Sterling Snapshot | Chad Telgenhof, Chief Commercial Officer
05th Sep 2023
As Chief Commercial Officer, Chad is responsible for the commercial performance of Sterling, including the global business development, partnership management and marketing teams. Prior to assuming his position as Chief Commercial Officer, Chad was the Site Head and EVP of Sterling’s Wisconsin facility.
Can you briefly describe your background?
My career in the API contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) industry spans more than 25 years across organisations including Cambrex, Lonza, Johnson Matthey, Hospira, and Cambridge Major Labs (Alcami) whose Germantown, Wisconsin facility was acquired by Sterling in 2020.
I began my career as a Production Supervisor and since then, I have experienced a variety of duties during my time in the industry. I have been employed in process and project engineering; maintenance, engineering and operations management, as well as local and global site and network strategy leadership roles. I can now see how each career opportunity along my journey has provided me with different technical skills, knowledge and leadership tools that have been essential in helping me to achieve my goals today.
Can you tell us a bit more about your current role?
My responsibilities as Chief Commercial Officer include providing leadership to an amazing global team of colleagues in business development, partnership management, commercial operations and marketing disciplines. Our team works to identify, attract, onboard and retain customers throughout the different stages of our partnership. Being visible to our customers and internal teams is very important to me, so I try to invest my time accordingly to ensure that I am both visible and accessible.
At Sterling, we aim to be easy to work with. This is why I am eager to remain close to our customers’ projects, stay connected and maintain visibility. Doing so enables me to provide the right level of support to our customers, no matter where they are in their journey with us; from assisting during the onboarding process to participating in project team calls where needed.
As a member of the executive team, I am involved with helping to shape and support the organisation in delivering Sterling’s strategy, vision and growth ambitions for the future.
Chief Commercial Officer
BS in Nuclear Engineering, Thomas Edison State University
How has your previous experience supported you in your role as Chief Commercial Officer?
Sterling’s customers are very often scientists or come from technical backgrounds, and therefore our commercial interactions with them tend to be more technical in nature. The experience and knowledge I have gained over the course of my career helps me to communicate with our customers more effectively and to better appreciate, and even anticipate, project intricacies and potential challenges.
Additionally, my experience across various organisations in the CDMO market has equipped me with a unique perspective and hands-on training with many of our industry best practices. I’ve experienced my fair share of both technical and relationship challenges along the way that have helped to shape my approach as a leader today.
What are some of your top priorities in your position?
I focus on strategic business development, developing customer relationships, market analysis, pricing strategies and ensuring Sterling’s growth and profitability. That focus includes overseeing customer engagement to drive revenue and market expansion. Internally, I collaborate with our cross-functional teams to align business goals and enhance Sterling’s competitive edge.
In addition to my external focus, I am equally committed to ensuring that we are providing opportunities for the personal and professional development of our employees. Retaining the talented colleagues we have today is just as important as recruiting new team members to join our growth journey. Having the right talent, in the right places, doing the right things, will help us to future proof our business, ultimately creating a more seamless experience for our customers.
Our values are really important to us, and we use them to guide our decision making across every level of the organisation.”
How does our culture at Sterling support our customers?
We put the customer at the centre of everything we do, which ensures that our employees are constantly striving towards meeting our customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations. Our values guide each of our interactions with our customers, which ensure transparent communication, willingness to proactively and collaboratively solve problems. This is all while ensuring we are reliable; always doing the right thing, and demonstrating that we care about our customers and their projects. Ultimately, we want to be an enjoyable partner to work with.
Our values are essential, and we use them to guide our actions and our decision making across every level of the organisation. It is vital that each of us are seen as role models for these values by our customers, our colleagues and our stakeholders.
What does the future look like for the commercial team? What is your vision?
The future is exciting! We will continue to adapt and optimise the structure, services and the capabilities of the commercial team to align with our growth ambitions. We will recruit new talented team members to support us in our journey, while creating exciting and unique growth opportunities for current employees.
I look forward to supporting the business’ longer term aspirational goals. We aim to be a £1 billion revenue business, through both organic and inorganic growth and so it is an incredible time to be part of Sterling. Our future is bright.