…Where Humility meets Dedication,Commitment and Public Service
When the medical history of Guyana would have been written, the name ‘William Andrew Boyle’ will be carved into its pages. Referred to by many as Andrew Boyle or Andy, Mr. Boyle has pioneered medical laboratory services in Guyana, not only through the operationalisation of the Eureka Medical Laboratory (EML), but through the prominence he has given to the quality of health services in Guyana.
The foundation of his success is multifaceted. Many success stories have culminated through euphoric moments of self-drive or propelled by life’s experiences, driven by the admiration of role models or sparked by an imperious internal motivation. The Odyssey of Andrew Boyle’s success was built on his compelling self-drive, compounded by his warm, infectious and altruistic personality.
An astute businessman for the past twenty-three years, Andrew has built himself an empire with EML, with the support of his ex-wife and mother of his children, Dr. Karen Gordon, and three other businesses. A decorated citizen and philanthropist with several coveted awards, he is undoubtedly the manifestation of “Excellence” in Health and Entrepreneurship in Guyana and in the Caribbean.
The Guyana Inc. magazine has been privileged to get a glimpse into the life and trace the genesis of the intellectual, dedicated, altruistic 5 feet 10 inches embodiment of entrepreneurial victory – Andrew Boyle. This article captures the real-life experiences of his success journey which may resonate deep within many of us.
CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION
Born on May 11, 1964, Andrew is the third of ten children of Claudia and the late William Fitzgerald Boyle. He grew up in a family-oriented environment where his parents created a comfortable and modest home for their family at Haraculi, Kimbia, a remote area which is located 79 miles up the Berbice River.
As a lad, Boyle recalled the days when his daily chores entailed milking cows and watering plants before paddling for one hour in order to get to school. “I remember those days when I would paddle with my siblings to the Kimbia Primary school, even when it rained…”
He was elated when reflecting on the bond he shared with his parents and, more importantly, his grandparents; one which he described as “phenomenal.” The entrepreneur shared that this bond was one that has positively influenced his life to this very day. “I recall that it was my grandfather, Menzo Bender, who carved and shaped my values and mores, which are ingrained in the core principles I live by and practice in my daily life.”
I remember ‘Daddy’ (we referred to my grandfather as ‘Daddy’ from listening to our mother refer to him as such), and I would sit together and he would share very important lessons with me. One such lesson was, ‘Your word is your bond’. This meant that a commitment, once made, must be honored,” Boyle expressed. “My grandparents were super involved in the person I am today. My mom and dad were there for me too. My dad was not a teacher as such, but he was hardworking and taught me the value of dedication and discipline.”
A regimented daily routine at a very early age is what helped Andy to cultivate the necessary value system and attitude needed for success. This was reflected in his exceptional performance at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams. After his formative years at Kimbia Primary School, he commenced his secondary education journey at the New Amsterdam Multilateral School. At the NA Multilateral, as it is commonly called, he found his niche in the Science field, where he excelled effortlessly. He truly lived by Aristotle’s benchmark for excellence, “…We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” For his outstanding performance at the secondary level, the young Boyle was awarded a government scholarship to pursue his undergraduate studies in Microbiology in Cuba.
However, before his departure on this new academic journey, Andrew’s business prowess metamorphed. He returned to Kimbia to manage his parent’s grocery shop and bar. This brief stint inculcated core business ethics into his heart, including the value for money, customer service, integrity and respect.
The dream of owning and building his own medical laboratory in Guyana was germinated in Cuba. After successfully completing his course, he returned to Guyana in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and a Diploma in French and Spanish. Under his scholarship obligations, he gained employment at the Georgetown Public Hospital where he worked for five years, while simultaneously lecturing at the University of Guyana for ten years. He later left his teaching profession at the University of Guyana to focus wholeheartedly on his dream. To further strengthen his academic acumen, he later attained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Australian Institute of Business.
After completing his contractual obligations at the Georgetown Hospital on March 5, 1995, Boyle set out to establish a medical laboratory to meet the growing demand for quality laboratory services in Guyana.
Having carefully researched the market structure and analyzed Guyana’s economic and medical landscape, the idea moved from being a mere mental design to a physical one. The dream was trapped in his mind and even through confidence that it can be done, there were many stumbling blocks. “I was discouraged, even by some of my family friends, about this venture. One of my close friends told me not to waste my time. I remember going into the bank with a fancy proposal and I told them that I needed US$25,000. I recollect the bank manager saying, ‘What am I going to do with this?’ then threw it on the table. I felt so small. But that was not going to stop me. I pushed for my dreams. When you want something badly enough, you will work for it!”
Andrew persevered. His perseverance remained ignited by his former wife, Dr. Karen Gordon. Dr. Gordon was the wind beneath his wings and his greatest motivator and support in the fruition of his vision. She was his partner and was with him every step of the way, from the mind-mapping to the commissioning of the lab and, later, the expansion in and out of Guyana.
In spite of the naysayers and a humble start, the Eureka Medical Laboratory, located at 263 Thomas Street, North Cummingsburg, is now living and in colour. Boyle says the name ‘Eureka’, which has a Greek origin, is an interjection used to celebrate a discovery or an invention. Its meaning, “I found it!” was ideal, as it was a precise representation of the vision; a vision of a laboratory that would assist with the diagnosis of illnesses and support doctors and patients in their quest for health maintenance and restoration.
Eureka now has eight other branches. Seven in Guyana; in Parika, Anna Regina, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Linden, Bartica and Diamond and one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is managed by one of his brothers, Dr. Collin Boyle.
With a staff complement of almost 100, Eureka offers a diverse number of medical services, including regular check-ups, prenatal testing, chronic diseases tests, such as for diabetes, infectious diseases testing, ultrasounds, digital X-rays, medical clinics, exotic testing, food handlers’, food products, insurance medicals and more. You name it, they test it! Their practice uses cutting edge technology and equipment, providing their clients with quality and reliable health services.
Committed to satisfying the needs of their customers, when there was a gap and demand in the market for deoxyribonucleic acid testing (DNA), Andrew and his team answered the call. He sought a partnership with overseas-based DNA Diagnostic Centre (DDC) in Ohio, which has a stellar record in DNA diagnostic capacity. Through this partnership, Guyanese citizens can now access these services at a discounted cost. Complemented by DNA testing, EML services are related to endocrinology, haematology, clinical chemistry and microbiology.
On its quest to guarantee a diverse set of medical services available within the 83,000 square miles to the Guyanese populace, EML opened Guyana’s first Psycho Diagnostics and Family Therapy Centre. This entity is headed by Mr. Ren Gonzales, EML’s HR manager and Psychologist from the Philippines. This represents a pledge by Mr. Boyle and his team to provide quality health across the healthcare spectrum, to safeguard the physical, mental and social well-
being of all citizens. The mental health-intensive services offered include Counseling, Psychotherapy, Play Therapy for Children, Psychological Testing, Substance Abuse/Addiction Therapy, Family Therapy, Training and Contracted Services. As a country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, these services are paramount in protecting the mental well-being of the country. The public’s response in return to this service has been favourable and overwhelming.
EML is the first Laboratory in Guyana and one of five in the Caribbean which has achieved International Standards Organization (ISO) accreditation, thereby boosting the capacity and services at its seven satellite branches countrywide. It is the first solar-powered medical facility in Guyana and the first and, so far, only lab in the country to offer the SchuyNet Lab Information System (LIS) services, whereby test results can be accessed by doctors online, and in real time.
Earlier this year, EML launched it’s one of a kind Fast Track Services aimed at expediting phlebotomy service delivery and targeting time-strapped clients. The Fast Track Services have been engineered to ensure minimal delay through the elimination of long queues and tailored for on-the-go business clients, specifically executives and government officials. Extended services are offered from 07:00hrs to 22:00hrs daily, excluding Sundays, and are built on a guarantee of confidentiality and safety.
EML currently serves over 100 walk-in clients per day, (50%-60% of the industry market), an average of over 20,000 per year, and approximately sixty major companies, including the US Peace Corps. Senior citizens are also offered a 10% discount. The lab serves an average of thirty senior citizens per day – around ten thousand annually.
Boyle shared that the entity’s networks have been expanding tremendously and private-public partnerships are being garnered.
Eureka Medical Laboratory has cemented its place in the medical history and landscape of Guyana, but that isn’t the end of the road for entrepreneur Andrew Boyle. Under his business model, Boyle has established two other companies, Amazonia Farms Ltd. and Caribbean Wind and Sun Inc.
He is a director in the recently coined Eureka Atlantic Offshore Medical Services (EAOMS), a promising and solid partnership with Atlantic Offshore Medical Services (AOMS) of Newfoundland, Canada. EAOMS is now preparing to offer medical services to the evolving oil and gas industry. Boyle is super excited about the proposed role of this new collaborative venture.
Amazonia Farms is a project conceived five years ago. He noted that his father was into farming. Before the death of his father and in honour of his father’s dream, he and some of his siblings resuscitated the business of egg farming. Amazonia Farm eggs are currently being sold in most of the major supermarkets in Guyana.
The doors to the Caribbean Wind and Sun Inc., where Boyle is the sole director, were opened in March 2017. This business venture aligns with Guyana’s Green Development Strategy and is committed to providing a cleaner, greener energy mix through supplying green energy services.
Boyle, one of Georgetown’s most eligible bachelors, and a lover of the alto saxophone is the recipient of several awards, including PAHO/WHO’s award for an outstanding contribution to public health and leadership. He was also honoured and awarded by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce for innovation, in recognition of recorded breakthrough achievements in technology, processes, marketing campaigns and development. The Bank of Nova Scotia (Guyana) awarded Mr. Boyle and Eureka for being a laboratory with outstanding entrepreneurial achievement.
But his most prominent accolade is the Entrepreneur Laureate Award, which forms part of the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence (ANSCAFE). The Sabga awards, which is now the English-speaking Caribbean’s leading recognition programme, was initiated by Anthony Sabga, Founder and Chairman of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies.
The awards programme was launched in October 2005 and, as of 2015, focuses on four areas: Arts & Letters, Science & Technology, Public & Civic Contributions and Entrepreneurship. Boyle is the first Guyanese to win the award in the Entrepreneurship category.
Boyle, smiling from ear to ear, was more than ecstatic
to recap the day he got the call that he was the recipient of the coveted award. “When I got the call, it was a Friday afternoon. A young woman, Maria, called and said, ‘Mr. Boyle, good afternoon, are you sitting?’ And I said, ‘Yes I am.’ Then she said, ‘I am happy to let you know that you have been chosen as the Entrepreneur of the Year. Would you accept this accolade?’ My heart stopped beating, I think, because it is such a coveted award… And I shouted out in my office, ‘Oh Wow! Oh My God!’ Maria, who obviously was not surprised by my outburst said, ‘Ok! Ok! Take a moment to enjoy…” and she waited. That was truly an awesome feeling. It was one of the best moments of my life and I would never ever forget that afternoon. To be named the Entrepreneur of the Caribbean, it was a tremendous achievement!”
“The award ceremony, which was held in Jamaica, was magical; very much like the Oscars, with lots of pomp and ceremony. It was truly mind-blowing and was streamed live throughout the Caribbean. I received loads of kudos from around the world and I am still on cloud nine, but I could not have done it alone. My dream teams deserve all of the praises. Soon, I will be taking them on a trip to a resort to reflect and celebrate.
TIPS FOR BEING AN
When you walk into Boyle’s office, on a board to his left are the words: “You are an awesome boss!” Scribbled alongside those words are balloons and lots of smiley faces. It was, no doubt, the artwork of his faithful staffers. When
his attention was drawn to it, Boyle chuckled, stating that he is just as proud of his employees as they are of him. The businessman noted that showing an appreciation for others and being honest are just two of the attributes that may be responsible for the love his staff exudes for him. He said, “They praise me, but I must praise them. I have a very efficient staff and they are just truly phenomenal. One of the things that is key to keeping a cohesive working environment is getting your employees to understand your vision, your dream and letting them know that you are going to the destination of success together. They are not supposed to feel like they are working to take you alone to the top. You also need to be thankful and respectful. People who feel appreciated do so much more for you. You get the best out of people and I have seen it happen. For instance, I have my HR manager who has practically taken half of my responsibilities off of my shoulders; my quality manager and team who worked arduously for the repeated certifications and international accreditation, the laboratory managers and technical team players are our bloodline and our administrative and accounts staff who all lend invaluable support.”
“My growth is futile without my teams’ as well, so amidst all of these accolades, they need to understand that they do play huge roles.”
Andy smiles as he also confesses that the overwhelming favour of God continues to be manifested in his role as a successful servant leader.
A DEDICATED FATHER
While Boyle may be an accomplished businessman and a beloved boss, he is a dedicated father to his three children: Mark, 28, Andrew, 25 and Keziah, 19. They all reside overseas, but will be spending time with Boyle during the summer period.
“Mark studied marketing and management and he is working with Facebook. Andrew pursued Psychology and should be starting his Masters in September. Keziah is currently an undergrad in Natural Sciences and will go on to study Medicine.”
Boyle hopes that his children are inclined to take over the business and keep the Boyle legacy evergreen. “I would love that. Keziah is interested and I am going to have Andrew work along with our psychologist. Yes, one day, in the not too distant future, I would love to hand over the mantle.”
With all of his successes, Boyle takes pride in sharing part of it with others. He is a staunch Rotarian and lives by its chief principle, which is, ‘Service Above Self.’ In fact, Boyle is working on giving a fully solar-powered computer lab to his hometown in Kimbia.
“My house there is now solar powered, but I grew up in Kimbia without electricity. The people who get electricity there now use generators, but there aren’t a lot of that there. It is not a massive computer lab, but a fully equipped centre that can afford those deprived youngsters a chance to be a step further than I was when I was growing up.”
For this sprightly 54-year-old, there is still more to be accomplished. As such, Andy told the Guyana Inc. Magazine that he has plans of expanding, all of which he will reveal soon. ‘Andy’s story’, which outlines all of the intricate details of his childhood, will be soon published. In the meantime, he intends to continue his life’s mission of delivering exceptional medical service that will improve the lives of others, while dabbling, when he can, in the wonders of outdoor activities.
We wish him well!