Oct 23, 2021 10:03:14 AM

Going the Extra Mile, from the Football Field to Franchising Compassionate Care

Member Spotlight: Tafa Jefferson

Orange County, CA - September 17 - As founder and CEO of an in-home care franchise, Tafa Jefferson goes the extra mile to support his community. Formerly a free agent in the NFL playing for the Chicago Bears, Jefferson combined his own athletic disposition, inspiration from his father’s industrious mindset, and the familiarity of his mother’s career in caregiving to create his successful franchise Amada Senior Care.

Despite signing with the NFL, Jefferson never saw himself as a football player. He grew up playing basketball thanks to his height, but in his senior year of high school he fell in love with football. Predicated on one year of football experience from high school, Jefferson then played two years of football at Golden West Community College while he earned his AA degree.

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I went the JC route because I didn’t really know what I wanted to study,” Jefferson began. “At 17 or 18, you don’t really have a good grasp of what you really want to do. Playing football was always kind of a vehicle for me to ensure my education was paid for and I was fortunate enough to earn several scholarship offers.”

Jefferson had to make the decision whether he would take those scholarships out of state for a large football program or remain in California. He chose to stay close to family and his girlfriend at the time—whom he later married—and transferred to University of the Pacific to study business.

His inevitable path toward becoming a business-owner was threefold with the first two reasons being that he earned his business degree at University of the Pacific, and then Jefferson experienced a full year playing for the Chicago Bears which he noted functioning more like a business than recreation.

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Although I enjoyed it and it was a wonderful experience, playing in the NFL is definitely a business,” explained Jefferson. “You’re expected to play through injuries. For me, again, the end goal was to get my education paid for and use football as a vehicle to meet my career goals.

The third piece of inspiration that led Jefferson to create Amada Senior Care was motivation from his family background.

My father was a young male living in the South, and he came to California around age 16 looking for opportunity as an entrepreneur starting a lot of businesses,” began Jefferson. “He’d have an idea or concept, and even if it crashed and failed, that would never ever get him down. He would always come back with a new, creative way to invent himself.”

Jefferson cited watching his father build himself up multiple times over a period of 40 years as deeply encouraging, but was able to discover his niche from his mother's career background.

I saw my mom caring for seniors her entire life, so quite naturally when I went to study business I felt inspired by her work as a caregiver,” Jefferson explained.

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Jefferson then founded Amada Senior Care as a home-based business in 1997 and has now grown to a franchise model replicable outside of Orange County and outside of California. Now operating in 47 states, Amada takes care of seniors in their homes as well as family members of any age needing any kind of healthcare from companionship and custodial care to caregiving to fully-licensed medical care.

Core values near and dear to us at Amada are being compassionate and charitable,” began Jefferson. “We are also a caregiver-centric organization, meaning that our best asset is our caregivers. If we take great care of them, they take great care of our clients.”

Amada Senior Care has had the unique opportunity to provide critical care at home during a global pandemic, implementing new technologies into their services such as virtual assessments and video conferences.

Sometimes, family members feel disengaged because they live in a state where they’re not able to see mom and dad,” Jefferson explained. “What we’re doing is layering new technologies on top of our existing infrastructure to provide interactive care. When you think about it, at the local, state and federal level, more people are pushing for families to age in place and this requires care at home.”

Jefferson shared how proud he was of his company not only being able to take care of seniors during a time of need but Amada Senior Care's crucially important ability to generate jobs and put food on the tables for many Americans.

Tafa Jefferson

This practice of paying it forward through his business model is also what inspired Jefferson to become a member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County and engage with projects focused on education. He explained how he wanted to find something that he and his wife could plug into with their children. Establishing connections in the Lincoln Club with individuals who share many of the same values was a no-brainer given his kids active involvement in local politics working on campaigns and even founding Turning Point USA chapters on their campuses.

There’s no better place for me and my wife to invest than in the youth,” Jefferson admitted. “We are all about building up future leaders, like minded leaders with strong minds and a good foundation.”

Having family-focused core values is what Jefferson attributes to his many successes. He expressed joy that his unique story has now come full circle, as Amada Senior Care is now the official provider for in-home care for the NFL, taking exclusive care of players' post-career as well as the coaches.

“One of the things that my father instilled in me was to be very industrious. If an opportunity presents itself, do the best that you can to make things happen. Be industrious, creative, and positive... always looking for the good in people.”
- Tafa Jefferson

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