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Wanda Moebius
September 25, 2013

AdvaMed Awards First-Ever Lifetime Achievement Award To Stryker's John Brown

Washington, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) today awarded its first-ever AdvaMed Lifetime Achievement Award to John W. Brown, Chairman Emeritus of Stryker Corporation.

The Lifetime Achievement Award highlights the contributions and accomplishments of a senior executive who has made significant advancements for the medical technology industry, its employees, and its patients. Today’s award is in recognition of Brown’s unparalleled and sustained activity in industry leadership, medical innovation, public engagement, and corporate philanthropy.

“AdvaMed is extremely proud to honor John Brown with the AdvaMed Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO, AdvaMed. “America’s medical technology industry is the beneficiary of John’s legacy of leadership as the longest serving board member in the Association’s history. His vast accomplishments have greatly impacted the industry and the advancement of medical technology as an essential part of America’s economy.” Brown served on the boards of both AdvaMed and the Health Industry Manufacturers Association, the predecessor to AdvaMed.

“Importantly, while John Brown is often viewed as a business visionary, he also is a man of unmatched character making him a clear choice for AdvaMed’s first Lifetime Achievement Award,” Ubl added.

A graduate of Auburn University, Brown began his career in 1957 as an engineer for the aluminum manufacturer Ormet Corporation, before moving on to the Thiokol Corporation, where he worked on rocket propellants. An industry slump precipitated his move to Squibb Corporation, where he assumed a variety of positions and in 1972 became president of one of its subsidiaries, Edward Weck & Company – which, at the time, was a struggling medical device manufacturer. During his five-year tenure, he doubled its sales and tripled its profits.

It was his success at Edward Weck & Company that brought Brown to the attention of Stryker; he was named Stryker’s president and chief executive officer in 1977. Brown immediately set out three goals that would determine the future of the company – to take Stryker public, to grow earnings per share 20 percent every year, and to drive growth through acquisitions and operational excellence – all of which he accomplished. In his first year at Stryker, Brown developed the strategy that would drive the company to achieve the longest sustained profit growth of any medical technology company.

In May 1980, John was named chairman of the board. Although he retired as CEO of Stryker in 2004, he remained chairman until 2009, and today serves as chairman emeritus – continuing his unceasing commitment to the industry and the patients it serves.

“It is an honor to be recognized by fellow peers and colleagues throughout the medical technology industry. It is my hope that this recognition will serve to inspire future generations of medical technology executives to appreciate that, with a commitment to saving lives and creating jobs, our industry is of unmatched value to America,” said John Brown.

The award was presented during AdvaMed’s annual MedTech Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The annual conference brings together more than 1,000 companies in a uniquely multifaceted environment for business development, capital formation, innovation technology showcasing, world-class educational opportunities and networking.

Mr. Brown is a director of the American Business Conference, a coalition of Chief Executive Officers of mid-size, high-growth companies.  He is also a director of St. Jude Medical, a global cardiovascular device company.  Mr. Brown also serves as a governor-appointee on the Michigan Economic Development Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Auburn University Foundation.

Brown currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his wife, Rosemary Kopel Brown. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

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About AdvaMed:

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) is a trade association that leads the effort to advance medical technology in order to achieve healthier lives and healthier economies around the world. AdvaMed represents 80 percent of medical technology firms in the United States and acts as the common voice for companies producing medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems. Our members produce nearly 90 percent of the health care technology purchased annually in the United States and more than 40 percent purchased annually around the world. AdvaMed's member companies range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies.

About Stryker:

Stryker Corporation is a Kalamazoo-based medical equipment firm that develops and produces medical implants, surgical and imaging technologies, and medical equipment. Generating nearly $8.7 billion in annual sales globally, Stryker has over 22,000 employees at 31 manufacturing and R&D centers worldwide and its products sell to over 100 countries.