I Am Merit: April Sanchez, Supervisor of Strategic Accounts Contract Management

An important part of Merit Medical’s business involves working with Group Purchasing Organizations and Integrated Delivery Networks around the United States. April Sanchez, Merit’s Supervisor of Strategic Accounts Contract Management, speaks about her team’s role to provide important financial impact and analysis of Merit’s contracts with these GPOs and IDNs. The efforts of Strategic Accounts allows Merit to form lasting relationships with customers and provides them with access to products to improve and save the lives of their patients.

I Am Merit: Matt Wiker, Director of Global Materials

As Merit Medical’s global footprint continues to grow, Matt Wiker, Merit Medical Director of Global Materials, speaks about his role to ensure that Merit’s customers, and ultimately patients and hospitals, receive high quality products when and where they need them.

I Am Merit: Allen Guo

AllenGuo

My Opportunities in China with Merit:

I started working at Merit 6 years ago as an Operations Supervisor. Before that, I worked at GE Healthcare under the medical system machines division in Beijing. I was promoted to Operations Manager after 1.5 years and was further promoted to my current position of Senior Operations Manager after another 2 years. My operations coverage has also been extended from Mainland China to the rest of the Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia areas and Korea. The reason why I stayed at Merit is really simple and straight-forwarded: great people and plenty of opportunities.

Merit in Mainland China:

In 2010, I was one of 3 people working for Merit in a small 700-square-meter warehouse (7534 square feet). Now, I have a team of 10 people with 8 employees working at our newly-established 1800-square-meter (20,000 square feet) warehouse and distribution center handling distribution in Mainland China. One team member looks after the forecast and planning in Mainland China and the final team member is located in Hong Kong and provides operation supports to the region. Over the past 5-6 years Merit has dramatically expanded with a steady double-digit growth rate. We have increased the numbers of sales licenses to over 50. These licenses are issued by the Chinese government to sell medical devices within China. One of the major growth factors can be attributed to Merit’s strong sales team, who work with 400 different distributors in China’s key cities.

Facing the Challenge of Growth:

As a department head leading the Asia operation, I have built up a reliable, responsible and passionate operation team. I lead my team to overview the sales forecasts to establish a proper supply chain, while maintaining a high order fulfillment rate for the entire Asia region. Apart from managing Merit’s warehouse in Beijing, we also have a third party logistics warehouse in Hong Kong as the regional distribution center.

Merit’s Vision in China:

Being customer oriented is the main vision that I focus on. Operation is a supporting function that I have two groups to serve, my internal and external customers.  Sales and Marketing teams are my internal customers. Mutual understanding on their specific needs and special requests are the vital elements for me to provide necessary supports to them. Distributors and hospitals, who purchase our products are my external customers. My main focus is to lean the operation process in order to improve the order implementation efficiency; as well as improve the forecast accuracy and the order fulfillment rate.

Friends, Family and Football:

When I’m not analyzing supply/demand numbers, I like to play football with my friends, not American football but European football, “soccer”. I also like to go to gym after work. The majority of my leisure time is spent with my family. I’ve been married for 8 years to my wife Yuanyuan and have two daughters. One is 5-years-old, her name is Sherry and her little sister has just arrived last month on March 29. I call her little beauty at the moment, but still haven’t given her an English name. We are welcome to any suggestion!

I Am Merit: Melissa Green

IMG_3584-2Nearly 20 Years at Merit! In 1992 I went to work for Mallinckrodt in Angleton, TX. I was in Production working on the Performa and Trax catheters (now Merit’s Concierge Catheter). In 1998, Merit Medical acquired a small division of Mallinckrodt and that’s when my career with Merit began. We operated in the Angleton facility until 2014, and now our entire operation has been moved to a brand new facility in Pearland, TX.

When Merit acquired Mallinckrodt I moved first into a shipping/receiving role and was then promoted to Planner nearly 15 years ago.

Analyzing Data is my Passion as a Planner. I really enjoy my role as Planner. I am responsible to make sure we can meet the demands of our customers by ensuring adequate inventory of our products. I review sales orders and forecasts and compare them against worldwide inventory, and then work with Production to ensure that they’ve scheduled enough product to meet upcoming orders. If inventory is running low I notify Production and Marketing so that more product is manufactured, and I keep our customers and sales staff informed through the Customer Service teams worldwide. I love analyzing the data, working with the numbers and putting all the pieces together like a puzzle.

My New Role with Merit Endotek. Last year, I moved into a dual Planning and Purchasing role for all Merit Endotek products. So in addition to my Planning responsibilities, I ensure the availability of all raw materials needed to manufacture the Endotek products. If raw material inventory is running low in relation to customer order forecasts, I work with our vendors to order additional raw materials.

New Faces Everywhere. Merit has been a good company for me to work for. I have a great support staff and enjoy my peers and managers. When Merit first bought Mallinckrodt we were a small team. Now I see new faces everywhere. It has been fun to watch the company grow and know that I’ve played a role in all of it.

When I’m not at Work. When I’m not at Merit, I enjoy spending time with my family back in Angleton. I have two children – a daughter who is 23 and attends college and a son in high school.

I Am Merit: Linda Sigvardt

Linda3The story behind Merit’s Travel Department

I’ve worked in the travel industry for over 30 years. It could have been my love of airplanes or the desire to experience exotic cultures in remote countries that drove me to work in the travel industry. I’ve always known my place would be in corporate travel sphere. My involvement with Merit started over 15 years ago, first as account manager with Travel Zone and as they were sold, I moved to Hess Travel and Merit followed. Then Fred approached me with a job offer to manage Merit’s travel internally. I’ve been at Merit for 2 ½ years now and have seen significant changes and major improvements with the value Merit receives with its travel arrangements.

The one-woman travel agency

When I started working for Merit, Fred gave me three main directives. The first directive was to establish a duty of care plan, which ensures the safety of all Merit employees while traveling. The duty of care is one of the most important areas of my work. We want to ensure that every Merit employee is accounted for in any situation. The second directive was to establish beneficial vendor relationships, which provide Merit with the lowest possible rates and best customer service. Merit has negotiated rates with several airlines, car companies, hotels and AAA to improve Merit’s savings globally. Sometimes it just comes down to waivers and favors and Merit’s travel department have the privileges and benefits available. The third directive was to organize and establish travel policies for Merit employees. The guidelines we’ve established in the travel department are focused on providing Merit employees with the most seamless travel experience possible. These guidelines also ensure Merit with the lowest possible travel costs and provide the traveler with our duty of care.

My time to travel

I really do love to travel and have been to 11 countries and 30 states.  In 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to the Merit facilities in the U.S. and Europe to do field research. They were fast and furious trips, but they proved to be very valuable tools for me in assisting our travelers. Nothing can replace the “boot on the ground” experience for gathering information on airports and hotels near our facilities. When I’m not working, I spend a lot time with my daughter Chandler. If I have to pick our favorite things to do together, I would have to say hiking and shopping. We love to be in the mountains and in nature on a good trail. But we also love to shop just as hard as we hike.

I Am Merit: Esko Holt

Esko-Holt

First things first – Your Name is so Unique! Esko is a family name, it was my grandpa’s name. My grandfather was one of 13 kids. He grew up here in Richmond, Virginia next to a Russian family, and one of their children was named Esko. That’s where my great grandfather got the name for my grandfather and why my parents named me Esko.

Your Role at Merit: I have worked for Merit for 10 years. I landed here because I worked for a company called Medsource Packaging for two years and we were acquired by Merit. I took some time off and returned to Merit six months after the acquisition. I came back as a purchasing and planning agent. Ten years later I now manage the Purchasing and Planning departments.

I am responsible for scheduling all the production and for purchasing the raw materials for Richmond facility.

What happens at Merit’s Richmond Facility? Merit’s Richmond facility is responsible for custom kits, sterile medical procedure trays that carry all the tools a clinician needs to perform a specific procedure. Merit has the unique ability to customize our kits to meet our customers’ needs .

How have you seen the Merit Richmond Facility grow since you started? From the time Merit acquired Medsource through last year, sales at the Richmond facility have grown significantly. This demonstrates that the need for custom kits for physicians is obviously growing. We look at custom kits as a service provided for our customers and not just another product. It’s a service that makes their job easier by saving time and money for the clinicians.

What do you like about Merit: I really like the people at Merit, we are a family group. Everyone works well together. A lot of the employees from Medsource are still here with me for the last ten years. I really enjoy working directly with the Merit sales representatives to look for solutions for their customers.

After Work: When I’m not with my Merit family, I love to run. I’ve run several half-marathons. I’m also married with three kids: my youngest is a daughter, age 11; my middle is my son age 13; and my oldest is another daughter age 19.

I Am Merit: Jason Hansen

Jason Hansen

Like a true engineer, Jason drafted a diagram of his work.

Merit has been a great place to start my career. I graduated from the University of Utah in Biomedical Engineering in 2010. My education was the catalyst for my work in the medical industry. I studied advanced mathematics and physics, but my major also focused on engineering principles related to biology, chemistry, biomechanics, biomaterials, etc. It provided me with a solid foundation and Merit hired me out of college as an Engineering Tech. I worked hard in this position and was promoted to Manufacturing Engineer followed by the promotion to my current position, Engineering Project Manager for the last 3 1/2 years.

Engineering Project Manager. I have the responsibility to lead multidisciplinary teams to achieve specific project objectives. This involves initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects. Over the past few years, I’ve been responsible for managing multiple product acquisitions and integrating the products into Merit. I am also responsible for product transfers, new product development, product improvements, product design and material changes.

My part in Merit’s vision. Merit’s vision of being the most customer-focused company in healthcare, has a clear influence on my work. A great example of this would be after the acquisition of the Centros hemodialysis catheter. Merit received multiple requests to include a stiffening stylet to facilitate over-the-wire procedures. My team and I worked with the customers to determine the specific needs, developed prototypes, received feedback, made improvements and repeated this process. The end result was the stiffening stylet currently sold today. My work at Merit is always influenced and focused on fulfilling the needs of the customer.

How my work makes a difference. When I was younger, my grandpa had end stage renal disease and was required to undergo dialysis treatment. I was very close to grandpa and when the doctors only gave him a few years to live, it was really hard for me personally. However, due to the innovative medical devices (like Merit’s Centros) and outstanding treatment, he lived for seven more years. Knowing the work I do at Merit every day improves the lives of others drives me to develop and manufacture the most innovative and highest quality products on the market.

Living life to the fullest. When I’m not working, I spend all of my time with my family in the outdoors enjoying life. My wife Ashlee and I have two kids, Milo 4-year-old boy, Kaylee 2-year-old girl, and #3 (boy) is due in March. We spend a lot of time in the outdoors; camping, fishing, riding 4 wheelers, and boating. Just last summer, we spent 32 nights under the stars camping as a family. My kids love the outdoors and could play in the dirt all day.

I Am Merit: Stephanie Poulsen

Senior Product Manager Stephanie Poulsen speaks about her role guiding strategies for the development of products used for diagnostic and interventional procedures. And more recently, her focus on products specific to the radial approach, a technique that has grown significantly around the world because it allows patients to get up and return to their lives faster. In her I am Merit video interview, Steph shares why she believes that her work at Merit is truly important and how it has touched her life personally.

I Am Merit: Casey Holland

Casey Holland reviewing clinical research with her staff.

Casey Holland reviewing clinical research with her staff.

Casey Holland, Clinical Operations Manager for Merit Medical, Rockland, Massachusetts, USA.

Perspective. I started working with BioSphere in 2007 in Quality and Regulatory Affairs, which worked closely with Medical Affairs. I worked hard during this period of time. I was really starting to focus and gain perspective on my career, which lead me to make the transition into Clinical Research in 2009. Then Merit acquired BioSphere in 2010 and I became a Merit employee. In 2012, I obtained my Masters degree from Northeastern University in Regulatory Affairs for Drugs, Biologics and Medical Devices. My Masters degree gave me detailed knowledge of all regulations pertaining to the development and commercialization of medical device products. Currently, I oversee all operations for three FDA approved clinical trials using Merit Medical products.

Most Rewarding. I feel that every part of my work is rewarding. Being the Clinical Operations Manager comes with great responsibility and importance. I manage a staff of ten highly specialized individuals here at the Merit office in Rockland, Massachusetts. We run three clinical trials involving hundreds of patients. The importance of clinical trials can’t be understated. All of my efforts are directed towards helping people. The development of innovative new treatments and products are important to the ever changing Healthcare Industry. Clinical trials are a crucial part of the innovation and development. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nurse. But I am making a difference in the lives of patients through medical research. Having found my way of helping people, is what’s truly rewarding.

My Part in Our Vision. Merit Medical has the vision to “make a difference by understanding our customers needs.” Being the Clinical Operations Manager my work is directed towards understanding and documenting the needs of the patient. Just because a treatment is being used today, doesn’t mean that the treatment should be used tomorrow. Understanding the needs of the customer requires research and the development of new treatments. Clinical research gives us the ability to understand these needs and bring new products to the market.

New York Yankees? Absolutely not. No way. Not ever. I’m from Boston, our sports teams are a way of life here. Being from Boston, it’s not even a question of being a fan of our teams. We just are. We are Boston Strong. I just went to a Patriots game last weekend. It’s hard to explain, it’s just a real big thing and not just for the Red Sox, it’s for all our sports teams.

I Am Merit: Brandon Beck

Brandon presenting a manufacturing flow chart for an NPI project.

Brandon Beck, Senior Engineer for Merit Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA

My story here began 20 years ago: I started working here in the now “Merit Malvern” office twenty years ago, right after graduating from Penn State University. When I started it was Thomas Medical and I was a supervisor who worked on the team that built the Classic Sheath, a device for implanting leads for pacemakers and defibrillators. Years later we were acquired by GE Healthcare and then in December 2012, by Merit Medical. Now I’m a Senior Manufacturing Engineer, which means I look after our manufacturing processes to ensure efficiencies and quality, including ECN’s and validations. I review work that others produce and mentor other engineers so they can grow in their professions.

Thomas, then GE, then Merit: The transitions from company to company has been a positive experience. There’s a group of us who have been together for 15-20 years and have gone through these transitions together, making it all feel familiar. However, looking back over the past 20 years, I have been presented with so many varying opportunities and challenges. My goals from day-to-day and year-to-year are never the same. This has made working here feel new, exciting and challenging all the time.

What do you enjoy most about being a Manufacturing Engineer: I love solving problems all day long. Sometimes I feel like a CSI investigator. I love to fix and improve things so I spent many months training to receive my Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Black Belt certifications. Several years ago, we found that we were carrying six months of inventory for one of our most popular products. Utilizing lean and six sigma techniques and working with a team to determine how to reduce waste – we reduced the number of people working on that line by half and now only carry a two week inventory. These efficiencies benefit Merit and our customers.

Tell us about a project you feel most proud of: I’m proud of many of the projects I’ve worked on but the first one that comes to mind is the Steerable Sheath. I was the lead manufacturing engineer working with R&D and it was the first new project coming out of R&D Malvern incorporating lean manufacturing techniques. The steerable sheath is the most complex product we’ve built in Malvern because it has the most parts and several new unique processes. We’re already at 98% yield and labor is the smallest portion of the cost of the product.

After work: I married my wife Meredith the same week I was hired by Thomas Medical, 20 years ago, and my marriage and my career here are still going strong! Meredith and I have three teenagers – two sons and a daughter. Matthew is in college and Christopher and Sarah are in high school. I love hockey and played ice hockey at Penn State. But my real hobby passion is disc golf. Disc golf allows me to see beautiful places while playing a competitive and fun sport. I look forward to playing disc golf at the Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon next time I am in Utah to visit HQ.

I Am Merit: Michelle Molin-Savelkoul

Michelle Molin-Savelkoul
Manager, Customer Service for Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA)
photo: Leon Vrijdag Fotografie

Tell us about managing Merit Medical’s Customer Service for all of Europe, Middle East and Africa: I manage Merit Medical’s customer service for our distributors, direct customers (hospitals) as well as the tender department for all of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEA). When I started (on November 3, 2008), there were three of us in the Distributor Customer Service department for EMEA and approximately 20 people at our facility. Over the past 7 years the number of employees increased to just over 60 people and I now manage 24 customer service employees, soon to be 25 before the end of this year!

I work from our European Headquarters in beautiful Maastricht in the very southern region of The Netherlands on the border of Belgium and Germany.

Tolerance is Key for EMEA Customer Service: The biggest (and most rewarding) challenge for our EMEA Customer Service team is working with 75 countries that speak 12 different languages. This includes 14 countries that sell direct to hospitals and 61 distributor countries. Our team services 1,830 external customers and 75 Merit EMEA sales representatives! Our team speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Russian, English, French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish and Italian and at all times we need to make sure that someone who speaks that language is available to speak with customers calling in.

Tolerance is a very important trait to have when you work in EMEA customer service because we must be familiar with and sensitive to so many different cultures. So I’m sensitive to having a team with a good vibe and I look for people who can maintain a sense of humor while managing so many customers and nationalities.

On why it’s all important to Michelle: I once had a job opportunity to work for a company in a different industry. It didn’t feel important to me – medical devices save lives, they are important and that’s why I love this industry. This was confirmed recently when my husband David suddenly had a heart attack at age 39. Products like the ones that Merit manufactures saved his life. We got married this past weekend after 15 years of being together. I would trust Merit products to go into my husband’s body – I know that we make the highest quality and we do everything we can to produce the best we can.

What about Merit do you enjoy: Merit has a family feeling, it’s like a second home. The people in this company give you that second family feeling. And Customer Service feels to me like the center of everything. We provide all of the information to planning so they can ensure products ship on time, to finance, to logistics, to regulatory, to marketing, to the customer, internally and externally. To them we are the face of Merit.

I have especially enjoyed working with Justin Lampropoulos – he helped me move up from distributor customer service representative to my current position as Customer Service Manager for EMEA. He has motivated me all along the way. His vision for Merit to be the most customer-focused company has been my mantra for our EMEA customer service team – give every country what they need – do anything and everything we can for the customer. That’s what makes Merit very unique in our industry.

After work: On the weekends I love to take my two daughters horseback riding. Yadira is 11 and Yuna is 8. Horses really help me to destress from the week and it’s an activity we love doing together.

I Am Merit: Michelle Xu

Michelle Xu, Asian Channel Management Supervisor

Above all else, Merit Asia’s third employee, Michelle Xu, Channel Management Supervisor, enjoys working with her dedicated Merit colleagues “who never say never.”

Working for Merit Asia as it continues to grow: I joined Merit Asia five and a half years ago in 2010 as an Administration Assistant. I was the third employee then, and now, as of the end of September, we have 89 employees with Merit Asia! I enjoy working for Merit because it is a friendly, flexible and open environment to present your opinions, share your ideas and discuss better solutions. A good work ethic is always encouraged and outstanding performance is rewarded. Merit provides us with different kinds of opportunities to thrive.

Her responsibilities as Channel Management Supervisor: As Asian Channel Management Supervisor I manage 380 distributors in Mainland China and 30 distributors in Southeast Asia. My key responsibilities include conducting due diligence, legal documentation review, on-line compliance training and Agreement and Letter of Authorization as well as distributor performance evaluation and incentives calculation. In addition to my distributor responsibilities I manage sales promotion control, internal process improvements, data analysis and dealer training. Channel Management is an important function that acts like a “doorkeeper,” to monitor distributors’ qualification and activities, and like a “bridge,” to build up a channel and connect external distributors with internal Merit sales representatives. As the Channel Management Supervisor, I ensure that Merit is receiving maximum benefit from our distributors and contribute to the overall sales organization.

On what she enjoys most about Merit: No doubt, if nothing else, THE PEOPLE! People are precious to Merit. All of our incredible achievements have come from the Merit team’s continuous efforts and amazing creations. I enjoy my colleagues who are professional, dedicated and never say never. I am delighted to work with them and celebrate every milestone moment together.

How she spends her time outside of work: I am an outdoor enthusiast and like swimming, spinning, mountain climbing and hiking. I will travel around the world during my annual holiday. Reading books and cooking are also my favorites during my spare time.

I Am Merit: Sarah Spangler

Sales Engineer Sarah Spangler customizes Merit Medical products and devices for Merit’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) customers. Sarah spends her days collaborating with the OEM sales team, customers and other Merit engineers to ensure that we can provide a product that meets the customers’ needs and procedures. Watch her video interview.

I Am Merit: Ricardo Alvarez

Ricardo always tries to include his team – because his team makes him feel successful.

At Merit Medical’s newest facility in Tijuana, Mexico, Manufacturing Manager Ricardo Alvarez does everything he can to ensure his employees feel successful – because his team is what makes Ricardo feel successful.

The path to becoming the 2nd employee at Merit Tijuana: I moved my family to Tijuana in January 2014 when I accepted a position with Integra, a contract manufacturer to Merit for seven years. At Integra I assembled a high performance team to produce Merit products with high standards for Safety, Quality, Delivery and Costs. This April, I had the privilege to become part of the Merit family as the Manufacturing Manager and second employee at the new Merit Tijuana Mexico Plant.

Ricardo’s Hiring Philosophy: I currently have 190 total employees covering Engineering, Facilities, Maintenance and Production. I always try to include my team because my team makes me successful. When I hire I look more at personality and values. I take interviewees to the manufacturing floor to see whether they are passionate and enjoy what they do. Technical skills can be learned, but personality and values is so important because they need to fit well with the team and the company’s vision.

How Ricardo Shapes the Merit Culture in Tijuana: Right now we’re the new kids on the block in Tijuana. But my goal is for employees to stay here a long time because many on our corporate team have 15-20 years seniority! And I believe we can achieve that goal if we follow the Merit culture treating people the best we can and looking after our employees’ personal lives. For example, here at Merit we provide free transportation to and from work, lunch and snacks and life insurance – these benefits are not typical around Tijuana and we want to be the best!

On his Commitment to Work and Family: My passion is Manufacturing Operations and I feel a high degree of responsibility to ensure every single device is manufactured with quality, delivered on time, meets standard costs and exceeds the expectations of our customers, so they can use my products or any other Merit device to improve their quality of life. My best hobby is my family: my wife Alessandra Aranda is my motivation, she supports me in many ways, listening, coaching and living in the manufacturing world with me. We have two children, Constanza age 9, she loves to do yoga, and Andre who is 2 is getting ready to play Soccer! We enjoy biking or simply watching a movie together and the best feeling is to end up the week every Sunday with the work done and the family happy!

I Am Merit: Maeve Harris

Maeve Harris

The large decal on the wall of Maeve’s pack area was her unique idea to make the room special and different. It remains one of the most colorful work spaces throughout all of Merit’s facilities

At Merit Medical’s Galway facility, Quotes and Samples Analyst, Maeve Harris, enjoys meeting directly with physician customers and helping them find solutions that make their jobs more efficient.

Maeve’s Unique Role at Merit Medical: A Merit sales rep from Europe or a distributor from the Middle East or Asia will come to me if one of their physician customers wants a procedure pack. They’ll tell me what they want in that procedure pack and I’ll price it out and build a non-sterile sample to send to the customer. The procedure pack will include everything the doctor needs for that specific procedure, from devices to accessories that Merit doesn’t manufacture, like drapes. These packs save a lot of time for the hospitals and make the doctor’s job more efficient. Once the doctor orders the pack, my job is done until they want to make a change – then they come back to me.

Why she loves coming to work every day: The doctors come to our Vision Building in Galway to meet with me and pull product from our shelves. We collect it all in the pack work area and I build the pack with the customer. I get to meet many new people all the time – our international sales reps and our customers. Every day is different. I really enjoy being able to find solutions for our customers and seeing their appreciation for the opportunity to visit the beautiful Merit facility and the customized efforts we make on their behalf.

On why she stays settled at Merit: I grew up in the middle of Ireland. I’ve lived in several places, as distant as Australia. I’ve tried a few different careers. I was a bit of a wanderer until I moved to Galway to work for Merit six years ago. I started on the production line and later became team leader, eventually helping to start Merit’s custom packs business in 2012 – the first production lot was very exciting! I feel very lucky to have been moved up from production – Merit has given me opportunities. There’s always something new for me to learn here and it keeps me going.

After work: I love hiking in the mountains and beauty of Ireland. I come from a large family – four sisters and one brother and my nieces keep me very busy!

If you could send one message to our customers: Merit provides a very individually tailored product and experience for our customers. Other companies claim that they customize, but they don’t customize like we truly do.

I Am Merit: Connie Ackerman

Connie Akerman

Merit Medical’s Production Planning Manager on her approach to Planning, her work/family balance and how she takes her responsibilities “personally.”

Connie’s History with Merit: “I’ve worked with Fred (as in Fred Lampropoulos, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Merit Medical) for more than 32 years, starting in 1983 at Utah Medical. I started on the production line and moved up through several positions to Planning. Fred brought me to Merit Medical’s Planning Department in 1991 as a Planner for our production and molding facilities. In 2011, I was promoted to Manager of Production Planning for all manufacturing out of Merit’s Utah HQ and today I manage seven, soon to be eight Planners.”

Her Loyalty to Merit Medical: “Fred’s dedication, drive and commitment to his employees makes Merit feel like a home away from home. Fred is just as committed to the people here as he is to the business. And that’s why we’ve grown like we have – it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come! Sometimes you just want to say slow down!! But he just keeps going. Fred has inspired my work ethic and set my drive. I’m not sure I could work for someone other than Fred or anywhere other than Merit for these reasons.”

On her Approach to Planning: “I see Planning as the hub of Merit. We could stop a hospital from completing procedures if a product doesn’t get there. Therefore my job is an important step in saving a patient’s life – and I take this responsibility personally. This drives me in everything I do, from my persistent personality to get things done, to hiring Planners who share this same drive. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure we meet our customers’ needs by getting their orders to them on or ahead of time. We love to beat lead times! We have the strongest planning department we’ve ever had – everyone is proactive and communication flows freely between us and the Customer Service department to ensure our customers have the best experience possible.”

After Work: “When I leave the office my family is my life. I’m married to Rob and we have two kids – Jacob who is 18 and will be leaving for college in the fall, and Kallie, 16, who just got her driver’s license! My kids are my everything to me – we love hanging with our two dogs, camping and 4-wheeling together. At night when I get home I do mom stuff – cook, clean, etc. Late at night I can’t resist reading my Merit emails – but when I’m home – being a wife and a mom is my priority.”