Davis P. and Alex B. already had a couple of things in common—they’re both Indianapolis natives and both work in Cook’s MedSurg Division. This spring they added a third thing to that list when it was announced that they had been named to the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation (MDLF) Fellows Program.
Davis and Alex view their selection as both a tremendous opportunity and a great honor.
“This is a chance to go outside what I know from a Cook perspective and learn,” said Davis, a 20-year Cook veteran. “I will be able to network with others throughout the state who are also considered leaders in their own organizations. It’s good company to be in and it feels good to be considered a leader outside of those you may know and work with on a day-to-day basis.”
“I’m grateful to have been selected—it is an honor,” said Alex, who has been with Cook for seven years. “It’s going to be awesome to learn from some of the other leaders within this peer group. I’m trying to make a difference, so going through the process and hearing that I was selected was awesome. I’m super excited to be a part of it. I think it’s going to be a really cool experience.”
But it will hardly be a one-way street in regard to the sharing of knowledge. The pair feels they have valuable life and work experiences, including many from their time with Cook, to share with the group.
“I think there are a lot of instances at Cook where we’ve done the exact things that we’re trying to do in this Fellows program,” Alex said. “The 38th and Sheridan Project is a perfect example of looking outside to the community, making connections, and bringing our resources and our expertise to bear to address needs and make an impact. I’d like to, in my second year, create a project that can help in the community in the same way that Cook has.”
“I grew up here, left, and I’ve traveled to a lot of places—domestically and internationally,” Davis added. “For a while, I worked for Cook in North Carolina, which is one of the most competitive states there is right now. They are firing on all cylinders as far as recruiting and getting top notch talent. It’s a place where they are growing future leaders. So, I can say, ‘Hey, I’ve experienced this and seen how other states do it and other organizations do it; let’s try to incorporate it here.’”
As life-long Hoosiers, they are confident that the resources are in place to take Indiana to the next level as a place to live and to do business.
“I think you have great talent from the in-state universities,” Alex said. “But a lot of the talent often ends up leaving Indiana. I think a lot of businesses will be attracted to the talent and we can keep it here. And people in Indiana are the kind of people that you want to build a culture around. There are also examples of collaboration, like BioCrossroads, that are bringing a lot of different companies together. There’s also a lot of entrepreneurialism, especially in tech, right now in Indiana. I think all those things combined create a really nice environment for businesses to either start here or move and grow here.”
“Indiana is very Midwestern, there’s a lot of hardworking individuals here,” Davis said. “And as of late, there’s been a push to grow business in the state from an innovation perspective. And I think that’s the growth and the improvement that the state needs in order to remain competitive. We certainly have the infrastructure and the people to do it.”