Two Billings couples, Rob and Laurie Gagnon and Dean and Lisa Sukin, all come from backgrounds in the healthcare industry. The family friends always wanted to open their own business together with their healthcare ties in an effort to give back to the community. Rob is the executive director at Yellowstone Surgery Center and Dean works at his own orthopedic surgery practice in town. Both families have been raising children in the area and today the Gagnons and the Sukins are opening a Right at Home location in town. Laurie and Lisa will handle the day-to-day operations while Rob and Dean will oversee the facility.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
We all work in healthcare. Dean is an orthopedic surgeon in Billings, Lisa worked as a pharmacist before having kids, Rob works in an outpatient surgery center, Yellowstone, as an executive director. Rob has been working in healthcare for 23 years – 12 of those years have been spent at Yellowstone, since the center was opened. It has a great reputation in the community.
I have been raising my kids. I worked as a marketing director for Healthsouth Surgery Center in Billings before my children were born. Dean and Lisa have two kids, 17 and 19-years old. Dean was born and raised in Billings and he and Lisa have been living here for nearly 20 years.
Rob and I have three kids. One boy, 16, and two girls, 12 and 14-years old. They attend West High School. We have been living here for 19 years. I’m originally from Colorado and Rob is from Washington.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Right at Home? How did you learn about the brand?
All the credit goes to Dean. He found Right at Home and was really interested in it. He and Lisa wanted business partners and Dean had worked with Rob before. So, Dean kind of put the whole thing together and Rob began handling the business side of things. They approached us about it last September. Both Dean and Rob will have small roles as they will tend to their daytime jobs. Lisa and I will be working in the office day-to-day – I’ll handle the marketing and Lisa will be the office manager.
What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?
Rob and I have looked into buying a business for a long time. We just waited for the right opportunity. I wanted to get back to work and since we’re passionate about healthcare, we’ve always been interested in this type of business. It is great to have a business but also be able to give back to the community.
Do you provide any interesting services or work with any other local businesses, organizations, or prominent individuals in the community?
We intend to get involved with as many organizations as we can. Alzheimer’s groups, any senior citizen groups, anything to help out.
What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?
We did purchase the rights to put a location in Bozeman and we plan to get that going down the road, but we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin.