During the 10 years Kevin Herman worked as a physical therapist providing home care in the Philadelphia area, he heard plenty of stories from patients about the kinds of assistance they needed--and their difficulty in finding those services. So when he heard about Senior Helpers from a friend, he was interested.
"I was already working with the exact people who would benefit from what Senior Helpers does," he says. "And I was impressed by the ease with which the brand allowed me to start and run my business."
Herman also saw a void in what local assisted living facilities provided, and designed a program that provides additional caregivers to those facilities to support the staff with resident overflow and other needs. That innovation so impressed Senior Helpers President Craig Leonard that the brand is now working to implement it across the country. That program earned Herman, owner and operator of Greater Philadelphia and Southern/Central New Jersey Senior Helpers locations, the 2015 Innovation MVP Award.
"We are so honored to be recognized with this award," says Herman. "The award is really for our whole team. Every day, our team works to make sure clients and their families have someone to help the person they love, no matter where that is."
Name: Kevin Herman Title: Owner, President, Senior Help Ventures No. of units: 7 Senior Helpers Age: 40 Family: Married with 3 kids Years in franchising: 8 Years in current position: 8
I'm a physical therapist. As I was providing care in homes, I continually got requests for the kind of service that Senior Helpers provides.
Growing my first Senior Helpers location to #1 in the country quickly and maintaining that position for the past seven years.
I pretty much work constantly. As an owner, you need to be 100 percent dedicated and available at all times.
What are you reading?
I try to stay current on trends in the industry by reading various things on the Internet and informational emails and articles from Senior Helpers franchising.
Best advice you ever got:
Work hard. No matter what the situation is, you have to pull your own weight, set goals, and then surpass them.
What's your passion in business?
Growth, excellent customer service, and making a difference in people's lives.
Lead by example and treat employees as you would expect to be treated. Give direct feedback whenever necessary. When you think you have achieved what you set out to accomplish, work even harder to achieve something greater. Don't take "no" for an answer. Sometimes you need to provide additional education to the person you are dealing with, or present the information in a different way to achieve your goal.
Management method or style:
Relaxed. I hire personnel who can work with minimal micromanagement.
My biggest challenges are the management of underperforming staff, working with personnel who have different personalities and might not see eye-to-eye as a result, and developing personnel who are not giving 100 percent but have the ability to accomplish more.
How do others describe you?
Easy, outgoing, supportive, and understanding.
How do you hire and fire, train and retain?
Since operations is not my strong suit, I hired an excellent director of operations to handle this.
$10 million and the acquisition of additional franchises.
Growth meter: How do you measure your growth?
Increased revenue year to year.
Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
Where I am right now: successful, happy, and with a very loving and supportive family. In 5 years, I'd like to be at $20 million in revenue. In 10 years, who knows? Retired?
What are you doing to take care of your employees?
Compensating them well and providing bonuses for stellar achievements.
What kind of exit strategy do you have in place?
Why do you think you were recognized with this award?
For implementing a model of providing our services that was so successful it was rolled out to the entire brand.
How have you raised the bar in your own company?
I have shown what one office can accomplish and set this as the bar for the others.
What innovations you have created and used to build your company?
If I did that, the competition would be extremely happy. I will remain quiet on this one.
What core values do you think helped you win this award?
Dedication and hard work.
How important is community involvement to you and your company?
We give back as much as we can. For example, we supply free services, sometimes medical equipment. We support Alzheimer's/dementia foundations and also honor veterans.
What leadership qualities are important to you and your team?
Be direct, but professional. Address issues head-on. Think outside the box and proactively. Do not dwell on mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Develop patience, as you will need it.
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