Cathy

Strategic Talent Sourcing Consultant,
Corporate Human Resources
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Chair Medtronic Women's Council
Employee Resource Group

career-profile-ckrier

Before joining Medtronic, I was a field engineer for a company that designed and manufactured anesthesia equipment. After servicing equipment in a variety of hospital settings, I was promoted into a quality assurance engineering role, bringing the voice of the customer to the R&D and Manufacturing teams. While I loved contributing to the launch of a new platform product, the future work looked like it would be more iterative than true R&D, so I started paying attention to industry trends. Medtronic was acquiring a lot of companies, which was marvelous to watch as a stockholder. So, when a headhunter called about some exciting opportunities in Quality in the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management group at Medtronic, I knew the company was investing in technology and had a strong pipeline of new products. After meeting a few people, I knew it would be rewarding to work for Medtronic, even though it required moving from Madison to Minneapolis – a tough move for a Green Bay Packer football fan.

Once I was here, I quickly moved up through the ranks in Quality. At the same time, the company tapped me to help recruit new engineers, because they knew I had a strong professional network. I was an active member of both the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society for Quality. Recently, I had the opportunity to move into a companywide Talent Acquisition area full time. I realized it was a great match for my functional and business skills, and provided an opportunity to broaden my leadership experience.

A key part of my role is to attract high-potential diverse talent in Quality, Regulatory, and Clinical functions. It can be challenging in locations that don't have diverse community demographics, but the culture within Medtronic is certainly diverse and inclusive. On one of my very first days at Medtronic, I remember my new team members talking about lutefisk, a Scandinavian dish that I'd never heard of. I shared my ethnic food experiences, and we all learned something that day. That memory has been a constant reminder that everyone here is very open to knowledge sharing, whether it's about cultural backgrounds, operating best practices, or product details.

Joined Medtronic: 2000

Grew up in: Racine, Wisconsin

Education:
Milwaukee School of Engineering, bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering
Capella University, MBA

What I look for in quality, regulatory, and clinical job prospects:
People who thrive on team dynamics and naturally play devil's advocate to drive well-vetted creative outcomes. Our success relies on bouncing around fresh ideas and thinking outside the box.

Event that motivated me to promote diversity and inclusion:
I was working as a field engineer. The industry was extremely male dominated, and I had to do an emergency service call at a small-town hospital. My client and the contractors were upset that they sent a "woman" to do the job. I knew I had the technical and soft skills to solve their installation issue. Within 48 hours, after several condescending remarks, the gas supply was up with the alarm system running properly. My client was so impressed that he sent glowing remarks about my aptitude and service.

Source of pride:
As a member of the Medtronic Women's Council, I worked with supportive champions, established a committee of highly creative individuals, and led the creation of a mentoring program that pairs women across our businesses and countries to learn from and support each other.

Personal impact of biomedical engineering:
My 5-year-old son was born with profound hearing loss. We tried hearing aids, but they didn't work. When he was 1, we made the tough decision to have a cochlear implant. You see, as a parent, it's very hard to think about major surgery for your baby. We were fortunate to have support from some wonderful people at the Oral School for the Deaf, Northern Voices. We now volunteer our time to provide that same support to new families going through that difficult early period. This year my son is graduating from Northern Voices and going into a mainstream kindergarten. I am so very proud of him and grateful for his technology, which is so integral to our lives.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

Section Navigation

Additional information

Australasia