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1Heart Caregiver Services Franchise - Founder and CEO, Belina C.Nernberg

Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of a group of successful companies - 1Heart Caregiver Services, LA Jobs Employment Agency Inc. and Summit Medical Billing Solutions, Inc.

As President and CEO of 1Heart Caregiver Services, one of the fastest growing in-home care service companies in California, Belina has been responsible for the company’s increased productivity and consistent profitability for more than 12 years. Belina provided the vision, leadership and direction that the company needed to achieve its short-term and long-term goals. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S.

Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 23 years, with 13 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina’s principle-centered leadership and strength in her ability to combine corporate talents pave the way for the company to achieve greater heights.

Belina has a degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. In 2013, she was honored with the Los Angeles IMAGE AWARDS – an award given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts and entertainment.  In June 2014, she was also awarded the title of Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.” In December 2015, she was also the recipient of the TOPLA  (The Outstanding Pilipinos in Los Angeles) Award for Leadership Excellence in Human Resources.

Belina’s company has been a certified member of reputable home care associations and have been featured in Asian newspapers and other media publications all over the United States like Yahoo! News, Google, TV, radio and newspaper online due to its various accomplishments, corporate programs and contribution to the senior care industry. Belina’s vision remains solid and strategic as the company moves forward in its goal of making a positive difference in the home care industry.

FranchiseExpo: How andwhen did you become involved with 1Heart Caregiver Services?

Belina Calderon-Nernberg: I went intothe caregiving business in late 2003, 3 years after I started LA Jobs, anemployment agency that provided professional workers at the corporatelevel.  Within the first couple years ofoperations, LA Jobs gained the trust and confidence of the local businesscommunity in Los Angeles, with our expertise in finding the right person fortheir specific personnel needs.  Itwasn’t long before our clients started calling me for people who can take careof their family members as well.  Atfirst, I would refer them to other domestic or homecare agencies but as thecalls became more frequent, I realized that homecare was definitely anothergreat business opportunity that I had to take on.  The writing was on the wall, the populationin the US was aging, the growing demand was evident… and I was already in thebusiness of matching people, employment-wise.  

FE: What aresome of the advantages in being a 1Heartfranchisee?

Belina C.N: It’s abusiness that requires a low cost investment. As everyone knows, there is a hugemarket out there that needs the care we provide and that senior population isgrowing every single day.   We haveestablished strong relationships based on trust and confidence on our serviceswith referral sources locally and national brands.  We are also very focused on fully supportingour franchisees as they grow their business.

FE:  Who is yourideal franchisee?

Belina C-N: That wouldbe someone who has a good balance of compassion and business sense. Someone whois compassionate and inspired to help seniors and those in need of care. At thesame time, he or she has to be motivated enough to push the company forward toactually realize the income potential that the senior care industry is givingus.   Our ideal 1Heart owner is one whois professional, reliable and responsible - not afraid of failure and hasalready decided in his heart and mind that he wants to be his own boss.

FE: Tell us alittle about the Senior Care Market?

Belina C-N: Just likethe rest of the world, we are an aging nation.Every single day, at least 10,000 people in the US turn 65.  This older population - numbered at 44.7million in 2013, represent 14.1% of the US population.  This means, about 1 in every 7 Americans is65 years or older.  As the baby boomersgrow older, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million by2050 --and the surviving baby boomers will be over the age of 85. Lifeexpectancy has also improved in the past decades.  In 2010, anyone turning 85 is expected tolive another 6.5 years. People are living longer but they are not getting anyyounger. What does this mean?  This meansthat the ageing population will require focusing on chronic illnesses such asAlzheimer's, heart diseases, etc.  Withchronic illness comes disability. Our seniors will be needing help with theiractivities of daily living - and long term care services such as those weprovide will be very important and inevitable. 

FE: What aresome of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

Belina C-N: Being abusiness owner is not easy.  It takes alot of dedication, time, energy and sacrifices as well.  Financially and emotionally, the rewards aregreat and it makes all of the hard work worth it.   Now that we've offered this business as afranchise, the work has multiplied in a way because now, we are doingeverything we can to help each of our franchisees realize the same success thatwe've had over the years.   The rewardsof course, are multiplied as well because their success also becomes oursuccess.

FE: Do you havea mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

Belina C-N:  When I madethat first step to start my own business, my children were my inspiration. Iwanted financial freedom for my family. 

When Iexpanded into the senior care business, my mom inspired me -- she was a bravewoman who lived for 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer.  During those 5 years I was more than 7000miles away from her and never got to take care of her other than yearly shortvisits and a lot of long distance phone calls.Providing in home care to each and every senior we care for at 1Heart ismy way of giving back to her the love and care that I wasn’t able to give herbecause of the distance that separated us. She continues to inspire me and Isee her in every smile that I get from the moms and dads that we take care of.

As mycompanies grew, so did my team.  I sawthe hard work, loyalty and "heart" they had for the company we allhelped to build and now they inspire me as well to continue doing what's bestand what's right to achieve our goal.They are part of my "whys" and when the going gets tough, Iget up and move on because I know they're there to back me up.

FE: What advicedo you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

Belina C-N:  First, youhave to be sure you're ready to be a business owner.  This means, you prepared not only for successbut most important, for failures as well. Do not think that just because youown a franchise, you don’t have to work as hard or that the money will justcome in.  Your success will depend on howwell you follow the system that has been established by the franchise.

There are alot of great franchise businesses out there that one can do.  You have to know your capabilities, whatyou're really good at what industry you're interested in. 

FE: In youropinion, why do you think that 1Heart Cares would be a great opportunity forsomeone?

Belina C-N:  Everyonecan agree that the senior care market will continue to grow in the next 3decades.  There will be a landslide of income opportunities in thisindustry and 1Heart offers a proven successful business model for someone whohas the right attitude and mindset to grow their business. Start-up cost is lowfor a business in an industry that offers so much income potential.