For 20 years, Mary Trout has been a trailblazer and growth driver in business and healthcare for private equity and publicly traded global and national pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic organizations. In particular, she excels at developing effective commercial strategies, building and leading teams, increasing shareholder value, and mentoring staff for their own professional growth.
In her current position at Candela, she leads the global development, clinical, regulatory, and commercialization of their medical device portfolio, as well as the commercial execution and post sales support functions for North America and Latin America.
Among her many achievements, Ms. Trout led the company's highest growth period in the Americas and has been instrumental in developing a strong strategic roadmap in device placements across all sectors within the portfolio.
Wendy Lewis talked to her about her philosophy of executive leadership.
WL: Who were some of your mentors throughout your career?
Mary: I have learned so much from so many wonderful people I have encountered through my professional and personal interactions: direct reports, past managers, colleagues, friends, to name just a few.
My early career mentor was Suzanne Ledin who hired me as a customer trainer at Chiron. A few months into the job, I was struggling to learn a new role while balancing the demands of a young family and business travel. Echoing the experience of many women (and men) at similar stages in their lives, I felt like I was failing in both realms. Suzanne took time to co-travel with me, personally investing her time to quickly expand my technical proficiency, growing my confidence, and allowing me to feel better equipped to succeed. By sharing her own experiences, she showed me that it was possible to raise a family and have professional aspirations. When the balancing act was challenging, she believed in me and refused to give up on me or let me walk away. Under her watchful eye, I built confidence; she eventually shepherded my transition into my first sales role.
Geoff Crouse, CEO of Candela, has made a significant impact in my professional development. We first met at Immucor and subsequently worked together at Cord Blood Registry (CBR). Over a decade in multiple organizations and roles, from Geoff I learned the invaluable “art” of active listening, demonstrating and demanding personal and organizational accountability, a relentless focus on strategy, execution, and continuous improvement. Observing the organizational impact of Geoff's style underscored by humility, congeniality, and incredible patience, I sought to incorporate these attributes and values into my own approach.
WL: How did you get your start in the aesthetics field?
Mary: While not new to healthcare or medical devices, I made my foray into medical aesthetics in July 2017 when Candela was purchased by APAX Partners. It has been an incredible experience to play a role in helping transform an organization in a vibrant market while working with our physician partners to deliver life changing solutions.
WL: What advice do you have for women who are rising stars in this industry?
Mary: First and foremost, take the time to identify what is truly important to you in the long term and never lose sight of it. I've been fortunate to have a supportive husband (Hugh). We have worked hard and consistently partnered to balance marriage and our careers. Second, remind yourself every single day that you matter, and that you hold the power to rise. Take charge of your own success by proactively seeking opportunities to learn, go that extra mile, make a difference, and leave things better than when you first encountered them.
Finally, you will succeed only when you help others succeed. As a leader, I consider it my duty (and a privilege) to grow the skills of those around me, drive my teams to be excellent, and create an environment where they feel valued, invested in, and part of the overall success of our company.
WL: How would your colleagues describe your management style?
Mary: I hold myself and those around me highly accountable while providing support, encouraging creativity, and fostering collaboration by breaking silos—all with a sprinkle of humor. They may also say that I am focused, lay out clearly defined strategies, and empower my teams.
WL: Name a quote that best describes your philosophy.
Mary: “Be greater than your excuses!” For me this means to always be looking for and finding ways to be an action taker, not an excuse maker, so you can make all your dreams and goals a reality.
“Every day is an interview.” This resonates because it signifies the importance of always showing up, being present, and seeking to make a positive impact. I push myself to be the best I can be and to influence and support others to do the same. I want to be the best example to my daughters and to all the women and men I am lucky enough to be on this journey with, so we all win together.