Stacey Bilodeau receives award
LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Annually, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative recognizes regional college students and recent alumni who have started their own businesses, with the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards. This year, the HGCF’s Entrepreneurship Initiative has expanded its honors to present five outstanding business owners with the 2010 Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Entrepreneurship Award, and recognize one of those five recipients with an additional $1,000 cash prize for best business pitch. Among the inaugural award winners and recipient of the additional $1,000 cash prize is Stacey Bilodeau ’12, a psychology undergraduate in the Bay Path College One-Day-A-Week Saturday Program and owner of Independent Solutions, LLC. In addition to this honor, Bilodeau received a 2010 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and a judge’s choice award for best presentation from the Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Launched in 2007, Bilodeau’s Independent Solutions offers professional home care to clients with traumatic and acquired brain injuries. A resident of Manchester, CT, Bilodeau has gained the reputation for providing Independent Solutions clients with an exceptionally high level of personal, compassionate care, and for always going above and beyond to serve its clients. In just two years, the company has grown from $70,000 to over half a million in revenue. Preparing to take on a number of new clients, Stacey has plans to increase her staff from 15 employees to 30 in 2010.
“To be recognized by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation not once, but twice, for the work I perform is just an amazing honor,” said Bilodeau. “Everyone at Bay Path has been extremely supportive, especially Professor Lauren Way, who worked one-on-one with me, and encouraged and guided me through the awards process. It is truly wonderful to be part of a community that wants you to succeed.”
Before opening Independent Solutions, Bilodeau held many entry-level jobs in various fields. Knowing her family could not afford to pay for her higher education, she did not see college in her future and began working full-time at age 13. She tried many fields over the years to find one that she loved, and when she happened into the field of home health care, she saw a need she wanted to fulfill.
After working for large home health care agencies, Bilodeau was compelled to open Independent Solutions. A small company, Independent Solutions enables Bilodeau to hire highly trained and perceptive staff, who provide higher quality services. Along with better training and high ethics standards, Bilodeau can focus on slow and controlled company growth. “My plan is to never get so large that I cannot keep track of each and every home,” she stressed. “I always know exactly what is happening with every client we serve, ensuring their well-being.”
Representatives from 12 regional colleges were asked to nominate only two students and/or recent alumni who have started innovative businesses. Bay Path College was the only college to have both nominees—Bilodeau and Javon Overstreet G’08—receive one of the top five awards. This year’s judges included representatives from Berkshire Bank, Country Bank for Savings, New Alliance Bank, PeoplesBank, The Bank of Western Massachusetts, and United Bank. The Entrepreneurship Initiative is one of several initiatives supported by the philanthropy of Longmeadow, MA resident and businessman, Harold Grinspoon.
For more information about HGCF initiatives, visit www.hgcf.org .