A Veterans Day Interview with Chris Rinaudo - Moore Care Caregiver Services Owner & CEO
Born at Naval Air Station in Meridian, MS, it seemed that Chris Rinaudo would be destined to a life centered around military service, but little did the boy know at the time that it would lead to so many different and rewarding experiences along the way. On this Veterans Day, we sat down with Chris, current Owner & CEO of Moore Care Caregiver Services in Baton Rouge, to talk about what the holiday means to him and get a glimpse into those experiences and how they've affected his business.
Q: Can you give us a little coming-of-age history about yourself?
CR: Well I grew up in St. Francisville, LA, a small town just north of Baton Rouge after my family left Meridian. My father was the town dentist, so we knew everyone. It was a great place to grow up. So much so in fact that I didn't venture far for college – staying close to home to attend Louisiana State University to pursue degrees in both Biochemistry and Microbiology. I'm a nerd, I know... Then I went straight into Officer Candidate School after LSU and earned my MBA while stationed at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL. I guess you could say I was raised in the SEC.
Q: You're a proud military Veteran. Tell us about your service history.
CR: I was raised in the purple and gold, but Uncle Sam put me in Navy and Gold. I proudly served in the US Navy, serving 2 years onboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) with a tour to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. I then served 4 years in Pensacola as an Aerospace Physiologist, training pilots on the Aeromedical Aspects of flight. I guess my dad's medical background rubbed off on me a bit, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to fly.
Q: So what made you get into the home health care business?
CR: I’ve always had a deep respect for the elderly members of my family, and my wife Brandi and I always dreamed of starting a business that we could build together. In-home healthcare was the perfect marriage of those things. With the aging baby boomer population (and the exceptional reputation that Moore Care already had in the market), I knew that taking over their practice 3 years ago would be a perfect fit for our family.
My dad was also a US Navy Veteran who passed away just last year. In the end, it was a tremendous blessing to have the best caregivers in the area looking after his every need while allowing him to remain in the comfort of his home. Our family was able to spend invaluable quality time with dad in his final weeks, while the Moore Care team did the hard work. It made an enormous difference and took a lot of stress off of my mom, my sisters and me. That experience reinforced our decision.
Q: As a Veteran-owned business, is there anything Moore Care does to assist other veterans?
CR: I'm so glad you bring this up. As a registered care provider with Veterans Affairs (the VA), Moore Care is positioned and able to provide a variety of services to veterans, and we can certainly provide in-home care giving services. And as a veteran myself, I look for unique opportunities to aid other veterans, especially the elderly ones, beyond what the VA is able to do. For example, we've done everything from recording a podcast to provide to veteran’s families to bringing veterans to speak at local high schools about their service. It's all just very grounding and an honor to serve them. I hope it's making my dad proud.
Q: How would you say your military service has prepared you for owning and running a business?
CR: The military has a unique way of helping a person discover themselves. The intense pressure of the training teaches you a lot about yourself. I quickly realized how much I loved the physical and mental challenge of the training. But, after training, I realized that I did not like always working from a playbook. In the military, there is a very specific way of doing EVERYTHING, even how to fold your underwear! All tasks are completely regimented and black and white. There is a policy, procedure, rule book for every little thing that you do. After my service, I was able to embrace and lean into creating things, building things, and leading people. And I loved it! I discovered I had a knack for it. That was the beginning of my journey of becoming an entrepreneur.
Q: Any sage advice or wisdom to bestow on current/young members of the Armed Forces?
CR: Grind through it. Sometimes it sucks, things are out of your control, etc., but the juice is worth the squeeze. In other words, the rewards of service outweigh the costs. Sometimes you can’t see that until you are on the other side of it, but I promise you will in time. And you'll be better for it.
Q: What are your short-term and long-term goals for Moore Care?
CR: Moore Care provides a very high level of customer service. I am beyond proud of that, and the team we are building to care for Baton Rouge's residents. In the short run, our goals are to build a stronger infrastructure so that our very successful model can scale. In the long run, we plan to be the highest quality Home Care agency in the Southeast US. We are passionate about our mission and are driven to enable everyone to enjoy every moment of life on their own terms.
Q: Any parting thoughts?
CR: This has been a nice trip down memory lane. I want to wish every Veteran a very blessed day, thank them for their service and wish them good health and happiness for years to come. And for those still serving their country, thank you. I understand the sacrifices you are making, and they do not go unnoticed.