Austin Cheng, CEO of New York City-based Gramercy Surgery Center, is running to represent New York's 3rd Congressional District.
Mr. Cheng joined Becker's to discuss how his role leading an ASC has prepared him for this undertaking.
Question: How has being an ASC CEO prepared you to run for Congress?
Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.
Austin Cheng: Running a small business has really given me a very comprehensive understanding of managing a team but also managing a full operational budget. So I bring that up in two parts because when you're running a small business, you've got to know all the ins and outs of the actual business. I believe that really prepares me to understand the management of budgets. But it also gives me a pretty intricate and unique understanding of how small businesses are run. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy.
At the same time, in addition to managing the business and the budget, it also gives me a very strong understanding of how to manage the people and the teams, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I had, and have, a very close tie to the members of the team and making sure that they are able to support themselves and their family. There was a time where we all had to face certain decisions in terms of budgeting and expenses, so I think that that has given me a very good insight into how to help manage the people and the individuals.
And as a plug for the ASC industry, I think ASC administrators, they're all effectively CEOs. They're running these little corporations, companies, and so every single ambulatory surgery center administrator is very prepared to deal with running a small business.