12.07.2023 / company news

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Meet our Executive Vice President and General Manager USA: In his first year with Bonebridge, Jessie has successfully introduced our smart orthopaedic trauma implants to the US market.

As the Executive VP and GM of Bonebridge Inc., Jessie operates out of the Philadelphia region in Pennsylvania, a world-renowned medical hub. “We are strategically located to cater to customers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” Jessie says. “But of course, we aim at serving customers across the United States. Consequently, I am currently training a small sales team and building up a national network of distributors.” Compared to Switzerland, he explains, the setup in the US is a little different: “Here, our sales support is ongoing. As a sales rep, you get a call every time a surgery is scheduled and are on-site during every procedure – which, admittedly, makes it a very time-consuming job.” It is a job Jessie obviously performs with a lot of enthusiasm and drive. “Everything I see is through the lens of generating
revenue” he says with a shrug.

Although Jessie has lived in Pennsylvania for many years, it is not actually his home state: He was born and raised on a cattle farm in rural Northern Maine. A self-declared nerd, Jessie did very well in high school, but was not optimized for his first attempt at college. Instead, in 1999, he decided to join the U.S. Army. During the six years of active duty and reserves, he was trained as a medic and surgical technologist. So what brought him to Pennsylvania? “A woman,” he says with a wink. “It’s always a woman, isn’t it?” The woman was Jessie’s girlfriend from college, with whom he moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They got married.

Then 9/11 happened and changed everything, and Jessie was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after. He was part of the second wave into the country and ended up being stationed in Bagram Air Force Base, about 60 miles north of the capital Kabul. Although he found purpose in his main mission, which consisted of setting up a hospital, it did not take him long to realize that a career in the army was not for him. While he was still in Afghanistan, he called two universities: “I told them: Pick three classes for me, I don’t care which. I’ll be there in January, and I’ll be the best student you ever had.”

One of those phone calls earned him a spot at Millersville University, where he started pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry upon his return. He subsequently studied full-time, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, while also working nights and weekends at Lancaster General Hospital. Not a healthy time in retrospect, he admits. Once he obtained his degree, Jessie applied to medical school. However, his heavy workload and ambitious studies were beginning to put a strain on his private life. Jessie decided to delay medical school for a year to refocus on his personal life. From a professional standpoint, the year off turned out to be worth it: One of the sales reps at the hospital approached him about a job opportunity at Synthes. “I told him I would give it a year — then I would go back to school,” Jessie says. “But then I started working, and I loved everything about orthopaedic trauma.”

One year quickly turned into eight: Jessie stayed with Synthes until about a year after it was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. He subsequently worked as an independent sales representative, contractor and distributor for Smith & Nephew and other companies in the orthopaedic implant industry. It was a role in which he also did a lot of consulting for startup companies like Bonebridge. When he was first approached by a recruiter
in 2022 regarding the EVP & GM role at Bonebridge Inc., the company did not feel like a startup: “Obviously, Bonebridge was already fairly established in Switzerland, with many support mechanisms in place.” Jessie was intrigued by the idea of setting up the company’s US operations. “A lot about Bonebridge reminded me of the spirit and philosophy I first encountered when I started out at Synthes,” he says. “It’s such a young, dynamic team, and I am convinced that a product portfolio focusing on ‘reducing complexity’ has enormous potential.”

During his first busy year with Bonebridge, Jessie has made sure he also gets to spend quality time with his family. He and his wife Lisa recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary. They have two children: Alex, who is 10, and 7-year-old Phoebe. “We are real homebodies,” Jessie admits. One reason being that their daughter Phoebe suffers from Rett’s syndrome (RTT), a rare genetic disorder affecting mostly females. Although they are grateful that she does not have some of the worst possible symptoms, he explains, it does make big family outings a little more difficult. But as an avid handyman, Jessie finds plenty of things to do around their home and in the garden. He recently transformed the basement of their house into a comfortable lounge area complete with home gym and pool table — a perfect place to relax and recharge for work.

Jessie hard at work in the basement of his home

Jessie hard at work in the basement of his home

Jessie with his wife Lisa and son Alex

Jessie with his wife Lisa and son Alex