Advisors & Leadership

Built by the best, run by the best

Our Team
Robert G. Rupard
CEO and Founder
Brett L. Grauss
President and CEO - ProGeneX Laboratories INC
Pennye Westbrook
Facility Clinical Operations Coordinator
Chris Thompson CG(ASCP)CM
CSO and Director of Laboratory Services.
Al Trembley
Chief Marketing Officer
Jiten Chhabra
Director of Healthcare Data Informatics
Candice Mayo
Clinical Account Manager
Briana Quezada
Executive Assistant
Blake Grauss
Operations Manager

Pro-GeneX by Numbers

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Robert G. Rupard
CEO and Founder

Robert founded Pro-GeneX, LLC., a private company based at the Georgia Tech Advanced Technology Development Center in Atlanta, GA in 2014,.

A serial entrepreneur, he served as Chief Operating Officer for Sensiotec, Inc., a Georgia Tech-based medical device firm for several years. He was responsible for managing all research, implementation, deployment and training services for beta sites, clinical trials and managing day-to-day operations.

He served as Founder and Chief Executive Officer / Director of Operations for Wings Air, a 75-employee, regional commuter airline that operated ten aircraft in five states, provided scheduled service into Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, and conducted over 125 daily operations seven days a week. He was responsible for initiating gate operations at Hartsfield Jackson Airport, successfully negotiating changes in the airport security plan and establishing a new record for regulatory approval and airline conversion in the commuter industry, achieving commuter airline status with the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation in less than 100 days.

Robert is an active participant in entrepreneurship programs at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega and an invitee for regional Small Business Administration roundtables. 

He has served on the board of directors for a number of non-profit agencies including One World Adoption Services, a non-profit focused on the needs of children in developing nations. Currently, Robert serves on the Board of Directors for Aurora Day Camp, a non-profit day camp for children and their siblings with cancer. 

He lives in Dahlonega, GA and has 4 children.

Brett L. Grauss, BSIE, MBA
President and CEO - ProGeneX Laboratories INC

Brett Grauss is a widely-recognized healthcare executive with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of medical technology, medical devices, and pharmacology.   In his role as CEO of Pro-GeneX Laboratories he leads a team of dedicated professionals who produce genetic test results to reduce polypharmacy, adverse drug events, and prescription costs.  Brett has held executive level positions within Baxter Healthcare, Sorin Biomedica, and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation.  Brett was also the co-founder and COO at MedCenterDirect and the SVP, Business Development at MED Select™. where he successfully led both enterprises from startup through maturity.  Brett received his BS in Industrial Engineering from San Jose State where he was a four-year scholar athlete (football), and his MBA from Pepperdine University.  Brett is also certified by Penn State University in Health Systems Leadership.

Brad L. Ward, MD
Medical Director

Brad L. Ward, MD is a resident of Taylorsville, GA. He graduated from Cartersville High School as valedictorian, graduated Magna cum Laude  from the University of Georgia, then graduated from Duke University School of Medicine. He then completed a residency in family medicine at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center in Anniston, Al.  He became board certified in family medicine and has been certified as a Certified Medical Director (CMD) in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care. Dr. Ward is married to Dr. Ann Ward, an endocrinologist practicing in Taylorsville. They are the parents of three children: Joseph, Eric, and Casey.

Jiten Chhabra, MD
Director of Healthcare Data Informatics

Dr. Chhabra is a uniquely qualified healthtech researcher because of his medical and technical background. His research is broadly focused in the areas of personal health and wellness informatics and health-focused user interface technology and software. Featured multiple times on CNN, Chhabra’s work has made it much easier to translate evidence-based guidelines into real-world decisions. His portfolio includes research in nutrition interventions, games for health, non-contact cardiorespiratory sensing, digital doctor-patient communication, health information technology, stress monitoring, digital pharmacogenetics and tools for care effectiveness.

He has developed novel methods to design and execute clinical and economic utility studies that enable the collection of insights into the biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that drive multiple diseases, many of whom do not have proven preventions or treatments as of today. Chhabra’s work has been funded by agencies like the National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Google Research, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. His projects have received several prestigious awards including one from the American Heart Association and he has been an invited expert speaker at forums like the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Health 2.0 and Ted Med.

Pennye Westbrook
Facility Clinical Operations Coordinator/Communications Director

Pennye is a veteran medical professional with experience that spans more than 25 years in the healthcare industry. Her time spent in all aspects of the healthcare continuum from primary care through acute care and post-acute provides strong value for Pro-GeneX as well as the client facilities we serve.

Candice Mayo
Clinical Account Manager

Candice Mayo is a Clinical Account Manager at Pro-GeneX, LLC; responsible for overseeing all LTC clients’ data which includes residents genetic medication risk management. Her primary role is working with healthcare organization, specifically physicians, consulting pharmacists and directors of nursing to support improved outcomes and patient experience. Prior to joining Pro-GeneX, Candice worked in the medical field 15+ as a Medicare Part B/Medicaid Specialist with responsibilities in AR/AP (reimbursements/refunds), appeals, chart auditing, coding, provider enrollment while remaining current with Governmental guidelines. Since a patient's life story begins with their genes, genetic testing and medication risk management is a natural fit for Candice’s heart and talent for actionable paths to improve outcomes. While individual genetics shows how a patient will process medications, Candice enjoys the daily fast paced collaboration with medical professionals around the country to obtain positive results for the elderly.

Candice’s passion for helping elderly, cultivated during college where receiving her minor in Gerontology, came full circle at Pro-GeneX with her day-to-day assistance to Directors of Nursing and Consulting Pharmacists. She admits “my work is challenging and exciting work every single day. My efforts make a real difference”.

Outside of work, Candice enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading, watching movies, going to the beach and playing with her dog.

Chris Thompson CG(ASCP)CM
CSO and Director of Laboratory Services.

Chris, a dedicated scientist, graduated with a degree in Cytogenetics from The University of Connecticut. He is a career medical laboratorian with extensive clinical experience in cancer diagnostics using various Cytogenetic, FISH and molecular techniques.  He is an experienced manager with laboratory operations and integration.  Devoted husband of 18 years and father of two wonderful children, Chris is an avid outdoorsman. He enjoys boating, fishing, camping and all things woods and water related.  Chris is also an active supporter of the Boy Scout Of America  and an animal lover and sports fan.

Al Trembley, LTCP
Chief Marketing Officer

Al oversees the marketing efforts within the organization in collaboration with the ProGeneX team. He spearheads efforts to assure brand positioning by initiating campaigns. His interest in people and businesses center around people's aptitudes and growing business within a "blue ocean”.  Al believes “good decisions come from good data” including efficiency to make the most of all resources and talent. 

Some awards include;   2015 Master Entrepreneur, Masters Of Innovation, Featherbone Communiversity.  2016 Silver Shovel Award with GHCC 2016 WSI Top Contributor Award 

Al serves his community in many board and volunteer roles including Hall County Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow, Elachee Nature and Science Center, and BSA Assistant Scout Master, Hall County Schools Work Based Learning and committees at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. 

He lives in Gainesville, GA with his wife Mary Beth and their 4 children. 

Briana Quezada
Executive Assistant

Briana is a multi-year laboratory assistant. She worked in the Biology Department at University of North Georgia where she completed a minor in  Biology and degrees in Management and Early Childhood Education.

Blake Grauss
Operations Manager

Matriculated at University of North Georgia, Blake is proficient in Team Organization, Project Management, and Strategic Development.  He spent his time at North Point Ministries before joining the Pro-GeneX team in 2018.

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