Experts in testing and regulatory services, Dell Tech Laboratories finds a place to call its own
Photo: Dell Tech Laboratories president, Jennifer Grant, and lab services manager, Joe McCarthy
JENNIFER GRANT SET out to find a new career; that turned out to be the least of it.
Five years ago, the entrepreneurially minded biochemist was introduced to Dell Tech Laboratories. Established in 1980, it was looking for someone interested in joining the company with the intention of buying it, if the fit was right.
The fit was indeed right. After a year working as general manager, Grant became president and 60 per cent shareholder in 2016. Her minority partners are the previous two owners: founder Bob Dell, and his successor, Stephen Chambers.
“Both have been very supportive. My only regret is that I didn’t meet them earlier in my life,” Grant says, pointing to Dell’s second chapter in particular.
“The challenge for our clients is that the regulatory framework changes every year. We help them stay ahead of the changes so their labels conform to new guidelines” —Jennifer Grant
After a trip to Uganda in 2001, Dell set about to help deliver clean water to the people he met. He discovered SODIS, a model for solar disinfection, refined it and created a model to teach the process on a mass scale. Six years later, working with Compassion Canada, he founded WaterSchool, a project that has reached nearly one million people since.
His name and can-do spirit continue at the company.
Part of Grant’s five-year plan when she became president was to move to a building the company would own, after 25 years at the Western Research Park on Collip Circle. She did that last fall, moving to a new building on Hyde Park Road, behind Wolf Motorcycles.
Grant is partners in the property with Wolf owner, Mark Minnie, along with Dave Lamers and Rob D’Amico, owners of the new restaurant next to Wolf, Taverna 1331.
At 3,200 square feet, Dell Tech’s new home is no larger than its old home, but it is a more modern space for the nine employees. “It’s open concept now, with space for more people if necessary,” Grant says. “The labs are the same size. The transition has gone very well.”
Dell Tech continues its core business, consulting with companies that make, handle and market regulated chemical products. It helps small- and medium-sized companies conform to labelling and other ever-changing regulations. It also runs a test lab for companies of all sizes, verifying performance claims for dozens of consumer products, such as cleaners, cosmetics and other household chemical items.
“The challenge for our clients is that the regulatory framework changes every year. We help them stay ahead of the changes so their labels conform to new guidelines,” Grant explains. “When vaping products first arrived, we worked with companies to get that labelling right, for example.”
More recently, Dell Tech moved quickly to help some of its clients transition to making hand sanitizer when the need for that skyrocketed worldwide. Christopher Clark