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Tammy Atwood

General manager, Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc., 1129 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma 94954, 707-283-0550, oculusis.com

Age: 45

Residence: Rohnert Park

Professional background: General management, facilities management, quality assurance and customer service.

Education: Santa Rosa Junior College

Staff: Eight direct reports, 16 indirect reports

Describe the facilities you oversee: A 17,300-square-foot medical device manufacturing facility with clean rooms for the production, bottling and packaging of both liquid and hydrogel solutions.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am a proud wife of a wonderful man of 24 years and a mother of two beautiful teenagers. My family (immediate, extended, and close family friends) are the most important thing to me. I believe, at the end of the day, without a loving support system you are truly nowhere in life.

My husband and I will shortly be sending our oldest daughter off to college and teaching our youngest to drive. I believe stepping aside and letting go, for your children to follow their own path in life, can definitely be defined as “a major project on the horizon” for any devoted parent.

I'm a Sonoma County native who grew up within the dairy industry. I attribute my strong work ethic and desire for a hard day's work to having been raised on a dairy, where you truly are responsible for the livelihood of your family, living creatures and the success of a business.

What do you see as the role of the facilities managers within your organization? My role is to ensure that we meet our customer and partners orders while ensuring we maintain the highest level of compliance to the regulations that govern our industry.

What is the achievement you are most proud of? Personally, that would be my family. Professionally, would be my growth into the position of general manager. I have been in one form of management or another since the young age of 17; continually stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on challenges that have been presented to me, have allowed me the opportunity to grow into my current position.

My departure from administration management to quality assurance has given me the training and knowledge required to truly support the statement “Quality is built into a product, not tested out” in our field of work. This is a very important rule to live by, as it assures the safety and effectiveness of our products. 

What is your biggest challenge today? As general manager, I find my biggest challenge is maintaining a balance between the areas for which I am responsible. If you do not maintain a balance, you can easily find there is not enough time in a day to accomplish and/or support the projects at hand.

What helps you do your job more effectively?: My management team and our dedicated group of employees help me to be efficient and effective at my job. Each and every one of them contributes to my success as a facilities manager.

Most admired business person outside your organization: This would be my dad. He was a dedicated dad, friend and businessman. My dad taught me that you can accomplish any task at hand with hard work and perseverance. In addition, he taught me to never feel above any task that needs to be done -- roll up your sleeves and jump in to help get the job done. A team with a working, supportive leader is a successful team, even if and, most importantly, when a goal is not met.

Current reading: Fish! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen and Ken Blanchard

Stress relievers: Spending time with my family, walking and vacationing.

Favorite hobbies: Camping, cooking and reading.

Words that best describe you: Problem-solver, hard-working, detail-oriented (to a fault), organized, supportive and loyal.