Sportstek Medical is a sports medicine company in Southern California founded and led by two alumni of The Master’s University who attribute their success to the Lord, their team and their TMU education.
“The classes at (Master’s) prepared me for business and for life after college,” said Robert Dodson, Sportstek’s co-founder. “I was able to jump into sales, knowing how to communicate effectively and work with other people.”
Dodson and co-founder, Rod Shackelford met as teenagers and their relationship flourished after high-school while attending Grace Community Church. Although four years apart, they remained connected after TMU and caught the early wave of sports medicine in the late ‘80s, working as independent distributors and dabbling in business together.
In 2005, after being in the medical device industry for more than 15 years, they founded Sportstek.
As Christian business owners, Dodson and Shackelford have always strived to glorify Christ in everything. “It’s our hearts’ desire to put Christ on display in all we do. In the marketplace and within our company,” Shackelford said.
The company’s continued growth is bound to the mission statement on its website “We exist to partner with our customers, promote our products, and provide for our people.” This is rare for a leading sports medicine company in Southern California, especially in a cutthroat industry where innovation is key and financial gain vital.
Over the years, Sportstek has hired 6 TMU graduates, and looks to continue that trend. “We like to hire TMU graduates because their goals are the same as ours,” Dodson said. “They ultimately don’t answer to us. They have a conviction that’s much deeper than ‘I want to work hard for this company.’ They want to work hard for the Lord and be excellent,” Shackelford echoed.
Blake De Jong, a 2013 TMU graduate who studied business and played basketball at TMU, is thankful for the opportunity at Sportstek.
While at Master’s, De Jong said God used his professors and the biblical teaching to help him grow personally and professionally. “I knew that walking out of TMU I was prepared to represent Christ, but also take the skills that I learned and apply them to business and succeed while not having to push my faith aside,” he said.
He’s also thankful for the leadership at Sportstek. “Rod and Robert lead by example. How they do business is how they live their lives. It’s all for the glory of God,” De Jong said. “They care so much about their employees, how they do business and how they present themselves. They focus so much on relationship building and longevity rather than short-term goals.”
Day in and day out, Sportstek is competing with other companies, dealing with sports medicine doctors, and high school and college level athletes. By investing time and effort in educating and training their employees, Sportstek produces leaders who are clinically trustworthy, confident in the training room, and able to provide adequate support.
“This is not an easy business. The medical field requires a level of aptitude and intellect to be able to speak to a surgeon,” Shackelford said. “You have to understand the product and how it’s used in surgery and in the operating room.”
As the only regional distributors for Arthrex, the largest sports company in the United States, they present themselves at an advantage and get to be an extension of Arthrex’s mission statement “helping surgeons treat their patients.”
Shackelford and Dodson are thankful for the Lord’s perpetual faithfulness and hold dear to organizations that support their mission. They have continued relational ties with the University and help support the spiritual impact it has had on their children and friends’ children alike. “You can’t put a dollar sign on that,” Dodson said. “My greatest joy is seeing students from our church, beyond my own kids, go to the school.”
For more information on the company or employment opportunities, visit sportstekmedical.com.