Our B Corp Journey
Medical Rehabilitation Provider Has Caring at its Core—and Workers Who Are Real Changemakers
I have come to believe that most people in this world seek significance; they want to do important work that matters. The desire to do good is logical given our limited time here on Earth—life is short. We come to understand this reality through various personal experiences, often in the circumstances surrounding death. It is at this time when questions around meaning, achievement, underachievement, personal impact and ultimately regret become the most prevalent.
It was this fundamental understanding that propelled my initial interest in social enterprises, which are purpose-driven companies that make a positive impact on the world while also making a profit. I loved the fact that, if done through sound business practices, expanding your social impact equates to furthering your cause, increasing economic value for your stakeholders and making the world a better place.
Thus, I decided to become or work for a social entrepreneur, the very people leading innovative cause-driven companies that make a material difference in the world and drive customer loyalty through social impact. I studied these companies in business school: TOMS Shoes, Patagonia and Warby Parker. I found their mission and model inspirational, and the brand-driven storytelling is always on-point, which I appreciated.
Hard, Humbling Work
In 2016, my social venture plans were well underway — all sorts of napkin plans and grand ideas. At this time, I also began helping a company called Success Rehabilitation with its digital marketing. Success Rehabilitation is a post-acute medical rehabilitation provider for brain injury survivors, which is a far cry from the “sexier” socially conscious brands making their mark in the retail industry.
In full transparency, I was no stranger to the company. Throughout high school and during college breaks, I worked as a direct support professional at Success Rehabilitation centers in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In short, I helped people in the brain injury program to achieve their basic developmental and care needs: showering, toileting, transportation, behavioral documentation.
It was hard, humbling work that made you appreciate what you have and realize how your seemingly significant actions can positively impact someone’s day. Also, I didn’t have a choice. The entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Success Rehabilitation also happened to be my mother, who was responsible for steering the ship at home as well.
As my scope of work got underway, I said to myself: “Here I am dreaming up the next significant social venture, when at its foundational core Success Rehabilitation transforms lives by providing the highest level of care to those in the brain injury community who need it the most.”
Success Rehabilitation had been fulfilling a vision of maximizing the quality of life for people with brain injury for over 29 years. It also has increased year-over-year revenue since its founding, employs more than 200 people, spurs local economic growth, is recognized as a premier brain injury program and helps improve lives — every single day. That sure sounded like a social enterprise to me.
As I peeled back the onion layers, I found a strategy at Success Rehabilitation that also made TOMS Shoes, Patagonia and Warby Parker thrive in the marketplace: The theme of that strategy is to care.
Simply put, caring is the best marketing strategy. The Success Rehabilitation team members love their work with the brain injury community, and the company found longevity in the marketplace because its employees genuinely care. When you care, it tends to translate into your product or service.
The leaders didn’t realize that they were unofficially part of a growing global movement of business leaders called Certified B Corporations. B Corps use business as a force for good by meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
The first 19 members became Certified B Corporation in 2007. Founded in 1990, Success Rehabilitation could be considered the unofficial “OG” of B Corps. Thus, I came to realize that the changemakers were right in front of me the whole time.
Success Rehabilitation does not have an obvious “cool” factor like those associated with the retail or tech world. We do not sell celebrity-endorsed shoes, make environmentally safe cleaning products, construct fashionable glasses or concoct delicious ice cream. Instead, our employees help people with brain injury to walk better, talk better, reason better, communicate better, feel better about themselves and embrace the reality of their road to recovery.
Success Rehabilitation provides hope, and in return its workers get back so much more. Now that I think about it, yeah, that is pretty cool.
In 2019, I accepted a full-time position with Success Rehabilitation as the director of marketing and company affairs and helped guide the team through its B Corp certification. As of today, Success Rehabilitation is the only medical rehabilitation provider and first program for individuals with brain injury in the world to become a Certified B Corporation.
It has been an incredible journey to this point, and the collective team at Success Rehabilitation is excited to learn from, partner with and lend our voice to this passionate community of businesses that balance purpose and profit.