RALA Success Stories: Donald & Talinda

Donald and Talinda Kelly hit a home run with their new custom-designed senior housing, after attending the Residential Assisted Living Academy. “God was leading me,” Don said. “And then (Gene) came up.” After attending the RAL Academy’s 3-day fast track course, Don insisted that his wife sign up to see what it was all about. She suggested the online classes, but Don was determined to get Talinda in the 3-day course. “Gene takes (students) to tour his level 3, 4 and 5 homes,” Donald said.  “You get to see, touch and feel, you get class interaction – you really need to go.”

In March, Talinda registered for the 3-day RAL Academy course. “I get it now.” She said. “Let’s do this.” Also in March, they were approved and started their business. “It was a God-send,” Don said. “Once I left the class I was empowered.” This is the right time to sign up. Today, there’s a silver tsunami of seniors, estimated at 77 million baby boomers, with 10,000 people turning age 65 every day, and 4,000 turning age 85. The Kelly’s Kansas City assisted living home is meeting the needs of these aging seniors and is a heart-warming success for the RAL industry nationwide.

Good News Spreads Fast

The must-read story is spreading fast. Recently, KCTV Channel 5 News reporter, Betsy Webster, featured RAL Academy student Don Kelly in an article titled, Senior home in Johnson County is a landmark first. Assisted living homes are generating media attention across the country, but this success story is quite unique. Don’s childhood is marked by humble beginnings, growing up across the street from Municipal Stadium. It was Christmas day 1971 when the Chiefs vs. Dolphins playoff game was the longest in NFL history at Municipal Stadium. Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, broke the baseball color line when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson’s journey started at Municipal Stadium playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. During Kelly’s childhood, he was not able to step foot into the legendary stadium, because his family couldn’t afford tickets. That didn’t stop him from capturing clips in his consciousness while watching from their third-story window.

Stadium To Senior Living Home

Thirty years later, they purchased the entire vacant block where the municipal stadium once stood. The couple built Our Home Senior Care, an assisted living residential home with 12 bedrooms, 6,600 square feet and luxury touches throughout. A black kid raised across the street from a stadium that he couldn’t afford admission, now owns the land and the first senior home in Johnson County. They named it Monarch Manor, honoring the legendary Negro Leagues team that once played baseball there. The Monarch Manor is not a big box nursing facility. It offers a much greater level of care, more independence, and a family-style feel. Don is also a church pastor and he says that his entrepreneurial enthusiasm comes from God, and his fearless confidence is inspired by faith and family. His vision is to combine construction with connection – the power couple plans to build more assisted living homes.

What’s Stopping Some People From Pursuing Opportunities

  • Personal Limitations
  • Lack of Passion 
  • Lack of Persistence 
  • Talking Oneself Out of a Good Thing
  • Fear 
  • Ill-Equipped 
  • Lack of Examples to Follow

Donald says, successful people are usually the ones who push through obstacles, find others who have succeeded and learn from them. “When they don’t have the answers they usually keep asking until they get them,” he said. Donald had experience with homebuilding and found business quite difficult through the economic downturn of 2008. 

He persisted with a “can do” attitude.  It was after his business began rebuilding that he came across the RAL Academy. One of the responses they often get from residents and people who tour their RAL facility is that “it feels like home.” 

People often reply that “this is the kind of place that I could live in.” Their business model also includes comprehensive support for residents who need memory care and adult day services.

Doing Good And Doing Well

What is the shared motivation between Donald and Talinda Kelly that fuels their success in residential assisted living? “We are only blessed so we can be a blessing,” Donald said.

Talinda’s passion to do good is motivated by interacting with her mom in rehab. Frustrated by the limited resident-to-caregiver ratio, she wanted to make a difference. “It inspired us to do something better, instead of complaining about it,” Talinda said. “We can build something, we can do something.” As a result, their journey to do good and do well started with the Residential Assisted Living Academy. Residential assisted living is the largest market growth opportunity in a generation.

The 3-Day RALAcademy course is putting people on a fast track to support and success. Students are learning how to capitalize on this mega-trend. Step-by-step students are learning A-Z how to secure a RAL business. Some students say the courses are inspired by God. RAL Academy owner, Gene Guarino, is determined to do good and do well, while sharing his success secrets with others. Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn more about how Donald and Talinda Kelly hit a homerun their first time in the ballpark of residential assisted living. According to Donald, “The thing that separates successful people from the rest is persistence mixed with passion.”