Hello SOTGC community,
It’s a great pleasure to introduce you to the new Area Vice President of Sales for Medtronic’s Advanced Energy division. I met Candice a couple years ago when she was the Orange County/Los Angeles Manager for Medtronic’s Surgical Technologies division. She had reached out to my manager and asked if one of his account managers would do a presentation on the two products that Medtronic had just bought and meet her team at their regional sales meeting.
What I admire about Candice is that it was clear from the start that her team was not just a team…they were a family. Though there was a myriad of different products and technologies represented by her team, they all acted like each one knew each others’ business and stepped in to help when their teammate needed it. That kind of dynamic is a direct reflection of the management leading them. I had gotten some inside scoop on who our new AVP would be and when I realized it was her I immediately reached out to congratulate her and asked for an interview that I could launch the day they made the formal announcement. A huge THANK YOU to Suzanne Foster and Mark Fletcher for giving us this awesome new leader for the West. I hope you enjoy getting to know and learn from this lady as I’m sure I will as long as I have the pleasure of working with her and I wish her the best of luck…I know she’s going to “make it rain” in the western US.
Who is Candice Donahoe?
I was born in Canada, grew up in sunny San Diego, CA and then went to Indiana University on a full ride Division 1 tennis scholarship. I graduated from the Kelly School of Business with a degree in Finance. For the first three years out of college I went through almost every role you could have in that field before finally realizing it just wasn’t for me. I remember walking through the halls at work SEARCHING for people I could talk to. I couldn’t just sit in front of my computer looking at spreadsheets all day. I’ve always been a people person and when I ran into the VP of Sales at my company he flat out told me I was in the wrong job…and should look into sales. So for a while I spent a lot of time networking extensively and looking into various sales roles.
My friend worked in the medical device field and when he went to a conference for work, I decided to tag along with him, hit the conference floor and meet as many people and learn about as many companies as possible. At the end of the conference I found myself at a BBQ with several Medtronic people and continued my networking and mingling. Later I found out the person I had shared the majority of my conversation with, explaining the direction I wanted to go in, turned out to be the VP of Sales at Medtronic Neurologic Technologies at the time. Two months later I had a job as an associate sales representative! Nine months after that I was promoted to the Orange County Sales Representative for Neurologic Technologies (which later merged fully with Surgical Technologies) where I became the first female national “Sales Representative of the Year”. I was promoted to Regional Sales Director 4 ½ years after that and became the first female national “Regional Sales Director of the Year” for Surgical Technologies. During my time as the Orange County/Los Angeles RSD our team enjoyed winning President’s Club 3 times and I’m proud to say multiple account managers from my team won multiple President’s Club awards. I highlight the fact that I was the first female as during these times there were not many of us and I am a true example of the importance of seeking out diverse candidates as it can truly add a different perspective and value to your team.
Your OC/LA team for Medtronic Surgical Technologies was consistently one of the top, and won President’s Club 3 times. What are three things that you feel were instrumental in your team’s success?
- We are a true TEAM that comes together and functions as one. We have created a culture where everyone trusts one another and learns together. We are a family that really enjoys working together to reach a common goal.
- We work hard and play hard. We are all driven and ambitious; however, we make sure to take time to celebrate the wins.
- We have great communication, we are all open and honest with each other, we understand our roles and what we need to do to be successful.
How do you feel about being the first female area Vice President for Medtronic Advanced Energy, and what can we look forward to in your role with us?
I’ll be honest, I’m excited and nervous and I think the first 90 days for me will be crucial. I understand all eyes are watching me and not everyone knows my background so I’ll be working hard to earn respect and credibility and getting to know the team. What I’m really looking forward to is learning about your products, learning what has made other managers, AVPs, and teams successful, and really embracing the culture that Salient Surgical and PEAK have brought to this division. I’m looking forward to building a winning team – I am ready to go all in!
You joined this very male dominated industry when the “Good Old Boys Club” was in its prime. What do you feel you did that helped set you apart and succeed back when it was so rare for a woman to be in surgical device sales?
As a former athlete, I grew up around the boys. I am competitive, driven and tough while also respectful, genuine and comfortable with being my authentic self. Situational awareness plays a big role in this through understanding who you’re working around and being sensitive to that in your actions and mannerisms. My advice for women in male dominated industries is always be kind, be professional and work hard, be excellent at what you do, and you’ll earn the respect of your male peers. You do not need to overcompensate and be someone that you are not.
What are the two most valuable lessons you have learned in your career?
- Recognizing the value and power of networking, and more importantly, genuine networking. It doesn’t matter if I’m on an airplane, at a company meeting, or at a coffee shop, I always meet people and continue to build my network.
- Not be afraid to take a risk. Get outside your comfort zone and try something new that you want even when it’s scary. Thanks to my Father and upbringing, I look at everything from an athlete’s mind, it’s just how I approach challenges and life. Believe in yourself, be competitive, passionate, dedicated, set goals, and never be afraid to step up and just like my tennis days be ready to “play anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
What is your mantra?
I love roses so if you are with me and I see rose bushes, I really will stop and smell the roses! That being said, I have a quote in my house that I framed, by Abraham Lincoln: “I can complain because rosebushes have thorns, or rejoice because the thorn bush has a rose, it is all up to me.” You can choose to be positive and see the beauty that life has to offer!