Fighting Covid-19 With Philanthropy and Innovation
How Gordon Muir Finds Balance and Purpose in Uncertain Times
“I believe at the end of the day people want to work for an organization that values individuals and the world we share,” Gordon Muir, president, Americas & Industrial Automation at Emerson, said.
Emerson quickly joined the fight against COVID-19 in 2020 and has made far-reaching contributions in every aspect of health care. In addition to designing multiple solutions for oxygen therapy, Emerson also accelerated its production of surgical face masks, face shields and disposable hygiene gowns, and designed valves that aided in the critical temperate control of the vaccine. In total, more than 1.4 million products were produced to support the response worldwide, including at Morristown Medical Center.
“Emerson has a long history of making a difference in its communities, and today, when relief is needed most, that’s no different,” Muir said. “We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to help the world through this pivotal time.”
A 25-year Emerson veteran, Muir has traveled to 76 countries during his tenure with the global manufacturing company. He speaks conversational French, a little Gaelic and enjoys the many dialects of his native Scotland. Even with the challenges of COVID-19, Muir perseveres:
5:00am After a ride on his Peloton bike at home in Mendham, New Jersey, he enjoys a healthy breakfast with his wife, Suzanne. “I don’t get the bacon out until the weekends,” Muir laughs. A quick scan of his emails, and he’s off to his Florham Park, New Jersey, office.
7:00am to 12:00pm Passing by the coffee machine, he fills up. With the pandemic continuing to tax front-line caregivers, Muir and his colleagues meet to discuss ways to offer relief. In 2020, they looked to the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center and the COVID-19 Support Fund, donating $35,000 and delivering 28,000 masks (both N95 and assorted). The company also gave $25,000 to the Growing Forward Campaign’s expansion of Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute in 2020. In the past 28 years, the company has given $1.7 million to Morristown Medical Center.
12:00 to 1:00pm He loves catching up with colleagues over a light meal. “We have a fantastic cafeteria, and I miss our large groups that would gather there,” Muir said.
1:00 to 5:00pm He spends the rest of his day in meetings, and those that focus on equipping future generations with viable workplace skills excite him the most. Now in its seventh year, Emerson’s We Love STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative provides equipment and training for students to excel in engineering and manufacturing. Emerson partners with the County College of Morris, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology, among others, readying students for global manufacturing and technical roles. “If there’s anything we love more than STEM, it’s sharing it with those who will transform the future,” Muir said.
5:00 to 8:00pm Returning home, he enjoys family time with his son, Cameron (13), and daughter, Isla (11). “We love to bicycle together,” Muir said. “I’m trying to get them into golf. It’s a work in progress.”