Veterans Day 2019: Honoring our Shareowner Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, 2019, in the United States, we dedicate this blog to the sacrifice and service of military veterans across the country, most notably highlighting our own veterans here at NuVasive. Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the bravery and willingness to serve and protect our country. At NuVasive, we value this day to appreciate those who have served honorably among our Shareowner family. Read the stories of some of our Shareowners to learn more about their military experience and how they transitioned into the corporate world.


“I was in the Army for eight years as a chemical, biological, chemical and radiological weapons specialist. I deployed to Iraq just one semester into a PhD program in chemistry. The transition back to the civilian world after deployment had its challenges and I did not want to go back into the lab. I eased into it by becoming an EMT shortly after my return. It had some of the structure I was accustomed to in the Army and I had always been interested in medicine. From there my passion for the medical field grew and I became an anesthesia technologist and now a neurophysiologist with NuVasive Clinical Services. The military instilled discipline, attention to detail, and strong teamwork which I think is a great asset in any job but especially in the OR setting.”

-Christine Maudlin, Associate Neurophysiologist


”I served ten years in the United States Air Force, which six of the ten years I served as either a trainer, supervisor, or management role for a machine shop with various welding capabilities. Being this style of service member allowed me to become a subject matter expert on every aircraft I was certified on; however, this “jack of all trades” mentality meant that you are more than just your job title—so teamwork was essential in everything. There were times I was pulled from my section to perform tasks not related to my job for extended periods of time with an indefinite timeframe. In this way, I learned to adapt to virtually any environment at any time and any place. When it comes to a significant transition, I feel there is only so much you can plan for. With being a “jack of all trades”, that alone was probably the hardest part of the transition. What makes this mindset so difficult is the fact that I would be working hand and hand with individuals who are expects and have mastered on specific skill before venturing further out into the field. That caused me to keep the basic knowledge that I gained from the military, but I had to relearn fine details that I did not get a chance to master, forgot due to it being uncommon, or was never exposed to. The amount of stress and strain that could place on an individual’s confidence is unbelievable. Yet, that exposed me to a deeper level and meaning of teamwork. So when I look back over the transition and the year of reinventing myself, I am humbled and grateful. I have a team at NuVasive that is not only knowledgeable but patient and willing to help me grow.”

-Timothy Lyons, Prototype Machinist


“My family and I immigrated from Brazil in 1992 and as I grew up, I held on to the desire to want to serve my country that had provided us so much opportunity. I joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and was stationed on Joint Air Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. while attending University of Mary Washington in Virginia. After six years in the Reserves, I transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA in 2013 where I honorably discharged shortly after. During my military service, I subconsciously practiced a strict mentality of being my own worst critic in order to push myself past my comfort zone. I realized that being my own worst critic was too tough of a practice on myself in order to grow a healthy mentality of self-improvement. After joining NuVasive, I learned to be more forgiving of myself, where the learning curve was quite steep and I was fully out of my comfort zone. I have learned to be less critical of myself in pursuing my career path and that my missteps are valuable learning experiences needed for my own personal growth.”

-Priscila Saraiva, Regulatory Affairs Associate


“I was in the Marine Corps and worked on the repair of the radar and missile guidance systems on fighter aircraft. It was this experience that inspired me to become an engineer. During my time in the Corps, I had volunteered to work with some defense companies that had projects to improve the pilot’s ability to track targets within the visor of their helmet. The engineers of the project knew the system they had developed, but were not familiar with the cockpit or the aircraft as a system. I guessed I impressed them by telling them what would work and what wouldn’t be compatible with the plane and made suggestions to their design. They suggested I should become an engineer. Having never thought of being an engineer, I took their advice, which led me to my career path at NuVasive. Looking back on my relationships and comradery with my fellow Marines, you are given an opportunity to work closely with other men and women from all walks of life and a very different background than yours. We are then asked to work towards a common goal of protecting our freedom and way of life for us and others. They become your brothers and sisters. Having left the Marines, it is this experience I’ve learned that we are a nation of diversity and it is an asset. It is this diversity that has given our country its strength today.”

-Everett Van Zuiden, Sr. Manager, Development


“I am just one of many members of my family (and generations of my family) that have served in the military. We are a patriotic family that is proud to be American and to stand for our country. I am proud and grateful to have served and live in the best country in the world. When I raised my right hand and took the oath, it was for life. Transitioning from military life to civilian life took some adjustment, although I did not find it to be too difficult; that might be because I did not serve during a time of conflict. When I left the military, I was able to utilize my military occupation to get a job in the civilian world. I was an electronic technician and built prototype circuit boards and components. Some years later, I decided to go to college and majored in Clinical Lab Sciences, shortly thereafter I went into IOM. I came to NuVasive many years later when we acquired Impulse Monitoring. I’m grateful to be have had a smooth transition into my work with NuVasive Clinical Services.”

-Erin Rose, Sr. Neurophysiologist


“Having had 30 years of service experience in Navy intelligence and leadership, I consider myself very fortunate to have served this long and experienced the many facets of military life. I looked forward to and enjoyed getting up each day to encounter the many challenges and or obstacles the day would hold. Every day was different and every situation was different. Along the way I learned many valuable lessons including always having a backup plan, things not always going the way we anticipate, working with great leaders, always being accountable, and treating others the way you would want to be treated. All of these skills helped me transition into my role at NuVasive. I didn’t necessarily think I had to reinvent myself when I came to the corporate world. I still get up each morning with a smile on my face ready to encounter the many challenges and obstacles during the day.”

-Mike Fuston, Associate Manager, Manufacturing


“I joined the U.S. Army a little later than most; I was a 23-year-old single mom. Tired of working just to pay for childcare – I reached out to my local Recruiter, took my ASVAB and joined the U.S. Army as a 91K–Medical Laboratory Technician with a primary MOS of 91B–Combat Medic. Coming from a long line of veterans, I had an “awareness” of what it meant to be a soldier. However, after spending my years in the U.S. Army, I truly knew the meaning of sacrifice and commitment to something greater than myself. Transitioning into the civilian world was bumpy at first. A soldier is used to the expectations of the U.S. Army—work ethic, personal accountability and a commitment to protecting our country. One doesn’t find that in every organization in the civilian world. For the most part I have worked in the medical field; working as a Medical Technician performing infectious disease testing, a Project Manager in the R&D department for HCT/Ps, an auditor for ISO/FDA, and as a Quality Director. I’ve been a part of the NML team for over a year now. The growth that I’ve seen just within that year has been astronomical. Not just “numerical” growth – but growth towards a common goal and comradery. I’m blessed to be a part of this journey, honored to share this journey with some of the outstanding Shareowners at NuVasive and excited to see what the future holds for me and the Company.”

-Rachel Emerson, Associate Manager, Quality


“In the summer of 2007, I joined the Navy as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. Upon graduating, I commissioned as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer and had the privilege of leading Sailors and driving warships throughout the Western Pacific, for the next six and a half years. During this time period, I gained invaluable leadership experience and management skills. However, upon my transition to the civilian sector, I found it difficult to translate these skills to civilian employers looking for industry experience. NuVasive provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate my skills and learn a new industry. I am extremely grateful of NuVasive’s commitment to hiring professionals with a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences and I am proud to call myself a cheetah!!!”

-Travis Dickerson, Project Manager, Development


We thank our Shareowners for sharing their stories, bringing their positive spirit to NuVasive every day, and joining in our mission to transform surgery, advance care, and change patient lives. To celebrate and recognize Veterans Day, you can volunteer at Veteran facilities, attend local events in celebration of the holiday, and thank Veterans and their families for their service.


Interested in learning more about NuVasive employment opportunities? Click this link to RSVP for our upcoming Veterans Coalition event taking place at our San Diego headquarters on 12/4:

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