A multi-million-dollar company started out of a house in Maricopa is working to give away COVID-19 test kits in Arizona and California.
Damien Carter, 38, is CEO of VET Logistics, a trucking company based in Phoenix. A resident of The Villages, Carter said his intent is to deliver 2 million PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and rapid test kits for free to communities that need them, preferably low-income areas.
Carter said the deal, involving qMetrix Group, RHEA Inc. and AnyPlaceMDBox, started as a $100 million contract. He asked suppliers to exchange half that amount for COVID test kits in what may be the largest personal donation of kits.
“Basically, VET Logistics purchased those kits to distribute,” Carter said.
Willie Sneller, CEO of qMetrix Group, said his logistics company is acquiring the test kits from China 500,000 at a time.
“We are providing one of the few CDC-, EUA-approved rapid test kits available today,” Sneller said from his office in Iowa.
He said his relationship with Carter came about because one of his representatives was acquainted with Damien’s father Ken (of “Coach Carter” fame) in California. Damien had co-founded VET Logistics with fellow Maricopan Ronald Mcanelly.
“He’s an amazing man,” Sneller said of Damien Carter. “He works very hard communicating. He is working on a very, very worthy effort.”
Carter’s first target for test-kit distribution was his hometown of Richmond, California. There and in Arizona, he was in contact with the governor’s office to explain his intentions and coordinate the effort.
“That trickled down to the county health department. Once it gets there, I drop them off,” Carter said. “I would hope and I’m trying to have faith people will do the right thing and help people in those low-income areas.”
Sneller said his company was honored to be a partner in Carter’s “benevolent effort to help communities that are in dire need of the rapid test kits for the COVID-19 antibody test.”
This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.