Amanda Tufano, CEO, Genevive
How did you become an executive in the health care industry? Did you always have an interest in health care?
As a young high school graduate, I wanted to work in the film industry. I earned a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film and a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas. However, during those formative years, I got involved in the university’s health system as a peer health educator and a particularly inspiring female executive became the mentor who would guide me toward a future in healthcare administration. I earned my Masters of Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota and have worked in healthcare ever since. I am excited every day by the industry, the values, and the people. I hope I’m lucky enough to continue to dedicate my career to healthcare.
What is one major challenge you see facing the health care industry today?
I currently work in geriatrics, and I am fascinated by the ways the aging population will shape the future of healthcare. There are many questions still to be answered: Where will the aging population live? Who will help pay for the increased cost of healthcare? Who will be providing care for this population, and how? I think there is some great local and national work going on today to answer these questions, but the boom in the elderly population is just beginning. The US Census is projecting that by 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. By 2035, there will be 78 million Americans over the age of 65.
What does true leadership mean to you?
I believe leadership is showing up for your team in a meaningful and transparent way, and trusting your team. I learned early on that I can’t be the only problem solver. My team is so much stronger when we all have the freedom to try new solutions. Sometimes ideas fail, and that forces us to feel vulnerable. By allowing space for people to think, be collaborative, and be creative, failures (mine and theirs) are opportunities to learn together, support each other, and come up with bigger and better answers.
Name one recent accomplishment you are proud of.
At the end of 2017, the founder and CEO suddenly exited our company to pursue new opportunities. No one knew how the employees would respond to such a foundational shakeup. Genevive is driven by a culture rooted in trust in leadership during hard times. I worried the founder’s exit might rock that foundation. I’m so happy I was wrong. The Board, the leadership team, and I doubled down on our commitment to our mission. It’s only been about nine months since his exit, but we’re stronger because of it.
Congratulations on your recent promotion! How has WBL been a resource for you during your time at Genevive?
Thank you! As I mentioned, it’s been a year of change at Genevive. I was thrilled when the Board appointed me as the permanent CEO in April of this year. Being a new CEO comes with very specific challenges and questions, and I’ve used WBL in a variety of ways to learn more about myself and my role. I’ve been a member of WBL since the summer of 2017, nominated by a good friend and colleague, Patty Dennis, CEO of Fulcrum Health. I’ve been able to learn from exceptional peers in the field, and I look forward to meeting more!
Personally or professionally, what might the WBL network be surprised to know about you?
I love playing broomball and play almost year-round. I play in a competitive women’s indoor league in the fall and on three different outdoor teams in the winter. My indoor league also plays in a few tournaments in the spring. On second thought, maybe they won’t be surprised after all to learn that a CEO has a competitive spirit!
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