Who is Ronda Stryker?
Ronda Stryker is director and billionaire heiress of Stryker Corporation, a medical technology company founded by her grandfather, Homer Stryker. Today, Ronda Stryker is the largest individual shareholder of Stryker Corp and has amassed a personal fortune of approximately $6.5 Billion, making her one of the wealthiest women in North America.
Read More: Ronda Stryker’s Net Worth
Ronda Stryker’s story begins when her grandfather Homer Stryker incorporated Stryker Corporation in 1946. Homer Stryker was an accomplished orthopaedic surgeon, and formed his company to meet the unmet needs in his profession for new surgical tools specifically designed for orthopaedic surgery. The company is perhaps best well known today for its hospital beds, which are sold worldwide.
The company made a name for itself during the aftermath of World War II, profiting from the number of dead and injured during that time requiring medical surgery.
Read More: Ronda Stryker Family
Early Life & Education
Ronda Stryker was born in 1954 to parents Lee and Betty Stryker. She was one of three siblings with her brother Jon and sister Patricia.
Her father, Lee Stryker moved back to Kalamazoo to help Homer Stryker with his business, becoming president of Stryker Corp. Ronda Stryker attended Parkwood-Upjohn Elementary, stating in an interview with Michigan Live that she was inspired by the special education kids in the school, fuelling her desire to become a teacher.
Ronda Stryker attended the University of Northern Colorado, achieving a bachelor’s degree in special needs education.
In July 1976, only a few months after her graduation, Ronda Stryker’s father Lee Stryker tragically died in a plane crash.
Lee Stryker was piloting his own plane in Wyoming, when he crashed it, killing everyone on board including himself and his second wife. Neither Ronda Stryker nor any of her siblings were on board.
After her father’s death, Stryker moved back to her home town of Kalamazoo, near to her grandparents. She started working at South Junior High School as a teaching assistant. It was at this point that she first met William Johnston, who was the school’s assistant principal at the time and would later become her husband.
Marriage, Masters and Motherhood
Ronda Stryker went through several jobs, eventually deciding to work towards her masters degree in Special Needs Education, which she achieved in 1983.
Ronda Stryker married William Johnston in 1983, and within a year they had their first child. Ronda decided to leave her job and focus on being a full time mother to raise her children, while her husband William changed career paths and became a stockbroker.
From Educators to Philanthropists
In 1984, Ronda Stryker joined the board of directors of Stryker Corp. Having inherited a large shareholding in Stryker Corp when her grandfather passed away in 1980, Ronda Stryker was made a billionaire in a few short years, after the company share price exploded shortly after it was initially floated.
Read More: Ronda Stryker Net Worth
Ronda Stryker and her husband William Johnston are both generous philanthropists and active in their local community, having donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable causes across the state of Michigan and the wider community.
The couple dedicate a large part of their lives to philanthropy and charitable causes, through their charitable foundation, the Stryker Johnston Foundation.