can fake it. People can tell and feel if you really care.   

What is the best advice you have received in your career?  What is the worst? 

Some of the best advice I have received is to make it a personal goal every year to find an “A” player, a game changer and bring them into the organization. They will ensure the organization grows and your vision is attained. The worst advice I received was to “take care of number one.” People will not give you their passion, their energy their best effort, if it is all about you! 

What have been the most rewarding moments in our career? 

This year, the ability to create biomaterials to support the fight against COVID 19 has been fantastically rewarding. It gives all our teams a great feeling of purpose as we create these biomaterials and services to support our mission of “creating a safer, healthier world.” 

What is one personal goal for the upcoming year? 

I am planning to spend more time with family, especially my newest grandson, Ethan. 

How do you relax / decompress? 

I like spending time in the woods and on the water. 

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community? 

There is so much more we can do collectively than individually. The collaboration, sharing and advocacy of Medical Alley is both extensive and extraordinary. There is nothing else that is comparable in scale and effectiveness. 

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