CEO, REACH Air Medical Services
Company address: 451 Aviation Blvd., Ste. 210, Santa Rosa 95403
Professional background: Graduated from nursing school in 1986; ICU staff nurse and ICU clinical educator, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena; emergency and trauma staff nurse, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital; director of trauma and emergency services, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital; area vice president of ancillary operations, St. Joseph Health System—Sonoma County
Education: Nursing degree from Pacific Union College and graduate degree from the University of San Francisco in public administration and health services
What do you see as the essential role of a leader in the current environment? Creating, driving and inspiring organizational culture through a lived vision and mission
What are the biggest changes you've seen in your industry?
Large influx of private equity and venture capital funding
Significant rise in the uninsured or underinsured
Increased demand from rural communities and rural hospitals
What advice would you give to young emerging leaders? Stay true to who you are and what you stand for. Your personal values and ethics are more important than title or position. And, as important, never stop listening and learning.
What's the best advice for weathering today's economic environment?
Enhance your attention on your customers and your customers’ needs
Continue to innovate
Push to eliminate waste and non-value-added processes
Fiscal stewardship and fiscal discipline
How do you think your business will change in the next five years?
Continued demand coupled with decreasing reimbursement.
Increased government regulations
Mergers and consolidations
What is a decision you wish you hadn't made? What did you learn from it? Delaying tough or painful decisions secondary to emotional or personal relationships. The lesson learned is that tough problems do not resolve themselves; they only grow in complexity and severity.
What is your most memorable business experience? Being offered my current position, which afforded me the chance to follow in the footsteps of a visionary leader and industry maverick.
What is your greatest business success? Being part of the team who achieved the designation of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as the region’s Level II Trauma Center
What was your toughest business decision? The decision to eliminate positions or to close operations
What would your friends be surprised to find out about you? I completed the High School Proficiency Exam in 10th grade and then quit high school.
First job: Stock clerk in small family-owned grocery store
Most admired businessperson outside the company: Gary Haugen, president and CEO of the International Justice Mission
Current reading: "Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action," by Simon Sinek
Most want to meet: John Muir, Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Jack Welch