Director of Mergers & Acquisitions
Kristy DeCicco is the director of M&A (mergers and acquisitions) integrations at Norstella. She works closely with executive leadership to identify the projects and strategies that bring together Norstella’s family of companies, spearheading the integration of Panalgo, Evaluate and the Dedham Group under the Norstella umbrella earlier this year. Her team is currently working on Norstella’s newest merger with Citeline.
How did you join Norstella?
My career has mostly focused on workflow and process efficiency improvement. I’ve worked in manufacturing, health care IT and legal services. I really love working with IT systems and software solutions that help with efficiency and workflow improvement. At my last organization, I was doing a lot on new product development and stage gate processes for our global team. We were acquired by a large public company, and I was selected to help manage the acquisition. It was a great way for me to build on what I’d done previously in product and program management. You’re working across all functions, bringing people together and helping them flesh out their needs, organizing all of that chaos into something people can make progress on. With Norstella, it was nice to transition back into a private company in an industry that’s more meaningful to me. To be in an industry where you’re making an impact on patients, it helps me feel more inspired to get up and work hard.
What does your day-to-day usually look like?
Most of my day is meeting with different teams, identifying and tracking plans and execution. Right now we’re supporting a broad group, because the scope of our integrations has grown so much. I’m always connecting the dots between what I see in different teams, looking for issues or risks bubbling up, or opportunities to surface solutions. Sometimes it’s very tactical work, but there’s also a strategic side to it. I report to our executive teams so they can see that we’re making good progress and showing a return on investment in our mergers and acquisitions.
What’s been the most exciting thing about the Citeline merger?
One thing that’s super exciting is the Citeline merger is doubling the size of Norstella! It’s taking us to a whole new level of market opportunity. We have so much opportunity for product synergies, where we can bring together our product knowledge and create new solutions to meet the market’s needs. It is exciting to have this new group of very smart people at Citeline who can partner with the legacy Norstella team to find new ways that we can grow.
What are some of the common challenges of your role?
I think right now, one of the biggest challenges is just trying to close business in Q4. We’re still wrapping up some integration activities with Panalgo, Evaluate and Dedham. And now you bring in another large, global company like Citeline. There are a lot of moving parts, and you can definitely see people feeling the strain of getting their day-to-day job done along with learning new team members and forming next year’s strategy. There’s so much to be done, so you have to ensure you have the right priorities and be able to focus. It’s definitely something we can accomplish, but we’re always working to make sure we don’t tax people too much and that we’re managing that balance.
What’s been your career highlight to date?
I would say it was at my last organization, when we were acquired by a public company. It was a two-year program to organize the integration, and we completed it ahead of schedule and ahead of our $135 million synergy goal. It was the first time I had really done anything on the M&A side from an integrations perspective. We had a really wonderful leadership team that supported us achieving those targets. To achieve something on that global scale was a big accomplishment for me, and I’m working toward similar goals at Norstella.
Which company principle resonates most with you?
Resiliency, mettle and grit. In integrations, you’re always trying to use influence to get people to collectively achieve this goal, and it doesn’t always go as you plan. You’re dealing with a lot of unknowns and ambiguity — things change that you’re not in control of. You’re also getting to know all new people, so there’s a lot of change management to consider. Even though it’s a challenge, you can apply that grit and resiliency and always come out of it on the other side as long as you’re working hard, doing your best and keeping lines of communication open.
What would you tell someone just starting their career with Norstella?
There is a lot of opportunity and variety in the roles that you can play at Norstella. It’s one of the great things about this organization. It’s also really exciting that we’ve expanded to be more of a global company, it presents a lot of opportunity not just in work locations, but also exposing people to different cultures. And I advise anyone new (or tenured!) to stay open-minded. We are a fast-paced organization and sometimes that scale can be scary, but there’s so much room to grow.
Where do you see Norstella in the next year or two?
My hope is that we’ll keep growing! Hopefully some growth will be through acquisitions, and also a decent amount organically. I’m pretty excited about all the new product synergies we have in the pipeline.
What do you like most about working at Norstella?
I love getting to interact with all different functions and departments at Norstella. I really like seeing how each business is run. I get to see all the behind-the-scenes action and see how our strategy is turned into actionable plans to improve things for clients and employees.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m really involved in my church, from Bible study to serving. I’m involved in a ministry called 7 Billion Reasons, and recently got to go to Uganda to serve with them. I have three kids — 15, 11 and 6 — they keep me pretty busy! Outside of work and family, I really enjoy gardening and yardwork, planting flowers and getting dirty. There’s a lot of satisfaction in creating and organizing beautiful outdoor spaces.
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