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A man in a business suit with short, gray hair smiles at the camera. Text reads "Tim Early, CEO DreamOn Group" and "SYM Financial Advisors Executive Decisions, A Podcast for Business Leaders in the Medical Device Industry" on a green and purple background.

From Pacemakers to Entrepreneurship: Navigating the Medical Device Industry with Tim Early

In this episode:

In this episode of Executive Decisions, guest hosted by Seth Whicker, guest Tim Early, CEO of DreamOn Group, shares his insightful journey from an early career decision to move from New York to Florida, leading to a pivotal role in the medical device industry with Cordis Corporation. Tim reflects on his educational transitions, notably from West Point to Rochester Institute of Technology, and his shift from accounting to packaging engineering, emphasizing the importance of aligning one’s strengths with career choices. The episode delves into Tim’s experiences with changing industry regulations and the challenges they presented, highlighting his adaptability and growth in various roles, including quality engineering at companies like CR Bard Corporation and Johnson & Johnson. Tim discusses the nuances of different corporate cultures, and the significance of effective communication and diverse skill sets in executive leadership. The narrative also touches on his venture into entrepreneurship, offering valuable lessons on risk-taking, resilience, and the critical balance of opportunity and decision-making in an executive’s journey.


About our guest, Tim Early:

Tim Early, the CEO of DreamOn Group is known by many as the Founder and former CEO of Network Partners Group and a visionary in the life sciences industry. Tim brings with him a rich history of innovation, evidenced by his contributions to medical technology and packaging. He holds patents for advancements in laparoscopic packaging. His leadership in companies like Network Partners, Zimmer, and Johnson & Johnson has centered around building teams of passionate professionals and developing solutions that emphasize client and colleague needs. With a Master’s in Packaging from RIT, Tim continues to shape the industry with forward-thinking approaches and a commitment to excellence.


Summary and highlights from the show:

• Early Career Decisions: Tim Early shares his journey of moving from New York to Florida without a job and how he seized an opportunity in the medical device industry with Cordis Corporation, reflecting the importance of adaptability and initiative in leadership.

• Educational Shift and Career Relevance: Discussing his transition from West Point to Rochester Institute of Technology, Tim highlights the significance of recognizing one’s strengths and interests, as he shifted from accounting to packaging engineering.

• On-the-Job Learning and Growth: Tim talks about his early career experiences in medical device packaging, emphasizing the value of learning on the job and adapting to roles beyond formal education, a key skill for successful executive leadership.

• Facing Industry Regulations and Challenges: Tim’s experience with FDA regulations at Cordis Corporation illustrates the importance of compliance and adaptability in executive roles, especially when navigating changing industry standards.

• Career Development at CR Bard Corporation and Johnson & Johnson: Tim recounts his roles at these companies, focusing on the impact of corporate culture on his professional growth. His experiences underline the importance of aligning with a company’s culture and values for effective leadership.

• Quality Engineering and Interdisciplinary Skills: Tim’s transition from packaging to quality engineering demonstrates the need for executives to possess diverse skill sets and the ability to handle various aspects of a business.

• Leadership and Communication Skills: Discussing his role at Johnson & Johnson, Tim emphasizes the importance of effective communication with both peers and executives, a crucial skill for leadership, especially when delivering challenging news.

• Insights on Corporate Culture: Reflecting on his time at different companies, Tim shares insights into various corporate cultures (technology-driven, sales and marketing-driven, financially-driven) and how understanding these cultures is vital for effective leadership and decision-making.

• Professional Risks and Learning from Mistakes: Tim’s story of starting ISO Pack and the challenges faced provides insights into risk-taking and learning from failures, highlighting resilience as a key attribute of executive leadership.

• Final Reflections on Career and Leadership: In his closing remarks, Tim reflects on his career, emphasizing the importance of understanding the full breadth of business operations and the challenges of transitioning from a corporate executive to a business owner. He also shares his regret of not starting his entrepreneurial venture earlier, illustrating the balance of risk and opportunity in executive decision-making.


Connect with Tim Early:


About SYM Financial Advisors and the Executive Decisions Podcast:

Executive Decisions is a podcast designed for current and aspiring business leaders, offering an in-depth look at the evolving nature of executive roles. Hosted by SYM Financial Advisors Principal and Senior Financial Advisor Sarah Delahanty, the show delves into the personal and professional journeys of its guests, exploring the challenges they’ve overcome and the learning experiences that have shaped their paths to success. The podcast provides insights into how executives manage the increasing complexity of both their professional and personal lives. Featuring a range of guests from diverse industries, each episode aims to enlighten listeners on the continuous state of learning and adaptation necessary for effective leadership. Whether discussing career progression, leadership strategies, or personal growth, Executive Decisions is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the multifaceted world of executive leadership.

Disclosure: Certain links above are to third-party sites and are not affiliated with SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”). SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.

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