Chris Corbett, Certified Personnel Consultant, knows the joys and challenges of running a short-term medical staffing business inside and out.
A dozen years ago he purchased the venerable temporary staffing agency Davis-Smith from his parents, who owned the 72-year-old Southfield business for many years. By the time Corbett owned Davis-Smith, he had already worked there for 24 years.
Over the years, he said he recognized a growing preference throughout society to allow recovering and aging people remain in their own homes as long as possible.
Many could stay safely at home, he believed, with dependable, neighborly help that didn’t require the expertise of a registered nurse.
“I saw the potential for a home care business in the tri-county area,” Chris explained, “but I couldn’t start one because I didn’t have life experience to learn the needs of older people and their families.”
That began to change the day Scott Griffin – a member of a business owner networking group that Corbett attends – asked if he could introduce Corbett to a friend from his high school days. That friend, Marsha Goldsmith Kamin, was interested in starting a home care business.
Underscoring Marsha’s master’s degree in social work was a long, successful career as director of Jewish Senior Life. Corbett recognized her as “the ultimate people person” whose penchant for success though ethical business practices dovetailed with his.
Moreover, she was in search of a partner who knew the nuts and bolts of running a staffing business.
“It’s a perfect match because each of us highly values what the other brings to the business,” said Chris. “I know that I can trust Marsha with anything. Going into business with her might be the best decision of my life.”
A principle that rings true for both is one that Chris learned early, from his father.
“If you make a mistake, own it, then fix it,” Chris said. “Do what’s right by people and you’ll be able to sleep well at night.”
Chris said following in his father’s footsteps was “just something that happened.” The degree he earned at Michigan State University in public administration was to prepare for his dream job in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Administrative opportunities at the DNR never materialized for Chris, but his love for the great outdoors has always been obvious. He relishes hiking and mountain biking. He and wife Michelle go camping with their three children virtually every weekend from Easter to Thanksgiving. In 2017 their biggest trip was to Yellowstone National Park. In 2018, they’re exploring national parks in Utah.
Although Chris likes to spend weekends and vacations in nature, he says metro Detroit is definitely “home.” He loves recruiting Detroit-area residents who will dependably help clients with meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and many other tasks. And Chris is a business owner known to extend himself outside the box” (think payday advances) to retain top caregivers who incur unforeseen expenses.
“The future of home care is us – the people who come to your home and do whatever you need done,” Chris said. “What I hope is that – when people in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties need a helping hand to continue living at home – their families know everything will be all right because Marisa is on the job.”