Randy Ware is the founder and CEO of West Coast Medical Resources Inc. of Clearwater. The company’s facility is undergoing an expansion of 11,000 square feet.
CLEARWATER – In an unusual twist of fate the very thing that has given Belleair resident Randy Ware the means to own and operate a successful business also taught him the value and importance of giving.
Ware is the founder and CEO of West Coast Medical Resources Inc. of Clearwater. Otherwise known as WestCMR, the company specializes in buying and selling surplus surgical supplies. Ware said it wouldn’t be possible without the wasteful society we live in.
“As humans we’re a wasteful society,” he said. “Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we end up throwing food away. We buy too many legal pads for the office and then don’t have what we really need. The medical profession is no different.”
Ware said hospitals will buy supplies based on what the doctors or other professionals want or need.
“Then the doctor changes his mind and wants something new, so what was in stock is no longer needed. Or a sale rep changes jobs and has a competitive line to offer and the doctor or hospital being loyal to the rep will buy the new offering, again leaving plenty of the other brands in the stock room,” He said. “It is not rocket science; there is a lot of waste out there.”
Taking that waste and selling it or redistributing it as Ware likes to say, is a win-win situation.
“We allow hospitals to liquidate to us and they recover some money and they are happy because these days everyone needs money,” he said. “Then we sell it to other hospitals and surgical centers that use the stuff.”
Ware said his company doesn’t act as a middleman in that they buy the product, take possession of it, and then sell it. He said 20 percent of the company’s sales are outside the United States.
Ware, 51, and his wife Shannon live in Belleair. They have two adult children Sarah and Ryan. His career buying and selling surplus medical equipment happened by accident he said.
“I was working in a customized orthotic lab so I was exposed to the hospital market,” he said. “I knew about the waste so I started West Coast Medical Resources on a shoestring in 1997. Now we have 30 employees and are the largest company at what we do in the United States.
Hospitals across the country recognize us for what we do and we’re growing because as the general population grows there are more people, more people mean products and more reps and more waste. We just sit on the sidelines and benefit from it.”
But Ware just doesn’t sit on the sidelines when it comes to his community. Recently when he heard the annual Thanksgiving food basket drive in Belleair needed help, he made a phone call and without knowing how much was needed told the organizers that he would buy and pay for whatever was required.
It was a gesture that amazed Sara Borger, Belleair’s director of special events.
“I have nothing but great things to say about Randy,” she said. “He has a huge heart; he cares about the community and is doing some unique and great things with his company that are really important.”
Borger said Ware didn’t just help the Thanksgiving cause; he did it in such a way that was above and beyond what was required.
“He was in the airport on his way to an important business meeting when he made the call. He’s a busy guy but in about 20 seconds he said I’ll buy the rest of the list, and it was a lot,” she said. “He had his people call and they took care of everything that was on the list. It was a lot, it took a lot of time, and probably a whole day’s work for one of his staff to go buy everything and deliver it.”
That type of help is something Ware says is important to his life and he hopes to the people around him.
“I want my staff to know that we have to leave a footprint that matters,” he said.
From the business point of view Ware’s company is about to leave an even bigger footprint in the community. WestCMR is undergoing a major expansion. Eleven thousand square feet is being added to the company’s facility, giving it a total of 27,000 square feet at its Howard Court location. It should be open by April and it gives Ware a new challenge.
“My biggest challenge now is finding the 10 new people we need to hire as part of the expansion,” he said. “This is a very logical business, doing it and making it happen is the magic.”
Ware has also taken on a new challenge outside of work, something that is near and dear to his heart.
“I’ve recently been asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Dream Fund in St. Petersburg,” he said. “When my son was born he was very sick. We almost lost him, so I have a special place in my heart for Children’s Hospitals and sick children. The fund is important for the families with sick children. I was honored when I was asked to create awareness and help raise money for the cause. Eighty-one percent of what we raise goes directly to those families in need.”
None of that would have likely happened without Ware’s success at business.
“I’m very fortunate. This business has exposed me to things in my life and has given me the financial freedom and security I never thought I would have,” he said. “Paying things forward is something that I do. How I’m remembered is important to me and I want to make sure in the second half of my life that I’m doing things the right way.”