Finding And Falling In Love With Ann Arbor
Nine years ago, Elena M. Stegemann, chief operating officer of McCreadie Group, Inc. found Ann Arbor. She’s lived all over the world, but finally found a place she wanted to settle in with her family.
“My husband was recruited to be a professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan,” she explained. “We were moving from pretty homogenous community in upstate New York and raising two future young adults. I was born abroad and immigrated when I was a teen, and my husband and I have travelled the world. It was important to find a place we could raise our kids, then ages six and nine, where they could experience diversity.”
“My husband had a number of job offers at the time, so we visited several locations to find the best place to plant ourselves for the next stage of our lives” Elena added. “We had good choices, but I immediately, literally, fell in love with Ann Arbor. I feel like Ann Arbor is my “spiritual home”
“Being parents of two school aged kids, the quality of public schools was important to us, so visited some schools and were very impressed by what we saw in Ann Arbor” Elena added. Eating out is important to the Stegemanns. “I’m a foodie, as is the rest of my family,” she continued. “We looked at the restaurant scene as part of our decision making process. Madison and Boston were other options, so it’s not like we were comparing Ann Arbor to a place with just fast food options. We were comparing it to really good places!”.
Elena left her job in upstate New York where she was managed a General Electric global product line. “Ann Arbor is such a small town, I worried ‘Who’s going to look at someone like me and hire me to do global job? I was pretty skeptical.”
In the course of networking, Elena discovered NuStep, who, at the time, was looking to establish an international presence to off-set slowing sales due to the downturn of the economy here in the U.S.
Elena set up NuStep’s international business unit and in the course of eight years, built sales channels in 25 countries. As a result of her work, NuStep received a presidential award twice, and Elena was honored to travel to the White House to receive the award on behalf of the company.
For the last year, Elena has been working to help McCreadie Group expand its sales and marketing efforts. Of her role, she explained, “Our founder, Scott McCreadie, is tremendously talented in technology and innovation, and his vision, experience and technical knowhow have created a profitable company with much promise for future growth. He brought me in because of my complementary skill set in business development, to help take the company to the next level.”
“You can have the best products, but if the market doesn’t understand their value you’re delivering, you’re going to go out of business.” Having the right talent is also key. “I’m excited to have brought in several talented professionals who are rounding out an already strong team”. When asked what’s next for McCreadie Group, she said “With our innovative products, a strong development pipeline, and a healthy sales and marketing engine, the sky is the limit”.