Volunteer Voice: Carolyn Thurston, Founder & CEO, Wisdom Senior Care
Q1) In honor of National Black Business Month, we would like to profile Wisdom Senior Care as a Black-owned franchise brand. Could you tell us about Wisdom’s franchising journey?
Carolyn Thurston is the Founder & CEO of Wisdom Senior Care. Wisdom Senior Care started in February of 2006, With the mission of keeping seniors living happily in the comfort of their home. After several years of growing the company and servicing an extremely diverse client base, she eventually felt burnout. Carolyn invested in business/personal coaching with wEquipu which was an introduction to the process of systematization through the book "E-Myth" by Michael E. Gerber. Carolyn and her husband Charles and her team took the company for a turn around and began the franchising route in 2017. They now have nine franchisees in NC, one in FL, one in GA and one in NY. Out of the need for qualified caregivers Carolyn started Wisdom Health Academy in 2012, a school designed to teach caregivers the essential skills of the profession. The Academy has grown to train Wisdom’s caregivers and beyond. In fact, one of Carolyn’s students of the academy, eventually graduated and opened their own Wisdom Senior Care franchise!
Q2) Can you tell us about how the Black Franchise Leadership Council (BFLC) is helping to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in franchise systems?
The BFLC provides awareness, education and advocating for minorities in franchising. The BFLC also educates people about various career opportunities within franchising. As an emerging franchise, it can sometimes be hard to find the right education to become a successful franchise. IFA and the BFLC are excellent resources for best practices within the franchise system. The BFLC members are proud to help other franchise operators grow. The BFLC has four committees: Access to Capital, Community Involvement, Marketing, and Education. For people new to the franchise community, BFLC serves as a springboard and provides confidence to franchisees and franchisors. (Join the BFLC here).
Q3) What is the one most important piece of advice you would give to fellow IFA members seeking to grow in the franchise industry?
One piece of advice is to “seek out knowledge and remain humble.” Joining the IFA was a great investment and Wisdom Senior Care makes sure to show up as often as possible. Ask questions! The information shared through IFA events and programming is priceless!
In addition to being the Founder & CEO of Wisdom Senior Care, Carolyn Thurston is on the Board of the International Franchise Association and serves on the Diversity Institute Board and is a Vice Chair of the Black Franchise Leadership Council.