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Why These Care Professionals Continue to Grow with Griswold 22 Years Later

With a background in medicine, elder care and management, the Walrichs are making Griswold a trusted household name in Nashville's caregiving landscape.

In the heart of Nashville, Griswold franchise owner Beth Walrich, her husband and center director Tim Walrich, and care manager Athena Sizemore are on a mission to bring comprehensive caregiving to their community. 

The interest in Griswold all started with Beth experiencing the struggle of providing care for her grandmother, even in her large family. After learning about Griswold’s operation in Atlanta through a family friend, Beth decided to become one of the first franchisees in Tennessee. 

Tim, with a background in hotel construction and engineering management for over 15 years, joined Beth's endeavor in 2008, overseeing the South Nashville territory. And Athena’s background, and recognition as a state-licensed fall prevention specialist and a death doula, made her a perfect addition to the couple’s franchise team. 

For Beth, Tim and Athena, Griswold's mission extends beyond business. Beth often recalls the brand's philosophy, encapsulated by its founder, Jean Griswold: Prioritize the welfare of caregivers and ensure affordability for clients. This, she believes, is the cornerstone of their success, evidenced by accolades like the Best in Home Care national award. 

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

Beth: My background was pre-med, so I have a degree in biology, psychology and chemistry. From there, I moved to the business side of medicine and got an MBA. I started a job in medical sales, selling anesthesia equipment and teaching doctors and nurses how to use monitors and gas machines. After being on the road for a while, I was looking for something new. My grandmother is really what inspired me to join Griswold. She was my rock. I came from a very large family in Atlanta. Even with this large family, we couldn’t find enough care for my grandmother when she got sick. That is because everybody has to work, and there isn't enough free time available in the day to devote to care. That is what taught me about what Griswold calls “The Sandwich Generation” — people who find themselves caring for both their children and their elderly parents simultaneously. 

Tim: Before joining Beth full-time at Griswold in 2008, I worked in hotel construction and management for 15 years. I have an engineering management background. Today, I am the director for the South Nashville office. 

Athena: I was introduced to Griswold when Tim found me working as a director of older adults at the YMCA in Henderson, Tennessee. Prior to that, I was an assistant director at the Hendersonville Senior Center. I’ve always been in the aging industry. I am a state-licensed fall prevention specialist. I am also a death doula. So, when Tim asked me to come onboard as the care manager, I knew Griswold fit with my background perfectly.  

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Beth: I originally came across Griswold because a very good family friend owned the office in Atlanta. I got to know them and went to work with them for a couple of weeks to get a feel for how the operation worked. That was 22 years ago — there weren't a whole lot of us out there. I was one of the first franchisees to sign on in Tennessee. 

1851: What made you pick this brand? 

Beth: When Griswold came across my path, I realized the value of the opportunity. I saw a way to fulfill a need and honor my grandmother. I met Jean Griswold and fell in love with the whole concept. It is all about taking care of the client, making rates affordable and paying caregivers well. It is a win-win for everybody. I’ve been with the company for over 22 years now. 

1851: How has growth been?

Beth: I had nearly 3,000% growth in 2006. You have to be the best. You can’t take your eyes off that goal. You have to have the best caregivers to ensure you are offering the best care to the client. A large percentage of our business comes from recommendations, which is why we have several instances where we’ve taken care of multiple members in one family. That has been the biggest factor in our growth. 

1851: What excites you most about this company?

Beth: I’ve been very proud and blessed to be a part of this organization. I’ve seen it go through many transitions over the years. Like any company, we've had ups and downs, but we have never been in a more stable place. Even 20 years later, it still feels like a small, community-driven business, which I love.

Athena: I have never worked for a better company, and that is all because of Beth and Tim. Working to help people age in the place that makes them the happiest and most secure is so important. I have taken care of my own family members myself, so I know how difficult the job can be. To have a company that truly supports you and helps you take care of your family — that is invaluable. We can make such a huge difference in the lives of so many people. It is an amazing service. That is what keeps me going every day. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Beth: It is about more than just the money. That is what I come away with every day — feeling that I have done something more for my community by providing this service that Jean Griswold created. Take care of your caregivers and make it more affordable for the client. If you do that, you are going to see a lot of happiness. That is why Griswold recently won the Best of Home Care national award. 

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Beth: There are a lot of things that I’ve learned over the years. Make sure that you understand that this is a marriage. You need to understand who you are getting involved with. Do your research. Understand the concept and the philosophy and whether it aligns with your values as well. Really make sure that you are testing everything — finances, marketing, operations, etc. Make sure you fully understand how the team operates. Once you are in, you also want to make sure you will have the support you need. That is what will help you achieve success. 

Franchise opportunities range from $95,850 to $174,100, including a $49,500 franchise fee. For more information about franchising with Griswold, please visit griswoldhomecare.com/franchising/investment-info/.

ABOUT GRISWOLD

With 170 locations in 31 states, Griswold is one of the country’s top home care companies, providing professional, compassionate caregivers 24/7. Griswold’s “Live Assured” promise gives both clients and their loved ones peace of mind, so they can live without the weight of worry. Griswold helps adults maintain quality of life despite advanced age, onset of illness or post-surgery recovery. It provides companion care, home services, personal care and respite care. Founded by the late Jean Griswold in 1982, the company has maintained its founder’s profound sense of empathy for older and disabled adults and those living with chronic conditions. In 2023, Griswold was ranked #267 on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 and named a 2023 Best of Home Care® Endorsed National Provider. For more information, visit griswoldhomecare.com or call 215-402-0200.

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