We had the good fortune of connecting with James Hays and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had to do a personal assessment. I had to look at my family financial position first. In other words, was I financially capable of setting aside the dollars needed to go into business? Was I in a position to not get a paycheck for nine months to a year? Secondly, was I willing to dedicate the time needed to start my business? Also, am I really and “expert” in my field? If I started calling some of my former colleagues, partners and industry customers, would they see me as qualified to be in business? I took a hard look at all of my experience, achievements and relationships and answered “Yes”. After my assessment I started looking for business relationships. Who could I call on for support? This actually led to partnerships.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My career started in 1990, at American Red Cross Blood and Tissue Serves. I was trained as a Tissue Specialist. A was Certified by the American Association of Tissue Banks in 1993 and remain a member of the Association to this day. I am also a Member of the American Academy of Regenerative Medicine. As a Tissue Banker I’m considered a a specialist in the medical use of human bone grafts, skin grafts, cardiovascular grafts and biologics (plasma based treatments). If you’ve ever had a surgical procedure, and your surgeon said they were going to use a graft, a Tissue Banker is the person who surgically harvested, processed, packaged and stored that graft. Additionally, that person was also responsible for making sure the graft was safe to implant (biologic testing). Most people are familiar with Organ Banking. Heart, kidney and liver transplant are well known areas of medicine. Tissue Banking is in the same family so to speak. After leaving American Red Cross I worked for American Tissue Services Foundation (ATSF) and Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF). During my tenure with all these companies I was able to work with some of the country’s top scientists, orthopedic surgeons and spine surgeons. At MTF I was introduced to Platelet based treatments in orthopedics. My company, Plasma Solutions, specializes in platelet based treatments for orthopedic and neurological conditions. What separates us from other companies is a proprietary platelet activation solution I developed. We have been in business for six years. Medical device and Surgical Products and Services are very competitive industries, with big companies and small fighting for market share. In order for a small company like ours to be successful we had to identify a “niche” market. This has enabled us to avoid direct competition with big orthopedic biologic companies. We have been able to develop business relationships all over the country within our niche.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my wife and I entertain friends and relatives from out of town there’s always going to be a great steak and wine outing at Flemings Steakhouse in El Segundo. We love the ambiance, the food and the great wine list. If people are on an extended visit we might get by Flemings twice. Or, the 2nd visit might be to Paul Martin’s American Grill, also in El Segundo. Also on our list, some might be surprised, is the Nordstrom Cafe, in Nordstrom Del Amo Mall. The food is great and the service is too. We’ve been Nordstrom Cafe regulars so long that our children are now regulars. We like to also visit the Breweries in Torrance. Absolution is our original favorite. But, we also will drop by others in the area. For a full fledged day trip, or even overnighter, we head down to the Mt. Palomar Winery in Temecula. It’s a wonderful place to sit back, relax and enjoy good wine, food and music. But, our favorite hangout is our backyard. It’s also the favorite spot for visitors.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In business, relationships are always key. I’m blessed to have two outstanding business partners, Wil Stevens and Rod White. They run all of our business operations and allow me to focus on science and technology. And, I’m able to stay in Los Angeles. Our company is based in Northern California (Bay Area). They are truly great at what they do. I also have to acknowledge my own wife and children. They’ve always been part of the journey. My children have actually utilized their own talents and skills and done work for the company. My wife Charmaine has been a constant advisor and supporter.
Linkedin: James Hays
The photo at Absolution Brewery is of me and my son, James Hays III. He was visiting from San Francisco.