Med One to One Winter/Spring TWENTY TWENTY-ONE ISSUE 66

View From the Board

Integrity In All Things

Written By: Sheri Thomas

Integrity In All Things

As I reflect on the past 32 years of my career, the experience that personally resonates with me the most in the private sector is my participation as a CFO on the board of directors for a medical device start-up company. The company was organized by a cardiologist with the intent of developing a heart implant designed to prevent stroke and save lives. Three of my four children have heart defects, and I lost two nephews to hypoplastic left heart syndrome. With heart defects running through my family, I found myself working for a company in an industry with a purpose that was very personal to me. I was exceptionally motivated to see this company succeed.

When I was invited to sit on the board of directors for Med One Group, I was thrilled to continue my participation in the life sciences industry. It was evident in my first board meeting with the Med One team that they have the same passion for saving lives and serving the medical community that I developed with the medical device company. For the Med One management team, it was not just about developing a strategy for sustained growth and profitability but finding solutions to enhance the service they are providing to their customers. Equally important to that team is building a legacy company that will provide opportunities for growth and advancement for their employees. Their culture resonated with me. I knew I was in the right place.

Something unique about my experience in serving on the board of directors for Med One is that this board is not one of investors, but one of contributors. There is no self-interested motivation to see financial growth to yield an individual return or build the company for an exit strategy. Every outside participant on the board is genuinely interested in helping the company succeed in all aspects—financial growth, organizational sustainability, continuous improvement in customer service and care, etc. Our goal is to assist with building a legacy organization that can continue to save lives. I am honored to serve with such great leaders from the business community who bring impressive expertise and credentials to the table. I learn from their contributions and feedback. I welcome the opportunity to contribute and draw on resources that might assist.

"Something unique about my experience in serving on the board of directors for Med One is that this board is not one of investors, but one of contributors."

The senior management team employed by Med One is also an impressive group of professionals in their areas of expertise. They bring skills and experience that have made Med One the successful company it is today. I have seen them make decisions and express opinions with a focus on what is right, not who is right. I am especially impressed with their ability to be vulnerable in sharing all aspects of their operations and in receiving feedback. Med One Group is already a great organization with dedicated employees who have built a very successful company. As board members, both internal and external, our task is to offer our expertise to assist Med One with its continued growth and sustainability in the future—to help make something already great even better through continuous improvement.

As I write this article, our country is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I moved with my family to Utah from Atlanta, Georgia, 15 years ago. While living in the Atlanta area, I chaperoned my grade school aged children to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, where Dr. King lived and taught. We keep a framed poster of his march in our home with a quote to remind us to stand united with others for positive change. One of my favorite quotes is: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy" (Strength to Love, 1963). We are certainly living in challenging times. This past year has moved all of us to rethink how we work and interact while considering the safety of not just ourselves but others. We are called to act with integrity to do our part in the community to keep everyone safe.

As part of a regulated medical device company where I am currently employed, we are asked to define what quality means to our organization. We proudly display a quality statement in all rooms of our building that states: “Integrity in all things!” As we build a device designed to save lives, we are asking all our employees to have the integrity to help build that device to the best of their skills and knowledge—not to take short cuts or contribute less than their best efforts.

Integrity Abstract

I am an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University. One of the most important lectures I teach my students is that of upholding their integrity, always and in all circumstances—even in times of “challenge and controversy,” which they will undoubtedly encounter in their professions. A fundamental truth that I have witnessed throughout my career in working with various clients and companies is that “you reap what you sow.” What goes around indeed comes around—it may take time, but I have witnessed many times in my career that it always comes around. My students may witness apparent success by others acting with a lack of integrity, but that success is temporary—a consequence will always follow our choices, good or bad. I encourage my students to always act with integrity, not to reap the reward, but because it is the right thing to do. The reward will follow in due time.

As owners of Med One Group, Larry and Brent exhibit integrity in their interactions with the directors, their employees, and their customers. They are genuinely interested in all of us as individuals and not just what we can contribute to their success. They are some of the most generous individuals I have met. I have seen them pass on savings in their business transactions to their customers—treating everyone fairly and allowing everyone to profit. I have seen the generosity they show their employees, always supportive of their efforts to serve their families and communities. The success I have seen come to them, I know, is in part due to the integrity they have demonstrated in how they treat others in their business dealings. They are trustworthy and reliable. It is an honor to serve with them on the board. “The Med One Way” and the “Med One Family” are not just trite expressions in their organization. They are fundamental beliefs full of integrity that drive the cohesive culture of this organization in its mission to save lives.

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