The ACCESS Medical Development Story
Nov01

The ACCESS Medical Development Story

In the spring of 1988 Stephanie Wilson was a senior at Memphis State. She was somehow managing to put herself through school by working at four part time jobs; two as a bartender, one in accounting and one in recreation. She also had an entrepreneurial plan to finance her MBA studies. She had put together a business plan and had lined up a group of investors to buy a vacant Pizza Hut building near campus. From here, she planned to buy and sell used text books and give the campus bookstore a real run for its money. Since bartenders have a mystical, magical way of being invited into conversations, Wilson found herself, one night, explaining her plans to a group of managers from General Electric Medical Systems who were in town for a managers conference. In the three nights that Wilson served them at the renowned Peabody Hotel, they found her so impressive that they asked her to interview with the company for a position in medical imaging sales. She told them, “No, I already have my plans.” but when she was asked to meet at Sam’s, a steak and turf restaurant no college kid could can afford, she saw no good reason to pass up a free meal. Nor, could she find reasons to turn down free trips to Denver, Boston, Tampa and New Orleans for subsequent interviews. She kept saying ‘no’ until she opened an envelope with the final job offer. “Cha-ching,” GE had their new sales rep. “The Access Medical team has developed a business model that starts with the patient experience and translates that into the needs of the doctor(s). ‘We try to incorporate the experience of the patient…and the patient’s perspective and well being…into our decision making,’ says Smith.” During her tenure with GE, Wilson represented the company in the Triangle and began to dabble in real estate. This she discovered was her real passion. In 1993, Wilson approached Bill Smith, principal of the Center Group (whom she had earlier met and admired, when she was first exploring real estate) and told him she wanted to go to work for him as a broker. Bill offered no salary, no draw, no benefits and no expense reimbursement. Well, passion knows no limits, she jumped at the opportunity! Seeing opportunities in medical development she left Smith and formed her own company in 1995. However, she continued to work closely with and rely upon the counsel of Smith. In 2002, the two companies merged into Access Medical Development and a series of successful medical developments ensued. When Mark Donahue, president and CEO of Prudential CRES (Commercial Real...

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