Mary Kay Buysse is with the National Association of Senior Move Managers and here is her story.
As a non-profit trade association, we essentially have two customers: 1) our dues-paying members who are professional Senior Move Managers, and 2) the older adult clients and family members whom our members serve. My colleague, Jennifer Pickett, and I, are deeply invested in the success of our members – all of whom are entrepreneurial small business owners.
Senior Move Management is only 10 years old, so these individuals are also pioneers in a new and emerging field. It’s relatively easy for us to support and advocate for our 750+ members, because we truly believe in the growing need for Senior Move Management. Ten thousand Baby Boomers will turn 65 in the U.S. every day for the next two decades! Families are scattered, and they are also much smaller. In most families, everyone is working or attending school. Few persons are able to assist an aging relative as they may have in the past. Many older adults have never married or had children. Who will help Mom or Grandma with moving from her home of 40 or 50 years into a 400-square foot assisted living apartment? Enter Senior Move Management!
What makes work worth it? All of it! We love shepherding prospective Senior Move Managers from their initial phone inquiries to launching their businesses, training them, helping them through their first Senior Move jobs, watching the businesses grow to the point of adding staff, encouraging them to attend the Annual Conference, or to serve on a NASMM committee. We are truly gratified to see our work play out in this way. We tell our members all the time, “YOUR success is OUR business.” We enjoy facilitating best practices among our members, providing ongoing professional development, and initiating new member services to enhance the NASMM membership experience. We take enormous pride in making NASMM our members’ professional home.
It’s also exhilarating to field a phone call or email from a potential consumer of Senior Move Management services – perhaps an adult daughter who is completely overwhelmed by the prospect of downsizing and moving her Mom and Dad. She dreads the prospect of using her precious vacation time to travel to her childhood home to clean out kitchen cabinets and basement shelves. When we tell her we can offer her several referrals to Senior Move Managers in the area, she is absolutely ecstatic. You can actually hear the anxiety in her voice melt away. So, yes, we are passionate about Senior Move Management. It’s fun to be part of something new and so very needed. We enjoy brokering between people who need Senior Move Management and others who actually provide the services. In association work, we are mentors, marketers, educators, and more. No two days are the same, and that’s just the way we like it.