The Former Multi-Unit Franchisee will Oversee Unit Growth, Revenues, and Franchisee Profitability
BrightStar Care, a medical staffing and home care franchisor, announced Andrew Ray as chief operating officer (COO). The seasoned entrepreneur was a multi-unit BrightStar Care franchisee with locations in Mesa and Gilbert, Ariz. As COO, Ray will oversee the home care franchisor’s unit growth, revenues, and franchisee profitability as well as lead the brand’s field support coaches.
As he transitions to this new role, Ray’s two BrightStar locations will be acquired by the BrightStar Owned organization, which Ray will leverage to scale operational efficiencies. According to a press release, the BrightStar Owned program will expand the medical staffing franchisor’s corporate-owned footprint as a way to test technologies and processes to advance its franchised locations. Ray has worked in the healthcare industry for more than three decades.
“I am truly honored to step into the role of Chief Operating Officer. For the past three years, I’ve led my agencies in Arizona with resiliency and passion. However, I’m now ready to take on the next phase of my career at BrightStar Care,” Ray said in a statement. He adds that he’s “witnessed firsthand the tremendous evolution of this company and am excited to help accelerate the trajectory of where the brand is heading.”
Ray discovered BrightStar Care as he neared retirement. “Knowing that healthcare was in my blood and getting introduced to the home health provider side of the industry, I started my search for the right opportunity. I investigated many of the large franchise players; however, I found BrightStar to have the most comprehensive service portfolio, providing both skilled and unskilled services backed by an innovative national account program.” He was also attracted to BrightStar Care’s “values and mission, outstanding franchise model, and the idea of providing a service that can change the lives of so many seniors and people in need of home care.”
Ray’s experience running two Brightstar locations was a positive one thanks to the franchisor’s support structure. “BrightStar Care gave me the tools and confidence to navigate the business successfully.”
As Ray looked to acquire more locations, BrightStar founder and CEO Shelly Sun made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. “Sun approached me about buying my Arizona locations. Given that my agencies were well respected in the community and delivered a higher standard of care, they made excellent additions to expand the BrightStar Owned footprint in Arizona. BrightStar Owned has a presence throughout Scottsdale, Glendale, Sunrise, and Surprise, Arizona, in addition to my previous two locations.” When offered the COO position, Ray couldn’t pass it up.
Sun believes that Ray is the right man for the job as the brand nears its second decade of operations. “Andy came to BrightStar Care three years ago with more than 30 years of professional experience in the healthcare industry. He quickly grew his agencies to become top-performing locations. As he transitions into the role of COO, he will offer our team invaluable insights that can only come from someone who has walked in a franchisee’s shoes,” Sun said in a statement.
Prior to joining BrightStar Care, Ray held executive positions and worked in the medical technology and life science industries. “In each of these roles, I brought a relentless pursuit of profitable growth while developing world-class operations teams.”
His favorite aspect of the franchise industry is providing business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with great opportunities. “From retirees to young adults just starting off in their careers, to seasoned corporate executives looking for a second act, or professionals seeking to become their own boss, there’s a franchise opportunity that fits the bill for everyone. Owning your own small business with the backing and support of a franchisor is an amazing way to guarantee success and longevity for your operation.”
As a former franchise owner, Ray will leverage his expertise of navigating the landscape of a franchise system. “As COO, I will bring that expertise to the corporate side of BrightStar Care’s operations. I can put myself in the shoes of our robust franchisee network and understand their needs as small business owners.” He also understands the importance of at-home care services.
The Importance of At-Home Care Services
At the onset of the pandemic, there was a surge in demand for at-home care businesses, proving that home healthcare is a recession- and pandemic-resistant industry, Ray says. “The number of seniors 65 and older who need care will double over the next 40 years, reaching 80 million by 2040, further proving that home care is an essential service and the future of healthcare in America.”
For franchisors looking to streamline their operations, Ray emphasizes the importance of communication. “Communication is key to the success of any business or relationship, and it is no different between franchisees and franchisors. Additionally, putting programs in place to help further the success of your franchise network is a great tactic to help make the operations process seamless for franchisees.”
Entrepreneurs with the franchising bug should have their hand on the pulse of the industry, Ray adds. “It’s crucial to watch how that market is evolving and where it is heading. It is vital to keep up with your industry’s top trends and challenges and be ready to react to shifts in real time. It is also valuable to identify the needs of your market. Identify the status of your industry’s competitive landscape, who the market disruptors are, and what the opportunity for expansion could be.”