A Woman’s Passion to Win: From Lacrosse to Executive Leadership

Jeannette Bankes, a Minnesota based female medical device executive was named by Working Mother as 2017 Mother of the Year. She contributes her drive and passion to succeed in life from her involvement in sports, that included a heavy focus on lacrosse.

Today, Jeannette is a Vice President, General Manager of the Boston Scientific Men’s Health business based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, where more than 500 employees support the manufacturing, operations, sales and marketing of products to treat urologic issues. A multi-million dollar business, Boston Scientific Men’s Health has seen significant growth internationally under Jeannette’s leadership ranking among the company’s top performing businesses in 2016 and 2017. Jeannette’s exposure to lacrosse came at a very early age due to growing up on the east coast. A native of Pennsylvania, she was introduced and gained immediate passion for the sport at the age of eleven. Jeannette was a multi-sport athlete playing both field hockey and lacrosse. She enjoyed the drive and commitment it took to play lacrosse and still be in the top of her class academically. Lacrosse taught Jeannette, time-management, team mentality, adaptability and leadership skills. Jeannette was a strong athlete, serving as captain in both field hockey and lacrosse. Jeannette believes that sports teaches a person the physical and mental stamina needed to succeed but when given opportunities it also instills in an early age, leadership, communication skills and accountability.

Highly successful in her career, Jeanette’s biggest professional accomplishment is the opportunity and passion to “pay it forward” and mentor athletes and other professionals. Jeannette and her husband Edward relocated to the Twin Cities due to her professional career in 2004. Both Jeannette and her husband played lacrosse. They also had introduced their two young boys to the sport in Pennsylvania. Her oldest son Crey, recruited to play D1 lacrosse at Michigan University, started in Lehigh Valley, PA playing for a youth organization. When they relocated to Minnesota, they quickly realized that in order to support their children’s passion for the sport, Edward and Jeannette had to establish a youth lacrosse organization in their community. The Bankes and Przybilla families started Rogers Youth Lacrosse in 2009. Jeannette served as a board member and coach for the newly formed boy’s lacrosse organization. As the town was introduced to Jeannette and her husband Edward, they quickly realized the passion this family had for the game. Jeannette was recruited by players to take on the Varsity coaching position for the Elk River High School women’s lacrosse program.

One of Jeannette’s favorite memories of mentoring is when she was a high school girl’s lacrosse coach in her local community. Many of her players looked up to her as a role model – both as a coach and a woman achieving her career goals. She worked hard to inspire them and hold them accountable for being female leaders on and off the field. Many of her players went on to college, some receiving athletic scholarships across the country. Jeanette smiles when she sees many of her former players accomplishing their goals. Two of her very first players are now in pharmacy school. It brings a HUGE smile to her face to know she played a role in their life.

Jeannette believes that Epoch and her current employer Boston Scientific have a similar vision and mission. Both companies are focused on delivering what’s next in terms of advancing technology and contributing meaningful innovation. Jeannette has had the pleasure of working with CEO James Miceli. EPOCH is a company that focuses on player needs, both in terms of design and material needs. It is exciting to Jeannette, to see in both areas of her passion (medical devices and lacrosse), that companies she is involved with are striving to deliver meaningful innovation.

Posted on behalf of Jeannette Bankes
by Epoch Author Carrie Moeger

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