Meet a Dragon: Connor Lohman
Meet Connor Lohman, a Senior Business Development Associate at Komodo Health who has a penchant for karaoke, socially distanced picnics, and creating an inclusive work culture.
Tell me about your journey to Komodo.
I had always wanted to find a career where I could make an impact on health. During my master’s program in biotechnology, I got to work on clinical research and learned how new medical breakthroughs make their way through our healthcare system. It was fascinating to me! I started looking for opportunities in smaller, innovative companies adjacent to biotech where I could really have a voice, and Komodo popped up in my search. I interviewed with some of the smartest people I’d ever met, whose belief in the mission and drive for innovation was palpable. I packed my bags, left Providence, RI, and moved to San Francisco! As they say, the rest is history.
What is your favorite thing about working at Komodo?
There are so many things! Above all, I love that I am able to reach my long-held goal of directly impacting patients in a positive way in my role here. So that’s very fulfilling. On a company level, every day is different, and it’s always interesting. As individual contributors, we are all encouraged to speak up if we believe something could be better, or if there’s an easier way to execute a goal. The level of autonomy here is great. You are given the tools you need to succeed, and the rest is up to you. There are also opportunities to explore different business areas and a lot of support to pursue new career paths should your personal goals change. The culture and people are unmatched.
This year, you helped introduce DragonPride at Komodo as a new group to support LGBTQIA+ colleagues. What is the group all about, and what has it been like to kick it off?
I’ve always felt Komodo creates a safe and open culture where I can bring my full self to work, but there was no formal Pride organization to explicitly support the LGBTQIA+ community. So a colleague and I decided to launch one! We were a little apprehensive at first, but the feedback has been amazing. We have so many wonderful dragons that want to teach and learn. Our first event, the Coming Out Series, gives individuals an opportunity to share their experiences with coming out to family, friends, and other loved ones. It was really special to connect with fellow dragons on such an intimate level. The virtual space, in particular, can make bonding with colleagues difficult, but this made me feel so much closer to everyone.
Our goals for 2021 are ambitious! We’re working on being included in the Corporate Equality Index for the Human Rights Campaign, working with other organizations for more speaker series and fundraisers. I think, more importantly, for those involved, it’s knowing there is a safe space where anyone can be their authentic self – even at work.
Next year will mark two years at Komodo. What stands out as a favorite memory of your time as a dragon?
Well, I’m very competitive, so my mind immediately goes to winning! Which I have, a couple of times. Earlier this year, we had our annual Komodo Week in Las Vegas, where I won our company karaoke competition! I also won our planking competition, where I held a plank for 10 minutes – yes, it was hard!
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I enjoy long walks around San Francisco listening to podcasts. My Favorite Murder is one of my faves! Also, I have fully doubled down on the picnicking lifestyle during the pandemic – gingham blanket, wicker basket, and all! My friends and I are having a socially distanced blast with it.
2020 has been a brutal year for many – but have you seen any silver linings to the challenges we’re living through?
The time given back to each of us throughout the pandemic to sit back and reflect on where we're at in our society has also led to some amazing movements around social justice. From the incredible rise of the Black Lives Matter movement to raising voter awareness and education, I know I've had the chance to learn a lot and realize that there is so much more work to do. If we can take one thing away from this year it's that we must use our voices to stand up for what is right, and challenge ourselves to continue growing – which is ultimately one of the reasons DragonPride exists today!