My name is Tulane Patterson, and I am a Lynchburg native. As a younger man I had a desire to serve. So, I took a job as a security guard at a retirement community and I worked in that retirement community, worked my way up to being vice president of that retirement community over the years. And during that period I was doing my MBA at night at Lynchburg College and I remember I was in a class and the class was really discussing the purpose of a business. What I realized was the purpose of the business was to offer a good or services that was of value to the community that somebody would be willing to pay for. About that same time I was in a meeting with a marketing department in the retirement community and we were discussing the marketing focus. I remember we had a consultant who said the focus of marketing here is to convince people to move out of their home. I remember reading an article that says ‘95-98% of seniors want to stay at home,’ and I scratched my head. I said if the purpose of business is to give a service that people want yet, we’re here in this business trying to get people to move into our community, which they don’t want. Then there was a disconnect. So I began to research senior care, senior care at home. After a couple of years of research and hard work I created a business plan. The focus of the business plan was to help seniors stay at home. And that was the beginning of Generation Solutions. As a new upstart business, we leaned on and coveted any help that we could get to get started in a strong and safe manner. So we opened in the business development center which is started by the economic community of Lynchburg, the city of Lynchburg and others. That was a huge part of our initial success. Because we were among others who were starting so we were encouraged by each others success, and were supported when we struggled with things. We had people who could give us advice and we were able to share resources. For the first three years of our business we were in the business development center and that was a huge part of launching us as a successful business in Lynchburg. Success for us is being able to build a workforce that can provide the care that meets the needs of families. I can say after eighteen years of being in business we got some employees that been with us fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years. That’s just one of the things I am most proud of. It’s that fact that not only are we caring for people that need health care but we ‘re are giving job. And we’re taking care of them and their families by offering a pay and insurance. Success for us is people, caring for people, enough clients to keep people busy and employed, meeting the need in the community. People caring for people. One of my recommendation for anybody in considering business is to be flexible and just to know that things are going to happen that you are not able to predict. And not let that get you down, because stuff is going to happen. And it happens when you’re dealing with employees it happens when you’re dealing with clients. Do your best to prepare, to have cash reserves, to have insurances, and to have procedures and policies. But even with that you just don’t know the things that might come towards you. So you just need to be flexible and prepared. The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is really managing your emotions. You go into business and you have all this excitement of what you can do and business opportunities, and processes and success. But the reality is, it is a rollercoaster ride. When things are great you have to keep yourself humble when bad you have to keep yourself encouraged. That is very difficult at times, so to me I think it’s managing your own ability to manage yourself. You need a support group. People around who are encouraging you, and are cheering you on and wanting to help you be successful. That’s why it’s so important for a new business to start where the owner is comfortable and feels at home. There’s a certain amount of trust in starting a business where you grew up and you know people. It was not a question of whether I would start this business in Lynchburg. The question has been how far outside of Lynchburg would we grow. And we are already in Roanoke and considering other communities. But Lynchburg is home to both myself and my family, but also to our business. There are several things I would tell somebody who is starting a business in Lynchburg, Virginia. One is to start a business, to have the courage to do it. If you have a dream take that step and do it. The other thing is because it’s a small community, we, all of us, we work together to help you get started and be successful in a manner that not only benefits not only you but benefits the whole community.
About Tulane Patterson
Tulane Patterson, CEO of Generation Solutions, is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, is married to Claudia, and has four daughters. Tulane received his BA from Hampden-Sydney College, and went on to receive his MBA at Lynchburg College.
In 1998 Tulane founded Generation Solutions, a home retirement and health care service company, in Lynchburg and Roanoke. Tulane, expanded his vision in 2005 by founding Generation’s Home Medical, a medical equipment and supply store operating in both Lynchburg and Salem, Virginia.
Throughout his career, Tulane has always focused on the betterment of healthcare for those in and around his home town of Lynchburg, VA. In 2001, Tulane founded the Covenant Foundation, which subsequently transitioned into Centra PACE – a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly.
Tulane has authored over a dozen published articles and two books. He has served or is currently serving in the following capacities:
- Lt Gov. and President of the Kiwanis Club
- Chair of the Board – Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Chair of Advisory Board – School of Business Lynchburg College
- Former President of the Board – Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra
- Board member of the Gerontology Center at Virginia Tech and Free Clinic
|Date Added||July 1, 2016|
Welcome to the Launched In Lynchburg Series! Each month, we feature a different local entrepreneur. This month, we're featuring Tulane Patterson, CEO and founder of Generation Solutions
About Generation Solutions
Generation Solutions' mission is to help seniors live at home comfortably, safely and happily. Founded nearly two decades ago on the premise that retirement years should be spent in the comfort and familiarity of home, Generation Solutions is an award-winning agency that provides in-home care for seniors and skilled in-home healthcare. With locations in Lynchburg and Roanoke, VA, Generation Solutions offers an experienced and compassionate team of experts.