Grows Her Business Empire In A Different DirectionIn the past year, Alisa Sigman has changed both her personal and professional life in a big way. She is ready for the challenge of change and the joy of fulfilling new dreams.
From the beginning, whether it was with Integrity Home Health Services or the businesses she runs now, Sigman has had one goal. “My passion is taking care of people. When I started the home health agency, I had worked for other private owners of home health and hospice companies in Las Vegas, and I felt they didn’t give back to their employees or treat their patients like they were part of the family. I was very motivated to address these needs when I started Integrity,” she explained.
“I knew that with my common sense and strong work ethic, I could help provide services that were either lacking or in drastically short supply. I work until the job is done. Often, that means working very long hours, but it is worth it.” While she does not have any formal education in health care, Sigman learned along the way and always surrounded herself with the best staff.
On Sept. 1, 2004, she mortgaged her home to begin Integrity Home Health Services as a startup business. Integrity celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014. In March of this year, she sold the business to Encompass Home Health, which operates over 140 home health agencies nationwide.
“Part of the reason I sold Integrity was because I knew I could only take the business to a certain level. With the sale, I know Integrity will continue to be a legacy in the community. We have established ourselves as a name brand for the quality of care we provide. The only way to take it to the next level was to go corporate. I was very proud that Encompass wanted to purchase our company. Encompass has been consistently ranked by various polls of employees as one of the best companies to work for. They have locations in numerous states. But what I like best about them is that they don’t call their home office corporate. Instead, they call it home base. Also, better benefits can be offered to the staff.”
I am very proud that we provide hands- on care for the children every single day…
The deal was very profitable for Sigman, but she is not content to just relax. Sigman is an entrepreneur and owns other businesses, which include Watch Me Grow (watchmegrowlv.com). Watch Me Grow celebrated its sixth year of operation in March. The company provides child care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years Currently 185 children are enrolled in the center with licensing for 248.
WMG still remains a family business, with Sigman’s sister-in-law running the business and her niece and nephew enrolled in the program. Her son Tyler is the head cook at the facility. Her brother remained with Integrity Home Health Care as administrator, as did her son Ryan, daughter, Danielle, and mother, Diane.
Sigman is passionate about the care of children. “I am very proud that my sister-in-law and I provide hands-on care for the children every single day. The children are there five days a week spending more time with us than with their parents, and we need to treat them like part of the family, just like we did for the home health agency.”
Sigman is very close to her family, which brought her to Southern Nevada. Her aunt and uncle were the first to move to Las Vegas 30 years ago, followed by her grandparents, her mother and then her immediate family, including three children.
“My daughter graduated from UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, and she is going to continue with physical therapy training so she can become a physical therapist. She lives in Austin (Texas) right now and is very happy. She is also a certified coder and has worked for me at Integrity for quite some time,” Sigman said with pride.
Speaking about her children also brings her joy. Her son Ryan, with an associates degree in liberal arts, “continues to work for Integrity as the human resource manager and was my right hand in helping me operate the business. He helped run the agency when I owned it.”
“My son Tyler works at Watch Me Grow as the head cook. He prepares all of the kids’ meals. His 5-year-old cousin, my nephew Jase, loves that his cousin Tyler cooks his lunch for him every day.”
Sigman got involved with a second business last year as part of a group called NLVG LLC. The group is entering into a new business area known as Medical Marijuana Establishment, or MME. “The group applied for licenses in the city of North Las Vegas for a dispensary, cultivation and infusion business. We were approved for cultivation, so we purchased a property in Apex (Nev.) I met with the mayor of North Las Vegas, John Lee, numerous times before we bought that land. We are currently working on building our structure so we can cultivate medical marijuana,” she said.
The main reason she got involved with this business was to take care of people with medical marijuana. “Most of my family has passed away from being sick, and cancer runs in my family. Three years ago, my aunt, who was like a second mother to me, was diagnosed with cancer. She was given about a year to live.”
Sigman moved her aunt into a condo, and she and her family took care of her. “During that time, she didn’t want to eat and was miserable. I knew medical marijuana might alleviate some of her symptoms. IShe didn’t know anything about making pot brownies. When she looked into it, she learned how to bake them and it was the only thing that helped her. She wasn’t as emotional, it improved her appetite and she began to enjoy life again. Working in home health care, I witnessed so many patients who were ill and benefited from using medical marijuana. Medical marijuana isn’t only indicated for cancer patients, but it also has proven benefits for many other diseases. I am a big fan of making marijuana legal in all 50 states. I want it regulated so that people who are ill can have access to this medicine, whether it is just getting some much needed sleep or making them comfortable on their last days. In simple terms, it can help them enjoy their lives.”
On a more personal level, after 26 years of marriage, she got a divorce. “My ex-husband and I are still best friends,” she said. “I was 15 when I met him, and we grew up together. We got married when I was 21, but things change. We are both very happy now.”
With all of the changes that have happened in her life, Sigman now has the time to start giving back to her community. “I want to lobby for issues that are important to me, such as the legalization of marijuana. I don’t smoke it personally, but I want to educate people about the benefits of medical marijuana. It can be relaxing and help with sleep. Studies have shown it is not a gateway drug to the use of harder drugs but, like alcohol, it must be used responsibly.”
She is also involved with the politics in Southern Nevada. To date, her efforts have focused on organizing and contributing to fundraisers for different political candidates. One of her aspirations is to someday enter into politics, but she is taking time to evaluate what her future may hold. She has not ruled out the idea of possibly running for political office.
Sigman is also looking forward to enjoying vacations and traveling more. “But I don’t know that I will ever stop working,” she admitted. “I love living in Las Vegas. It is a 24-hour town and I really love that.”
“I was blessed with Integrity and Watch Me Grow. Not only did I have employees who wanted to work for me, but they were also people I could call friends. Many stayed with me for the entire time I owned Integrity and others were with me seven to eight years. They believed in what I was doing. It isn’t about the money. It’s more about doing the right thing. Selling the company was difficult, but it was the right thing to do. I knew the employees would have the opportunity for better benefits that I could never provide being a small business owner.”
She loves being an entrepreneur. “Any business I do, I want to do the very best I can. All businesses are the same. Owning a business, particularly a startup business, is very stressful, especially the day-to-day operations. It is very hard to keep money in the bank and budget unexpected expenses. There is also keeping staff, clients and vendors happy. I have often said, the job that is the least appreciated belongs to the owner. Nobody ever goes to the owner and tells them what a great job they are doing, but the owner is expected to praise the employees.” Still, Sigman would not have it any other way.
Alisa Sigman is blessed with family, friends and thriving businesses and is now looking toward the future. Her ideas on creating a better life by working diligently and using common sense to achieve goals have proven to be a philosophy for success. She wants women (and men), regardless of their background and education, to realize that they can accomplish anything as long as they are wiling to work for it.