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Tonya Mallory


Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc.
737 N. 5th Street, Suite 103
Richmond, VA 23219



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BS, Virginia Commonwealth University
MS, Virginia Commonwealth University

Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:

Venture Forum: Richmond, VA
Virginia Biotechnology Association
American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Treasurer of the Lipids and Lipoproteins Division

Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?

Hiroshi Shima, past President of Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. I worked with Mr. Shima on and off for a period of almost 19 years. The biggest impact Mr. Shima had on both my personal and professional career was the understanding of cultural diversity, humility, the importance of working with emotional intelligence and the importance of creativity (using both my right brain and left brain) in all aspects of life, especially technical areas. By example, I learned that respect is often dictated by position but only maintained by actions. It is often difficult to “do the right thing” but well worth the effort.

What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?

Both personally and professionally, my biggest accomplishment has been the foundation and start of Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. This start up took place in the largest economic down turn since the US Depression and patience, strength, and belief that it can be achieved was the beginning. Strength and creativity not to conform to status quo has allowed us to create a business model with far reaching health impact for patients and physicians has been extremely gratifying.

What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?

Imagine your life and live the life you imagine with confidence, boldness and patience – but be prepared to work really hard.

How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?

This is always difficult. Sometimes this means that I let the small stuff go that do not matter as much – like having the house spotless and the garage clean. However, my children are teen agers and I have an unbelievably supportive husband and so collectively we communicate and I explain so there is an understanding when things are imbalanced. I make sure I never miss a sporting event, a teacher’s conference or other school event and I clearly understand what is important to the kids and my husband.

When you were growing up, what did you want to be?

I have always been fascinated with pathology and I always wanted to be involved in patient care.

What is your favorite book or movie and why?

There are so many good books and movies. I really can’t say which ONE is my favorite. Depending on the day/mood, I sometimes prefer one over others but it is not a constant favorite.

I have two favorite movies – Citizen Kane & Fisher King

I first saw Citizen Kane 25 years ago and I still admire the story, especially in the context of the error in which it was first produced. Kane’s career was started with idealistic social service, but gradually evolved into a ruthless pursuit of power. It is always a reminder to me that power and money are not a measure of success to me.

Fisher King is a favorite because it rings home the belief that I have that everyone has a story and sometimes we need to go outside our comfort zone and be a little brave to do the right thing.

What are two things about you that not many people know?

I speak a small amount of conversational Japanese and I enjoy painting – bright colorful and abstract.

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