BNI Go-Getter Kate Hetzel heads up of her own Live-In Care Agency Eximius “Refined Live-In Care” services.
BNI Central London Female Go-Getter Series
The first question that springs to mind as I’m preparing to interview Kate Hetzel is:
‘How does one choose the Caring industry as a profession?’
I’d always assumed it would be a natural progression from nursing or the medical field. Speaking with Kate, I learn it is not always thus.
Conversationally, we embark on a tour of Kate’s career and life journey, savouring the flavours of her route to Live-In Care.
It doesn’t take long before I understand that er… angels are involved? Angel Delight that is…
What do flavours, fragrances and Cincinnati, Ohio have in common?
After a fun-filled, aka misspent period as Head Girl in her A Level year in Bristol, University for Kate, became Agricultural College.
It was a career in the Flavour Industry (yes there is such a thing) into which Kate dived head-first. One of her first flavour-tasks was ‘Angel Delight’. This in turn led to her first job in the sector.
From here she climbed the career ladder, converting from her technical role to management and with the largest flavour company in the world, Givaudan, Kate relocated to the US, to – who knew it? The very ‘home of Flavour and Fragrance – Cincinnati Ohio.
8 Years On … a Cross-roads
By the time Kate had reached 8 years in the US, she had married a local Cincinnatian, produced two children and had arrived at a turning point.
She’d worked with and array of big brand flavours including with McDonalds and Berger King and she was re-evaluating the industry sector, the career path she was on and decided to change tack towards something more ‘meaningful’ .
With this new frame of mind, the family packed up and headed off to the UK.
A New Millennium. A New Everything.
It was the year 2000 when the family arrived here. A new millennium. A new country. A new adventure. A complete change of tack career-wise.
“At the risk of sounding cliché – I wanted to do something purposeful; to give something back.
I also wanted the freedom of being self-employed and I went on the hunt for the right thing”
The clear winner was The Care Industry. The sector firmly grabbed her attention and interest and 2002, Kate purchased a Care-Agency franchise.
3 Curve Balls and 100 Employees
Of course, none of us ever knows what or when life is going to toss us that curve ball.
“Just a year from starting the business and I was pregnant again”.
A year on from that, I went through a divorce”
Suddenly Kate was a single mother of 3 and simultaneously running and building up her Care Services business.
“Let’s just say that was all pretty challenging but the Care sector turned out to be my saviour.
“I nurtured and built the business to over 100 employees. I was riding the wave”
That was until the next curve ball, in the guise of the 2008 Credit Crunch which whooshed into Kate’s life, as it did for many of us.
“My 100 employees weren’t just staff at this point. They were friends. Personal friends.
I had to make many of them redundant. That’s such a tough call”
Like a rubber ball, Kate, bounced back from it all.
She rebuilt the business and ultimately sold it.
How’s that for resilience and determination?
Most of us would put our feet up now but Kate was drawn magnetically back to Care. What she knew from running the Care Agency was that her passion for Live-In Care niche.
“It’s where you can make a real difference to peoples’ lives.
That’s just so rewarding”
Eximus – Latin for Exceptional
Kate’s Eximius “Refined Live In Support” was launched in Jan. 2016; Focused on caring for people in their own homes and helping them stay there.
In the main Kate’s clients are the elderly and dementia patients but Eximius works with a cross section, including their very first client who is one of the longest-living tetraplegics. Kate’s face lights up when she talks about him.
“He was our very first client and is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.
Despite his accident he has led such a full and exciting life – including winning 2 Olympic medals”
How appropriate is that? An exceptional guy is the first client for Eximius – Latin for exceptional.
The Wow Principle..
When we hear such negative stories about care homes and support services today it’s a refreshing and comforting contrast to hear Kate’s mantra for Eximius: The Personal Touch’ | Every client is an individual
Eximus operates on Kate’s WOW principle..
“The excellent care and support is a given but we operate on the WOW principle.
Little things that WOW our clients”
Kate is excited to tell me of her new titled client ‘who will remain nameless’ and how delighted he was when they sent him Champagne and Wine as a thanks for trusting us gift.
And how, at at Easter, they send all their clients Easter cakes from Bettys and for Birthdays, clients receive a personally selected gift.
Something inside of me whispers: when I grow up – that’s the sort of care I’d like for myself. Especially the champagne and wine. Perhaps even a vodka martini?
The Norland Nannies of Live-in-Care?
Kate’s dream is to become known as the top quality provider of Live-in Support.
“How magical it would be to be considered the ‘Norland Nannies’ of Live-in Care, as it were.
In this vein, an ideal client might have been the Queen Mother or Sir John Mills. They would be fabulous. A referral to Prince Phillip anyone?”
“Seriously”, she says “I’d love to meet Malcolm Young from AC/DC or David Cameron in his role as president at Alzheimer research” (If you’re reading this and can make an introduction, do get in contact with Kate).
1 Year at BNI and already considered a Go-Getter?
“I joined BNI for peer-support and networking. I got both by the bucket-loads.
Another unanticipated plus for me is that my business sector is very female driven. The male input from other BNI members balances out my ‘emotional’ business side. I really value that.
I know a year isn’t long but the support from fellow-members is exceptional. It feels like we are all there for each other. I had some problems at work a little while back and thought I might have to leave BNI. It was a strange discovery to find how sad I felt at the thought of leaving; of letting down the other members and losing those contacts.
I’m delighted that I got through my sticky patch and I plan to be in BNI for the long-haul. So many interesting people I’ve encountered and I’m confident about the prospects for my business being great.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone considering joining BNI?
- Go with an open mind and see the future potential.
- Don’t just think about your own chapter but all the other chapters and opportunities
- Develop your own support network
Q: What advice would you give to your 15 year old self?
- Become really comfortable with yourself as a person
- Build reserve and patience
- Identify clearly, your principles and values. Know what you won’t tolerate
Q: Who has inspired/influenced you – personally and/or professionally?
My personal friends are amazing. Each inspires me: One went to work in Kiev; another was FD at Christies and one is off to work on a Game Reserve in Africa.
I constantly meet inspirational business people – many of them through BNI. I feel so lucky to have their support.
Being a single mum with 3 children certainly ‘inspired’ me. I had no choice but to keep going.
BNI London HUB |30+ groups across London
If you’re a Go-Getter (male or female of course) who wants to do more business in London, VISIT one of our 30+ Groups to find out what BNI can do for you and your business.
Visitors are always welcome at our weekly breakfast and lunch meetings.
CALL Amanda on 01923-777071 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll find the right group for your profession/location.
Read our spotlighted Go-Getters’ stories (and their views on BNI) here:
- Catherine Baudino PhD, MNCP, FRS | Business & Personal Coach
- Saskia Johnston | Forex, Sable International
- Elizabeth Marsh | Floral Designer
- Giulia Remondino | Genius in 21 Days Memory Techniques
- Zoe Clews | Harley Street Hypnotherapist
- Dee Burrowes | MINDSET Strategist
- Beverley Corson | Business Growth Programme
- Emma Sear | Property Lawyer
- Kate Ketzel | Norland Nannies of Live-in Care
- Laura Hurren | BNI’s female-focus initiative is the brainchild of BNI UK Executive Director and Referral Marketing aficionado. Laura heads up BNI London Hub. Follow Laura on Twitter@LauraHurren_BNI | Connect with her on LinkedIn