Meet Sara Leventon, Vice President of Finance
Sara Leventon is the Vice President of Finance for Stryker’s Neurovascular Division and currently resides in Fremont, California. We sat down with Sara to learn more about her unique career path and how she has found success at Stryker.
Why did you join Stryker?
I interviewed with Stryker in the summer of 2004 after I graduated from the University of Nebraska. I had been through a lot of interviews at that point but was struggling to find an environment that was fast-paced, mission-driven, and full of ambitious, motivated people like myself. When I spent a full day talking with team members from the Stryker Endoscopy division, I knew Stryker was different and was somewhere I would be surrounded by talented, engaged people. Even though California was far away from my hometown and all my friends and family, I took a leap of faith, and I couldn't be more glad I did!
What does a day in your life look like?
As the VP of Finance for the Global Neurovascular Division, no two days are similar! My job is to support my team and the commercial business so that we can achieve the financial commitments of the division. I am involved in strategic discussions regarding the short- and long-term investments for our business that will enable us to fuel growth and bring value to our shareholders.
On a monthly basis, I work closely with my global team to review financial performance, communicate variances, and project future performance based on internal and external data points. My days are full of one-on-one discussions with my team and my peers, meetings regarding future investments in the business, and reviews of organizational initiatives and tactics. My best days are ones where I get to see and interact with others and connect both professionally and personally!
What has been your career path?
I have had a unique career path for a finance professional. I graduated with a degree in Marketing and started my career in operations at Stryker working as a purchasing analyst to procure raw materials for one of our product lines. I began managing people just 1 year into my career and have been managing others ever since.
Early on I held numerous roles in operations management and about 10 years ago l made the “leap” into finance managing accounts receivable. From there I slowly took on more responsibilities over the finance and accounting functions and found that a career in finance really suited my strengths!
I have been fortunate to work for and beside others who have educated me and sponsored me as I took on higher-level roles within the finance function, including the Director of Finance for the Endoscopy Business unit in San Jose, CA, and the Sr. Director of Finance for the Sustainability Solutions division in Phoenix, AZ. In 2020 I was fortunate to get the opportunity to move into the role I am in now and move back to California as the VP of Finance for Stryker’s Neurovascular division.
Do you have any regrets in your career?
Early on in my career, I was challenged to adapt to changes that were outside of my control. When something would happen, I would often fight the change rather than think through the reason behind it and how I might grow and learn because of it. As with many things, age brings wisdom, and I am of the mindset today practicing adaptability is one of the most important strengths in business and quite frankly in life. The most effective way to do this for me is to stop and consider the context of a change, the perspectives of those involved, and to delay my response to it for a day before reacting.
What is life like outside of Stryker?
Life outside of Stryker is dedicated to my family! I have two young boys and they keep me and my husband very busy. We enjoy being outside, including spending time by the ocean and hiking and exploring beautiful Northern California. My husband also works full time and is a tremendous partner to go through this busy life with! We are fortunate to have family close by who help with our two boys and provide us unconditional love and support.
Tell us something about yourself that people don’t know.
Despite the fact that I have no formal finance or accounting education or certifications, Stryker believed I had the talent to be a successful leader in our Finance function. The confidence Stryker leadership places in their people is truly remarkable!
Interested in growing your career with us?
Check out our current job openings and apply today!