When Terry Kern was only six years old, his parents got divorced. Suddenly, at a very young age, Kern had to step up and take on a great responsibility—as the oldest male in the house now, he had to help take care of his mother and his siblings.
What Kern didn’t realize at the time was that over the years, that major life event helped to define the kind of person he is today. Being raised by a single mom helped him develop a caring and empathetic personality. And it’s a trait that’s stuck with him ever since.
“When I was in high school, I’d go out with friends to the bowling alley. While they were all hanging out in the corner telling jokes, I was the one sitting down with a 90-year-old woman just to ask how her day was going,” Kern said. “I had always gotten along with people who are older than me, and I always bonded with them. I knew it was something I’d end up committing my life to.”
For more 30 years, armed with a background in engineering, he worked his way through various companies wearing many hats. Satisfied with his tenured career, Kern made the decision to retire six years ago. He quickly realized, though, that he wasn’t quite ready for such a lifestyle. Instead, he told himself that he wanted to get back in business—this time for himself.
“When I came across Caring Transitions, it was a great fit. This was a company working directly with the senior community, and it allowed me to do a lot of different things. In addition to personally interacting with them, I could walk them through cumbersome transitions and be a helping hand—that can be an incredibly complicated and emotional process for a lot of people,” Kern said. “There’s also the component of moving them. I like the idea of being out and about, and helping with packing, moving and hauling. There are just so many different elements to Caring Transitions, and every single one makes a big difference in clients’ lives.”
Kern officially launched his Caring Transitions business in 2014 in Herndon, Virginia. Since then, his location has been ranked No. 4 in the entire Caring Transitions system for strong revenue growth.
“I work hard every single day, and I do it because I love it. If you’re operationally competent and you have good financial sense, there’s no reason you can’t run a successful Caring Transitions business,” Kern said. “When I first got into franchising, I was just looking for something to do because I was bored in retirement. But when I really got into it, my mind started changing. If I’m putting the effort in, why not keep going? I’m having way too much fun.”