Golden Bridges Inc. was founded in 2013 by three area women to help senior adults move to a new location, such as an assisted living apartment.

Golden Bridges Inc. was founded in 2013 by three area women to help senior adults move to a new location, such as an assisted living apartment.

On Nov. 17 the partners learned Golden Bridges is among four finalists in a Farm Bureau rural entrepreneur contest.

The partners are Suzanne Ellerbrock of Palmyra, Susan Scholz of Quincy, Ill., and Nancy Waters of Liberty, Ill.

They serve senior adults in a 100-mile radius of Quincy, Ellerbrock said. Since opening April 1, 2013, they have helped approximately 30 people move. “Our mission is to provide them with peace of mind during the time of transition,” she said.

As a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), Ellerbrock entered Golden Bridges in the Farm Bureau's Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Challenge. The contest is co-sponsored by the AFBF and Georgetown McDonough School of Business in Washington.

“We are extremely pleased to be representing our area in this national competition,” Ellerbrock said.

“We were selected from over 200 applicants from across the United States. We made the top 10 and made a video presentation, and from there were selected in the top four.” They will compete in the national contest in January 2015 in San Diego.

The other finalists are: Pasturebird LLC of Temecula, Calif., a cost-effective method of producing pastured poultry on a large scale; Pulaski Grow of Pulaski, Va., an aquaponics facility to provide local youth with job training; and ScoutPro of Lone Tree, Iowa, software to assist farmers with crop maintenance.

The sponsors reported the four finalists will each win $15,000. They will appear before a team of judges at the AFBF’s 96th Annual Convention in San Diego in January in hopes of winning the Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Award for an additional $15,000, and/or the Peoples’ Choice Award for $10,000 more.

For more about the contest, see  http://msb.georgetown.edu/newsroom/news/national-rural-entrepreneurship-challenge-four-finalists-compete-january. 

Partners wanted

to make a difference

Before founding Golden Bridges, “the three of us were looking for a way to work together and make a difference in our community,” Ellerbrock said. They found it in senior move management.

“We did some internet research and found the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Once we researched it, we joined the organization. We got certified through them and attend annual conferences for continuing education.”

They serve senior adults who have no family living near them, she said. “There are so many who don’t have family close by, and we are glad we can be the ones to help them.

“Most of the adult children today are busy working adults with families of their own, so we can help the aging parent during this time of transition.”

Most of their clients have been residents of Hannibal or Quincy, “who just go from one home to another.”

They have not needed to advertise, she said. Their clients “have found us, whether through word of mouth or on the radio,” Ellerbrock said. “We offer a free consultation and during that time learn about what their needs are.”

They do not handle finances, she said. “We do the things (related to moving) such as the mail, the telephone if necessary and the cable. Some people want to have an auction, so we help coordinate auctioneers.”

Asked how long they spend with each client, Ellerbrock reported, “The average time is two weeks, but we have spent up to six months with a client. We work with them at their own pace. … Some have been a day.

“Each client is different,” she added. “Some just want us to sort through their belongings when they are moving. … Others have us help them with packing, hiring the movers, and what we consider most important - settling them into their new home.”

“Our first client in Hannibal moved from a condo into independent living at Beth Haven,” Ellerbrock said. “They just wanted to downsize a little bit more.

“We have helped somebody find a place to move. A woman in Hannibal needed to go into a senior living community, and we took her to three.”

The business website is goldenbridges4you.com and the email address is info@goldenbridges4you.com

Waters may be contacted by phone at (217) 242-2898.

Ellerbrock’s phone number is (573) 406-3259.

Waters devotes full-time to Golden Bridges, while Ellerbrock and Scholz both have continued to work full-time at Blessing Hospital in Quincy. Ellerbrock is administrative coordinator of community relations, and Scholz is director of volunteer services.