“Living Your Dream is Possible with Hard Work and Determination”
From a very early age, Nathalie Blanchard had the “entrepreneurial spirit”. Whether it was working as a health care aide at her Aunt Norma’s care home, running her own taxi company or working as a medical secretary for Dr. JM Michel, Nathalie was gathering a variety of experience that would serve her in the future.
Nathalie’s mother describes her as “energetic, ambitious, courageous and willing to give anything a try.” This dynamic entrepreneur’s childhood dream was to open a special care home, and this vision was realized after much hard work and determination.
For the past 10 years, Nathalie has been the owner of Résidence McGraw, a special care home, located on 660 Riverside Drive, Bathurst. Nathalie has over 20 years of experience in providing professional and compassionate care to seniors. In its modest beginnings, there were 13 residents but Résidence McGraw has undergone two major expansions.
The first expansion enabled them to serve 32 residents and this past year, she grew her establishment to serve 40 residents. With spacious and modernly-decorated rooms, amenities such as a gym and hair salon, and a multi-purpose room, Nathalie created a family-oriented environment that she has always dreamed of.
But, the road to running this successful business was not always easy. Nathalie had to overcome several challenges such as securing a license, access to financing, human resources and problems with the foundation, to name a few.
But this determined entrepreneur knew that it was important to maintain a positive attitude and stay focused. According to Nathalie, “I was able to overcome obstacles by my sheer force and determination. I am able to live my dream of offering members of the community a service of quality and love.”
She also built a house on the lower level of the residence so she could be close to her residents and oversee operations. Her mother, a former auxiliary nurse, has an apartment in the residence as well and stills volunteers. Nathalie describes herself as “hand-on” and enjoys being close to her residents and to her employees.
Résidence McGraw cares for its residents around the clock (24 hours a day). According to Nathalie, “In the past few months, I had to balance studies, family and my work” Nathalie’s husband Etienne, who had another job, decided to go to school so he too could work at Résidence McGraw and help his wife. This busy woman in business also owns a special-care home in Acadieville.
Résidence McGraw is unique from its competition as they operate as a large family. Nathalie says, “We work as a team and our knowledge, passion and love carries us through.”
Nathalie’s life always involved care homes. Her aunt and mentor Norma operated several, she worked side-by-side with her mother in a care home and she is currently living her dream. Furthermore, Nathalie keeps up with the new tendencies in her industry and has a highly-qualified personal that truly care for the residents.
“I work flexible hours so I can have quality time with my family. This is the same of my personnel. I always say, if my staff is happy, so will the residents.”
If Nathalie could give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, “If there is a will, there is a way. All dreams are possible! Also, you get back what you give.”
Nathalie believes in giving back to the community and her industry. She is the secretary of the NB Association of Nursing Homes, an organization that represents over 100 residences.
In her spare time she enjoys taking care of her family, reading, traveling (she has seen all 52 states) and learning new skills. From word processing to CPR, biology to parenting skills, Nathalie has a full repertoire of training sessions and courses that would amaze and delight.
Nathalie Blanchard has many plans for the future. She would like to grow her business in Acadieville to have the spacious and modern-rooms of her establishment in Bathurst. Always eager to take on new projects, and with a passion for her field, the future is bright for this woman in business.