It was five years ago when Bradley Bezan decided to change his life forever. Working at a job he loved doing respite care for an organization is when he realized that what he was doing was not fulfilling enough, that he believed people needed more, they needed better access to life care.
Bezan, now 27 years old and the founder and executive director, sits in an office with Community Manager Mike McNeil, 26 at the Spark Lifecare headquarters. It is now five years after Bezan decided to start Spark Lifecare, a company that provides aid to those in need.
In the short amount of time Spark has been around Bezan says that he couldn’t be happier with how his company is doing. Due to the innovative business model they were awarded with the Ottawa Rising Star award last year which according to Bezan was a real honor.
Despite the tough times and many hurdles he has had to overcome to get the company to where it is today he has never been more proud.
“We have very ambitious goals,” says Bezan. “We have done a lot of firsts in the city so far, we’re the first organization to go completely paperless, we’re the first social enterprise in our field, we’re the first organization to work with an extremely wide spectrum of population which means all the organizations in the city either work with kids and adults with disabilities or they decide to work with kids with special needs.
“We don’t put a limit or put ourselves into a box. We work with clients that are babies all the way up to seniors. It’s a new selling point.”
Bezan says that he hopes to expand his business within the next five to 10 years to other parts of Ontario. A main goal being to make Spark the most attractive organization for new workers coming out of post-secondary schools with the thought of Spark being the place they want to work. He hopes that clients in the community will see Spark in the same light as the place to be.
“Spark was rebranded in 2012 and every year since then we’ve doubled in size, and that can also be said for our clients, revenue and also our staff,” says Bezan.
Currently there are about 12 employees working for Spark Lifecare distributed between management and frontline workers.
Mike McNeil has worked for Spark for over two years and says that his experience as a community manager has been a great experience.
“I heard from a friend that Brad had started an organization so I went on the website the day the website launched, and then had an interview,” says McNeil. “It’s awesome because it’s always new since we work with a wide variety of people.”
Bezan and McNeil start their day at Spark by looking at their weekly pipeline board. Working together to make sure clients are happy and that all the workers and caregivers are on the same board.
“A big part of what we do is keeping communication open,” says McNeil. “Collaborating and staying in contact with people is a big part of what I do. We make sure that all the management keep their feet on the ground with the frontline so we are all still working one on one with the clients in the field. We don’t want any disconnect between the management and the frontline workers.”
“I really couldn’t be happier with the people that work with Spark on a daily basis, as well as the clients that come to us.” says Bezan. “We’re continuously growing, we have just broken an internal record for the most clients, right when we got back from the New Year. The holidays were a tough time for a lot of clients so they kept the office open to be here for them. We signed the most clients we’ve ever had in a 24 hour period which is pretty cool.”