Jeff Wheeler and John Valencia are the latest duos to join the Nurse Next Door franchise family! The team is extremely excited to bring Nurse Next Door’s unique concept of Happier Aging to the San Diego and La Jolla, CA area. Find out how the two transitioned from managing non-profit organizations to owning a home care franchise!
You both had executive experience in the Non-Profit industry. What drew you guys to a Nurse Next Door home care franchise?
We both have over 25 years of extensive experience in sales, development, and management in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Jeff owned a successful commercial property management company, and was in executive management within the health-related nonprofit sector. John built a lucrative international Christmas light manufacturing company, has been an executive at several nonprofits in San Diego as well as a Vice Chancellor for a local Community College District.
During the spring of 2018, we decided to take our combined experience and invest in a home care franchise. We interviewed all of the well-known home care companies and realized that Nurse Next Door stood out for their dedication to #HappierAging, the commitment to helping seniors and a culture that aligns with our own values. We were especially impressed by Nurse Next Door’s unique HeartQuarters and Care Services Center which allows franchise partners to focus on customer service and care instead of the back end operations of scheduling. We felt that home care aligned with our own personal mission statements of helping others. How can we help others, provide world-class customer service and make a positive impact on the world? Nurse Next Door!
With similar backgrounds in nonprofit, but also owning and operating companies and managing multiple teams, what skills do you think will transfer over to operating your own Nurse Next Door home care franchise?
No matter what industry we are working in, we believe that our experience in coaching employees to build strong customer service skills will follow the mission of Nurse Next Door. Our detailed project management skills and commitment to developing meaningful relationships within our community will allow Nurse Next Door to serve more clients so they can receive the care and service they need to thrive. We believe in the mission of Nurse Next Door and will use our time, talents and treasures to develop passionate caregivers to rejuvenate and inspire the seniors they support.
We are devoted to building a brand people can trust. We want to build a cohesive community of caregivers who are compassionate, nurturing and thoughtful. We lead by example and will show our employees that we are willing to jump in to help a client if needed. We want to build an inclusive workplace that is equity-minded, human-focused and provides all the tools necessary to thrive.
How do you know one another?
We met working in the nonprofit world helping our communities raise money for environmental and health-related causes. Our unique passions and commitment to helping others led to a friendship and ultimately to a relationship. We have been married since 2015!
So we now know a little about your professional background. Tell us a little more about who John and Jeff are.
We spend a lot of time outdoors in beautiful sunny San Diego. During our spare time, you can find us kayaking or paddle boarding the waters of Mission Bay, rollerblading or bike riding along the boardwalk or enjoying a fun game of corn hole with our besties. Travel is also important to us. Several times a year, we travel to Paso Robles wine country for a long weekend of great food and fantastic wine! In 2018, we had a fantastic trip with 8 of our closest friends to England and Ireland.
We also like to just be at home snuggling with our three fur babies, Diego, Ivy and Trixie!
What does Happier Aging mean to the both of you, individually? What are your own passions?
Jeff: For me, Happier Aging means being able to feel that I have independence, the will to make my own decisions, and the ability to continue to do what I have always loved doing-remaining active! Like most people, my home is an important and comforting part of my life. As I age, I want to make sure that I can continue to surround myself with the feeling and reality of living in my own home.
John: Happier Aging means living your true self by doing the things you love. Just because our bodies age does not mean that it should restrict people from doing what their hearts desire. Life is short, so we should be able to help each other live our lives to the fullest I want people to feel that they lived their best version of themselves.
Jeff, you got to join us at HeartQuarters for a week of training. What was your biggest takeaway? What was your favourite part of it?
I learned a lot about the home care business in general while attending the week-long training at HeartQuarters. From caregiver recruitment, hiring, and training to understanding the entire sales and marketing processes and philosophy. The training was extremely helpful in putting together the puzzle pieces of how community events, networking, professional referrals, and marketing strategies such as AdWords and parketing were all an integral part in building a successful Nurse Next Door franchise.
I would have to say that my favorite part of training was the final day in which we got to go out into the community to deliver donuts in a Nurse Next Door branded donut box! We went into business to brighten someone’s day and to talk a little about Nurse Next Door and what we do. The positive reaction I received from these businesses was all I needed as confirmation that we were indeed doing the right thing by becoming a Nurse Next Door Franchise Partner.
As business partners, how will you be delegating tasks? (ie. someone manning community involvement and the other in charge of recruitment) Dependent on strengths? Or are you also willing to challenge yourselves on taking on areas of the business by getting out of your comfort zone?
Since Jeff has excellent interpersonal relationship skills, he will be in out in the community building partnerships, networking and spreading the word of the mission of Nurse Next Door. He will be the face of the business and will handle all of the external stakeholder relationships.
John will focus on the operations of the business such as recruitment and marketing. Since we will always be recruiting new caregivers, John is dedicated to hiring extraordinary individuals who are passionate about helping others. He will handle Discovery Days and provide the caregivers with all the tools necessary to be successful in their roles. Since John is an expert in marketing, he will also implement the detailed efforts of our comprehensive Marketing and Communications Plan.
Both of us are excited to be available to step in and help when a caregiver needs someone to cover a shift or anything else necessary to make sure we provide world-class customer service.
Whatever it takes, we are dedicated to making it happen so that our clients can live their best lives!
You guys are passionate about community engagement. A big part of the business is about community involvement. Are you excited for this aspect of the business since you’re both familiar with it? What can we expect from potential future community events to look out for in San Diego and La Jolla?
Community engagement is all about building relationships. We have been successful because of the strong, genuine relationships we have made with people over the years. Relationships are the backbone of creating mutually benefitting partnerships. We believe that true partnerships are comprised of trust, value, and resources. Throughout our careers, we leveraged relationships to develop sustainable partnerships which helped build awareness and funds for the organizations we supported. Whether it was a partnership with a local nonprofit to extend their reach, increase their marketing efforts or help share their mission, we have always valued community involvement.
We are excited to use our experience to develop strong relationships within our San Diego community to build awareness of Nurse Next Door’s commitment to helping the lives of our seniors. You’ll see Nurse Next Door San Diego & La Jolla at every community event passing out daisies, hosting a booth or talking with community members about the importance of #HappierAging. Our plan is to engage the community with our arms wide-open!
What nonprofit and home care both have in common is getting to meet people and make a positive impact on their lives. What do you look forward to the most when you start making lives better for your senior clients?
We look forward to meeting more members of our San Diego community to learn about what makes them happy, inspired and excited in their lives. We believe that seniors can live extraordinary lives in their homes with the support of compassionate and devoted caregivers. We want to help family members know that their loved ones are being cared for by trustworthy, dedicated and caring people. Nurse Next Door is an organization filled with compassionate humans helping other humans.
Learn more about Nurse Next Door’s Home Care Franchise opportunity by downloading our FREE franchise report!