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Sandra Lee Leadership Spotlight WholeFoods Magazine

Sandra Lee Leadership Spotlight WholeFoods Magazine

Leadership Spotlight Sandra Lee, New Jersey Laboratories, dba NJ Labs
Home of NJ Labs

The NJ Labs CEO is on a mission to promote quality that is transparent in analytical testing to the nutraceutical & dietary supplements industry.

Transparency and Integrity are essential in everything we do, from working with formulators to partnering with manufacturers, because it’s crucial for the health and safety of consumers.” – Sandra Lee, CEO, NJ Labs

Founded in 1936 as a dairy testing lab, NJ Labs has been a mainstay in the testing industry by growing its reputation for quality and for being ahead of its time for pioneering carefully standardized analytical testing methods and control systems.

NJ Labs is a 3rd party/contract testing laboratory performing chemistry, microbiology, and stability testing for raw materials and finished products using USP, EP, BP, JP, and FCC methods. The company’s rigorous Quality Assurance program and comprehensive reporting protocols ensure data integrity and withstand FDA scrutiny. 

Passionate about “Going Beyond Testing,” NJ Labs offers data-driven quality assurance documentation, GMP audits, quality assessments and a corrective action process. NJ Labs is your trusted partner in navigating the complex challenges of testing ingredients, ensuring the quality of nutraceutical and dietary supplements that consumers can rely on.

Today, under the leadership of current CEO Sandra Lee, NJ Labs is on a mission to promote the importance of quality and transparency within the nutraceutical & dietary supplements industry. As a scientist and one of the few female CEOs in the analytical testing industry, Lee has a passion for chemistry and microbiology and how it influences multiple aspects of our daily lives. Prior to leading NJ Labs, she held many scientific roles at both Cardinal Health and Pfizer, where she recognized the importance of uncompromising quality through chemistry, not only from the company’s perspective, but also from the consumer’s perspective of product safety and public health needs, which is a central theme for her Going Beyond Testing podcast series

“Transparency is essential in everything we do, from working with formulators to partnering with manufacturers, because it’s crucial for the health and safety of consumers,” says Lee. “Companies need to demonstrate that their products are safe through rigorous testing and honesty with their customers. A trusted lab must be a true partner to manufacturers, providing accurate results even when they aren’t what the manufacturer hoped to hear.”

Today, NJ Labs runs the full gamut of testing from micro to metals analyses. NJ Labs specializes in analytical chemistry and microbiology testing for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, dietary supplement, cosmetic, chemical, botanical and Hemp/CBD industries. NJ Labs is privately owned; FDA and DEA inspected; and certified for full-service contract analytical testing. Its team of scientists and researchers continue to work to build upon the lab’s legacy of developing and validating test methods for raw materials and finished products

Transparency and Integrity are essential in everything we do, from working with formulators to partnering with manufacturers, because it’s crucial for the health and safety of consumers.” – Sandra Lee, CEO, NJ Labs

Diverse Industry Knowledge

NJ Labs stands out in the industry by leveraging its extensive experience across pharmaceutical, supplement, and other sectors worldwide. The company’s reputation for excellence is reinforced by hosting audits from both clients and prestigious regulatory bodies such as the FDA and DEA. This rigorous audit process fosters continuous growth and improvement.

“Our unique interactions with auditors from diverse backgrounds and our collective centuries of experience enables NJ Labs to consistently collaborate, innovate, and share invaluable knowledge with our partners and within our industry,” says Lee. “This positions us as a superior partner in ensuring the highest standards of quality and transparency.”

Believe in the Science

NJ Labs Industry Recommendations & Adopting these practices for your internal or external testing labs will lead to safer products for consumers.

  1. Establish standardized testing protocols and methods recognized and accepted within the industry.
  2. Use standardized, validated USP test methods to minimize errors and ensure reliable, consistent results.
  3. Test raw materials when they are coming from various sources and use consistent test methods for the same products.
  4. Develop standardized test methods for all finished products, ensuring consistent test methods for the same products resulting in accurate results. 
  5. Implement robust quality management systems, such as Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and ISO 17025 accreditation.
  6. Validate (IQ/OQ/PQ), calibrate, and perform preventive maintenance on all instruments. 
  7. If using a 3rd party service provider, ensure of their accreditations. 
  8. Ensure integrity of test data with proper record-keeping, secure storage, and data backup.
  9. Conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential sources of error or contamination and implement mitigation strategies.

By adhering to these established scientific methodologies, NJ Labs enhances the safety and reliability of supplement testing. This not only promotes consumer access to effective nutraceuticals and supplements, but also strengthens the brand reputations of their manufacturers.

Leadership is Continuous Growth

Investing in leadership work culture is one of the most important steps to gaining successful business decisions, maintains Lee. The work truly starts at the top, where the entire leadership team focuses on continuous growth in assertive and active communication, sustaining, and guiding the rest of the company.

True leadership requires sacrifices and the ability to be selfless to a degree. A company never grows unless the leader is willing to set aside their needs and support the rest of the company. The key is to ensure the core leadership team develops active listening skills with minimal biases. NJ Labs constantly reinforces through its leadership team that there is zero tolerance for not respecting everyone, no matter the age or experience. 

We Are All Consumers!

“In the end, we are all consumers, and as consumers, we trust product manufacturers to do the right thing,” says Lee. Transparency and communication with clients, regulators, and stakeholders about testing processes, methods, and limitations are crucial. Staying updated with relevant regulations and guidelines for food and supplement testing ensures alignment with evolving requirements.

Lee, along with her team, has spearheaded NJ Labs’ efforts to promote the importance of testing, educating consumers about the safety and effectiveness of the products they use. One such effort is the podcast series “Going Beyond Testing” (access it at https://njlabs.com/go-beyond-testing-series/), which provides an insider’s look at testing practices. It emphasizes the importance of analytical testing, transparency, and integrity, covering areas such as potency and heavy metal testing, and explaining what types of companies should be testing their products. 

Lee is also a thought leader and speaker at events like Supply-side East and Supply Side West, and an active board member of industry associations such as the Organic and Natural Health Association and Naturally NY. NJ Labs’ mission with these initiatives is to provide science-based information, educate about the benefits of testing, and foster dialogue that could influence policies promoting healthier, more effective products.

Go Beyond Testing With NJ Labs

NJ Labs with a legacy of over 85 years, specializes in analytical chemistry, microbiology, and stability testing for your raw materials and finished products using USP, EP, BP, JP, and FFC tests methods, primarily in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, supplement, cosmetic & academia industries

Based in New Brunswick, NJ, the company’s state-of-the-art lab excels in complex USP and FCC testing methods. NJ Labs is FDA and DEA registered and inspected, ISO 17025:2017 accredited, and CGMP certified, ensuring strict regulatory compliance.

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