Owner’s passion reflects the culture of care that has established Griswold as the industry gold standard.
Cathy Howard remembers first reading about the Griswold Home Care business opportunity in Forbes magazine back in 1990. Our legendary founder, Jean Griswold, and her commitment to provide quality care with compassion truly inspired Cathy, who, at the time, was a young mother with aging grandparents. Today, Cathy is in her 26th year of operation in Fairfield, Connecticut, employing 350 caregivers and providing services to 275 clients.
Cathy will also never forget the first time she met Jean. “I was awestruck. She was in a wheelchair, struggling with MS, and her whole life was one with purpose,” Cathy says. “The day our interview scheduled, we drove from Connecticut to Philly in a snowstorm. The Griswolds were shocked that we showed up, but I think she saw how passionate about this I was. We were close from that day on. You have to have a calling for this business.”
That calling is a common bond among our franchisee family. A strong franchisee culture is just one of the many reasons our franchisees chose us to receive the 2017 American Association of Franchisees and Dealers Franchisor of the Year award. Our longtime legacy of compassion and empathy has built us into one of the most successful and storied home care brands in the $89 billion home care industry.
For Cathy, the decision to leave her job as a trust officer and invest in a Griswold franchise was based on a desire to run a fulfilling business. She saw the great care her grandmother provided for her aging grandfather as he suffered from dementia. Her grandmother needed help with caregiving during the night but it was the early 1990s, and the non-medical home care industry was nonexistent. Cathy helped as best she could, experiencing firsthand the need for senior home care.
“I had just had my second child, and I was not fulfilled in my job as a trust officer. We would probate seniors’ estates, so I had some interaction with seniors. I was looking for something more meaningful to do. I wanted to be helpful to people,” Cathy says. “Children tend to change your life. If I was going to go out into the workforce and leave my children, it needed to be for something super important.”
Cathy’s daughters grew up in the business and now work in the business. “They are passionate about Griswold and everything we stand for,” Cathy says.
The true measure of success, for Cathy, is being able to provide a much-needed service to families in her local community.
“Every single client’s story is meaningful,” Cathy says. “Whether it’s just holding somebody’s hand or giving them a ride to the doctor, you just want to fill a need. I get more from giving than I do receiving. Jean was very passionate about being the lowest-cost provider with the highest possible care, and I’m honored to be part of such a legacy.”
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