We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Purkiss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
What was your thought behind starting your business? In 2000, my husband and business partner, Ed, and I owned a 500-person travel call center when we discovered I had breast cancer. Unable to continue to manage the day to day operations, we decided to sell the business so I could deal with what I needed to do for treatment and spend time with our 3 kids, who were all under 10 at that time. Having been very healthy with no family history, we were shocked when we heard the news from a very unsympathetic surgeon, “Yeah, Mary has cancer and needs a mastectomy. Call my nurse to schedule it …” It was a very robotic spiel. We could tell he said it many times, but that was the first time we had heard it. Over the next several years, I battled cancer, endured multiple surgeries and experienced all different kinds of physicians during this journey. Realizing that physicians are so caught up with the struggles of technology, they sometimes forget the importance of the patient’s emotional care when dealing with cancer. This let us on a quest to do what we could to make the whole cancer experience more positive for both physicians and patients. In 2009, after two years of beta testing, we officially launched our Phoenix based company, Iron Medical Systems. We began offering a virtual cloud infrastructure, which was designed specifically for radiation and medical oncology clinics and hospitals nationwide. This cloud offering handles all the technical components for providing radiation treatment so doctors can do what they do best, treat cancer. They can log into their “office” from anywhere and on almost any device to approve treatment plans, share information securely, all in a seamless and straight-forward way. In our first year, Iron Medical Systems was in eight cancer centers and hospitals across the US. Today, it is used in hundreds of hospitals and facilities in all states except Alaska. Ed estimates as many as 30,000 patients a day are treated at establishments that rely on our cloud. In our small way, we feel we are doing what we can to give back to the cancer community, as we are so grateful for my positive outcome. In 2019, we branched out to a new business, SMSGorilla, where we provide SMS Texting, to not only the medical industry, but to all types of businesses worldwide. Our third business unit, SMSHyperloop, provides white glove service in the SMS Texting arena to small business and non-profit organizations, as well. To continue to give back, we have budgeted 1 million messages a day for free to valid non-profits who need to get their word out. Because 95% of people will open and respond to a text before even looking at an email, we are pleased with the growth of these two business ventures and hope to reach more businesses with a need for our services.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Places to visit: The Grand Canyon Train from Williams to the South Rim Antelope Canyon Sedona Carefree Things to do to Relax: The Spa at Camelback Inn Drinks at The Sanctuary Drinks at The Biltmore Hotel Beautiful mile walk around the Biltmore Hotel and properties The many golf courses in Arizona Shopping: Scottsdale Fashion Square Kierland Commons Biltmore Fashion Park Shops in downtown Scottsdale Restaurants: L’Amore Italian Restaurant Tarbell’s Hillstone The Wrigley Mansion Giuseppe’s on 28th Lon’s outside patio
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Ed Purkiss, my husband and business partner Dave Barchas, also part owner of Iron Medical Systems
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Iron.Medical.Systems https://www.facebook.com/SMS-Gorilla-110738047127383
Mara Blom Schantz Michael Ging