Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you decided to join the military?
As a little kid, I saw the Blue Angels fly and decided I wanted to be one of them—I enjoyed the show and the dangerous and tactical maneuvers that they performed. It looked like an exciting job to do. You have to be in the Navy and go to Pilot School in order to become a Blue Angel, so I enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy. I attended the academy from 1979-1983. However, my vision had changed and was no longer 20-20 so I couldn’t be a pilot and went into submarines instead.
How long were you in the military and what branch did you serve in?
I was in the navy for a little under 12 years, from 1983-1995, and served aboard the USS Georgia (SSBN-729) and the USS Houston (SSN-713). I also went to the Naval Post Graduate School and completed my first master’s degree in National Security Affairs. My last tour was in Omaha, NE at U.S Strategic Command where I served as a Communications Officer on the Looking Glass aircraft.
What are some of the top life lessons you learned while in the military?
Lead by example – if you expect people to be somewhere on time, be on time yourself. Don’t expect others to do things you wouldn’t do yourself.
How has your past experience from being active in the military helped you succeed as a business owner?
I learned that it is important to come to work every day and give it your best. In the military, you don’t have a choice and a lot of people come in every day, but don’t give it their best. There was one time while I was in the Navy where we had to load a submarine with torpedoes and we only had one day to do it. The team didn’t believe that they could complete that in a day but I set expectations and continually talked them through it and gave them milestones so that they could see the process that they were making. In the end, we succeeded and got it done on time.
Why did you choose to open a Right at Home franchise, and what about business ownership appealed to you?
The navy has great plans and processes in place for almost everything, especially when working on-board submarines. Franchises have processes in place as well, and knowing that everything has been thought out and I only have to implement what is already outlined. That’s what appealed to me when deciding to join the Right at Home franchise.
I had seen other people run businesses after leaving the Navy and I was confident that I could do just as well as they had done, and in some ways, do it even better. That was what intrigued me: to try and pick up a business, do it well and do it in my own way with the support system in place.
I had a very good feeling about Right at Home when we were doing our due diligence. The demographics of the increasing baby boomers population and their need for our services also made Right at Home appealing. Additionally, Right at Home had a relatively low starting cost.
Do you work with many veteran clients? If so, do they have a compelling story we can share? Is there a special bond between the client and caregiver? Any caregivers who are Vets who are taking care of Clients who are Vets?
We currently provide service to 12–15 veterans a week and they make up about 25 percent of our business.