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: 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 for our autistic son. Now at FirstLight, we are making a difference in the lives of our clients and their families each and every day.” Prior to starting FirstLight, John had a multi-year career in finance, university teaching, and consulting. “Solving complex problems to provide folks with exceptionally high quality service is what I’ve always done. I’ve learned that this begins with being a good listener.” John enjoys gardening and community service. John is a Trustee of the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield and is on the Board of Directors of Ability Beyond, a large non-profit agency caring for more than 3000 developmentally challenged adults in Connecticut and New York. John has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.
Wenjun Liu-Richards: ”I first encountered the world of home care while searching for care for my 21 year old, autistic son. I discovered the gap between the need for care and the circumstances that prevent great caregivers from meeting that need. I decided to build a service model that both serves clients’ and also considers those hard working individuals whose calling is caregiving. That became FirstLight!“ Wenjun’s previous career was in finance where, as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, she traded stock options. Before starting FirstLight, she spent some wonderful years as a stay-at-home mom caring for her sons and volunteering in her community. She has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Penn State University.
Ryan Ventura: Ryan joined FirstLight in 2016. “I care about people, and I have seen how people’s lives improve when they join a community that loves and supports them. In today’s world, it often takes a team to meet people’s complex care-needs, especially those of seniors and folks with special needs.” Prior to FirstLight, Ryan served as a Counselor, Pastor, and Manager in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Today, Ryan works to strengthen community relationships, and build a robust caregiving network. In his free time, Ryan likes to travel with his family or read a great book.
Debbie Battista: Debbie is our Executive Director serving the Shoreline & New Haven Communities. She joined FirstLight in the fall of 2019. She has spent almost three decades in Healthcare, and Education. “I have always felt that caring for others is a privilege that should not be taken lightly. I accepted this role at Firstlight because the leadership exemplifies good core values, and demonstrates a strong moral compass.” When she isn’t busy at work you will find her visiting her mother, who is Memory care, as well as, enjoying her husband and three children, snuggling with her dogs.
Dana Fiebig: Dana joined the FirstLight team in 2017, “As the go to person for Human Resources, I ensure that we select only the best and most skilled caregivers so that our clients get the highest quality of care”. Before coming to FirstLight, Dana worked at a nonprofit organization for 11 years mentoring children and young adults. She enjoys spending time with her family and being at the beach, no matter the season.
Brianna Suvoski: Brianna joined FirstLight in 2016 starting out as a caregiver. She is now responsible for all scheduling for FirstLight Home Care clients and staff. ”Getting everyone in the right spot at the right time is like solving a giant Rubik’s Cube puzzle every day. It’s challenging, but I love it.” In her spare time, you will find her hiking with her dog or spending time with family and friends.
Jacqueline Mooney: Jacqueline joined the FirstLight team in 2019. “I am passionate about keeping our senior population safe and importantly, happy, wherever they now call home. I truly cherish the relationships I develop with my clients and their families as together we navigate the sometimes difficult road of senior care.” In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and friends, or by the water.
Maya Diaz: Maya joined the FirstLight team in 2019. She coordinates live-in care. Maya brings FirstLight several years of experience scheduling care. “Because live-in caregivers are in clients’ homes, often 24/7, selecting and scheduling them presents special challenges. But, when we get it right, it is exceptionally satisfying.“ Maya enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Jennifer Lewis: Jen joined FirstLight at the end of 2019 as a Human Resource Director. She came to work for the company with the goal of perfecting any and all Human Resource policies and procedures. She is also supporting the Branford Shoreline office. “I have many years in healthcare, and knowing that you are a part of good people helping, good people, it’s just rewarding.” Jen has a long history in Assisted Living, Human Resources, and Sales. She is a wife to her wonderful husband Adam, and a mother to her beautiful 5 month old daughter, Ella. Family is her main focus in life and when she is not at work, she is with her family and her dogs.
Samantha Lawlor: Sam came to work at FirstLight in order to continue helping others while also gaining Health Administration experience. Previously she worked as a Care Coordinator for a Senior Living Center facility. “Being hands on with the residents showed me how important and meaningful it is to ensure quality care is being provided to seniors.” At FirstLight Sam works as a scheduler in the office working to guarantee that our clients are properly matched with the caregivers that best meet their needs. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with friends and family, or decompressing with a nice book.