Name: Vickie Harris-Brosnan.
Company: Therapy Specialists.
Revenue — 2010: $12.5 million.
Revenue — 2009: $14 million.
No. of employees: 167.
Year founded: 1976.
Education: B.A., communication studies, Loyola Marymount University, 1993.
Birthplace: San Diego.
Current residence: North Park.
Family: Husband, Dan; sons, Nathan and Cooper.
Vickie Harris-Brosnan is the president of Therapy Specialists, the largest independently owned physical rehabilitation services provider in San Diego. Established in 1976, Therapy Specialists was one of the earliest providers of physical, occupational, hand and speech therapy services. Currently, the company provides services in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living/independent living campuses in California, and operates two outpatient clinics in San Diego County.
Essential business philosophy: Paying attention to what our patients/customers/staff say and feel about us and looking for ways to continually improve the quality of the relationship; achieving improved outcomes clinically for our patients and strong outcomes financially and/or operationally for our business customer.
Guiding principles: Develop meaningful, value-driven customer and employee relationships, provide proactive communication and ask for feedback, deliver responsive action and be accessible.
Yardsticks of success: Our designation as a finalist in the 2010 San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work demonstrates that our employee-centric company culture is valued and recognized by our staff, which is greatly rewarding. Having a satisfied customer base and many long-term customers who value our partnership is another measure.
Goals yet to be achieved: Creating expanded strategic alliances and partnerships to address a rapidly changing health care industry that will value and support more integrated networks.
Best business decision: Joining Vistage in 2001. My chair Pat Hyndman and my group give me more than 300 years of collective insight and wisdom, which have been invaluable in my growth and development.
Toughest business decision: Growing 60 percent in 2008 with new business across Southern California without the infrastructure in place to support it. We survived and eventually thrived as a result, but it was a risk and took its toll on my small management team and our limited resources.
Mentors: I am fortunate to have many. I have worked for many years with Morris Spier, Ph.D., an organizational psychologist who provides me with pearls of wisdom; my network of colleagues in NARA, a national rehab organization, which shares best practices and offers sage advice; my Vistage group; and most importantly, my mother, Susan Harris, founder of Therapy Specialists, who inspires me and our staff to accomplish our mission of helping our patients achieve the highest quality of life. She challenges me to continually improve our partnership with our customers.
Word that describes you: Driven.
What do you like best about your job: The staff and customers. The staffers are passionate about improving the lives of our patients, and, through our collective efforts, I know that we make a significant difference.
What do you like least about your job: Long hours, travel and time away from my family; the constantly changing regulatory and reimbursement environments which make providing quality care challenging.
Pet peeves: People who don’t do what they say they’re going to do — accountability is a core value at TS.
Person most interested in meeting: I would love to have a discussion with Hillary Rodham Clinton, regarding her experience in developing health care initiatives as first lady, and her philosophy that “it takes a village to raise a child.” I rely on my “village” as a health care executive and as a working mom, and I so appreciate all who are a part of it.
First choice for a new career: My husband and I are avid athletes and have always dreamed about creating a foundation to provide quality sports programs targeting financially disadvantaged and special-needs children, promoting youth athletics to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
Favorite quote: “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me” often runs through my mind when I’m facing a challenge and it helps me to stay focused.
Most influential book: “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins.
Favorite status symbol: My wedding band and my “Mom” charm bracelet.
— Steve Adamek