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36
GROW

Spotlight: Ralph Gaines, Bebetter Networks
 

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As told to Bobbie Gossage

Industry Leader: Health

Three-Year Growth: 6,674.7%

BeBetter Networks runs wellness programs. Its people show up at the workplace to take blood, check blood pressure, and gauge overall health and fitness levels. The company, which had $14 million in revenue in 2007, has administered 200,000 screenings in the past four years.

My Background

Mother's occupation: Owner of interior design firm

Father's occupation: CEO of GNB Technologies, an Atlanta company that manufactured automotive and industrial batteries.

Previous jobs: I worked for seven years at my father's company, mostly in sales and marketing. I later became an associate at Morgan Stanley and a principal at an investment banking firm. Prior to joining beBetter, I was the COO of Sputnik7.com, which hosts streaming music videos.

My Company

Its origins: The company was founded in 1999. I came in three years ago. The founders were about to acquire another company. They asked me questions about strategy. I came in as CFO; now I'm CEO. The idea for the company came from the behavioral change concept. Helping people change is more than throwing information at them. We really coach them so they understand what they need to do to get themselves into a healthier lifestyle. It's like a trainer in the gym: We do one coach to one person.

Why it's growing: We made an acquisition in June 2005. Before that, the company had been in career services and other types of things. The company we acquired was focused on health, wellness, and fitness counseling. The turning point for us was our strategic move to concentrate strictly on health and wellness. The cost of health care has been a main driver of our growth.

How I Work

Where I get my inspiration: Our work force. They are so dedicated, because they're doing a job that they believe in.

What I lose sleep over: There are certain economic issues I wonder about. Do we need stable businesses and stable economies to allow for budgets for health promotion? Is this a benefit a company might want to cut?

What's Next

I think we're going to be one of the largest privately held health and wellness companies in the United States. I do. We're going to be a leader -- if not the leader -- in health and wellness.

Last updated: Sep 1, 2008




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