ISS Solutions Adopts a New Family and Continues Their Dream
It takes real vision to entrust the future of the company you built into the hands of another and Phil Wojcik has always been looking ahead. Back in 1972, he forged the path for Medical Integrated Services, Inc. (MIS), a successful clinical engineering service provider based in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. A truly innovative company, MIS specialized in offering one-of-a-kind services from the very beginning, cementing its place within an industry that later viewed its work as par for the course. MIS originated an asset management program of great value. “We would go in and look at all the contracts that existed within a medical facility and put those under a single contract that we would manage, paid for on an as needed basis,” Phil explains. This is the kind of unique foresight Phil had when expanding into a field he couldn’t even at first define. His signature foresight came in handy when making his final decision as CEO for the company’s next era—selling it to ISS Solutions in March 2011.
A Passion Project
When Phil started his career in healthcare at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, in 1966, he had no idea he would one day be CEO of his own biomedical engineering asset management business. However, his keen entrepreneurial spirit and passion for his work led him in exciting new directions when he became a board member and later the CEO of MIS. Over time, Phil gathered new members from the healthcare field in Detroit and Cleveland, taking the company from the nonprofit sector in order to expand service to for-profit healthcare organizations and physician offices. Phil implemented a detailed computerized inventory recording system and expanded services into anesthesia and sterilizer repair. The company grew in success as Phil ran with the anxieties of Y2K and went the extra mile to provide additional services to customers to verify their equipment would continue to work in the new millennium.
Faced with an aging board wishing to sell a burgeoning business, Phil and his wife, Coleen, made the decision to buy MIS. Coleen, who became MIS' CFO, had experience in the pricing department of Amoco Oil as well as managing the accounts of different building companies in Ohio. “Over time, we developed a niche market in the small-to-medium rural hospitals that were our primary basis for revenue and service,” Phil recalls. With a staff of eighteen—five in the corporate office, with the remaining technicians working from home—Phil ran a service that went above and beyond ordinary expectations.
A Positive Transition
Phil took MIS from Detroit to all of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and even West Virginia, where a different level of specialized service was provided in each location. When Phil came to the hard realization that it was time to retire, he knew where his values lay. He simply combined his experience with transitions and company acquisitions with his eye for joint venture and teamwork. His decision to sell MIS to ISS Solutions was based in the same selfless interest for his company and his healthcare organization clients. “I always thought the way to expand the company was collaboration, and when I had the opportunity to sell my company to another organization that continued our same level of service or higher, it was just a win-win situation for everybody,” he explained. “Participating in the acquisition with ISS Solutions gave our employees an opportunity to continue to service their customers and continue employment. It gave me the opportunity to extricate myself in a way I could be proud of, and it gave ISS Solutions an opportunity to move into new areas. It was expansive for us all.”
With the promise of keeping all employees and enabling Phil and Coleen to stay on during the transition period, ISS Solutions provided the perfect next phase for their homegrown business. “They were very understanding and tolerant of our concerns. We were treated fairly and with respect, and it was a very professionally-done process,” noted Phil. “Every step of the way was very open and very specific.” In ISS Solutions’ hands, Phil knew MIS would continue its path into new and exciting territories.
After Deciding to Trust in ISS Solutions, an Easy Retirement
The transition of MIS from an independent company into a part of ISS Solutions was a huge opportunity for Phil and Coleen in their personal lives as well. Coleen has become VP of her women’s golfing league while being able to take care of her elderly mother. Phil is refusing to slow down, and has become an avid golfer and president of his condominium association. He also volunteers in the winter as an assistant conductor on the Polar Express, helping 800 children realize their dreams of meeting Santa Claus as they chug through the snow to a town in Ohio that is transformed into the North Pole. Both of them are finally realizing their dreams of traveling to exotic warm places, and enjoying long periods of relaxation in their beachside condo in Florida, where they happily play hosts to plenty of family and friends.
“You always look at retirement with trepidation,” mused Phil. “What am I going to do? I’ve been working all my life; my company and my business are my life. But I can truly say that the transition has worked out well and we are in a new era of life that provides satisfaction in different levels, and I think that’s just a natural part of life. You can’t work all your life.” No, you can’t work all your life, but when you put all you worked for into a new company that will carry on your legacy such as ISS Solutions, your work lives on.