Hardworking, driven and fearless are words that appropriately describe Richard Felicelda, who is a teacher by profession and a businessman at heart. It was his dream to become a teacher, and he pursued this dream by working his way through college with a scholarship from the Catholic Church, and earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Language Teaching in Southern Leyte State University. He worked passionately as a university teacher, teaching both undergraduate and graduate levels for more than a decade. He has also taught in various universities in the Philippines, as well as in Poland and China. Immigrating to the United States in 2008 offered different challenges in life for Richard. Not only was he compelled to start over professionally, it also meant working different jobs, as is often the narrative of most immigrants here in America, the Land of Promise. He started working in healthcare, as a Phlebotomist, a disparity from his beloved teaching profession. But Richard was fearless to start over. Driven to succeed whatever circumstances he was in, he worked hard and earned the confidence and trust of the company he worked for. He learned, and he learned fast. Leadership quality is innate to him, and he found himself given the task of managing his employer’s business.
Gifted with strong determination and faith, he started his own business, Star Lab, which he incorporated in 2011. It started as a Phlebotomy company and he worked hard as the phlebotomist, the manager, the office receptionist, the janitor, all in one. Through sheer hard work, perseverance, determination and faith, he overcame the challenges of running a business. Richard expanded the operation of Star Lab in 2013 to become an independent clinical laboratory company. StarLab offers phlebotomy services as well as diagnostic specimen testing. The number of services the laboratory offered has steadily grown since then. Under Richard’s management, StarLab grew from renting a 250 sq. ft. room to purchasing a 5,000 sq. ft. building in Franklin Park, Illinois. The facility now hosts an array of state-of-the-art medical equipment for clinical diagnostics. He also now owns a mobile imaging company doing xray, ultrasound and ecg and a nursing school- New Lake College.
Richard is a recipient of a Federal program called Emerging Leaders, a Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative in Illinois, and GOLDMAN SACH’S 10KSB. He is also nominated in 2017 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, the most prestigious award given by Better Business Bureau (BBB) to a business.
Richard is married to Vermily Patelona, DPT graduate from Silliman University,Dumaguete, Philippines and AT Still University in Phoenix, AZ. They have three children named Kayleigh who is in 6th grade and Kassidy who has just turned four and Kaleb Richard who was just born on July 16th 2019. Man of the Year 2017 Richard Felicelda has always believed that change is inevitable and that growth is not only necessary, it is a must…This is his personal and business credo that guides him in the pursuit of his dreams.