Tamara Sniffen

Cues and Views

MedTech executive Tamara Sniffen, in brief.

February 7, 2023
3 Minutes
Tamara Sniffen

Home: Monte Sereno (Silicon Valley), CA.  Age: Forty-something.  Birthplace: Mendocino, CA. Profession: MedTech executive.  Organization: Stryker Corporation.  Title: Vice President, Commercial Excellence, Stryker Trauma & Extremities.  Significant other: My husband, Greig Sniffen.  Alma mater: University of California, Davis; University of Nebraska (EMBA).

Current project: Leading Stryker Trauma & Extremities Best Self Culture initiative.  Latest accomplishment: Integration of Wright Medical, Stryker’s largest integration to date ($5.5B).  Exceeded deal targets two years and counting.  Latest contribution to others: Founder of Spark Growth for Women.  Focused on unleashing the power in young women and helping them realize their full potential.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Leading the COVID task force across Stryker’s 45,000 employees.  Hobbies: Running, reading, yoga, mentoring.  What fascinates you? Getting to know people from different cultures and backgrounds.  Memorable travel or adventure: Two years living in Osaka, Japan in my twenties.  Last book read: The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Recent unique acquisition: ChatGPT AI.

Personality profile: Boundless energy, people person, strategic thinker.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Productive.  Moral compass: Would my kids and husband be embarrassed by it?  How do you define a perfect friendship? Love, laughter, time.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Trust, team, fun.  What is your greatest joy? Watching my boys play competitive sports.  What is your greatest fear? Not being challenged or reaching my full potential.  What is your guilty pleasure? Philz coffee (daily).  I should make it at home, but they just do it better, one cup at a time.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Totally.  I’m a (Silicon) valley girl.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Fire fighters and teachers.  

What three emojis best describe you? ❤️🔋☀️.

What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Hot yoga studios.  What is at the top of your bucket list? New Zealand.  How do you relieve stress? Yoga, talking and walking with friends.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Working out.

What was your first paying job? Waiting tables.  What was your favorite college course? Economics.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Climbing trees.  What book have you repeatedly read? Good to Great, by Jim Collins.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Good Will Hunting.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Boston Marathon poster and medal.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My incredible sister, Jessica Winter.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? The most important decision you will make in life is who you marry (Vianello Drinkwater, my grandfather).  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Don’t worry about who’s getting promoted around you.  Keep your mind focused on the job that you are doing today and the promotions will come.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? ChatGPT AI.  What is your go-to source of news and information? The Wall Street Journal, NPR.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Paper Source.  What company or organization do you most admire? Berkshire Hathaway.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? World War II.  I love reading about the perseverance of the heroes during this era.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Living overseas, in Osaka, Japan and in Amsterdam.  

What is your big idea? Creating development and networking opportunities for young women through Spark Growth for Women.  Finding an avenue for them to spend their time that positively impacts their careers and lives.  What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Creating a Best Self Culture in this “here to stay” hybrid / remote workforce.  What mega-trend most excites you? The next generation of adults focused on the environment.  

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? The Amazing People I’ve Been Blessed to Love.  What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Claire Danes.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my kids, husband, sister, mom and friends, at my house, eating, drinking, talking and laughing.  What advice would you give your younger self? You have so much time, do as much as you can.  

Personal mission: Developing and serving other leaders to maximize their impact on others and the world.  Personal motto: We've got this.  Desired epitaph: She helped so many others achieve their dreams.


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