Take Ten with Team HPNE: Meet Matt Sitcoske

We recently spoke to our Director of Sales, Matt Sitcoske, about his ever-growing team, leadership strategies, and watching HPNE grow into the company it is today.

Could you tell us a little bit about your career before becoming Director of Sales at HPNE and perhaps, some helpful insight into how those roles lead you here?

This is actually my second time working at HPNE. Right out of college, I spent about a year in the clean room making assemblies. I eventually went on to be a recruiter for many years before coming back to HPNE as a Technical Product Manager.

As a recruiter the skills I learned were invaluable for my future role as a Technical Product Manager – mainly to be persistent and driven. Furthermore, the variables that come with selling as a recruiter are immeasurable, as the candidate and the customers each come with their own personalities and viewpoints. Learning how to navigate that allowed me to read the customer and react accordingly, and ultimately become a better salesperson. 

In my role as a Technical Product Manager at HPNE, a role that I was in for more than 8 years, I learned that product knowledge is always paramount. If you are able to know the product inside and out, then it allows you to quickly identify how the product offering will serve as a benefit to the customer in consumer interactions.

You have seen HPNE greatly evolve as a company since its founding. Could you give us some examples of how it has grown from then to now?

I am in a unique position to discuss this topic because it was my father who started HPNE in the guest bedroom of the house I grew up in, when I was just teenager. The entire company was a one-man show for the first few years of its existence. The company later evolved into a storage facility in Pawtucket, then into a small office in Providence, Rhode Island. Eventually it evolved into the three facilities we now have in Northern Rhode Island. When I entered my sales role at the company, we were a small team of less than 40, and now we have more than 160 employees.

Something I have been particularly grateful to watch grow is our sales team, which is now made up of 20 team members including our dedicated distributors in 4 countries and representatives in the Research Triangle Park Region and Greater Delaware Valley Region. Additionally, we have an International Sales Manager, who reports to me and is dedicated to working with our global distributors.

Each day we are continuing to grow as an organization. A great example is the development of our Manufacturing Science and Technology Department (MSAT) which, if you had asked me about a few years ago, I would not have been sure would have ever come to fruition. It is now a thriving team of 4 people who work across multiple labs.

As Director of Sales, you lead our sales team. What are some of the leadership strategies you implement daily?

I try to lead by example, every day. I like to think that I challenge the people on my team to be the best version of themselves and push them to grow as professionals. For example, if they approach me with a question that I believe they could grow from by answering on their own, I will steer them in the right direction until they discover the correct answer themselves. This encourages problem solving on the team, and reinforces confidence in their abilities – confidence is key in any sales role.

I also try my best to celebrate achievements, even if they are small. This bolsters that same tenet and inspires individuals to keep pushing the top line.

You have been here to see many new products and distributor partnerships be announced. What have been the announcements you have been most proud of?

I am proud of all of the partnerships and new product announcements we have made in recent years, but something I have been most excited about as of late is our partnership with Custom Sensors & Technology. Why? This represents another sensor in a market with few alternate options for sensor technology.

As a result of this partnership, we are now able to offer CST’s six innovative products, including the Process Flow Cell and Holder, Process Pressure Sensor, Conditioning Module, and the line of PX2 Photometric Transmitters including the PX2, PX2+, and PX2 Condensed Packaging.

HPNE is consistently expanding our product offerings by working with experienced partners like CST in order to offer our customers industry leading technology. Our ultimate goal is to work with our customers to find their perfect bioprocess solution every time, and expanding our portfolio allows us to be able to do so.

With your extensive experience in the industry, what would you say makes HPNE products stand out from the rest?

We have a strong and diverse portfolio of bioprocessing solutions and are able to quickly come up with custom solutions by making alterations to our existing product offerings, where applicable or create completely new ones to solve a customer’s problem. This nimbleness sets us apart from the crowd in major ways and our customers' successes are a testament to that idea.

One great example is our HPConnexx™ Single-Use Assemblies, for which we have extensive material compatibility resources, and all of our assemblies are brand agnostic. Although customers can also receive off-the-shelf assemblies, we acknowledge that our inventory may not match your needs, and are ready to make your perfect assembly when you need it. With our deep bioprocessing knowledge, our team has the ability to provide important insight to help you prevent costly errors during the development of your assemblies.

Where do you see the biotech industry evolving in the next 5 years?

Traditional bioprocessing isn’t going away, but the future is gene therapies. The industry will continue to grow year-over-year in both areas, and it is exciting to help customers achieve their goals of developing life-saving therapies.

As mentioned in our previous article discussing bioprocessing trends in 2023, cell & gene therapy is a growing industry that is expected to maintain its growth in the coming years. This life saving industry is taking a revolutionary approach to targeting and improving health complications on a cellular and genetic level. It is our hope that our HPNE products like the FlowMaxx Pro 30 Quaternary Diaphragm Pumps will help those working on cell & gene therapies to discover and deliver life saving therapies faster without sacrificing quality. 

Drug discovery has also rapidly grown in the past year, and as technologies evolve, I expect it will continue to grow at exponential rates. We believe the flexibility of our HPConnexx Single-Use Assemblies make them ideal for drug discovery, as you can easily change your process, and decrease time between batches. 

For HPNE specifically, our acquisition by Getinge will allow us to reach the global market in a way we have not previously been able to. Also, we are excited to be expanding our product offering soon to include some of their innovative technologies.

In your opinion, what makes a great leader?

A great leader in my opinion is someone that challenges their people to constantly improve in a way that enables them to reach their goals. A great leader is also empathetic, assertive without being aggressive, and communicates clearly and effectively. These are some of the ways I hope my employees would reflect on how I lead them, if they were asked. Being a great leader is also recognizing that, as with anything, it’s a process and sometimes you will not be the best you could be.

Working at HPNE has you working closely with other members of your family. How would you say HPNE being family owned has been an advantage to the company as a whole?

HPNE being a family-owned business has allowed us to be able to create a close-knit working environment. The familial sense of a team directly translates into the closeness and comradery we all have and I believe our employees really value that. Although working with family can also have its challenges, the familiarity and closeness that it has created amongst the HPNE community is evident and, in my opinion, is invaluable in terms of company culture.

What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your current role, and how did you overcome it?

Going from an individual contributor role where I was able to control my own book of business, to helping people develop their own has been one of the bigger challenges I have faced. It has also allowed me to reflect on how I developed into a sales leader and how I was successful in doing what I do.

Who has been one of your biggest inspirations, whether personally or professionally?

My wife for sure. We are lucky enough for her to stay at home with my daughter, and to see her play a huge part with the growth and development of my daughter is truly inspirational. 

I would also say my father, Mark Sitcoske, both personally and professionally, as seeing him grow HPNE from the start to what it is today has been motivating and impressive to watch.

What has been one of your favorite places you have traveled to in the past five years?

The Maldives for my honeymoon. The journey there and the remote destination made the trip a pretty remarkable one. I would love to go back.

Could you tell us about one thing you are most passionate about outside of work?

Sports. I am a big sports fan, specifically the Celtics. I love to see a game whenever I have the time. As a relatively new father, I don’t have a lot of down time outside of work to get to games, but I try to as often as I can.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to pursue a career in sales?

You have to be competitive and driven. If you don’t have an internal drive for competition, then sales might not be for you.

Share article

About HPNE

As the industry needs grow, High Purity New England, Inc. continues to supply the biopharmaceutical industry with a range of innovative products, from drug discovery and development to fill-finish, including their flagship product, custom single-use assemblies, as well as pumps, sensors, bioreactor systems, storage and handling solutions and other single-use solutions. Along with their own manufactured products for the global market, they are also a distributor for more than 18 brands in North America.

Latest Blog Posts