Corey Veverka is the President of Total Validation Services, Inc (TVS, Inc.) and the San Francisco Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). He has over 21 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, commissioning, qualification, and validation in project management, budgeting, and planning for small and large capital projects.
Corey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University and has served as the President and Chair of Chapter Presidents Council for the Americas (NASSAC) at the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) San Francisco Chapter.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Corey Veverka talks about his first entrepreneurial excursion with an aerodynamic crew shell patent during the US Olympics
- Why the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a valuable tool for building leadership skills
- Corey shares his experience while attending the Global Leadership Conference (GLC) in Germany
- The importance of preparing your company for change through supportive technologies
In this episode…
Developing your leadership skills can take time, effort, and a supportive community. Is it possible to transform yourself into a leader that can take your company to the next level? How can you prepare your business, your clients, and your team for industry trends?
Corey Veverka and his team at TVS, Inc. provide comprehensive leadership support across all project milestones and deliverables. Corey knows the importance of adjusting your company’s capabilities to support rising technologies — and that a great leader is always ready to learn. If you want to turn your business into an enduring enterprise and inspire growth, this episode is for you.
On this episode of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, John Corcoran sits down with Corey Veverka, President at Total Validation Services, Inc. (TVS, Inc.) and the San Francisco Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), to talk about positioning yourself to become a better leader. Corey discusses how he turned a setback into a success, how the support network of like-minded leaders helped him grow, and aligning your company with technology for continued growth.
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Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.
John Corcoran 0:13
Hi welcome everyone John Corcoran here I’m the host of this show and check out some of our past episodes. We’ve got some great episodes with all sorts of CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs of all kinds of companies check out episodes with Netflix and Kinkos and YPO, EO activation, Blizzard lending tree OpenTable many more. I’m also co founder Rise25 where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And this is part of our Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Leadership Conference series The Global Leadership Conference, GLC is a conference where emerging business leaders is put on by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, EO each year, I’m a member of EO, as is my guest here today, Corey Veverka. And will be attending this year’s event and we created this series to highlight this particular conference, which will be in person and virtual in Washington, DC, April 23, to 26th 2022. And also going to have a portion of it in Barcelona, Spain. And it’s open to EO members worldwide to film to learn more about that, go to eonetwork.org. Or you can also Google EO Global Leadership Conference, and you can learn more about it. And my guest here today is Corey Veverka is the principal and chairs as president of total validation services, aka TDs, which since 1982, has worked with many of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, helping them with regulatory compliance solutions. He’s also been a member of EO San Francisco since 2016. He has held numerous leadership roles, including as president of the chapter between 2020 and 2021. He was a pandemic president who benefit from that crisis coming in place. And before we get into this course this episode is brought to you by Rise25 where we help b2b businesses get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with Dunphy podcasts and content marketing. You can go to rise25media.com To learn more about it. Alright, Corey, thanks so much for your time here today. And you’ve got this story that I wanted to start with, about your first entrepreneurial venture. I love hearing first entrepreneurial venture stories, whether it’s six years old, and doing a lemonade stand with your dad or your parents lawn. For you. It involved a patent in the Olympics, and it was right after college. So tell us the story.
Corey Veverka 2:16
Yeah. So growing up, I grew up with literally nothing. I mean, we were on, you know, assisted living in I worked. My mother, though, was an academic, so always instilled this sense of, of learning and, and making sure that the academics were taking care of. So I got into engineering, went into engineering as a into college, went to Villanova University, I was also an athlete. So I was a rower. So by the time I got to my senior year, we had to do our senior design project. So I wanted to immerse them those two things with engineering and, and sports. So I came up with an idea for to make boats go faster, make crew shells go faster. I submitted my design my senior design project, which was a fairing for a boat, shell reduced wind drag on just like a shell on top of 18 Wheeler. I put that on top of on the front of the boat. Did did all the design work showed that would be effective. I actually submitted that to US Olympic Committee, as a design in a design contest that the US committee puts put on, went to Colorado Springs presented on it won the competition. Okay, pretty cool. Got 1500 bucks. I was like, I’m feeling good. I thought, well, I should I should try to take this the next step. So I filed for a patent on it. I got a patent. I got some funding from from a from a relative to kind of start the business, which funded the patent application. So started getting the business things in order. And right this time, it was 1996 Olympics. And I got a call from the head coach of the US Olympic team, and said, Coach, and he said, Hey, I saw your design in a newsletter about this design competition. He said, Hey, I’m doing the exact same thing. I don’t want to take your patent, you know, this is all your IP. But would you mind collaborating and sharing your experiences with my designer? So I collaborate with a very established company, we modified the design and come into the 1996 Olympics. We were going to spring it in the finals of the Olympics. So because there was a little bit of gray area about whether it was legal or not, there’s nothing against it. We’ll just say there’s nothing against the rules. Like they hadn’t anticipated it. Exactly. Yeah. So the head coach wanted to just use it in the in the finals. So we’re so I go down to Atlanta. We’re just been waiting for the finals. Come up. Meanwhile In one of the preliminary rounds is Japanese protein, a guy puts on a turtle shell on his back, it’s still our idea to produce Wim drag. They let the guy go. But then they say like from that point on there’s big meeting there’s a big kerfuffle, nothing aerodynamic can be added to the boat. So, in one fell swoop the, the the governing body of the rowing Fiza killed my idea,
John Corcoran 5:27
kill the idea to kill the business all all done,
Corey Veverka 5:31
man. But that was my first entrepreneurial experience and just moved on from that.
John Corcoran 5:37
It kind of taught you the importance of there being one central authority that can determine whether your business rise. I think it was that was the year of the bombing in Atlanta. I thought you’re gonna say what happened and that that affected thing?
Corey Veverka 5:49
No, no, that we were we were away from that. But it was a little scary. Certainly.
John Corcoran 5:53
Yeah. Yeah. So, um, what a great story. So, but you joined TVS in 2002. And you work your way up into leadership into buying out the business and that, you know, you in a bit in as an entrepreneur as a business owner, through that tell us a story.
Corey Veverka 6:09
Yeah. So I, when I first joined TVS, I got recruited away from a larger company to TVS, which at the time was about 20 people or so with kind of the end with anticipation that I would move into leadership and maybe takeover one day. And it took much longer than than expected just because the way the owner he didn’t want to hold a note. He didn’t want to. He wanted to have a clean break. And so we always struggled with how to finance the the acquisition. And one day, I’m just listening on the radio. And I hear a bank say, hey, we do SBA loans provide for for business acquisition. Okay, so I called him up. And they said, and I told him that the circumstances, showed him some preliminary numbers. It took two years, but we we finally consummated a deal to that was SBA funded, and as of today, I am in the black on that, on that note, and it’s all worked out.
John Corcoran 7:13
Nice. So what was that transition like going from, you know, in leadership at a company to ownership of the company, I know you joined EO, not too long later, which probably was helpful as you are now the guy who is responsible for everything.
Corey Veverka 7:29
Yeah. EO, was certainly instrumental. I didn’t grow up as an entrepreneur, I had my, you know, kind of taste of entrepreneurship. But I had never pictured myself as a business owner. Growing up, I was more interested in the engineering side of things growing up, but so I hadn’t learned a lot of the business side, I had an engineering degree coming out of school, right. So certainly a lot of the the connections that I made that where is where I learned a lot of the leadership skills, which are different than managerial skills, right. So being a leader is a lot of those skills that I learned about being a leader came from, from EO. So that’s why y’all will forever have a place in my heart. And I so much appreciate that the unique skills and approaches that I’ve learned from from EO, about leading other leaders and growing a business.
John Corcoran 8:35
Yeah, and for you, one of the biggest challenges you’ve had, since you’ve been the owner was going to the pandemic, which is what’s interesting, too, is being president of the chapter at the same time, I’ve interviewed a few others who were president of their chapters, while their business suffered some kind of calamity, or major challenge. And they end up in this feeling of kind of, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but But you know, that on the one hand, they’re supposed to be leading this organization of thriving entrepreneurs, on the other hand, their businesses, you know, might be challenging and are experiencing challenges. And so it’s hard for them to come clean with that, you know, to say to everyone like I’m struggling here. What was that like for you?
Corey Veverka 9:18
So, luckily, my business was we had a little bit of a in the summer of 2020. As things were really starting to hit hard, we a little bit of concern and having problems placing people because our businesses is very much hands on we have to have our staff on site. But once we figured out a few of those things over the summer, my business was doing okay, just because of the the macro aspects of the pharmaceutical world and pharma pharmaceutical world. There’s this month there’s money pouring in from to tell the work production.
John Corcoran 9:57
So the work was right there. So it wasn’t like like restaurants or something where right where your clients were shut down, and therefore there’s no work for you.
Corey Veverka 10:05
Right? So there were adjustments that had to be made, but the business was doing well. So that gave me a little bit of space to, to devote to EO and leading the chapter because there were so many entrepreneurs in our chapter that were, you know, just devastated. You know, going to zero, right? Yeah, yeah. So helping put in place the structures to support the chapter was very gratifying for me. And allowed me to give back for everything that EO has given me.
John Corcoran 10:38
Yeah, got me to a place. Yeah. And why did you step up and decide to be president what, what motivated that?
Corey Veverka 10:44
Well, I saw, I admired other leaders within EO. I admired their approach. I admired how they talked to people how they lead, and I wanted to take that same journey, myself. So stepping up, year after year, being on the board for a while, and following other chapter presidents that I’ve had and that I had before me, I admired them, and I wanted to be like them. So I thought, Well, why not go through the same process that they did, and see where that takes me. And I was right. I think I’ve grown in my leadership skills. And I want to continue to grow in my style, and continue to give back to EO
John Corcoran 11:37
as literally how I ended up going to law school, was working in politics and seeing other lawyers and admiring how they would defeat me in any verbal argument and being like, I’d actually go to law school. But I think you ended up with a better gig becoming president in chapter. So you, you attended Global Leadership Conference for the first time in Frankfurt, Germany, you’d been a member of EO for seven or eight months at that point. What was that introduction? Like when you first went to GLC?
Corey Veverka 12:07
So, yeah, I had met a lot of EO’rs outside of my chapter. And that was the first time that I got to experience a worldwide event from EO. And, you know, I was having fun throughout the first parts of GLC, I learned a lot about being a communications director. That was that was essentially what I went to GLC for was was Mark ons. So I learned a lot about how to do that. And I met a lot of interesting people. But I think that the one thing that I that I really found like, okay, these are my people, is we had an Oktoberfest that they had set up in Frankfurt, Germany, and we had 1500 people packed into this little tent. Like we couldn’t do this today, right. 1500 people Yeah. And we’re all dancing on top of, you know, the skinny chip the skinny tables. Yeah, and just drinking beer and hanging out with people from all sorts of other chapters. It was just like, these are my people. These are good people that I’m gonna learn a lot from and have a lot of fun with.
John Corcoran 13:09
So much, so much fun. I went to one Oktoberfest in Munich, after college, and super fun. Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t imagine doing it with masks and everything. You also went to Toronto, you went to Macau. Macau had more of a structured learning component to it the the compensator volved, a little bit and it had to Chapter leadership training for Chapter officers talk a little bit more about that.
Corey Veverka 13:35
Yeah, by by that time, I did push things up a little bit in adding some, some takeaway, some practical takeaway for for everybody that had that attend GLC in a more structured way. And Pascal Finette, who was a part of Singularity University, at that time, was a futurist thinker. And he gave these amazing talks and brought in a whole bunch of people that talked about how quickly things are the things are changing how how quickly technology is changing, and how we need to be prepared for that rate of change. In everything that we do, whether it’s technology, whether it’s the speed of how business runs, everything changes very quickly. And so it really started to change my mind and refocus my my business which is regulatory compliance in pharmaceutical which moves pretty slow, but by nature, but
John Corcoran 14:37
but the industry you’re in biopharmaceuticals is on the bleeding edge. Right? I mean, you know, developing the next generation of pharmacists, pharmaceuticals and medicines that are helping so so in a sense, you’re, you’re you’re already in an industry that’s pretty cutting edge.
Corey Veverka 14:54
It is it’s it is what I realized out of that to your exact point, what I realized is that things are changing faster than I even realized. Because I was in the day to day you focus on kind of what’s in front of you. But then I, to your point, I’m realizing that yes, cell therapy and gene therapy applications are really moving quickly. And so adjusting our company’s capabilities to be able to support those new technologies. And looking forward a little bit more, I think it’s positioned TVS our company to be much more prepared and to add more value to our clients.
John Corcoran 15:35
What would you say to someone in EO, considering attending GLC
Corey Veverka 15:41
I would say you’re going to meet amazing people, you’re going to have fun, it’s going to put you outside of your comfort zone maybe. And that’s a good thing. You’re gonna learn a lot about what your role is as as a chapter director. And you’re going to become a better leader, by going to GLC
John Corcoran 16:02
great, Corey, thanks so much for your time. Where can people go to learn more about you and connect with you?
Corey Veverka 16:07
I’m on LinkedIn. Corey Veverka is my LinkedIn profile. Also my website, www.tvsinc.com. You’ll find all of them.
John Corcoran 16:17
Excellent. Corey, thanks so much. All right. Take care
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