I was born and raised with my parents and two older sisters in north eastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) 100 miles north of Philly and 100 miles south of NYC. Other than a small stint in Toms River NJ, I have spent nearly 42 of my now almost 48 years of my life here. I am the youngest and only son born to two hard working parents. Dad (Frank) was a prison guard and mom (Kathy) an administrative assistant. I attended the local Pittston Area public school district. Go Patriots!!
I participated in basketball, football and baseball. Of the three, baseball was my passion and best sport. In little league I had one game with 17 strikeouts! Fun Fact…I am a southpaw and only one that anyone can remember in my family for at least 3-4 generations! Being an athlete most of my life and enjoying lifting weights, I got involved with natural bodybuilding. I competed in a natural competition when I was 19 years old and placed 1st in my division and 2nd overall for the teens division!
My passion for sports and exercise (weightlifting) combined with my ongoing desire to learn more and become better educated lead me down the path of wanting to understand how the body worked at a deeper level. I decided I wanted to go to college for something related to the body and exercise. Physical Therapy albeit was an obvious and simple choice!!
I attended the local community college (LCCC) for 3 years and then obtained my Bachelors in Bio. degree (Pre PT) from East Stroudsburg University. After being rejected my first year applying to PT school I worked 2 jobs. One I was a full time PT Tech in a local outpatient company and the other was at a local pool company doing sales. I re applied to PT schools the second year and was waitlisted and eventually accepted into the PT program at Hahnemann University (now Drexel Univ) in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, PA. I attended Hahnemann from June 0f 97’ until graduation in May of 99’.
Upon graduating I was offered and accepted a staff PT position in Howell, NJ with one of the largest corporate PT companies in the country, Novacare. After working here for just 3 short months I was promoted to a Clinical Manager role at a facility in Freehold, NJ (about 20 minutes from Great Adventure). I worked there for 9 months.
Upon receiving some life altering news regarding my dad who at the time was only 59yo, was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic and liver cancer with only months to live. I resigned from my position and moved back home to assist my mom in caring for my dad and to enjoy as much as possible the remaining time I would have with my father. I was offered a staff PT position with a local smaller private practice PT clinic just 5 miles from my home. It was great to be home but difficult and challenging to deal with the decline and pending death of my dad.
My dad died roughly 6 weeks after I moved back home. I am eternally grateful that I was able to get back home and enjoy the remaining time I had with him and help out my mom! Also, I am certain you have heard that bad things happen for good reasons! Well, this was definitely the case for me. Just 6 short months after my dads’ passing I met (on a blind date nonetheless) my wife Courtney of 18 years and mother of our 4 children (Rose 16, Juliet 14, Francis 12, Beau 10).
After working for this company for a little over 1 year I was offered a clinic manager position which I accepted and ran the clinic for nearly 2 years at which time I developed the itch for something more. Fun Fact…My wife was the real driving force and motivation behind pushing me (us) to open our own PT business. Quite frankly, I did not think we could do it! I wanted to be an entrepreneur but simply did not think it was financially or physically possible! I could not even spell entrepreneur at that time but I knew I wanted to be one. So with the love and support of Courtney we began the journey of becoming business owners in December of 2002.
April 1st (no this not an April Fool’s joke) 2003, Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (CPTR) was born! Roughly 2 months prior to this I left (well was kind of forced to leave my position when they learned I was working on my own business) and began working full time for a local home health agency. When CPTR came to fruition I reduced down from full time to per diem work and began seeing patients at CPTR.
Our first week we saw a grand total of zero, zip, none, nada patients!! Yikes!!! We knew it would be tough, but this is not what we had expected. I knew Courtney and our soon to be first born child were counting on me so we had to make this work. Boom…We got our first patient! An OT who I had worked with at the home health agency was in a car accident and needed PT. We were finally in business.
It certainly was not all rainbows and unicorns from there. I distinctly remember being down to our last $700 from our $80,000 bank loan, which we had no business being given, and the next monthly payment for nearly every damn thing was just around the corner. We were working on and waiting on insurance checks to start rolling in and thank God they did! Just in a nick of time too! It was just Courtney (still pregnant) and I for almost the first 12-15 months.
We finally hired an aide and Courtney was able to cut back a bit and get off her very swollen and sore feet! We opened our second clinic roughly two years later. Again, this was all new to us. Balancing 2 different locations and running between the two. We did not have good systems in place and struggled to make it work. The good news is that we figured it out. The bad news is that we took the long hard road without any shortcuts. Fast forward to the development of clinics 3-6!
NLPT and the founding members have assisted me and my staff in the development, implementation, execution of, and ongoing improvement of the strategies and systems I need to handle day to day business ops and scale our business. CPTR currently has 25 full time employees, 3 part time employees and currently see anywhere from 650-750 visits per week. None of this is possible without a few essential items: strong team, tracking of metrics, accountability, leadership, NLPT and proper coaching and mentoring of all involved in the organization!
To provide for my family
To be someone known and respected for what they do in the community
To give back
To make my family proud
To enjoy family time and watching my children grow
To become a better person
To build multiple businesses
To love what I was doing
To buy a cool sports car
To go on exciting vacations
To show my kids/family new things
To send my kids to private school
To volunteer and donate time, effort and money to valuable causes
To build a legacy my family, wife, parents, kids would be proud of
To leave the world a better place
If you are reading this, call, email or text me and we can sit down over a cup of tea and I will gladly share my journey with you and discuss how NLPT and its’ founders helped me become a better PT, businessman, owner, father, and husband!! Simply too much to chat about in 1 session and jot down on paper here! Ha…
NLPT!!! Assisted me in the development and ongoing growth and implementation of the strategies and resources necessary to help CPTR meet and exceed our Mission!!
Work “On” my business not “In” my business in order to scale and grow.