We are nearly at the end of our talk with CFO Tracy Curley when she mentions her two adult children.
“I’m really blessed that they knew how important my career was to me when I was raising them,” remarks Curley, who recalls that during their younger years, it was not unusual for the children to find their mother in bed late at night answering emails on her laptop.Read More
Suddenly, the questions populating the margins of our handwritten notes no longer seem to nag at us.
Why did she work for KPMG as long as she did (6 years)? Why did she move to Honolulu? Why did she not arrive in the CFO office sooner?
Certainly, Curley is not the only finance leader and parent who has confessed to us a woeful email habit. However, she may be the first to allow us to witness the habit through the eyes of children. With one stray comment, the career path that we’ve been discussing for 40 minutes comes more sharply into view.
Like many of the women finance leaders with whom we’ve spoken, Curley has taken longer to reach the CFO office than our average CFO guest (21 years), and indeed her path has clearly been punctuated by more than her own professional priorities.
During the early years of her career, Curley was married to a military officer—a match that she says placed her in a life where “the spouse followed along.” At once, her stints with KPMG in Kansas City, Honolulu, and Boston make better sense to us.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that marriage was not Curley’s only experience with the military. It turns out that she was among the third class of women admitted to the U.S. Military Academy and attended West Point from 1979 to 1981. When she left West Point without graduating, she was not alone. The high attrition rate for West Point’s female cadets among its early classes—particularly in their third year—was alarmingly high. Besides the rigors of a military educational program, women cadets often faced the wrath of certain male cadets who wanted to see the women fail.
“They now have more than 100 women who have graduated from Ranger School—to me, this is just phenomenal,” says Curley, referencing the Airborne and Ranger training program at Fort Benning, Georgia, known to be one of the most grueling courses in the Army.
As is the case with many women finance leaders, it’s not always what appears on their CFO resume that’s most important, but what doesn’t.
Comments Curley: “My son decided to become a CPA and is now a partner at KPMG, and my daughter is now an elementary art teacher.” –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about iSpecimen … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Curley: With our proprietary marketplace platform, we connect researchers to biospecimens so that they can accelerate medical discoveries. We are a marketplace company, but even though we are in the life sciences space, we are also a technology company. What we are providing to our customers is biospecimens—tissue, fluid, you name it—and human specimens.Read More
We provide these so that we can accelerate discovery and research in many areas. Our customers are pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, even the government—the CDC, the Department of Defense, and so on. Basically, anybody who’s doing research. Our platform allows researchers to look at what we have to offer and see if we can match their needs. If we can, then they can order online. If we can’t, then we can help them to find what they want.
About 50% of our revenue comes from what we call “prospective” specimens, which means that they don’t exist. We go out to our supplier network and look at their patients to try to identify one who might be coming into the lab in the near future and would meet the desired criteria. We would then facilitate the access to that patient specimen that meets the criteria that the researcher needs for what they’re doing. With precision medicine—or what we call “customized medicine” now—researchers are getting much more specific in what they want to look at when they’re researching, and our platform allows this. Our industry is very fragmented. We’re the only company that has a platform like this. Everybody else does it manually, and they’re all small Mom-and-Pops. It’s an industry that’s ripe for roll-ups.
iSpecimen | www.ispecimen.com | Lexington, MA