Stephen Van Lyon is the Head of Finance – Sleep and Respiratory Care at ResMed Inc. He also serves as the Chair of our LGBTQIA+ employee resource group “ResPect”. He has worked at ResMed for about 4 ½ years, in a few different roles spanning across various finance functions. Prior to ResMed, he worked a couple years in Technical Accounting at Qualcomm and as an external auditor at KPMG for a little under a decade (spending time in the San Diego and London offices). While not as relevant to his current work, he has also worked in personal finance, retail, and food and beverage service industries (including a couple years bartending at an old San Diego gay bar). He has an undergrad degree in Biology, a Masters in Accountancy and is a California CPA. Stephen joined us to answer a few questions about himself:
Tell us about your hometown.
I grew up in a small town called Manteca in California’s central valley. While not much to add by way of excitement, diversity or culture, I can see why my parents chose to raise me and my siblings there. I regularly say it’s a great place to be “from”. When I was 18, I moved to San Diego – “America’s Finest City”. Shortly thereafter I met my husband, Mike while attending a small private Christian university. We’ve been together over 20 years, married for 18, and have the joy of raising our now 10-year-old daughter, Westley, in this beautiful SoCal oasis.
What does PRIDE mean to you?
Pride, to me, is about community coming together, to laugh or to lament, to sing and dance or to march and shout. It’s about knowing that I’m not alone; knowing that I have colleagues, friends, family… even complete strangers who see me as me… fully human, fully empowered to live a life of love, free from judgment and persecution. I’m lucky to find that community of Pride not only in my personal life, but also where I work… and I’m committed to ensuring I help provide that same sense of community and pride to others at ResMed and in the Medtech industry.
Why the medtech industry?
I really didn’t land in Medtech until my most recent employment experience with ResMed. But, the allure of the industry was very real to me. While a finance guy by trade, I’m also a trained scientist and always thought I’d find myself in the healthcare space (although early on thought it would be as a physician). I’m a person motivated by an organization’s mission and values… and working for a company in this industry, helping people leave and breathe healthier lives, is so rewarding! I take pride as I talk about the positive impact my company and this industry have on the world.
What advice do you have for other LGBTQ people in the medtech industry?
Don’t be afraid to be you, and know that you’re not alone. There are others similarly situated and similarly motivated to make a positive impact. Leverage resources, make connections, and help others where you can. I was taught early on to leave things better than when I found them (while perhaps a ploy to get me to clean my room when I was a kid… I think this applies to our relationships and employment experiences as well!).