Sue Chen founded NOVA Medical Products in 1993 when she was just 23 years old with a strong vision to improve lives…with style. Today, NOVA has grown organically to become an industry leader and innovator of mobility, bathroom safety and independent living products. Fortune named Chen as one of the “Ten Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” in 2011.
Innovating in Field of Work:
• The Home Medical Equipment industry had been in decline for decades with little product innovation and dysfunctional distribution due to Medicaid issues.
• Chen transformed this landscape by making beautiful, stylish and empowering medical equipment with high design and gorgeous styles trending from classics to runway, as well as campaigns that change the stigma her customers face; allowing them to thrive.
• Then in 2012, Chen created a new direct to retail distributor model. She decided her business didn’t need Medicare to thrive and taught her dealers how to be retailers selling consumer products rather than mobility device resellers involved with a Medicare insurance process.
Created new opportunities in consumer healthcare retail, transforming an industry in decline and most of all improved the lives of millions of Americans.
• Frustrated with the unrealistic pressure to find Life Balance or the Having It All façade, Chen formed her own state that she strives for…Happy Chaos. This is the realistic combination of living out of balance…yet in the groove, ready for disruption and curveballs…,but armed with wisdom, experience and courage. She started a Blog called Living Happy Chaos – Confessions of Living that Happy Chaos Life…all out of balance.
• She connects and shares through many channels and organizations including YPO, NAWBO, DWEN, YBA, and Annenberg Foundation.
Reinvention / Momentum:
In 2006, while going through a dark time both professionally and personally, Chen discovered a calling for saving sharks. She started diving and saw shark’s beautiful and gentle side…not the “Jaws” image at all. Concerned about their extinction, she became a Director at Shark Savers (now Wild Aid). In 2012, she started Operation Blue Pride – an organization taking wounded veterans shark diving as a way to self-heal and giving them a new purpose to fight for our oceans and sharks. She was the Executive Producer of the documentary about this mission called Operation Blue Pride: American Hero – Ocean Hero. This personal disruption allowed Chen to be part of a greater good…a g-power that humbles her every day.
“Today I am doing much more than running a company, I am transforming an industry.
In doing so, I have become one happy CEO and very grateful woman over 40.”