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posted: 5/22/2017 1:00 AM

Alex Garini, CFO of Sysmex America Inc. in Lincolnshire

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Q: Describe your company.

A: Sysmex is in the health care industry and manufactures medical diagnostic products. Our largest product line is focused on hematology (blood) testing products which can assist physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients.

We manufacture our instruments in our global headquarters in Kobe, Japan to maintain high quality and export to over 190 countries in the world.

Sysmex America is a regional headquarters located in Lincolnshire and has a factory in Mundelein to manufacture the reagents used with our instruments. We also have other facilities throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: Sysmex has a strong commitment to the region and we have been investing significantly in the U.S. as we continue to grow our customer base.

For example, we started the multimillion dollar expansion of our Mundelein manufacturing facility in the summer of 2015 and it will be completed this fall. We have other investments planned for the region to be announced later this year.

In addition, we have added many new jobs at our headquarters in Lincolnshire since we relocated in 2013.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: We've been successful in our core business -- hematology and in order to sustain high growth, diversification is key.

And due to economy and political situation, a lot of uncertainty resides in health care industry which could affect our customers and our actions.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: Innovation will continue to be a major driver within health care. This innovation will take many forms including those with analyzers, services, automation and big data in order to help the laboratories to make better decisions with the lowest cost.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie CEO, what would it be?

A: Listen and learn from your customers and fellow colleagues.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: High ethics, utmost professionalism and respect.

Q: What are a couple interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: We were included as part of the World's Most Innovative Companies in 2016 by Forbes, the only diagnostics company to be included on the list.

And Sysmex has around 50 percent of global market share and almost 60 percent in the U.S. in the area of hematology testing.

This means around 3.5 billion people in the world and almost 200 million people in the U.S. encounter our products, through blood testing at health care institutions like hospitals, clinics, reference laboratories and so on.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I like to spend time with my family and read books.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: Right now I am reading a very interesting history book called "Postwar -- A History of Europe Since 1945" by Tony Judt.

Tony Judt is a British historian who taught at Cambridge, Oxford, Berkeley and New York Universities. It is a very interesting account of the major developments in Europe after World War II.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I would most likely be working for the so-called Third Sector, either at a charity or NGO.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: I was an IT datacenter clerk back in 1989. I was working from 4 p.m. until midnight and then attended college in the morning.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: The United Center where the Chicago Bulls play.

Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why.

A: U2 and Rush (the Canadian rock band)

• In every issue, we interview a suburban business leader. We would like to hear from you. Contact Editor Kim Mikus if you are interested. kmikus@dailyherald.com.