Gimbert (center left) and Carmen Fernandez (center right) take home the Community Marketing award at the 2023 Always Best Care conference. Photo credit: Always Best Care

Gimbert and Carmen Fernandez are proof that a couple who owns a home care agency together stays together.

The Fernandezes became Always Best Care franchisees serving western and central New Jersey in 2014. Their business continues to thrive. In addition to boasting a substantial revenue increase from 2022, they were named the winners of the Community Marketing award at the 2023 Always Best Care conference. 

Perhaps the only aspect more impressive than the longevity of their business is the longevity of their relationship. After meeting in high school, the pair married in 1983. Before getting involved with Always Best Care, Gimbert worked as a director at a pharmaceutical company and Carmen worked as a preschool teacher. They both draw on their previous professional experiences in the daily operations of their franchise.

“Carmen is very organized. She’s very sympathetic to our clients and to our caregivers,” Gimbert told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “She always makes sure that we put the right foot forward and everything is running as smoothly as possible. She’s my boss, I’ll tell you that that’s for sure.”

Running a home care organization is no easy task, but running one with your spouse brings a whole other set of challenges, says Gimbert. He believes that a mutual self-awareness and deep respect keep his relationship with Carmen strong personally and professionally. 

“You both have to have discipline for disagreements because they do come and always keep sight that it’s not about the money, the money does come, it’s about being compassionate and providing the best service,” Gimbert said. “I’m a planner and my wife is very detail-oriented. You have to be cognizant of each one’s weaknesses and understand them but also leverage their strengths.”

As for plans for Valentine’s Day, which takes place Wednesday, Gimbert boasts a romantic streak that takes different forms each year. Sometimes it is blatantly ignoring spending limits for gifts; other times it might be surprising Carmen with concert tickets. After more than 40 years together, he’s still finding new ways to demonstrate his love for his wife … and business partner. 

“I’m the romantic type so I will come up with something,” Gimbert said. “I always try to find a way to make it fun.”

Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at [email protected].