The New Year Brings a New Honor To Chamber Member Elder Law of Omaha 1/2/17 01/02/17 1:30:33 PM
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Elder Law’s team of professionals often goes “above and beyond” for their clients. Firm founder Catherine Swiniarski also cultivates a “family-centered work environment.”
The New Year Brings a New Honor
To Chamber Member Elder Law of Omaha
By Dan McCann
The Daily Record
The oldest of the nation’s more than 75 million baby boomers turned 70 in 2016.
Omaha, with its low cost of living and “health care in abundance,” was named a top city for baby boomers to live out their retirement years, according to a 2014 Milken Institute report.
Against that backdrop, it is not hard to build a case that Elder Law of Omaha, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for January, is operating at the right time – in the right place. Managing attorney and owner Catherine Swiniarski can thank her grandmother for that.
A 1986 graduate of Creighton University School of Law, Swiniarski practiced in a variety of settings – from corporate to private practice – until 2005, the year she entered the relatively new field of elder law.
“At the time, my grandmother was living in a senior care center and having trouble dealing with some Medicare issues. She asked me for help and after I was able to assist her, she started offering my services to the other residents…. for free,” Swiniarski recalled.
While Elder Law of Omaha does bill for its range of legal services – everything from long-term care Medicaid planning and asset preservation trusts to estate planning and probate/estate administration – the promise-in-return, says Swiniarski, is a devotion to superior client serv-ice.
“We consider ourselves to be a full-service firm,” she explains. “This means that we look at the goals and concerns of the client and find solutions that will fit not only their current needs but future needs as well.
“A client that comes in for estate planning may have also received a recent health diagnosis that will eventually lead to the need for long-term care. We can try to alleviate some of the stress that naturally occurs when making end-of-life decisions by providing them with a solid estate plan. At the same time, we can provide them with information on how to save their hard-earned assets while still getting the care that they will need in the future.”
Swiniarski said it is common for members of the Elder Law team to go above and beyond for the firm’s clients.
“They have chosen to include us in what can sometimes be a very difficult time of their lives and we do not take that responsibility lightly. For example, I have chosen to serve as a legal guardian and conservator for several elderly individuals in our community who do not have a local support system in place to handle their needs,” Swiniarski shared.
She founded Elder Law of Omaha (originally Elderlaw Associates of Omaha) in 2010 and recently opened a second office in Kearney.
“I started out with one employee, my trusted right-hand, Anita, who is also my cousin. Each year, as the need for our services has grown, we have added on to our team.”
Between the two offices, the firm currently has three attorneys, including Swiniarski, and ten employees.
“As a small business owner, I have the flexibility to empower my employees to fully utilize their education and skills,” Swiniarski said. “We have several staff members that hold multiple positions within our firm. For example, our marketing director also serves as the finance director and our office manager also serves as my primary legal assistant. I believe that providing the employees with the opportunity to expand their position within the team allows them to gain a vested interest in the overall success of our firm.”
She also believes in cultivating a family-centered work environment.
“In 2014, we implemented new technology that allows us to operate on a computer cloud-based system. Because of this, employees are able to work from home if necessary and still have the tools available for them to complete their work.”
Swiniarski continued, “We believe that family comes first. Employees are provided with the flexibility to adjust their schedules to attend family events, pick their children up at school, and even bring their child to work with them if they have a school holiday.”
That family-centric attitude extends to Elder Law of Omaha’s approach to its clients.
“We are in the unique position of providing peace of mind to not only our clients but also their families. Many clients choose to have their family involved throughout the process and we always encourage them to do so, if able,” she said.
Swiniarski said it is an honor to be named the Chamber’s first Small Business of the Month for 2017. She is excited to see what the future holds for the business she has worked so hard to grow.
“We are continuously looking for opportunities to expand our business in order to fulfill the growing need within our community for elder law attorneys. However, as we grow, I intend to maintain our family-oriented approach to serving our clients. We are, first and foremost, a small business that values our clients and employees.”
She added, “As companies grow, they can sometimes lose sight of their initial mission. For Elder Law of Omaha, that mission will always be to provide superior one-on-one attention and service to each and every client.”
United Republic Bank sponsors the Chamber’s Small Business of the Month award. To nominate a small business online, visit www.omahachamber.org. Nominees must be current Chamber members with 50 employees or less.