He-Man serves as Antheia’s Chief Dog Officer (CDO), where he has worked diligently to make a paw-sitive impact on employee morale, team dynamics, and the company treat budget. In this blog, He-Man shares more about his exciting life at Antheia and his invaluable role in boosting morale.
From Humble Biotech Beginnings to Biomanufacturing Brilliance
Before my journey at Antheia, I had my paws in the biotech world for quite some time. I worked at two biotech companies prior to joining Antheia, where I honed skills in boosting team spirit and spreading joy, especially in the area of trashcan digging operations. I was one of the earliest hires at Antheia, joining my human, Antheia’s Chief Scientific Officer Kristy Hawkins, and CEO Christina Smolke, who co-founded the company. In addition to being told that I’m a good boy and a great team player, it’s also been said that they couldn’t have done it all without me. I agree.
One of my most important qualities as a teammate is my calm demeanor under pressure, which helps me focus on what truly matters, and encourages others to do the same. Whether we’re tackling complex scientific challenges or navigating intricate strategy decisions, I’m right alongside the team, reminding everyone that a little bit of positivity can go a long way. Picture this: Scientists engrossed in deep discussions about groundbreaking research and innovative biomanufacturing processes. You can imagine that it can be intense, so sometimes a little of my light-heartedness is necessary to keep the atmosphere balanced. I typically step in during meetings to unleash my charm and infectious energy, ensuring that everyone has a reason to smile. After all, a happy team makes for a happy workplace.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
I’m fortunate to have an excellent team by my side at Antheia. One of my closest collaborators is Suzy, the Head of DSP (they keep referring to it as Downstream Processing, but we all know it’s Doggy Snack Preparation). Suzy is responsible for crafting the most delectable lunches for my canine colleagues and I, a tradition that started originally with her lunch prep for her dog, Maddie. Here at Antheia, we have a culture of supporting the whole team, so over time, Suzy began making all of our lunches as well. She moonlights as the head of DSP, ensuring that our key starting materials (KSMs) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are purified and isolated.
Another important part of my role is serving as a mentor to the other dog employees. Ember, our Director of Dogs, joined us when she was just a pup with her human Ken, Antheia’s Head of Biology, and thanks to my guiding paw, she has climbed the ranks quickly. One of our more recent hires, Avo, is just getting her feet wet as an intern in Business Strategy, shadowing me and her human, Yen-Hsiang, who is helping her learn the ropes on the business side in his role as Head of Strategy, Partnerships, and Finance.
A Day in the Life
As a critical part of the Antheia team, I have the honor of uniting us through my cheerful presence and playful antics. Even when the scientists are grappling with the most intricate problems, a wagging tail can lighten the mood and a surprise “gas bomb,” as my mom calls them, can diffuse the tension and remind us all to find some levity in our day-to-day work. I take pride in setting these precedents for a dog-friendly office culture that embraces both productivity and playfulness.
But as any good executive knows, it’s not all fun and games. As CDO, I adhere to a purposeful routine to remind my team that I mean business. I spend much of my day patrolling the office, enforcing our open door policy so that my team and I can take full advantage of the best napping spots and access all the treats we need. Of course, I also attend meetings where my presence is a vital part of our work, and as part of our commitment to sustainability, I do a trash can inspection at 5pm to make sure no one is wasting their lunch leftovers.
“Have You Tried Trying?”
When I’m not busy fulfilling my duties as the CDO, you can find me moonlighting as a coach for elite powerlifters at Boss Barbell Club alongside my championship human. I’ve picked up some valuable insights from the gym that I apply to my role here at Antheia. Just like in the gym, teamwork, dedication, and a positive attitude are crucial for success – and just like how the lifters at Boss Barbell Club are the elite, best-of-the-best, so is our team at Antheia. That means I expect only the best of them. “Have you tried trying?” is my mantra. It may sound harsh, but I only use it to help push everyone when they need a little nudge to achieve their full potential. Every pound matters in the gym, just as every ounce matters in fermentation.
Being a Part of Something Bigger than Ourselves
Serving as the Chief Dog Officer of Antheia is a role I wholeheartedly embrace, from spreading smiles to fostering a sense of unity among our dedicated team members. I am committed to making every day at Antheia a paw-sitive experience for our teams so that they can continue to make groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in Biosynthetic KSMs and APIs. While we’re focused on making products for humans at Antheia, I know that synthetic biology has the potential to change the world for all types of problems – who knows what the future could hold for us dogs! This meaningful work drives me to be the best Chief Dog Officer I can be, day in and day out and I’m proud to be a steward of Antheia’s culture.