Stryker Story Subject Of WMSTI Seminar

November 27, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative will present Rick Huyser, director of advanced product development for Stryker Corp., as the guest speaker at the WMSTI Life Sciences seminar on Dec. 5.

Huyser will share the story of the Kalamazoo company’s rise to prominence in global medical device manufacturing. With more than 18 years of experience in concept development, intellectual property and identifying opportunities for Stryker, Huyser will share his insights on how other companies in West Michigan can bring an innovative idea to fruition.

Stryker is an example of how a medical device company began in a doctor's office and ultimately worked its way up to the 422nd place on the Fortune 500 list of the largest corporations in America in 2007.

In October, Stryker met Wall Street's earnings expectations for the third quarter and topped sales estimates. Profits were up 21 percent from a year ago, to $229 million, or 55 cents a share. Total sales for the quarter were $1.45 billion, surpassing Wall Street projections by $5 million. Stryker announced it has raised its expectations for sales this year to be an increase of 13 percent or more over last year.

Stryker had total sales of $5.4 billion in 2006, with most of its revenue from orthopaedic implants and equipment. The implants are used in joint replacement, trauma, craniomaxillofacial and spinal surgeries. Other products relate to biologics; surgical, neurologic, ear, nose, throat and interventional pain equipment; and endoscopic, surgical navigation, communications and digital imaging systems; as well as patient handling and emergency medical equipment. According to Stryker, orthopaedic implants and equipment are a $22 billion market worldwide.

Stryker Corp. has just over 15,000 employees worldwide, with 1,750 in Michigan.

Stryker was incorporated in Michigan in 1946 as the successor company to a business founded in 1941 by Dr. Homer H. Stryker, an orthopaedic surgeon and inventor of several orthopaedic products. Huyser said it was Dr. Stryker's concern for the well-being of his patients that led to his innovations. Later it was Lee Stryker, Dr. Stryker's son, who led the creation of a direct sales force.

"Today we have a worldwide sales force which facilitates a strong connection with our customers," said Huyser.

Huyser will also explain how other leaders of the Stryker Corp. set challenging goals and pursued a combined strategy of internal development and external acquisition.

Companies that are interested in serving as Stryker suppliers — or suppliers to other leading companies in the medical device industry — may also be interested in Huyser's comments on what Stryker looks for in its suppliers.

Huyser's presentation starts at 9 a.m. at the GVSU Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, 301 Michigan St. NE, in Grand Rapids. Admission is $30 for members of the WMSTI; $40 for nonmembers. Admission includes a breakfast, which starts at 8:30 a.m. and provides an opportunity to meet other professionals in the West Michigan medical device industry. The seminar concludes at noon.

Register online at or by contacting Kim Bode at

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