For the Record with Tammy Lee, CEO, Nanocore

June 14  

In February, Lee left her previous post as president and CEO of St. Paul-based Recombinetics, a platform technology company that gene-edits livestock for improved health and human therapeutic applications, for an explained leave of absence. Prior to that, she served as vice president of corporate affairs at Carlson companies as well as Delta Air Lines.

Tammy Lee serves as CEO of Nanocore, a Class 1 medical device company based in Red Wing, Minnesota that  produces and sells wearable cooling therapeutic products under its NanohealthTM  ( and NanopauseTM ( brands.

Prior to joining Nanocore, Lee served as President and CEO of Recombinetics, a platform technology company for gene-editing, where she successfully raised a $34 million Series A round.

Before that, Lee held senior executive positions in large, complex, multinational businesses including Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Carlson Companies and Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Delta Air Lines during the Northwest-Delta merger. She also served as a corporate officer at Northwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines.

Lee was named to Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Top 100 People to Know in 2018. She is a member of the Women Presidents Organization, Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable and Women’s Forum of Minnesota.

Lee received her MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. and serves on the Board of Regents for her alma mater, Concordia College, where she received Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and communications. 

What does it mean to be a leader? 

The leaders I most admire possess equal parts humility, self-awareness, and confidence. This combination enables the leader to acknowledge what they don’t know and draw in other experts to fill in their gaps, which enables them to make better decisions. Good leaders attract other A-players to their team. Collectively, the sum of a well-led team is greater than the parts.

How has the definition of a leader changed during your career?  

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said, “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Good leaders bring others along with them in their careers. They mentor, they sponsor, and they recognize and promote others. For women, this is particularly important because we are a long way from achieving parity in pay or numbers of women in the executive ranks. There has to be an intentional focus for women to help other women advance.

How do you relax/decompress?

I love spending time with my daughter, who is 15. We like to travel and spend time with our extended family and we love to watch Grey’s Anatomy together. We also have a dog that we adopted from the Golden Valley Humane Society a year ago, so I like to walk the dog to decompress. And I like to binge watch TV series. Right now, I’m mesmerized by the final season of Game of Thrones.

What are your goals for 2019?

Personal goals: more travel for fun (versus work travel — but that is still a necessity) and more boat rides and bonfires. Professionally: a successful capital raise for Nanocore and rapidly growing the business with the team in Red Wing.

What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?

The companies that are members of Medical Alley are Minnesota’s innovators. Trailblazers like Earl Bakken’s Medtronic paved the way for hundreds of other success stories that have flourished because of Medical Alley’s support and advocacy — particularly for smaller companies that benefit from the collective strength of Medical Alley’s leadership team and member companies.

What is the last great film you watched or the last great book you read?

“RBG” and “The Notorious RBG” — truly a trailblazing woman in legal and professional circles.

Didn’t Get a Ticket to the Sold-Out August Event? We Have One More in 2019!

Medical Alley is fortunate to have many strong female leaders in our community and the Women In Health Leadership series is the perfect way to meet other dedicated, influential women in health technology. This is your ticket to an afternoon of networking, lunch, and to hear from special guest speaker, Seanne Falconer, Executive Director & Associate Cancer Center Director for Administration – Masonic Cancer Center, U of MN.

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