If you have worked with Callahan Roach Business Solutions for any length of time, you know their charity of choice is the Joseph Groh Foundation. Who is this foundation you may ask, and what mission does it seek to complete? More importantly however, what impact might this have on your business?
First, who is this foundation that is the favored choice of Callahan Roach Business Solutions? Joe Groh is a son of the construction trades. His great uncle was a sheet metal master craftsman in the truest sense of that definition. His grandfather opened a roofing/heating/sheet-metal business upon returning overseas from World War I – a company that is still in operation under the guidance of Joe Groh’s cousin. He took over the business from Joe’s uncle, who ran the business following his return from the Korean War. Joe’s father went to work at his dad’s business when he returned overseas from World War II. Representing the new generation, he introduced the technology of air-conditioning to the firm. After working for a major equipment manufacturer for a number of years, he purchased his own HVAC contracting business, and that’s where Joe got his start during summers in high school. At the age of 20, Joe began working full-time installing residential furnaces and air conditioners, while also performing seasonal equipment maintenance service. A few years later Joe went to work for a major equipment manufacturer as an inside sales support representative. Over the next 21 years, he went on to outside sales, business consulting and corporate sales and marketing management positions with the firm. Following that, he held senior leadership positions for a Midwest-based distributor and two equipment manufacturers. All that changed however on June 15, 2008.
What started out as an aerobic bicycle ride that day turned into paralysis from the shoulders down due to a freak accident. Joe spent the next year on the DL, but he was not done with the trades. One year after his accident, Joe started a 501©(3) foundation with the help of longtime friend Mike Hajduk, president of Callahan Roach Business Solutions. The first mission of the foundation was to provide information resources to those who found themselves facing a life altering disability like the one Joe had. Within weeks of his injury, Joe faced a number of important questions, and little information with which to guide his answers. Where would he rehab? When you’re paralyzed below the shoulders, what does that even mean? When he was finished, how would he get back into his home? The doors were too narrow, and he couldn’t maneuver up the steps. Once he got in his home, how would he get into his bedroom or take a shower? For that matter, how would he even make it back to his home, he had no wheelchair accessible vehicle to get there. Multiple family members helped Joe scour whatever sources they could find for answers, but the going was tough. His first mission was to try and make this process much simpler for others facing a similar challenge. Toward that end, the Joseph Groh foundation developed a website containing links to 190 websites in 12 categories of information, ranging from national and state by state resources to government resources, rehab facilities, durable medical equipment suppliers, wheelchair accessible van suppliers and more.
The foundation’s second mission was much more difficult. They endeavored to provide financial assistance to individuals who were once in the trades but who are now living with life altering disabilities – people who shared both Joe’s background as well as his plight. Since 2009, this assistance has provided individuals with items that insurance does not cover – but which they need to live a life of dignity and independence. Items include things like home and bath models, wheelchair accessible vehicles, rehab equipment, assistive technology and more. To date, the Joseph Groh foundation has provided more than $500,000 in such grants. One thing that is missing however, and it has proven to be a very elusive target. Individuals who suddenly find themselves with a life altering injury or illness are often faced with a bleak future. Imagine where you would be if your income suddenly stopped tomorrow – with little or no likelihood that you would be able to replace it. The third mission of the Joseph Groh foundation sought to make a meaningful difference in such cases. Stay tuned for blogs starting in December which will make the case for disability insurance, and how this need can be met. It has been a long time coming.