Published: March 5, 2021
Q&A with Johnny Cheong
Meet Johnny Cheong, Senior Manager of Production for Apotex Pharmachem in Brantford, Ontario. He leads a team that is responsible for the production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients are a substance or combination of substances used in finished pharmaceutical products to provide a therapeutic effect. Johnny’s team produces more than 30 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient compounds year-round.
We asked Johnny about his experience at Apotex and what he looks for in potential candidates.
Describe your journey with the Apotex team.
I joined the Apotex team just over a year ago, in January 2020. I have been working on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients manufacturing for the last 14 years.
I was excited to join the organization because our core values – Collaboration, Courage, Perseverance and Passion – are aligned with my personal values and to have the privilege to contribute to our organizations’ impactful purpose each day.
My role as the Senior Manager of the production team is overseeing all production activities from our defined production plan. I ensure my team has all the required equipment and knowledge to be successful and feel supported in their role.
What do you enjoy most about working at Apotex each day?
I like the dynamic environment at Apotex, with production running 24/7, decisions need to be made quickly and accurately. My days are fruitful because I can see how much productivity my team and I have achieved throughout the day.
I also appreciate the colleagues that I work with, I continue to learn from their diverse backgrounds and expertise.
You are currently looking to fill seven Chemical Operator 1 positions on your team, what will that person be doing and what qualities do you look for in a potential candidate?
To support our continual growth, we are expanding our production workforce and looking to fill seven Chemical Operator 1 positions on the Apotex Pharmachem production team. These team members will be responsible for equipment setup, cleaning, process execution and monitoring. When looking at potential candidates, I look for someone who is honest, detail oriented to accurately record data, works with integrity and, someone who resonates with our Apotex values.
With this position potential candidates will have opportunities to grow into senior operators, team leads and eventually shift supervisors, leading their own teams if they have the desire and ambition to progress.
As a leader, how do you motivate your team?
One of the key elements I use to motivate my team is active communication – I see you. I want my team to always feel that they are being listened to. I ensure to take the time to explain the rationale of each project, as it relates to our purpose so that they can feel inspired in the execution of the work they are doing.
I support my team, through open communication, mentorship and, provide coaching opportunities to develop Apotex’s next generation of leaders.