Stowell Associates SelectStaff Inc.

Two years ago. Phyllis Mensh Brostoff and Valerie Stefanich, the co-owners of Shorewood-based Stowell Associates SelectStaff Inc., decided to open an office in Waukesha.
"We were getting more requests for services in Waukesha County, and we wanted to expand our services to serve Waukesha County," Brostoff said. "That was part of our plan, to increase our numbers in Waukesha."
So far, that plan has worked. Revenue from clients in Waukesha County has since doubled to about 13 percent of the company’s overall revenue.
Stowell Associates SelectStaff Inc. provides professional care management and caregiving services for elderly and disabled adults. The company helps family members, legal guardians and others responsible for the welfare of elderly people determine services available for their care.
The business provides services primarily for elderly people who are middle- to upper-class and do not qualify for government assistance to pay for their care or they decline the government assistance.
Waukesha County is a strong market of potential clients.
"Lake County is full of well-to-do elderly people," Brostoff said.
"Now they know we have a presence there," Stefanich said. "They thought we were just (serving) Milwaukee and the north shore, but we’re not."
Brostoff and Stefanich, both social workers, started the company in 1983. Two years later, they decided to add caregivers to their staff to provide the services for their clients.
"In order to do a very good job, we needed to have our own caregivers, people we could train, supervise and oversee," Brostoff said.
Over the years, the company has expanded its staff and today has about 200 employees, including 170 caregivers. The company has about 25 employees in Waukesha County.
The caregivers provide a wide array of services to clients, including shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, landscaping, funeral planning, bathing and dressing. Some clients receive around-the-clock care, while others just need help with running errands or other activities.
"It really is a full-service agency," Stefanich said. "We tailor our services to whatever is needed in the situation."
Some of the clients live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Their Stowell Associates SelectStaff caregiver provides them additional services so they do not have to always wait for help from an employee at the assisted living facility or nursing home.
The company has been around long enough that it is now tending to some second-generation clients, children of parents who received services from Stowell caregivers.
Stefanich and Brostoff said their company has low employee turnover. The first caregiver they hired in 1985 still works for them.
"We’ve got great employees," Stefanich said. "That’s why we’ve been so successful. We really believe in putting our energies into nurturing our staff. We have a whole reward and recognition program. I think for that reason, we have really high retention rates."
As the baby boom population continues to age, the market of potential clients for Stowell Associates SelectStaff Inc. will only increase.
The company has had a 12 percent growth rate the last few years, and last year’s revenue was about $4 million.
"Our business has steadily increased every year," Stefanich said. "It’s just gone up and up and up and up."
Brostoff, the president of the company, and Stefanich, the company’s clinical director, still work as caregivers themselves for some of their clients.
"Our model is like a law firm where the law partners do work," Brostoff said. "It’s very rewarding work, and that’s why we continue to do it."
June 25, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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