Star City 6 – Kris Beckenbach
Kris Beckenbach is the director of Guardian Angels (guardian-angels.us), a local resource dedicated to providing exceptional, affordable in-home care to elders and others in our community.
Tell us a little about your business.
Guardian Angels offers assistance to clients in a wide variety of ways, from occasional transportation to 24-7 care for their personal and household needs. We’ve been helping people in Lincoln since 2003 and across Southeast Nebraska since 2009. Our goal is to keep elders as active and independent as their ability will allow while enhancing their lives. Caregivers assist in the client’s home, which might be a house, an apartment, or an elder living facility.
What have you found to be the most common misconception about your business?
One in particular I’ve found is that people are under the impression that they need to qualify in some way to receive care. That’s not the case at all! We provide a complimentary consultation about how we can assist, explain fees, arrange a customized schedule and plan of care, and can begin services in just days from the first phone call. There’s no minimum weekly commitment of hours either. Whatever help is needed we are happy to provide.
How did you get started in the business?
After 18 years at the University of Nebraska I was looking for a different career path. This position was great fit for my experience coordinating programs and efforts while also offering me the opportunity to give back to others.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
I was with Guardian Angels for 4 years, gone for 4 years, and recently had the opportunity to return. It’s truly gratifying to find that so many clients and caregivers are still part of the Guardian Angels family. That speaks to the level of integrity and how people are cared for by everyone involved with this company.
Tell us a little about your family.
Jeff and I raised our family in Lincoln. We enjoy having two of our children here, along with our grandchildren, and stay as connected as we can with our daughter in Southern California. My mom and my in-laws are still enjoying life in Lincoln as well.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Selling our home and adjusting to a more minimal lifestyle over the last few years. There’s not one item we donated four years ago that we have missed. We are committed to limiting ‘things’ and embracing relationships and experiences.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I enjoy public speaking and travel regionally to present after-dinner programs for clubs and organizations.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
If I was playing baseball my ‘stinger,’ the song they play when you come up to bat, would be Brick House by the Commodores. It speaks to my tenacity and my enjoyment of late 70’s funk!
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
KoZ International, a non-profit supporting a school for students living in urban poverty in Manilla, Philippines. It was started by dear friends who moved their family there to serve, and that devotion inspired us to be a part of this important work.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill has just about everything I could ask for in a restaurant: Great service, variety, and quality offerings in a lovely setting.