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Meet Heryn Donald of Heritage Habilitation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heryn Donald.

Heryn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My mother started a company like mine while I was in college. When it began to grow, I decided to quit school and help out full time (I thought I could always go back to school, but may not have another opportunity like this). I eventually served as Executive Director until she sold the company in 2007 after 12 years of success. After the sale, I made the choice to start my own company as my heart was still very much into it. I opened up our contracting opportunities and streamlined some of our services to increase our margins as well as simplify and add quality to our services. Essentially, I took the lessons learned from my mother’s company (good and bad) and applied them to what I was building. Although I still make mistakes, this has proven to be very effective and has allowed me to build a solid entity that meets my definition of success.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road by any stretch of the imagination. Like many small businesses, money, or lack thereof, is a problem in the beginning. Growth is often directly tied to what power you have financially. For example, early on, I wanted to add a day activity center for special needs to our services in order to garner positive attention to our services and to offer our individuals an opportunity to get out into the community and socialize. I knew I could build up clientele, but I wasn’t sure how fast. I needed more than $5000 immediately to get the building I wanted, and to modify it for our consumers! I had no extra cash or way to get it. I was stressed! I was forced to take out a loan and choose a different building in order to make it happen. In the end, it paid off handsomely and we are now at full capacity and in a great big space. I have had to adjust my path and vehicle, but I have been able to stick to my goals. I have had to start smaller than I wanted to at times or piece two or three things together but I am not discouraged if it moves us forward.

As a father, I also want to state the importance of balance and knowing when to turn it all off. Family is most important. When I began building my company, our children were 5, 7, and 10 years old. It took a very concentrated effort on my, and my wife’s part to make sure I could be at every teacher conference, doctor appointment, game and practice. I also made sure I was home to help with homework as my wife worked hard to take care of all the other domestic responsibilities. It was not easy. Scheduling and prioritizing is crucial if you’re going to do it all. There will have to be sacrifices, of course, but we have to choose wisely. I knew my family would appreciate my building something for our future, but if we lost each other in the process it wouldn’t be worth as much.

Overall, the road gets smoother as one learns to navigate the terrain of the field and as one has more latitude financially. I also find that goal setting and scheduling are still the greatest help to me.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Primarily, we contract with our state to provide an array of services to the disabled. We assist with living, whether it is foster care or group homes or individuals staying at home that just need someone to come by and assist. We coordinate services for our consumers like nursing, speech, physical and occupational therapies, behavioral supports and others. We also operate a Day activity center where we ensure our consumers have an opportunity to get out into the community and socialize with their peers. We try to take advantage of some of the great features our metroplex has to offer. Our headquarters are in beautiful Bedford TX, but we serve Dallas and Tarrant counties.

What were you like growing up?
I had a great childhood. Growing up, I was quiet but happy. I have always been very inquisitive. I just want to know. I also was an older brother and therefore natural administrator. I loved reading, writing and music (both playing and listening). I was an introvert, but had lots of friends.

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1 Comment

  1. Kiyan Donald

    August 9, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Great article on Heron Donald! He happened to be my big brother and I’m so proud of him and his accomplishments. He has always been the strongest and most influential person in my life. He is a great Dad, Brother, Son and an all around great person. I’m glad to know that his success can be shared with the public. Thank you Voyage Dallas!

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