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HomeWell Franchisee Interviews

"I wanted to do something that made a difference."

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Rebecca Kissner

"We are like family."

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Gary Morgan

"I truly believe the HomeWell way is the best way."

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Jan Stafford

"I really enjoy what I do."

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HomeWell Owner Experiences: Lou Romano

Up and coming college grad finds success in HomeWell franchise

Louis Romano completed graduate school and was working for a pharmaceutical marketing company, but despite his success, he was not fulfilled. When he realized he wasn’t going to be happy working for someone else, he started looking into franchise opportunities.

Without a lot of capital, Romano needed to purchase a franchise that was reasonably priced — something not easy to find. But he knew instinctively that this was the way to go because he had no desire to reinvent the wheel by starting his own business from the ground up. He wanted to hit the ground running and the right opportunity would save him six months of planning and research, not to mention start-up costs and operational needs. Romano wanted a formula for success.

Coincidentally, it was around the same time that he was researching franchises that Romano’s grandmother became ill. As he explored options for her care, a plan began to form in his mind. The senior health care business was booming. “I realized I could help people, make money and own my own business,” he said.

Romano purchased a franchise from HomeWell Senior Care and opened his business in September, 2005.

“We got clients pretty quickly,” he said. “Probably within three or four months I had money coming into my pockets personally.”

My life has never been better. — Louis Romano

He said the profit would have come sooner if he had followed the corporation’s plan for business instead of his own.

“At first I was doing a lot on my own, not following the formula HomeWell has. I was sitting and waiting for referrals to generate themselves,” he said. “Then Joshua (owner of HomeWell) called up and asked me how it was going. When I told him, he told me to try following their plan.”

Romano began to speak from his heart to potential customers. He marketed and made phone calls the way HomeWell had trained him to. And it worked. His business took off.

“I was happy to stick with this formula and be real,” he said. “I have done that ever since and it’s been cool.”

He appreciates the support he receives from HomeWell’s corporate office. “It saves you so much time to have their brochures,” he said. “It saves production time and money. They give me a lot of support, but they allow me to run the business the way I want to. I’m very independent and they sense that. If I need them, I call them up and they are there to help me, no matter what. Even early on a Sunday morning or late on Saturday night. They answer within five minutes.”

With a great deal of success already, Romano said he continues to work very hard and is completely dedicated to his business. “It’s what you make of it,” he said. “My life has never been better.”

HomeWell Owner Experiences: Christine Visalli

Father and daughter combine expertise to succeed with a HomeWell franchise

It was through her 20-year career as a nurse in a large Cincinnati hospital that Christine Visalli saw the extensive needs of senior citizens. While taking care of an elderly man in surgery one day, she saw the distress his wife experienced compounded by her need for a ride to get back to their home. Visalli offered the woman a ride and went with her into the home when she was afraid of entering it alone.

After much thought, Visalli realized through this experience that she wanted to help the elderly. She finally felt the time was right and looked into owning a business to work with this population.

Visalli researched all local, non-medical franchise opportunities that worked with the senior market, but didn’t find quite what she was looking for. Then she broadened her scope to do a national search and found HomeWell Senior Care, among others.

Seeing that many franchises were developed and built on mass volume, Visalli preferred the philosophy of HomeWell, which was interested in the actual quality of care for elderly citizens instead of focused on building an empire.

Feeling comfortable with this approach, Visalli asked her father, Dave Gilbert, to join her in the business venture.

“I did,” said Gilbert. “And we’ve been very pleased with the results and comfortable with the growth of our business.”

Gilbert believes the success of their Cincinnati HomeWell franchise has a lot to do with the merging of talents — his daughter is a nurse and understands the medical language, and she has a network of people that she knows in the industry so her ability to make contact and converse on a professional level was set before they started. He, on the other hand, has over 35 years of business management experience. Between the two, these abilities made the process easier for both of them.

Gilbert also recognizes the role HomeWell has played in their success. “Certainly HomeWell has a very unique and good system in place to begin with,” said Gilbert. “You start with training where you are given background information and manuals that are very helpful. The computer software program they have trademarked is extremely useful.”

Gilbert said HomeWell is very supportive of its franchisees and their business structure works well. He and Visalli made use of the Fast Start Marketing Program that HomeWell offers franchisees — a system through which the corporate office floods the marketing region with brochures, e-mail and postcards. “This gave us a large bank of names and facilities to focus on,” he said. “We used that as a beginning point and it certainly helped.”

The direct marketing from Seattle to their Cincinnati client base encompassed virtually every facet of the non-medical health industry, according to Gilbert. He added that they use the literature and brochures from HomeWell extensively. This has helped them build name recognition, making their business recognizable and easily remembered.

“The printed literature from HomeWell’s corporate offices is greatly appreciated by the social workers and facilities we work with,” he said.

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