Treasa Springett is president of Donatelle Plastics -— a world-class contract manufacturer of medical components and devices, specializing in injection molding, LSR, precision machining, device assembly, and tool building. Springett joined Donatelle in 2004 and built an executive staff and Leadership Team that have continued to grow the business by developing and expanding processes, capabilities, and technologies, and offering these enhanced capabilities to our global Medical Device OEM customers. With over 55 years of experience, Donatelle manufactures products across many markets within this industry, including cardiac & vascular, neuromodulation, orthopedic, ophthalmic, diabetes & drug delivery, diagnostics, and surgical technology.
Springett has more than 35 years of contract manufacturing industry experience in medical device product development and manufacturing; having served in many leadership roles spanning from engineering, sales, operations, and administrative functions. Prior to joining Donatelle, Springett was vice president of manufacturing for a major contract manufacturer responsible for over 15 manufacturing sites and more than 2000 employees. A transformational business leader, Springett has led cultural change and technology advancements that have become foundational in achieving organizational success at all levels and across multiple disciplines. Springett contributed to numerous technical papers and industry handbooks to further the advancement of technology related to injection molding.
What first drew you to medtech? When did you first know you wanted to be in this industry?
In my earlier years as a student, I never really thought about the MedTech industry. I went to school to be a mechanical engineer and was fortunate enough to get a summer job with a custom injection molder in a town where I attended college. Immediately I found my passion for engineering and manufacturing. Then in my first full-time engineering position, I was able to work on products that served the automotive and medical industries. The opportunity to work on life-changing and possibly life-sustaining medical devices became a compelling passion for me in my career. Having an opportunity to design and build products and devices that touch people at a point of care and can improve the quality of life for them is very rewarding work. I have been pursuing this passion ever since that first engineering position, and today 100% of the focus for the company I lead is on the medical industry.
Talk about your leadership skills. What is the most important lesson you have learned that has guided you in your career?
Leading is all about people and communication. It is about creating an environment where people feel they are valued and can bring their best to the work they do each day. I learned early in my leadership career that the most important work we do as leaders is working to create and maintain a culture that is purposeful and based on core values that are well communicated and expectations understood. As a leader, I work to help provide opportunities that allow our people to grow their skills and careers to reach their highest potential and career goals. Leading in a way that communicates company direction and setting clarity for expectations and what needs to be accomplished for the overall success of the organization. It is important the Leadership Team fully embraces the company values and cultural expectations and then leads in that way for every decision and everything we do as leaders. Having clarity on goals and expectations (whether corporate or individual contributors), communicating them on a regular basis, and having key metrics aligned to expectations will provide clarity and feedback on the success in reaching the end goal.
What projects, past or present, have made you love what you do? What projects are you looking forward to?
It’s hard to single out a project or two that have made me love what I do. For me, it is the opportunity to work across so many segments within this MedTech industry — devices and products within the various markets, such as neuromodulation, cardiac and surgical devices, cardiac rhythm devices, ophthalmic, orthopedic, and long-term implants that secure tissue or bone, and drug delivery devices for diabetes and other conditions. Each and every project has such a unique approach to delivering the therapy or solution, and that for me is really exciting to be a part of and to be the manufacturing partner for our OEM customers in bringing those products to reality.
Describe your biggest leadership challenge. How did you conquer it or resolve it, or what was the outcome?
One of the biggest leadership challenges I had to overcome had to do with transforming a business from a very specialized and focused type product business to a more diversified business. This diversification needed to happen not only from a process and capability offering to our customers, but also from a customer base. Our business was heavily defined by a very short list of customers and producing really one main product for those customers. We had a solid reputation for high quality and being able to produce very tight tolerance and complex components and devices. That reputation built a very nice business for the company; however, like anything to sustain and grow, you need to continuously challenge and develop new technologies and solutions for MedTech customers. That is exactly what we did. As a Leadership Team, we created a strategy and plan that would diversify our business across many industries within the medical device arena. We created new capabilities we felt would complement our current capabilities and offer our customers more value and, in some instances, solutions that were not available within our industry as a one- stop shop. As part of our strategy, we created very specific sales plans that would further expand our reach with current customers and define targeted customers we felt would benefit from our vertically integrated capabilities and key offerings. We worked these plans and made changes as necessary to achieve the diversification and still maintain the high quality and technical reputation we have always been known for. Our work to continue to reinvent ourselves and be relevant to what the industry needs are today and in the future will never end; that is what is exciting and most rewarding for me and our Leadership Team.
In your opinion, what more can be done to promote the greater participation of young women in the MedTech industry today? Why is it important for companies to be more inclusive and have more women in charge?
I think exposing young girls to technology and science at a young age is one way to do this. Career fairs and STEM classes being offered at an early phase in their education will help a great deal to create interest and greater participation. At our company, we offer tours and mentorships to help both boys and girls get some exposure to technology and manufacturing supporting the MedTech industry.