Edward A. Pesicka became President and Chief Executive Officer of Owens & Minor, Inc., in March of 2019. Founded in 1882, the Virginia-based global company is a manufacturer, distributor, and supply management service provider of consumable medical and surgical equipment.
As the demand for China-sourced personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers began to rise in late 2019, Mr. Pesicka led the company to ramp up their production of N95 masks, surgical masks, and surgical gowns at their America’s based manufacturing facilities.
Through hiring 500 new employees and running four production shifts 24/7, Owens & Minor was able to increase its production of masks by 40-50 million per month and its production of gowns by more than 50%.
In recognition of the company’s critical role in combating the COVID-19 crisis, Owens & Minor was asked to join the Supply Chain Task Force and Mr. Pesicka was invited to the White House to participate in a round table discussion with the President Trump and Vice President Pence along with other industry leaders and US Government officials. The day culminated with Mr. Pesicka participating in the Rose Garden news briefing on March 29, 2020.
When considering the impact of COVID-19 , Mr Pesicka explains, “The most challenging aspect of our work now is that the demand for our products far outpaces what we can produce. At the same time as we operate with increased intensity and workload to help address the short-term issues, we are also planning to meet future needs for PPE products driven by COVID-19. This will be accomplished through the expansion of our domestic manufacturing capacity which is likely to take 5 to 6 months.”
“It is both inspiring and humbling to know that we are serving those on the frontlines of healthcare,” he said. “Our job is to empower them to deliver world class care to their patients and we are doing everything within our control to deliver on that promise.”
One of the first initiatives that Mr. Pesicka implemented when he began leading Owens & Minor was a refocusing of the company’s mission and values to help drive a customer-focused culture of industry leading service. “It is very rewarding to see our IDEAL values – Integrity, Development, Excellence, Accountability, and Listening – in practice as our entire team works to creatively solve problems for our customers and help them advance healthcare during this global crisis and beyond.”
“My time at Muskingum still influences how I approach my work today,” Mr. Pesicka recalls. “As a student-athlete in football and wrestling, I developed the mental toughness and ability to work with a high level of intensity to accomplish what needs to be done. Professor Charles Drubel was a great mentor in business, and my liberal arts classes taught me essential critical thinking skills.”
“Throughout my career, for example, I have drawn on what I learned in Professor Gene Alessandrini’s public speaking class, including when I was recently interviewed by MSNBC. And when I had the opportunity to be in the White House and stand in the Oval Office, I had a great sense of our nation’s history, because of Professors David Sturtevant and Robert Munkres.”
Mr. Pesicka graduated from Muskingum with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining Owens & Minor, he was Chief Commercial Officer and Senior Vice President of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Earlier in his career, he served TRW, Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers.