Spencer Heath
Thursday, May 17, 2018

For 27 years Spencer Heath watched his father, Paul Heath, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) director at the University of Iowa, help start and grow businesses all over the corridor. As Spencer was growing up, he met the clients his father was helping start businesses.

“I couldn’t tell you the number of times my dad brought me into a new restaurant that was a client of the SBDC and the owner would come to our table and thank my dad for helping them get started. Or we would be walking in the Coral Ridge Mall and a client of the SBDC would walk up to him and thank him,” says Spencer. “My dad is a big reason I wanted to get a degree in entrepreneurship.”

An Iowa City native, and a 2013 University of Iowa graduate, Spencer Heath was motivated to pursue entrepreneurship because of the passion, excitement, and success of local entrepreneurs his father had helped. Majoring in Entrepreneurial Management at the University of Iowa’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (Iowa JPEC) allowed him to get a big-picture look at business and understand the importance of each individual part of business. 

“My degree gave me a good understanding of how finance, marketing, HR, sales, customer service and product development departments interact with each other, which is valuable when making business decisions,” says Heath.

Today, Heath works for CIVCO Medical Solutions, an international medical device company headquartered in Coralville. Previously a Customer Service and Inside Sales Representative, Heath was recently promoted to the Sales Consultant for North Central California, a position responsible for growing sales in all of CIVCO’s product lines in North and Central California.  

Heath says entrepreneurship has helped him get to where he is today. Though his focus is in sales, Heath is able to understand how a business operates and respect what every department does because of the entrepreneurship classes he took. While reflecting on his time at Iowa, he recalls how in-class simulations helped him in his post-graduate career.

“I remember we did a pricing simulator that David Hensley, the director of Iowa JPEC, taught. The class was broken up into groups where we each sold the same product. We had basic knowledge of how much the product cost to make and we had to figure out where to price the product so the business could make money with proper margins but not price ourselves out of the market. I recently used this experience for one of the new products CIVCO sells.”

Heath also credits an entrepreneurship professor for inspiring his passion for sales.

“I remember taking a class by Joe George in the JPEC program. Joe put down a roadmap of how to be a successful salesman without living up to the negative stereotypes that surround salespeople. Joe made me understand that the world revolves around sales,” says Heath. “I wouldn’t have the job I have today if I couldn’t sell myself to CIVCO.”

As he transitions form one role to the next, Heath gives two pieces of advice for those also going through career or academic transitions: work hard and take new chances.

“It doesn’t matter what your first job out of college is, just work hard. If you work hard opportunities will open up and good things will happen,” he says. “And take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. You only learn when you get out of your comfort zone and you will be a better person because of it.”