The Dialogue with Katrina Kepf
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 127th installment visiting with Katrina Kepf, president of L.I.F.E. (Living Independently and Functionally in your Environment), which helps seniors and disabled members in our community be able to safely age in place in their home environment.
Describe what L.I.F.E does. We provide modification consultations/assessments in clients home, offering knowledgeable recommendations while focusing on safety and independence. As a Licensed Real Estate Agent, specializing in seniors, if client chooses to relocate, we can both list the residence for sale as well as pre-qualify homes that would accommodate the clients changing needs, assist in the relocation process, and if desired, help in providing information on local assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
How did you get started? I am a Registered Nurse and work primarily with seniors and the disabled. Individuals residing in homes without proper modifications for their physical needs or disease process, prevents them from leading independent lives and puts their safety at risk. I have a vision to provide these necessary modifications for our community, as well as to fund the modifications through our non-profit "L.I.F.E. Support" to those families with financial needs.
What is your background? I am a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Real Estate Agent. I have specialized in Seniors and the disabled for over 15 years. In my career as a nurse, I have completed countless home visits, provided modification recommendations, case management, discharge planning and operated a medical equipment loan closet for the ALS Association for the past 3 years. Becoming a Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist was the final piece of education to complete the triad of expertise to be able to develop this specialized business.
Who is your mentor? My husband, Pete Kepf, without a doubt. Without his support, I would have never been able to pursue my career as a Registered Nurse or develop this business to serve others. He is my greatest supporter, my mentor, as well as my life and business partner. He says that every great partnership has a "why"(me) and a "how"(him). This business is definitely a partnership of the best kind and our expertise and skills compliment one another very well.
Describe your customers. A senior citizen or individual diagnosed with disability that has the desire to age in place in the home of their choice.
What impact the business environment you work in? Most individuals prefer to age-in-place, safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. Many seniors and disabled are underserved, often overlooked and can be economically taken advantage of . We advocate for this underserved community to provide quality home modifications, and relocation services with integrity.
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. How much time it would REALLY take. Realistic startup costs. How warmly we would be been accepted.
What do you enjoy about the business? "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life" Confucius Serving and helping those in our community is more than a business, it is a calling that I am passionate about. The best thing about owning my own company the ability to be able to make positive changes in people's lives.