This article was originally published in Franchise Dictionary Magazine on September 28, 2023
Susan Nimnuan earned degrees in business administration and criminal justice while living in Michigan in 2005. However, she felt drawn toward a different field – healthcare – and followed in her father’s footsteps after graduation. After working in radiology, she moved to Florida in April 2012.
While interviewing for positions in Florida, she learned about BrightStar Care®. Founded in 2002 and franchised in 2005, BrightStar Care has 380 locations nationwide and offers premium medical and nonmedical home care to seniors and others.
John Botsko Jr., owner and president of the BrightStar Care of Naples and Fort Myers, was looking to hire a scheduler. Nimnuan was hired, but, at first, she only saw the company as a stepping stone toward her ultimate career goal. However, she loved the company and the role she played in the lives of seniors so much that she stayed. She worked her way up to director of operations in 2016 and vice president in 2020.
Botsko, a former hospital CEO, opened his franchise in 2006 to have a closer relationship with the patients, and Nimnuan aligned closely with his vision. “I connected and valued his commitment to the patients and community,” she said. “I love every minute of it and would never change it. I see people live fuller, healthier lives in their later years. Being able to make an impact in someone’s life is very rewarding.”
Nimnuan and Botsko also are members of C12, a Christian leadership organization that focuses on building great leaders and businesses for a greater purpose. Additionally, she volunteers with the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida and other charities.
She has led relief efforts through two hurricanes, Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Ian in 2022, which devastated Southwest Florida. Many clients and staff were greatly impacted by Ian, losing vehicles, homes and personal effects. Nimnuan and the BrightStar Care team moved clients into hotels with generators and drove clients and caregivers to survey their homes post-hurricane when it was safe. They also collected and distributed clothing, food and essential items and established a benevolent fund to help with recovery.
However, of all her outreach efforts, Nimnuan is most proud of her team’s work during the pandemic. “It speaks to doing what’s right for the community,” she said.
When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, emergency rules applied to most aspects of healthcare, but not to home care. As a result, Nimnuan arranged for free COVID-19 testing for healthcare professionals and home care clients. Then, obtaining the vaccine was challenging because it required state certification, special refrigeration and other supplies. Through Nimnuan’s efforts, BrightStar Care became the only home care agency in Florida to be a certified vaccine provider.
Nimnuan appeared on local and national news stations to highlight the need for testing and vaccinations among individuals who require at-home care. She and her team vaccinated over 500 home care clients, staff members, caregivers and families for free, with no aid or support from the state or government.
“It was quite an undertaking, but it’s something that I am very proud of. Home care was an overlooked piece of the health care pie, and I was committed to advocating for them,” Nimnuan said, adding that she and Botsko feel blessed to do this for their community. “Giving back and doing the right thing is my passion. BrightStar Care gives me the platform and ability to do that,” she said.