This week Broken Bow will officially welcome a new business to town, when Becky Pearson hosts a ribbon cutting and Business After Hours at her new business - Pearson Physical Therapy, PC.
For now, the business is located at the former home of Deb’s Embroidery on North 10th Avenue. However, this is just a temporary location as Becky and her husband, Chris, are in the process of building a professional building on West Highway 2. This building will be the permanent home of the PT office, as well as other local business offices.
Opening her own business is the culmination of a dream that began for Becky about 15 years ago when she started as a physical therapy assistant. A native of central Minnesota, Becky got the education which began her career in Duluth, Minn.
In 1996, Becky packed up and moved to Custer County Nebraska to take a new physical therapy job in Sargent.
“I was driving through this area and really liked it,” Becky says, explaining how she chose to move to Nebraska. “I have always loved to ride horses and thought this would be a good place for me.”
With her belongings, two horses and a dog, Becky relocated to an area where she didn’t know anyone, and was a long way from home. It was an adventure, but one that paid off.
“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else now. This is my home.”
Becky says the nice people in Sargent welcomed her into their community and made her feel at home. They even made sure she was never alone on a holiday or special occasion.
She had lived in Custer County for a couple of years when she met Chris Pearson. At the time he was a builder, living near Lincoln. With the desire to return to school and further her education, Becky joined Chris in Lincoln where they were married and built a new house.
As they began their new life together, Becky earned her bachelor’s degree at Doane College of Lincoln. She then began pursuing her master’s degree and enrolled in a program designed specifically for PT assistants working toward getting their degree.
For the next two years, Becky commuted every weekend to Findlay, Ohio, for classes. Near the end of that period the couple moved back to Broken Bow, making her weekend commutes a little more challenging, but doable.
“I would drive to Lincoln then fly to Minneapolis where some of my classmates would pick me up. Me and some of the other girls in the class roomed together in Findlay on the weekends.
“You wouldn’t think you would get that close to someone just seeing them on weekends,” Becky continues. “But we were together 24-7. We built life-long bonds. It was a great experience.”
The couple had their first child, Emma, in 2005, while Becky was doing her clinicals. She says it was interesting learning to balance being a new mom with having a new career.
After obtaining her degree, Becky’s first job was in Kearney where she performed a unique type of therapy, called HIPPO Therapy. This very special approach uses horses with children, to help them with gross motor development and coordination. The kids would not only ride the horses, but also took part in grooming them.
Thinking this was the perfect job for her - combining two of her loves, horses and therapy - proved not to be the case. “I learned that I value my time with my horses as ‘me time’,” Becky explains. “I am very protective of that time.”
The commute back and forth to Kearney for work was also getting to her and her young family. That is when she took a job at Valley County Hospital in Ord, where she worked as the director of the rehabilitation department. While in that position she helped Valley County Health Systems establish offices in Burwell and Loup City.
In the meantime, Becky gave birth to daughter number two, Gracie. When the opportunity came up to work in Broken Bow, she took it. At that time she went to work as a therapist at Golden LivingCenter.
“I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to have a private practice,” Becky says. “We felt like we were in a good place in our lives and the time was right to do that, so last fall I began looking for a good location.”
Duane and Deb Bryner made their building available to Becky as a temporary location, and she gladly accepted. The new building will be erected on the site where Chris grew up. Becky says having a builder in the family definitely has its benefits!
“Chris has been incredibly supportive through all of this,” she says. “So has the community. We have had a very good response.”
Pearson Physical Therapy opened for business Feb. 1, and Becky says business has been steady.
“Starting your own business takes a lot of planning. Being in the field for 15 years prior to this really helped me learn some necessary skills,” Becky explains. “It was an advantage to get to work in a variety of settings.
“Chris also gives me some very good business advice. Even though we are two completely different entities, we both strive for the same thing in our business - to provide good customer service.”
Becky says they plan to break ground on the new building this spring, and be in their new location by early fall 2011.