President & CEO
Kelly Farhangi and her husband Dr. Ron Najafi founded CP Lab Safety in 1996. She took over leadership of the company in the early 2000s and brought the manufacturing of its flagship product, ECO Funnel®, back to the USA from China in an attempt to steer the company toward its new mission of Making Science Green. The decision to "reverse offshore" the manufacturing of her products highlights the tone of Ms. Farhangi's management: a close-knit team, a small carbon footprint, and a healthy environment. Female leaders are under-represented in manufacturing and especially in the scientific industry, so her contributions will provide inspiration to the next generation of women in science. As an immigrant and a proud Iranian-American, Ms. Farhangi has worked tirelessly to build a business that contributes to the health and well-being of all people in the workplace.
Under Kelly's direction, CP Lab Safety has grown from a small number of product lines to a large and diverse portfolio. The company manufactures ECO Funnels, Solid Waste Containers, Chromatography Funnels, Drum Feed Safety Clamps, and a wide array of research chemicals under the trade name CP Lab Chemicals™. The use of ECO Funnels in laboratories over the last quarter century has prevented more than 1 million liters of solvent pollution, helping to reduce the environmental impact of scientific research worldwide.
As a Bay Area Green Business and a Woman Owned Small Business, CP Lab Safety maintains a reputation as a “small business with a big heart.” Under Ms. Farhangi's leadership, the company was awarded the Congressional Certificate of Recognition for Environmental Sustainability from the office of congressman Jared Huffman, and each year the staff takes a volunteer day to help clean up the local environment. Kelly and her husband also host regular fundraisers to raise money for refugees. As the business grows, Kelly plans to hold CP Lab Safety to the same high standards of human kindness, integrity and environmental sustainability that it has maintained for more than 25 years.
Ron Najafi, Ph.D.
Founder of CP lab Safety and inventor of ECO Funnel®
ECO Funnel® was invented in 1996 by Dr. Ron Najafi as a response to a common problem found in laboratories. While working as a Ph.D. synthetic organic chemist in the San Francisco Bay Area, he heard complaints from staff about strong odors far from the laboratory. Dr. Najafi realized that the chemical fume contamination was not limited to the lab, but instead was being exhausted through the fume hood and spread throughout the facility. As a member of the company's Health and Safety Committee, Dr. Najafi conducted tests to determine the severity of emissions from waste bottles typically left unsealed beneath a fume hood. His findings of the dramatic solvent loss led him to create ECO Funnel to prevent fumes from escaping the waste containers... even when the lid was left open. CP Lab Safety was founded to promote ECO Funnel and other methods of safeguarding worker health and safety.
Dr. Najafi brings 25 years of chemistry experience to the business. Over the years he has founded several other companies, including NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and Emery Pharma, as well as performed roles at Rhône Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi-Aventis), Perkin Elmer Applied Biosystems (now Thermo Fisher), and Aldrich Chemical Company.
Dr. Najafi has more than 70 patents and pending patent applications on his inventions. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of San Francisco, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Davis.
VP of Marketing and eCommerce
Michelle Walters started her career at CP Lab Safety as a freshly graduated intern charged with developing an appropriate website for the company. After her internship she worked in graphic design for a food manufacturer, then returned to CP Lab Safety to spend another 15 years growing (and growing with) the company, performing various functions over the years such as Webmaster, Product Designer, eCommerce Manager, Marketing Manager, and eventually leading the Web and Marketing departments.
CP Lab Safety's popular line of periodic table "Geek Chic Swag" is all designed in-house by Michelle, some of which are so universally admired that they've been spotted on CNN interviewees and sitcom actors, as well as on many science teachers on social media. The periodic table lanyard in particular has become a best-selling science gift for teachers and students at colleges and universities across the United States. Michelle's humorous "Lab Rat" cartoons can also be spotted in various CP Lab Safety literature.
Michelle is a proud 'banana slug,' the quirky mascot of her alma mater, University of California, Santa Cruz. She lives in the Napa Valley and enjoys spending time with her family and pets, hiking, drawing, and cooking gourmet meals. Michelle strives daily to bolster team spirit and ensure that everyone at CP Lab Safety is valued and participates in the success of the company.
Head of Customer Success
Jessica Kurtz joined the CP Lab Safety team in 2015 as a Customer Service Representative, though her skill and personality quickly advanced her to Accounts Manager, in charge of keeping clients happy.
Jessica's second child, born in 2018, actually accompanied her to work each day and became the official "office baby", a testament to the positive work environment fostered by a woman-owned and women-run business who values human decency above everything else.
Jessica's close relationships with her customers and fellow team members has helped CP Lab Safety maintain its reputation as a small business with a big heart. Always a quick call or email away, she and her team are the face of the company, working to ensure that all customers have a positive experience and enjoy coming back to us again and again.
Jessica lives in Sonoma County with her husband, two boys, dog and cat. Weekends often find her cheering on one of her sons at the baseball diamond or at the race track. On Halloween you might find her and her family in matching pickle costumes in downtown Santa Rosa. Jessica is a fun and invaluable part of the CP Lab Safety team, and the first person to offer help when others are in need.
Mark L. Nelson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Science and Business Development
Dr. Nelson joined CP Lab Safety in 2022 to spearhead the launch of CP Lab Chemicals, the company's new chemical division. Mark has more than 20 years of experience as a chemist, specializing in the field of antibiotics and tetracyclines. His synthesis techniques have resulted in more than 40 patents and the development of the tetracycline antibiotic omadacycline (Nuzyra), the first of the aminomethylcycline subclass of tetracyclines to ascend to medical use.
Mark's thorough understanding of molecules and drug development gives him a unique perspective on how to develop the CP Lab Chemicals division in a way that most effectively supports chemists. He helped develop a unique substructure search engine that allows researchers to source chemicals and unique molecules for drug discovery.
Mark received a Fulbright Lectureship Fellow Award, Cairo, Egypt, for his research into antibiotic resistance mechanisms, the Distinguished Alumni Award in Science at Gannon University (2003) and more recently he received the 2019 American Chemistry Society Heroes of Chemistry award for his synthetic and biological work leading to Nuzyra and Seysara, which were approved by the FDA in October 2018 for use as antibiotics in health and medicine.
Mark resides in Park City, Utah, with his family and a whole crew of rescue animals.
Marjan B. Mohyee
Corporate Controller, HR Director
Ms. Mohyee has been with CP Lab Safety for more than 25 years, almost from the beginning. As the proprietor of Centaur Financial Services and head of CP Lab Safety accounting, Marjan has played an important role in providing vision and guidance to the company, helping it develop a successful business plan and overseeing the accounting and financial functions of the company.
Marjan lives in Novato, where the company headquarters is located, in beautiful Marin County. She is passionate about social justice and is a huge proponent of human rights both locally and globally.