In our uncertain economic condition, Sage Products, Inc., Cary, Ill., has been and continues to be profitable and internationally well respected.
Vince Foglia, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, has concrete ideas of why his company has been successful and the government’s role in helping — and hurting — the cause of businesses and citizens alike.
“Sage is in the right time period for the products that we have. Our products that focus on infection prevention for hospitals, for example, support the need for the medical industry to lower infection rates,” Foglia said. This helps keep patients from being re-admitted to hospitals, keepings patients healthier and costs down.
It’s easy to create a slogan for your company but not always as simple to live up to the standards that are set. Sage employees, however, have lived up to its tag line: simple interventions, extraordinary outcomes.
“That’s our mission,” according to Fogilia, “we have been in the right place at the right time … just like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were. Anybody that makes it today has to have fertile ground. It’s not that we haven’t worked hard; but without the marketplace being ready to accept what have we would not have gone this far.”
The Sage brigade consists of good people and good leadership, many of whom have committed decades of service to the company. “We have a strong culture and a belief in what we do and how we go about doing it, with many people who grew up here and spent most of their adult lives here. Scott, our president of five years, would be second generation and my son would be almost a third,” Foglia said.
Foglia, his family and employees set a community-wide example of philanthropy; this is ingrained in the conscious efforts of the corporate culture. A strong supporter of community venues and services like The Sage YMCA, Raue Center for the Arts and Pioneer Center for Human Services, Sage donates millions of dollars every year.
Non-profit organizations require corporate and grant funding support since many rely on state funding and are up against a broken, empty system.
“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Foglia said. “The Illinois state government used tax money for their pensions. They took the funds designated for human services and just kept cutting them. And there you go again … it is out of control. They accelerated their income so they could get more. The politicians have screwed the thing up something awful.”
So consequently, the Sage organization genuinely helps our community since the state cannot. The family behind the company pays its share as well.
“I am willing to pay my share of taxes. But [big government] shouldn’t start screwing up everything to get some more money out of the people who make more money. It is on ability to pay … to balance the budget,” he said.
He believes that federal dollars are spent in wrong areas and misallocated places, like in “end-of-life treatment.” According to Foglia, “We spend $35,000 more than any country in the free world to get somebody from 81 to 82 years old, or another 14 months of life. Whatever the quality is. Now you tell me how are you going to get your arms around that?”
This leads into Foglia’s concerns about Medicare and Social Security and he offers some ways our federal government can fix the situation: “They are going to have to get their arms around Medicare, figure out a way to take care of the people and do it in a way that is not so expensive. They have to stop cutting back reimbursement to the doctors and the hospitals because they won’t take the Medicare patients anymore; just get together and work out a plan,” he said.
“I am 74 years old, so I am a senior citizen. With half of the whole budget we are taking care of people who have already lived their lives. Now I am not saying you just cut them loose and let them die in the street, but what about the young people; do we care about them? All those grandparents who care about their grandkids should be saying ‘let’s get some proposals here.’
“Yes I am willing to take less or I am willing to do things that would help this situation instead of saying I want everything. We give everything to everybody who is over 65. Now you tell me where that is going to get us, what kind of an attitude is that?” he questions.
Foglia is a no-nonsense guy with a hit ‘em-hard attitude. It’s easy to see how his company has made successful impressions on many levels.
He concludes, “Let’s not bulls--t everybody. There are a lot of people that have also been in the right place at the right time and didn’t get anywhere. We knew what we were doing and we did it with zest. We did it with quality products and understanding relationships with our customers.”