A conversation with Brett Cromwell, Global Communications Manager, Medtronic Advanced Energy
We are excited to welcome Medtronic Advanced Energy to the NHBSR community. Medtronic Advanced Energy (MAE) is a medical device company that develops and sells surgical instruments. They are based at Pease International Tradeport where they have been for more than eight years though the two main technologies they are known for, the PlasmaBlade™ and the Aquamantys System, have a much longer history. The technology that eventually became Aquamantys started in Dover in 1999 as TissueLink Medical and then became Salient Surgical in 2008, before being acquired by Medtronic in 2011. The PlasmaBlade was originally developed by a company called PEAK Surgical in Palo Alto, California, in the early 2000s, and was acquired on the same day as Salient Surgical.
The Advanced Energy team is a relatively small division (500+ staff) of Medtronic, a global company with more than 80,000 employees. This local team feels they have the best of both worlds—the ability to maintain their strong small company culture while having the benefits, resources, and support of a big company. When one walks through the front doors of the office, they are greeted by a sign which reads—Every day through these doors walk the best people in the medical devise industry. It is apparent from speaking with team members that they are committed to the work they do and it is personal.
This was certainly true this last year when Suzanne Foster, Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic Advanced Energy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her journey from diagnosis to surgery and then recovery has been a very personal one with her team. Appreciated for her commitment to transparency with business, Suzanne showed this same transparency with her illness. Incredibly, the technology that her team developed was used to successfully treat her cancer. Her personal journey now includes first hand knowledge of a product created to provide a better patient experience and a quicker recovery. Working in an environment where employees are helping people with technologies that have a positive effect on their health every day clearly resonates on multiple levels. Patients are at the center of all that they do.
Having been voted as the #1 Best Company to Work For two years in a row by Business NH Magazine and NHBSR, employees are extremely proud of the company they work for, as you might imagine. The process of creating and submitting the application is no small endeavor, as those who have applied know; however, they believe that engaging a diverse team helped capture the full picture of what makes their company worth celebrating. Many give credit to Suzanne for leading the strong and supportive culture that maintains the close-knit feel and energy of a startup. Hiring people who are passionate about the company’s Mission is critical to their success. As Suzanne herself said in her 2014 interview, “This is fundamentally what brings us together—we are inspired by what we do, about improving health care and making surgery better for patients. This bonds us together, and we know this is making a difference.”
The company promotes a vision called “Energy Everywhere,” which means that everyone at the company is encouraged to share ideas and energy. There are both formal and informal ways that employees have an opportunity to participate. The Global Inclusion Diversity & Engagement (GIDE) committee is one such group that was implemented company wide in 2012. This strategy charges leaders, managers and employee groups and networks to accelerate their inclusion and diversity efforts. The goal is to leverage different perspectives, backgrounds, cultures and generations in an effort to build a more inclusive environment. Employee Resource Groups are another important aspect of the company’s professional development. These networks provide employees who have similar interests and backgrounds with additional opportunities to leverage professional development through global mentoring, networking and learning sessions and allow them to share a collective voice on important issues. The Advanced Energy division has groups for women, young professionals, and veterans to name a few.
We don’t want to forget the fun quotient that is so important to having employees feel connected and valued. Medtronic has a number of wonderful benefits for employees, including weekly yoga, a volleyball court, and a foosball table, along with professional development and educational opportunities you can read about in the attached Business NH Magazine and NHBSR writeup.
They also sponsor annual events like “Wear Pink,” which goes hand in hand with their PlasmaBlade device being used in mastectomy procedures. The Wear Pink event takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the NFL adorns itself with the color pink in October, MAE changes the handle of its PlasmaBlade to pink as well. Creativity and innovation certainly have some fun in them as well. The Advanced Energy team is in the process of creating an Innovation Room that will provide employees a dedicated area where they can think, brainstorm, and explore ideas. With a wild colored rug on the floor, you can feel the energy already!
Should you have questions or want to learn more you can find information on their website. If you’d like to speak with a person, you can contact Brett Cromwell, Global Communications Manager, at 603-742-1515. He’d be happy to chat with you!
The Advanced Energy team looks forward to connecting with fellow NHBSR members in the year ahead!