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Daily Inspiration: Meet Phil Ferranto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phil Ferranto.

Hi Phil, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Service to others has always been a driving force in my life. It’s also important to me to use the business-building process as an opportunity to challenge and learn more about myself. There is never a shortage of learning opportunities or challenges! I began my career as a Coast Guard officer, mostly working counter-narcotic and counter-immigration missions off of the coast of Central and South America. That experience was full of adventure and expanded my horizons and worldview.

After the Coast Guard, I pursued an MBA knowing that I wanted to create businesses and express myself creatively through entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, I worked for a while as a General Manager for a bamboo biotech company before co-founding EcoZoom, a company that develops and sells energy-efficient cookstoves and solar light products throughout the developing world. With EcoZoom, I was fortunate to live for several years in Nairobi, Kenya, and participate in a thriving international entrepreneurship community. In 2015, my co-founder and I decided to move back to the US; my wife and I were also looking to begin growing our family. My sister Amber and I then got to talking. She had been a speech pathologist for about 12 years in a variety of clinical settings and was looking for the next chapter in her career.

We explored what it would look like to start a therapy company of our own and Hope Speech and Language Therapy was born. Amber has always looked forward to integrating multiple therapies in order to provide a holistic level of care for young clients with developmental delays or other special needs. Today we provide pediatric speech, occupational, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapies under the umbrella of Hope Comprehensive Center for Development to families throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. Our main clinic is in Murrieta, and we are looking to open another clinic in San Diego and Riverside County later this year. The last year has been a whirlwind as we’ve grown our team of amazing therapists and support staff from 21 people at the start of the pandemic to over 70! We look forward to serving many more families in the decades to come.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road continues to get smoother as I become better equipped to deal with adversity. Life has taught and prepared me for every new chapter. I’ve gotten to learn about judgment and the hubris of youth as a Coast Guard officer when thrust into a leadership role at a very young age; and how to navigate dynamic situations where team members can get hurt if everyone is not working together. In my role in the bamboo company, I learned how to work with limited resources and balance cash flow in order to make payroll. At EcoZoom, we learned firsthand the challenges of growing a team in another country with very different work culture and navigated a situation where our largest customer ran out of funding for a project. We worked through the process of legal proceedings, having to hire a lot of people, and having to downsize. Now at Hope Comprehensive, the challenges of making sure we can meet payroll, dealing with an hr issue, or figuring out how to integrate many new team members is seen more of as a fun exercise rather than anything that would induce anxiety.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I like to think my role at Hope centers in two main areas- first is to find great people, give them the resources to succeed, and let them do what they do best. Being a big proponent of self-development and self-realization, I try to bring a sense of calm and confidence to the workplace and help our team navigate any situation, whether it is in the personal or professional realm. I think I bring a perspective that we are not going to take a win at all costs approach to business and that we’re going to focus on how we can have our team and our clients thrive.

The second part of my role is to help lead the design and execution of the vision of where we can go and what we can achieve as a company. I know that the gains we make can and will compound over time, and I think I do a good job of helping people think bigger. Overall I am most proud of our principles-based approach to business- we believe that by doing the right thing, we will ultimately be successful. We’re not afraid to embrace making mistakes or to make a hard decision.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
I think it’s an incredible time to be joining our industry. The demand for services has exploded, and there are more job opportunities now than ever before. If you are in the industry and looking for a role, please, please get in touch! I am also extremely excited about the collaboration opportunities we are exploring- all with the goal of creating a warm, inviting environment for our special needs clients and their families and a sense of community.

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