FirstLight is About People
Home Care is Not a Career, It’s a Calling
We know your first priority when choosing a home care provider is finding someone you can trust and rely on… someone who will care for your loved one as you would, and as we would our own. We’ve been where you are, and this is one of the main reasons we chose to be in this business.
John Richards: Co-Owner
Together with his spouse, Wenjun, John founded FirstLight in 2015. “Wenjun and I know that great home care can truly make a difference in people’s lives. We learned this from personal experience while caring for my aging parents and our autistic son. Now, at FirstLight, we are the ones making a difference in the lives of our clients and their families each and every day.” Prior to starting FirstLight, John had a multifaceted career in finance, university teaching and consulting. “Solving complex problems to provide folks with exceptionally high quality service is what I’ve always done. My success starts with being an extraordinary listener.” John is a Trustee of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield and on the Board of Directors of Ability Beyond, a large, non-profit agency caring for more than 3,000 developmentally challenged adults in Connecticut and New York. He has a Bachelors from University of Illinois and a Master of Economics from the University of Wisconsin. In his free time, John enjoys gardening and community service.
Wenjun Liu-Richards: Co-Owner
“I first encountered the world of home care while searching for care for my adult autistic son. I discovered circumstances that created a gap between the need for care and the ability of great caregivers to meet that need. I decided to create a service model that both serves clients and the hard working individuals whose calling is caregiving. That model became FirstLight!” Before spending several wonderful years as a stay-at-home mom caring for her two sons, Wenjun had a successful career in finance, trading stock options as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley and then Merrill Lynch. She has a Bachelors from Hunan University in China and a Master of Environmental Science from Penn State. When not working or volunteering in her community, Wenjun is happiest spending time with her sons.
Patricia Hooper: Operations Manager Norwalk
Patricia, a veteran of the senior care industry, crossed over from assisted living to home care when she joined FirstLight. Having managed both standard and memory care assisted living, she brings a wealth of understanding to identifying and addressing the needs of both clients and caregivers alike. “I love bringing a human connection into the process of filling a client’s request. Forming relationships with our clients and caregivers brings me great joy.” Patricia holds a Bachelors of Science from North Carolina Central University. She spends her free time collecting spiritual books and journals, and loves being a positive light to friends, family and strangers alike.
Jennifer Lewis: Human Resource Director
Jen joined FirstLight with extensive experience in both Human Resources and Sales. Her career has been dedicated to senior care and her experience allows her to successfully build our impressive caregiving team. “I have many years in healthcare and have not seen as wonderful a caregiver roster as we have here at FirstLight. Working with such an amazing team is an absolute privilege.” Jen has a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University and an MBA in Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a wife to her wonderful husband Adam, and a mother to her beautiful daughter, Ella. Family is her life’s focus and Jen embraces every moment with her loved ones and her dogs.
Heather Cairella, LPN: Operations Manager
Heather brings to FirstLight not only nursing experience, but an expertise in dementia care. Her valuable skill set precisely guides the FirstLight caregivers in providing unsurpassed care. “Though the caregiving industry is considered non-medical, the best care is provided when the team is medically informed. I greatly enjoy lending my nursing and dementia care knowledge to our team because I know it makes our team the best it can possibly be.” Heather holds her LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in the state of Connecticut and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. When she isn’t in the office, you will most likely find Heather with her rescue dog Francine.
Jennifer White: Care Coordinator
Jen first joined FirstLight in the summer of 2020 as a caregiver, and then moved to her position as Care Coordinator in Fall of 2020. Jen loves spending her free time working in her garden and reading a good book.
Madeline Marlin: Administrative Assistant
Maddie joined FirstLight in the summer of 2020 as an Administrative Assistant. “We put a lot of thought and effort to ensure that every client and family has a positive experience. It brings me joy to keep everything organized and looking good so we can always put our best foot forward.” When she isn’t at work, Maddie spends her time working and dancing at a ballroom dance studio.