University of Minnesota


Earl E. Bakken
Medical Devices Center

Encore Mentor

Sheila Nichols received her BA and MBA from the University of Minnesota. She spent the next 35 years in roles with increased responsibility in Marketing, Sales and Business Management for 3M Company. It provided her with broad experience across many sectors and markets, regulated and non-regulated businesses, global commerce, and management of large, diverse organizations. She was President and Managing Director for the entire company in 3M Philippines, Director for OH&ES supporting prior pandemics with N95 respirators and spent 13 years providing 3M products to the Medical Market. Sheila’s final position was leading the global Medical Materials & Technologies business – dedicated to providing medical device manufacturers access to 3M science, enabling breakthrough innovations in health care, where she first learned of the great work being done at the Medical Devices Center. She retired in 2018 and, prior to the pandemic, was focused on exploring the greater globe. She is now focused on giving back in a variety of venues, supporting her parents who moved in during the pandemic and planning the next big adventures on the “other side”.

Special Skills and Experience:

  • Market for wearable medical devices, including market trends and factors for success.
  • Team management and leadership – securing buy in and earning followers.
  • Large and small business creation and management. What to watch out for and what are the success factors.
  • What does a successful start up look like and what does it not.
  • Business to business marketing – plan creation and execution to maximize return on investment.
  • Building customer relationships that survive the test of time – the importance and the reality.
  • Sales strategies for large and small customers. How to motivate, measure and pay sales professionals.
  • Preparing for large sales calls or meetings – how to make sure you are ready to succeed.


Twin Cities Campus: