Mullady Voelker Alford, 29

Founder, Gifted Nurses Home Care

New Orleans native Mullady Voelker Alford has found a way to combine her two passions — business and helping people — with a company she believes is on the cutting edge of health care. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Alford worked for a local investment firm before Hurricane Katrina prompted her to change her focus from helping businesses improve their bottom lines to helping children traumatized by the storm. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Tulane and counseled kids who had experienced deaths of loved ones, violence or other losses.

“I loved that, but I found I really missed the business side of working,” she says. Alford joined Gifted Nurses, which provides supplementary nurse staffing for hospitals, but she missed helping people. Four months ago, Alford combined the best of both worlds by founding a Gifted Nurses home-care division, which provides in-home care for the elderly and families juggling the responsibilities of full-time jobs and caring for children and aging parents.

“People have more options in private care,” Alford says. “They get to dictate the options they want. We know the elderly population is growing and … people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. We want to help them do that.” — Graves

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