It's All in Who You Know

Each week, we try to provide you with information about things that we think you might find interesting or helpful. But as I was deciding what to write about this week, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be fun to tell you about who you should know rather than what. As a corporate attorney, I have had the opportunity to learn about and meet people working in many, many different industries. It’s one of my favorite things about my job. And I’m constantly impressed by my clients, their talents, and their stories.

So, for a bit of a change I’d like to tell you about one of my clients, Barbara Baker, who I recently assisted in acquiring ownership of her company, Elder Living Construction (d/b/a Transitions Remodeling). Transitions is a construction company with a distinct purpose: designing safe spaces that allow continued independent and comfortable living for people with mobility issues.

But it is Barb’s story that makes this company special.

Barb and her husband retired in the late 2000s with plans for leisure and travel. Heartbreakingly, their plans were cut short when her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. His symptoms left him wheelchair bound and, to make life more comfortable for him, Barb sought to remodel their home to make it more accessible. She was surprised to find that there was very little information available regarding accessibility issues and remodeling options. Even the medical community had very limited information on the topic.

Following her husband’s death, Barb was again looking for some remodeling help and stumbled upon Elder Living Construction. A conversation with the owner started with questions about her current project, turned to a tale of her experience with disability construction issues, and ended with a job as a consultant and an opportunity to become a partner in the business.

From there it was all systems go. Barb created a focus group of experts on disability-related issues and asked for their input. She built a showroom to display the inviting and innovative new designs the company had developed. And the company soon caught the eye of industry magazines and news outlets. Transitions was invited by Henry Ford Hospital to present its ideas and brochures to patients and their families, and Barb has since served as the President of Professional Women in Building for the SE Michigan Home Builders Association. She is currently a member of the Executive Board of the National Association of Women in Construction and received their Distinguished New Constructor award in 2015.

Transitions continues to flourish, and with Barb’s recent acquisition of whole ownership of it, the sky is the limit!

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