Heroes Of The COVID Crisis: How Kyle Y Flanigan Stepped Up To Make A Difference During The Covid-19 Pandemic

February 15, 2024

Kyle Y

Reflecting on my team and how they went above and beyond during the pandemic, I had a glimpse of what it means to be a hero. The team performed well beyond what anyone in the industry expected, executing a Phase I Human Clinical Trial for COVID-19 while conducting core business pharmaceutical operations. These individuals had families and lives outside of work to contend with, but they risked continued exposure to complete the COVID-19 vaccine program tasks.

With our 16-person, small but mighty team, they are the true heroes.”Dr. Kyle Flanigan

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff

As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing, Kyle Y. Flanigan, Ph.D.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Dr. Kyle Flanigan, CEO and Co-founder of US Specialty Formulations LLC (USSF), is an expert in all pharmaceutical and medical performance materials development stages. One of the few Black owners of a biotech firm, Dr. Flanigan applies the Agile High-Performance Teams system to facilitate collaboration and problem solving — ensuring each of their and their clients’ products go to market efficiently and seamlessly. With a credentialed portfolio that includes a range of vaccine candidates, small molecule formulations and botanical pharmaceutical-grade extracts, Dr. Flanigan has the expertise and equipment to bring a safe, accessible mucosal COVID-19 vaccine to market.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I was born in St Louis, Missouri, and grew up with parents who were deeply involved in science. All aspects of pharmaceuticals and the chemistry industry surrounded my three siblings and me. With my father’s pharmaceutical and regulatory expertise, we moved every few years as required by his corporate demands. As a result of my mother’s drive, my siblings and I were highly motivated to achieve academic success. I had a solid foundation in reading, writing, arithmetic and music. All this led to a healthy upbringing with structure, fun and awareness of the sensitivities of culture, race and religion. My mother actively ensured we were provided with opportunities and would challenge any instances of prejudice against the color of our skin.

My grandparents instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in me — and it was a natural progression for me to follow in their combined footsteps..

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. This book dives into the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience, offering insight into our “two minds” — the rational and the emotional — and how they together shape our destiny.

As a Black man, any form of a strong opinion or assertiveness comes across as overly aggressive. This book gave me a new perspective on sharing my opinion authoritatively and respectfully, thus minimizing the fear and insecurity that being Black generates in others.

It has helped me, as a leader, when talking to employees, setting organizational goals and discussing technology or business matters with potential investors to communicate, frame and create context based on my attunement to their specific emotional state.

Emotional intelligence has allowed me to identify people’s feelings and expand my thinking while removing emotional barriers. I choose words and present ideas to convey my point, meeting my audience with minimal resistance from an emotional reference.

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