Franchisor exec's eye opener starts with very first client
IKOR President Cynthia Gartman was a franchisee at the same time she held her executive position with the franchise. A franchise that provides guardianship and other services for disabled individuals and seniors, being a franchisee was an eye-opening experience for Gartman. And it started with her very first client.
At the time, the 53-year-old man was diagnosed as psychotic, schizophrenic and drug and alcohol addicted. He lived alone and was unable to make decisions for himself. In fact, by the time Gartman was brought in with her staff to do an assessment, the man had allowed three drug dealers to move in with him. They took his money, and when the family gave him groceries, those would soon be gone, too. He was a target for predators.
During the assessment, Gartman and her staff persuaded him to enter the a local detox. They worked with the police to get the drug dealers out, and with lawyers and family members to sell his house and repatriate the money to his account, so he would have it to live on once he was released from detox. And as part of the guardianship, IKOR was able to keep watch so that predators were kept at bay.
It’s also about helping families get some peace of mind, too. “We can be brought in when things are messy and ugly,” said Gartman. One senior had $3 million in assets her family didn’t even know about, which were revealed when IKOR staff helped her go through her papers in a myriad of boxes located throughout the home.
“One day you’ll be in a suit, meeting with attorneys, the next you’ll be in jeans and boots so you can better relate to a client,” Gartman says of her days as a franchisee, which she sold a couple of years ago. “It’s not an easy concept, but I love it.”
In fact, she must love it so much she and her husband, Chris opened a new IKOR franchise last week. Based in Quarryville, Pa., it provides services to those in York and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania.