Love Kudos, Remembrance is an occasional installment profiling people from the Main Line who stumble into grand loves, stand out to their neighbors and whose memories remain after they're gone.
Joseph Carberry was in the middle of an icebreaker at a conference in Atlanta, Ga. when the the winner of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce's Emerging Leader of the Year award was announced. Executives present had to match factoids to their peers in the group, and Carberry's was that he rides a Harley bike. The reader began, "This gentleman has just won the Main Line Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leader Award."
"And I thought, 'no one here except Eric [Ansart] and I are from the Main Line, I can't believe he won this award and didn't tell me,'' Carberry, 33, said. "And then the reader adds, 'And he rides a Harley,' and I'm like, 'what?'"
"I'm honored," the Medical Solutions Supplier executive officer added. "I don't really think in terms of where does this rank me in society or what kind of recognition this is going to bring me...it's all very humbling."
It's no wonder that Carberry, who's been with the Glen Mills-based circulatory relief product supplier for nearly eight years, was named Emerging Leader of the Year the Wayne-based Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Aside from his modesty, Carberry spends his day-to-day work hours creating an environment that produces not just effective collaboration, but fosters creativity while improving patients' lives.
It's the construction of this working atmosphere that led Ansart, national sales team leader, and former Lower Merion Township Public Information Officer Brenda Viola to nominate Carberry for the honor.
"It's an environment where you can grow and be inspired," Viola, Medical Solutions' executive public relations director, said. "It's so exciting to nominate somebody who wasn't seeking the attention, and we're thrilled our leader won this."
Carberry's journey to the Medical Solutions team began after he graduated the Philadelphia Academy for Boys and Girls in 1997. Carberry, living in Marshallton of West Bradford Township at the time, went straight to work as a telemarketer and later account executive for an environmental health and safety training firm in Philadelphia.
In 2004, Carberry played a golf game with Medical Solutions President and Owner, Steve Kantor, when the two struck up a conversation about how Kantor could bring in more independent sales representatives to his company.
The talk resulted in Carberry spending the succeeding weeks writing Kantor a business plan for hiring, trianing and supporting a full-time sales team, rather than stick to independent sales representatives. When Kantor finished and read the plan, he called the account executive at his Philadelphia office and offered to bring him on board to implement the plan he wrote.
By November 2004, Carberry left his job in Philadelphia, bought a folding table and set up his laptop and cell phone in a basement bedroom of Kantor's where Medical Solutions originally operated.
"He was open to new ideas, he was incredibly supportive to changing the way he sold this product and the business model," Carberry said of Kantor. "He really gave me carte blanche to be able to affect change within the organization, which in my limited experience in business is not always heard of."
A few months after Carberry joined the company, Medical Solutions moved out of Kantor's basement down a few miles to their current office on LaCrue Street near the Brinton Lake Shopping Center. The small business with about three employees besides Kantor and Carberry grew to a 70-member full-time team with about five times the space it originally had.
Carberry attributes the company's continuing growth to three factors he says are important to any organization – the people on board, the strategy developed to build an organization and the execution of that strategy.
"The original business plan is probably wildly different from our business plan today because we're constantly evolving and changing it, and getting feedback from folks on the team and our clients out in the field," Carberry said.
Ensuring the success of these factors, says Carberry, is matter of maximizing the strengths of the Medical Solutions team.
"I really don't believe that leadership is about duplicating yourself or about teaching people what to do," he added. "If you create an environment that empowers employees individually, you get a whole other level of creativity, passion and ideas....and in today's world, you can't afford to stifle the creativity of the people in your organization for the sake of managing them to get a task done on a daily basis."
This leadership philosophy stems not only from Carberry's father, uncles and grandfather, all of whom were salesmen as well, or his favorite business and management, experts Verne Harnish and Gary Hamel. it also comes from the inspiration Carberry and his team get from the people they help.
Medical Solutions helps more than 800 new patients a month with its pneumatic compression devices, which inflates air into a garment that goes over patients' extremities. This helps alleviate chronic pain for those suffering from conditions, such as lymphedema, venous disease, chronic wounds and arterial disease, by increasing circulation via non-invasive compression pump therapy.
"We get testimonies day after day from patients over the simple stuff," Carberry said. "One woman said, 'I used to walk with my husband every night for two miles after dinner, and for the last three years I haven't been able to because my legs have been too swollen. Just last night, I took the first walk with my husband again.' It's amazing the difference we make in people's lives."
Carberry said his parents, his wife Jennifer, who he's been married to for seven years, as well as his 3-year-old Olivia and 2-year-old son Grayon are very proud of his achievement.
"The fact that Joe is such a solid family man, he brings that to the table when he comes to work, it adds to the whole picture," Viola said. "Obviously he's got all the leadership skills and the savvy, but knowing he's got his feet firmly planted on the ground with a loving and supportive family goes a long way, too."
Medical Solutions' executive officer Carberry will be awarded at the Chamber's "A Celebration of Business Leadership" luncheon on June 27 at the Desmond Great Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern. Carberry adds that the award isn't just reflective of him, but of the entire team at Medical Solutions, as well.
"it's a true representation of the people we have at this organization, from the owner who allows me to create an environment like this, to our entire executive team, all the way down to the employees that are doing the job," he added. "A leader is only as successful as those around him."