Former pharma exec starts ‘dad & grad’ business with stepdaughter
On Aug. 1, Tony Uzzi started making lives better in and around Mission Viejo, Calif., in Orange County southeast of Los Angeles. It’s our first U.S. location to open, but Tony will have some company soon enough. We’ve signed agreements with another franchise partner in California, plus partners in Colorado, Oregon and Texas, all of whom are just going through the licensing process before they open, too.
For a couple of reasons, we know Tony’s business will succeed. First, we and Tony understand each other.
Tony’s a former nurse who spent most of his career as an executive for a pair of pharmaceutical firms before he left his last position three years ago. He tried leadership consulting, which left him cold. So he started looking into franchising because he liked the idea of controlling his career. He looked at yogurt franchises, burger franchises, tax preparation franchises, and other home health care franchises before he discovered Nurse Next Door.
“I thought their core values and brand were very infectious. When I went to the others, they were all the same. Their marketing stuff all had a 90-year-old woman with a nurse holding her hand. Nurse Next Door has an 80-year-old guy jumping in the air with an electric guitar,” Tony says. “Plus, the fact that they have core values that they really live by, that was really a key in my decision … Companies usually just put a bunch of words on a poster and stick it up on the wall. Nurse Next Door is one of the very few companies I’ve encountered that really lives by its core values.”
And Tony has done something we love to see in a franchise partner when the fit is right: He hired family.
His 21-year-old stepdaughter, Paige Palmer, graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in May with a communications degree. In February, Paige had called her stepdad and told him how worried she was about finding a job after graduation. So when he finalized his agreement with us, he asked Paige if she’d like to come aboard.
“Once I found out about the company, I thought, ‘This is a great opportunity,’ and then once I got to know the company, I just fell in love with it,” she says. She handles marketing, social media and caregiver hiring — pretty substantial stuff for a recent college grad. She loves it, though. “It’s not just a desk job,” she says. “It’s actually making lives better.”
Tony Uzzi and Paige Palmer
This is a great example of the “dad and grad” phenomenon we’ve been seeing in small business over the last several years: Parents who have left or been forced from corporate jobs buy franchises and install their children who recently graduated from college (and are having trouble finding work themselves) as managers of the new business. We love it because strong family ties often lead to businesses that last for generations.
Margaret suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and has trouble getting around. So Tony and Paige have arranged for one of their new caregivers to tend to her — take her shopping, to the movies, to get her hair done. “That’s one of the great things about Nurse Next Door,” Paige says. “It’s going to be great seeing my grandmother do the things she loves to do.”
That’s the sort of thing we’re about at Nurse Next Door — making our clients’ lives better; helping caring, driven professionals find meaningful and lucrative work; and strengthening family bonds through caring. We can’t imagine more fulfilling work.
Want to learn more about how Nurse Next Door is transforming the home health care industry by enhancing and celebrating lives? Download our free franchise information report, where you can find information on our core values, investment and earnings information, client and franchise partner stories and much more.