The Beginning of Interim HealthCare of the Black Hills
"I'm just an English teacher who never taught!" Richard Kucera started out by earning his teaching certificate, then spending the next 4 years of his life in DaNang and the Philippines as a short-wave radio operator in the Air Force. After his return home, he got a job selling office equipment for about 10 years. This job required a lot of moving and is what ultimately brought him to Rapid City.
Tired of all the moving, he went to work for a pharmaceutical company where he spent another 10 years or so. Changes in the political landscape during the early 90's caused pharmaceutical companies to lay off large numbers of employees, an action which found Rich in an unfamiliar situation - jobless. Rich had always wondered if he could start and run his own business. This seemed like an opportune time to give that a try. Joyce was still working at this time as a manager in retail. If they really watched their expenses, they might just be able to do this!
It took a lot of research and a chance encounter with an article in "Inc." magazine regarding franchising and the home health industry. Joyce expressed it best as a "huge leap of faith" but they both believed an old adage Rich often referred to: "if two people pull in the same direction, there's little they can't do"! Rich started building the business first, then Joyce joined him in their new agency, "Interim HealthCare of the Black Hills" after about 2 years.
"Once we discovered our individual strengths and began to build a strong employee base," Joyce recalled, "things started to click!"
After 25 years, Interim HealthCare passed to the very capable hands of the next generation where the services of aides, nurses and therapists continue to this day, enabling people to stay in their homes as long as possible. So now, 30 years later, Rich and Joyce look back with gratification and pride at a business that has provided safety and security for countless clients and jobs for hundreds of wonderful employees.
When asked what her favorite thing about starting this business has been, Joyce replied: "Actually, making a difference in peoples' lives. Having a purpose!" She pointed out she has loved seeing these wonderful employees grow into such fantastic caregivers. Today (2022), Rich is retired and Joyce still works part-time. Most of the time, they're happy to simply spend time with family and enjoy what they've built, here at home in the beautiful Black Hills.