For Father's Day, a Family Tale from Interim HealthCare



Father may know best at a six-unit Interim HealthCare operation in New Hampshire, but son Mark and daughter Heather are weighing in, too.

Rick Petersen is the patriarch and president, and he and his wife, Elaine, started with one office of the home healthcare and medical staffing franchise 34 years ago, in Manchester. They’ve built over time to six, and added Heather, now 32 and an account executive, nine years ago and Mark, now 30 and vice president, two years after that. 

Heather calls her father “the best teacher possible.” “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is about having integrity and trying to do the right thing each and every day,” she says. “I’ve seen my dad have a terrific moral compass in how he makes decisions.”

Mark appreciates the growth from one office to today. “It’s incredible how far it’s come,” he says, adding the pressure’s on him and his sister. “The standards are higher. Working in the family business you’re under a microscope at every turn. You want to do everything you can to help drive the business.”

Rick says they’ve made a deliberate decision to confine business talk to business hours, to avoid the overwhelming nature of a family-owned operation. He adds they’ve got enough opportunities to further penetrate their existing markets, and enough units to handle for now. “What’s that game, Whac-a-Mole? You’re kind of running from one to the other sometimes,” he says.

But if Mark and Heather want to expand the footprint in the future, he and Elaine are all for it. “It’s really satisfying” to have both children “not just get involved in the business, but embrace the business, and put their heart and soul into making this a better company,” Rick says.

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Beth EwenBeth Ewen is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
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