While the COVID-19 Pandemic was a major, even fatal setback to many businesses, some saw an opportunity to step up and help their communities during this crisis. Whether it was donating to local groups or providing new technologies, companies with varying resources from medical equipment to communication technologies were able to fill new needs and help communities adapt and cope with the devastating effects of the crisis.
“Selfless service is one of my core values, so when I saw the opportunity to help my community during the pandemic, it was an easy decision for me,” said Ryan Leonard.
Leonard is the founder and CEO of NJF Worldwide, a global manufacturing company that began supplying COVID tests and PPE Equipment around the country especially in NJ and the state of New York during the pandemic. NJF recently completed a FEMA order for over 80 tractor-trailer loads of iHealth Rapid Antigen tests, totaling $160 million, to help all the school systems in New York City remain open. They completed the order in a record time of 7 weeks, around half the time that was expected.
“The New York City Public School System was struggling and scrounging to find the tests that they needed and we came through,” said Leonard. “We handled everything from start to finish, working with our factory partners to make sure all the goods were of the highest standards. We took care of the air freight to get them to the United States, and logistics and trucking to get them to our buyers in New York and disperse to all of the schools in New York City as needed.”
As is the case with many other companies who stepped up during the pandemic, Leonard’s years of hard work in founding and growing NJF prepared him to seize this opportunity. He started NJF in 2011, shortly after being honorably discharged from the US Military. Although he was faced with the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life, compounded by the loss of his brother and grandfather, Leonard used his heartache to fuel his empire. In the years that followed, he was able to grow NJF from a custom t-shirt business to a global manufacturing company partnering with international companies totaling over $100 billion in yearly revenue and sales.
Before the pandemic, the company had already expanded into the medical manufacturing sector, making kits for colon cancer screenings, UTI panels, VTM collection mediums, and other types of medical and PPE equipment. During the pandemic, they were able to leverage their global partnerships to provide not only testing kits but also masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, PCR swabs, and other essential supplies.
While strategic partnerships and business decisions have made the company’s explosive growth possible, Leonard says it’s his core values that have truly enabled his business success.
“I remain true to my values in everything I do,” said Leonard. “That has allowed me to lead my staff and community in the uphill battle to be Only the Finest, just as our slogan states.”