5 Minutes With Lorenzo Romero
Lorenzo Romero is president of Stealth Products in Burnet, Texas.
Of the projects I’m working on, I’m most excited by... the Loonz [video] game [to assess/teach power chair driving and operations]. I really believe, no pun intended, that it’s game changing for how evaluations are done. Currently, it’s not easy in some cases to determine if someone has the cognitive ability to drive. This is a way of not putting any pressure on the individual being evaluated, but just seeing if there’s opportunity there. I think it’s going to open the door for folks to have independent mobility who otherwise wouldn’t have had it. With a battery pack, an i-Drive and an iPad, you can find out if there’s some capability there that you wouldn’t have had the time to find otherwise.
Of the challenges facing CRT right now, I’m most concerned about… I’m sure everybody says reimbursement, and that is a serious concern. But I’ll say regulatory processes. Although we need them as an industry, they really hinder the ability to launch products fast enough. For years we were able to quickly do modifications and get the product to that person who had a specific need. Now, regulatory processes have really slowed down or eliminated our ability to do that.
The CRT segment I’m most intrigued by is… pediatrics. I love the smiles kiddos give us when we’ve done something to make their lives a little better. I’ve had phenomenal experiences that have changed my life, like seeing the first time a kid is moving.
What the industry needs most right now is… more early intervention. We’ve been talking about this for years as an industry, but they’re slow in coming. I understand the challenges; it’s new territory for a lot of people, products that fit 1- and 2- and 3-year-olds. But if an able-bodied infant is able to crawl and experience the world, we have to provide that for kiddos who aren’t as able to do those things easily.
A segment that’s really hot right now is… electronics. We’re behind when it comes to advancements seen in industries like automotive and smartphones. Regulatory challenges are part of this; we are a little handcuffed because so much testing is needed. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it does make it difficult.
As an industry, we’ve gained ground on… coming together to promote why it’s important to fund our products. As a community, we’ve had to work together.
I wish I could change… Some outside entities don’t understand how specialized our industry is and how passionate we are. We’re passionate about the people we serve. It’s an amazing industry, but the perception is we’re all about making money and taking advantage of the system. I totally beg to differ.
My favorite thing about CRT is... the hearts of the people. When I came to this industry, it was an immediate connection for me. My dad is in ministry as a pastor. In his role as pastor he cares a great deal for people, and this was the perfect alignment for me. This industry is about people who care for people.
CRT members I really admire are... ATPs. When I’ve ridden or worked a territory with them, these folks put so much effort and time into what they do. I tell my CSRs: If an ATP calls with a situation, do whatever you can to see it gets done as quickly and easily as possible, because what ATPs are doing out there… They’re on the front line.
In my personal life, I really admire... My dad. He’s always inspired me to do better, always encouraged me to do more than what I thought I could do. If it wasn’t for him, I would never have done the things I’ve done.
My favorite tradeshow venue/city are... ISS [International Seating Symposium], Vancouver. It’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve seen. Around 15 years ago, I flew my family up there after the show and we went sightseeing. To this day, they say it was their best trip ever.
In five years, I expect to be... still part of Stealth. Since Quantum Rehab acquired Stealth, I got my second wind. I’m really enjoying our relationship with [Quantum CEO] Scott Meuser and the Quantum team, and I’m excited for the future. I’m hoping Leggero will continue to grow. This industry is such a great avenue for us to do good things. My kids are excited, too. I hope my family will be involved with this industry for a long time.
I want to be remembered as... someone who represented Christ and cared about people.
The last great meal I had was… about 20 minutes ago, lunch at a local restaurant. A BLT with a cup of butter pecan ice cream at the end. The last meal I had is always my favorite.
People who know me would say I... love classic cars.
Those people would be surprised that... when I first came to the industry, I worked at ASL. Best experience ever. Working with Lisa Rotelli and Byron Guisbert and seeing how they care for people really set the tone for me. This is where it’s at.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Mobility Management.