Take Six with Jeff Merselis, Vice President, Business Development

How did you first learn about CarePort Health and what drew you to the company?

A colleague introduced me to CarePort this past fall and said, “You have to talk to their CEO, Lissy!” I was soon introduced to a group of really smart people tackling a massive opportunity in post-acute care. I liked the problem they were trying to solve, and the rest is history. Here I am!

What is the distinction between business development, or “biz dev,” and sales, and what defines your role?

Great question! Business development is a new functional area within CarePort. My role is to identify and evaluate the potential strategic partners we want to work with to help us scale and grow the business. To your point, people often uses “sales” and “biz dev” interchangeably. But I think there is a pretty clear difference between the two. Sales is more about closing business for a specific service for a specific customer, whereas biz dev activities typically happen further upstream. Biz dev is more about identifying a new partnership or a new market, maybe even a new distribution channel. We really work to augment what the sales team is doing. Currently I am a department of one, but we’re actively looking to grow the team into about four regionally based biz dev positions early this year.

What’s an important career skill or lesson you’ve learned and can share with us?

Here’s a business skill – the ability to shorten, simplify, and articulate something that is really complex in a way that is going to resonate with your audience. Taking a complex thing and breaking it down so people say, “Oh yeah, I get it now!” is a rare and valuable skillset that many people don’t have, and it’s applicable across so many different business functions.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“The best judge of one’s character is what they find laughable.” What you laugh at [Jeff laughs] says a lot about who you are.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Weirdest or grossest? Well, they probably go hand in hand! The weirdest and grossest thing I ever ate was a live sea urchin. It’s black, spiny thing, and when you flip it upside down, all the little tentacles are still moving and you’re scooping it out and eating it –I do not recommend it!

If you could switch jobs with anyone at CarePort, who would you choose and why?

I love what our product development team does, because of what I was describing earlier when we discussed a skillset or career lesson. The ability to take these complex ideas, disparate data sets and analytics and package it all up in a nice, digestible report format that resonates with the client – that’s pretty cool!

Do you have experience with business development? Jeff is looking to grow his team of regional business development managers – apply today!