Army veteran feels at home working at Baxter
In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, we spoke with Mike Nassif, U.S. Army veteran and co-president of the BaxVets Business Resource Group.
Q: What roles have you held at Baxter?
Mike: I’m currently vice president of Commercial Excellence for the Americas Region, which stretches from northern Canada to the southern tip of Chile. This also includes responsibility for commercial initiatives that span the region. I joined Baxter about three years ago as VP of upstream marketing in our Renal Care global business unit and transitioned to my current role in July 2019.
Q: What is Commercial Excellence’s role and how does it contribute to Baxter’s operations?
Mike: If you think of Baxter’s commercial operations as a racecar, Commercial Excellence is like the service crew that makes the car perform at its maximum level — with all systems running as efficiently as possible and the engine tuned just right. But instead of a car, my team supports the Americas commercial staff to help maximize their effectiveness in the field. We accomplish this by providing things like sales training, business guidance, customer relationship management tools, market analytics and insights.
Q: Tell me about your military background and experience. How does it influence your way of working?
Mike: I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Army Corps of Engineers for five years. I think my military education, training and deployments influenced me a lot, especially when it comes to leading people and dealing with ambiguity. Actually, I see quite a few parallels to my experience in the military here at Baxter. First, we have a clear and vital objective: Baxter’s mission to save and sustain lives gives meaning to our employees’ work. Second, our culture levers of speed, simplicity, courage, and collaboration are essentially our rules of engagement; they guide how we should operate as we work toward achieving our objective. Third, we’re focused on people: building engaged, diverse, high-performing teams to drive the value our customers and patients expect.
Q: You’re also the co-president of BaxVets, one of Baxter's eight business resource groups. What is BaxVets’ purpose and what aspects of it are you most passionate about?
Mike: BaxVets exists to support veterans, service members, military families and civilian partners in advancing Baxter as a best place to work. I’m passionate about bringing more veterans into the Baxter family and helping them make the transition from military life to civilian life; and I got involved with BaxVets to increase awareness around veterans’ issues.
Q: What would you like other military veterans to know about Baxter?
Mike: In my experience, one of the main reasons people join the military is to be part of something greater than themselves and have a positive impact on our world; I think they can find both of those things here at Baxter. Plus, we have a meaningful mission, clear rules of engagement and a people-first mentality, which I think veterans can relate to and appreciate. Also, our company has been recognized as a great place for veterans to work, including being named a Military Friendly Company for 2020.