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Paul Kenyon: Co-Founder and VP CompleteOrgan Product

July 24, 2018

Name: Paul Kenyon
Title: Co-Founder and VP CompleteOrgan Product
Years at OTTR: 25 years (1993 – present)
Hometown: Mitchell, NE
Education: Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Nebraska Lincoln, 1995. BS in Computer Science, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska Lincoln, 1988.

How I got into the business: I was recruited by Hubert Hickman in late 1992; Hubert and I sat next to each other in a class on Advanced Artificial Intelligence (CS976). I then met Dr. Byers (“Bud”) Shaw in early 1993. Hubert and I, and our spouses, incorporated the company and built a database for Dr. Shaw.

First job: Bagging groceries at Alexander’s grocery store in Mitchell, NE when I was 15 years old. Before that,  I was selling pumpkins out of our family garden and working on the family farm.

About my family: I will be married to my wife, Diane, for 30 years this September. We have two grown children. Eric is studying Mathematics and Physics at University of Nebraska Omaha, and Amy teaches English at Papillion South High School.

Accomplishments or milestones: I am very proud of our current year (2018) signed sales numbers. Historically, I am proud of having been a part of a team that grew revenue by 481% over 3 years (2000-2002). More trivially, a few years back I started counting airports that I had either taken off or landed at. I went to Austin this April; it was my latest “new” airport, and was my 102nd airport.

Biggest career break: I have gained just enough perspective to know just how lucky I have been in many ways, especially in having a sequence of great mentors. Some of them were people I wanted to be like. Some of them were very different from me, but I saw that they could teach me things. I think our biggest business break of the first 10 years of our company was selling OTTR (solid organ) into BJC Health Systems in St. Louis, in 1998. That project was a “make or break” for us. I think my biggest break during the last 10 years of our company was selling “OTTR BMT” to BJC Health Systems, with them recognizing that it was an idea more than a product.

The toughest part of the job: For me, the toughest part is knowing when to let go and let others run with it.

The best advice I have received: In 1998, a technology CEO told me, "the phrase ‘build it and they will come’ is the biggest lie told to technology innovators.” I think that and several other key events made me realize that I/we needed to not just BUILD technology, we needed to SELL.

Something else I’d like to accomplish: The funny thing is that by the time I know I have a new goal, I am already marching towards it. And I have to remember to tell people about it so they know where I am headed.

Book I finished reading recently: I just finished “Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir” by Thomas D. Jones. I have followed the U.S. space program since SkyLab. The U.S. space program is a lesson of science, engineering, funding and organizational dynamics (read bureaucracy and internal politics).

Something about me not everyone knows:  I am a member of the masonic fraternity.

How my business will change in the next decade: Medical science will continue to advance with cellular therapies and genomics. Healthcare will continue to evolve with more scrutiny for measurable performance metrics, and no less regulatory pressures. Healthcare delivery systems will become even larger and more integrated. Healthcare informatics organizations must either keep up or fall behind.

Outside interests: Family, church, masonic lodge (fraternity), Job’s Daughters International (youth organization).

Favorite movie: “The Hunt for Red October.”

Favorite cause or charity: