After serving six years as a Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy and nearly 26 years as a contractor with the Department of Defense, Chris McCreary now uses his military background to successfully operate BrightStar Care of Northern Kentucky.
Chris’ wife, Alison, had always enjoyed being self-employed, so they were looking for an opportunity where they could build a business together. Serendipitously, he ran across an article about BrightStar Care CEO and Founder, Shelly Sun.
“Alison and I thought that this could be a great opportunity,” Chris explains. “We can be in business for ourselves, while having the ability to help a lot of people along the way.”
The Next Chapter
In mid-2015, the McCrearys purchased a BrightStar Care franchise and opened the Florence location in January of 2016. Initially, Alison held down the fort at the office while Chris fulfilled a dual role as a DOD contractor and behind-the-scenes BrightStar Care entrepreneur. Chris completely retired from service to the United States after 32 years and now focuses on running the business with his wife.
Although it may seem incongruous for a veteran to easily slide into the role of a home care agency owner, it actually worked quite well. And while the military is known for its structure and discipline, entrepreneurship often conjures up the idea of ambiguity. However, Chris’ leadership, Alison’s self-employment experience and the resources provided by BrightStar Care’s corporate offices provided a successful transition.
“I use a lot of the skills I learned along the way in my roles in the Navy and at the DOD to grow our business and help other people,” Chris says. Some of the transferable skills that support operating a home care agency include:
- Comradery with a team
- Focus on tasks needed to meet objectives
- Strong work ethic
Chris goes on to say that these traits are evident in veterans at all levels of service. For him, building a team of quality individuals is one of the most critical roles he and his wife fulfill as franchisee owners – another skill he attributes to his time in the military.
Chris estimates that about 20% of their current clients are veterans, with a large portion of that service focused on Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Many of these clients utilize the 9, 11 or 16 hour programs, with a few participating in the 24 hours per week program.
“Everybody deserves top-notch care and we’re fortunate that we’re able to provide that,” Chris says. He believes there’s a need for expanded access to services, which is why he and his wife want to grow. Although Chris and Alison experience the satisfaction of owning their own business, the most important thing is that their business allows them to take care of people, including our nation’s valued veterans.
“We’re just doing our small part to advocate for veterans, providing the best care we can to serve them,” Chris concludes.
We agree, Chris. And thank you for your service!