LEADING WOMEN IN BUSINESS: SAN ANTONIO
THE RHYTHYM OF PURPOSE
For MEDwheels’ Jane Gonzalez, the heartbeat of success is a passon for saving lives.
“Our products save lives. This isn’t just a business, this is a calling.”
– Jane Gonzalez, President and CEO, MEDwheels
At Houston High School football field, a father sat on the bleachers, cheering his son. Suddenly, the man collapsed of a sudden cardiac arrest. Fortunately the school athletic department was equipped with an automated external defibulator (AED) purchased from MEDwheels – a San Antonio-based, woman – and minority owned medical equipment business. The school’s first responders used the device to keep the man alive until an ambulance arrived. After a stay in the hospital, he went home to his family.
MEDwheels’ AEDs have saved three lives in three years, illustrating how MEDhweels’ purpose is bigger than the company.
“When I learn that a life has been saved becasue of a MEDwheels device, it reiterates how important this work is,” says company president and CEO Jane Gonzalez. “With our diverse product portfolio, MEDwheels has served multiple markets, including the federal government, state agencies, hospitals, and schools. It’s deeply satisfying to know that whatever our AEDs and other devices are used, they bring hope to hopeless situations, ” Gonzalez notes. “Above all, our pourpose is to save lives physically, spiritually, and emotionally.”
Gonzalez grew up in San Antonio. After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting, she startyed her career in Houston. She eventually moved to the East Coast, earning a master’s degree in international finance from St. Joseph’s University and working in corporate America in energy, defense, and manufacturing sectors. “Through it all, she says, “I knew I had a calling to become a Latina entrepreneur – to create value for our communities and assist families with difficult medical challenges.” In 2005, she founded MEDwheels as a Medicare durable medical equipment provider. Sudden changes in healthcasre industry, though, forced the company to diversify in order to survive. MEDwheels became a national medical equipment distributor, providing solutions for a variety of medical diagnoses and treatments.
Along with MEDwheels’s success is the company’s commitment to other San Antonio small busines. Gonzalez sits on numerous local board of directors, working to ensure that, whenever possible, contract dollars go to local businesses. IN 2017, MEDwheels became the first minority – owned small business in the country to be awarded a major contract with the city of San Antonio – a multiyear contract fo X-Series defibrillator supplies. “this is huge,” say Gonzalez. “We were competing against a billion-dollar company. In the end, MEDwheels won the contract, and other cities followed suit. It was a fight, but we’re committed to opening doors for small, family-owned businesses. All of it is due to the grace of God. Medwheels is paving the way for other small businesses.”