Kalamazoo is a town in the southwest region of Michigan. It is equidistant from two major American cities, Chicago and Detroit, each less than 150 miles away.
In this small Michigan town, Dr. Homer Stryker created a medical equipment company in 1941 that has been growing since then, and in 2020, its revenue exceeded $14.4 billion.
Today, I will reveal the story behind the richest woman in the Stryker family who lives in Portage, Michigan.
Her name is Ronda Stryker, and she is the oldest granddaughter of Dr. Homer Stryker, the founder of Stryker Corporation. Her net worth exceeds $7.5 billion, making her the 117th richest person in the country.
Who is Ronda Stryker?
Ronda Stryker is an American billionaire heiress. She is the granddaughter of the company's creator and daughter of a company's former president.
She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master's from Western Michigan University. Her father, Lee Stryker, died while flying his plane in Wyoming, leaving behind three children.
She owns 6% of Stryker Corporation.
She owns about 6% of Stryker Corporation, which she inherited from her father. She has been a director of Stryker Corporation since 1984.
Her husband, William Johnston, is the chairman of Greenleaf Trust, an investment company that owns shares in Stryker Corporation. They have three children and live a few miles away from the company headquarters.
She focuses on empowering women.
Stryker's philanthropic activities are concentrated on supporting women and non-traditional students to improve their lives. She also advocates eliminating racism, sexism, and homophobia.
She says, "I have always known that when a woman receives a college degree, the entire family and future generations of that family benefit directly. Therefore, higher education for women, women of color, non-traditional women students, and women returning to education after raising families have held high importance in my gifts of time, talent, and treasure."
Ronda Stryker is a member of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows. She previously served as a director at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and many other roles.
The history behind the brand.
In 1941, Dr. Homer Stryker created Stryker Corporation.
Dr. Homer Stryker was an outstanding physician from Kalamazoo, Michigan, who was unhappy with the state of specific medical products, so he designed new ones. When more doctors began to order his new products, he created The Orthopedic Frame Company.
One year later, Dr. Homer developed Wedge Turning Frame begins, which allowed caretakers to turn patients with severe back injuries while keeping the spine immobilized.
Her father died in a plane crash.
In 1955, Dr. Stryker's son, Lee, became the Company's General Manager. Three years later, the company's sales surpassed $1 million. After Dr. Stryker retired from the company, Lee changed the company's name to Stryker Corporation.
Each of her siblings inherited 33% of the company.
In 1976, Lee Stryker died in a plane crash, leaving the company without a CEO or a clear heir to its leadership. Lee Stryker had three kids, so each of his kids inherited one-third each of the trust established by their grandfather, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from 1998.
According to Bloomberg, "They have since sold more shares than Ronda, leaving her, with a 6% stake, as the largest individual shareholder in the company."
She is a powerful woman who donates her money wisely.
Ronda and her husband made significant contributions to many organizations. For example, $100 million to build the Homer Stryker medical school at Western Michigan University, $20 million to the Harvard Medical School, $30 million to Spelman College, the largest gift from living donors in the institution's history.
She is a generous woman who uses her wealth to improve her community. If you had her money, what other causes would you support?