We are fortunate to work in a great industry, filled with good people that are trying to do good things. Too often we let the negativity of the constant pressures and perceptions cloud us on that fact. Sure, its’ not as fun or easy to sell a product today as it once was. The financial and regulatory climate has been tough on many companies resulting in good people and companies having to make hard decisions.
This article isn’t about the negative things that happen in our business. I am currently writing this on the plane home from NASS in New Orleans and all I can think about is a concert that I went to last night and the good people that are involved in a company that put others first. Spinal Elements, founded by Todd Andres and Jason Blain, have had to fight through all the same obstacles that every other company in this industry has had to deal with. There is, however, something that makes this company different than most.
Last year, Spinal Elements launched a new allograft product called HERO. This product does great things. The Spinal Elements team decided that they would donate ALL of the profit from this product to charity. They wanted to give this money to worthy causes that impact others lives in dramatic ways. The charities they selected were: St. Jude Hospital and Make-a-Wish foundation. Like most other companies do, they decided to throw a big event on one of the evenings at NASS to celebrate success. However, it wasn’t focused on their success. They invited some of the people that work with the selected charities as well as some of the families that have been greatly impacted by what these charities do. After hearing these amazing stories, Todd and Jason joined them on stage to present a check. This year, the checks were $125,000 to each St. Jude and Make-a-Wish. WOW!!! A quarter of a million dollars that could have gone to further product development or commercialization support, or simply lined the executives pockets and instead the money went to help children battling terrifying diseases.
After the presentation of the checks were made, the band Smashmouth stepped on stage and played hit songs. I was in a group with several friends and we all said the same thing: “I have an early flight tomorrow so I will probably only stay for a couple of songs”. Well guess what, when those songs started, the audience migrated to the dance floor and danced and sang and had a great time. By the time they sang their last song “All-Star” every single one of us was still there having a great time. I know that I am already looking forward to this must see event next year!!