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Honoring and Employing Veterans

May 21, 2020

“They started with a complex ambush, with an IED, then RPG’s and machine gun fire.” Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant Edward Cellitti vividly remembers navigating through an intersection in Iraq named RPG Alley during his time serving with the 82nd Airborne.  “You would have to fight your way through it,” Cellitti recalls. “There were tough times out there.”

A 23-year plus U.S. Army Veteran, Cellitti serves as Fleet Manager and Medical Waste Coordinator for MAKO Medical. MAKO Medical predominately hires U.S. Military Veterans to work in the company’s Logistics and Operations Departments.

“Honoring our military is a foundational principle at MAKO Medical,” says Josh Arant, Chief Operating Officer at MAKO Medical. “Intentionally striving to hire those who fight for our freedom is one of the best ways we can honor our servicemen and women.”

MAKO Medical Logistics Team Leader David Reynolds served 9 ½ years in the U.S. Army as an X-Ray Specialist and then 3 years in the Reserves. “When I think of this company compared to my time serving, I really do love the camaraderie that I had in the military and I feel like that camaraderie transitioned right over to MAKO Medical.”

“I think being in the military is an experience that all people should go through. It just really makes you appreciate life,” says Kristin Harding as she flashes an award winning smile. Harding is MAKO Medical’s Quality Assurance Director, she served in the U.S. Army Reserves. “I think the military alone helped me with my leadership skills.”

While serving can surely develop leadership skills, leaving the military after two decades of service can also feel daunting. Cellitti remembers wondering if his military skillset would transfer to civilian life. “You can feel like you were good in the Army, but out in the civilian world, not so much.”  But Cellitti says he felt right at home when he interviewed with his current boss at MAKO Medical. “It was like we were speaking the same language. It was very welcoming – a good transition.”

A good transition that is also good for business.  MAKO Medical has had to swiftly ramp up service to provide COVID-19 testing.  The company was able to quickly expand to a capacity 25,000 samples per day by the end of May thanks in part to the organizational skills of its military veterans.

“It makes you feel special as a veteran knowing that MAKO Medical is looking out for vets and they’re hiring vets and you don’t feel like okay, you’ve done your time in the military and you get tossed aside, says Reynolds. “They appreciate what you learned in the military and who you became in the military.”

Responding to COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of MAKO Medical.

  • The company recently renovated 5,000 square feet to its Henderson, NC facility expanding its accessioning space.
  • MAKO Medical expanded from one PCR instrument for research and development to seven dedicated to COVID-19.
  • In addition, MAKO Medical added 8 antibody instruments that help read tests and determine if people have been exposed to COVID19.
  • MAKO Medical has also added people, expanding its operations from 50 employees working on one shift, to 150 people working around the clock.

Currently, 450 people are employed full time at MAKO Medical and company leaders expect to see that number climb to 500 by the end of May.

“These military veteran team members are pivotal to creating a supreme client experience as they interact daily with our clients through our logistics services and supply chain,” Arant said.  “I admire each one of them.”

It appears the feeling is mutual.  “A lot of companies say they are vet friendly,” says Cellitti. “But this company ‘talks the talk and walks the walk’. It says a lot about MAKO Medial and the leadership team and I’m proud to work here.”