“We want to give back to our parents because now we realize, as parents ourselves, how much they gave to us,” said Jodie Willobee. These inspiring and selfless words come from a Grand Ledge resident who is taking huge strides at changing the way we care for our elders. A Grand Valley State University graduate and co-founder of the Ahlov app, Willobee comes from a strong family-oriented background. And, she’s developed an app that will not only give her an opportunity to give back but will give others the same opportunity with a chance to care for their elders through smartphones. With the press of a button, your phone sends a message to your choice of any three different devices: another smartphone, a flip phone or a landline.
“We now have children and have struggled to support our parents when they live all over the country,” said Willobee. “We created Ahlov to help people like our parents to live their lives, getting some support when they need it, and allowing them to use their existing phone, landline, flip phone, or smartphone.”
Willobee and her husband, Steve, created the application together. They also share three kids: two 15-year-olds and one 17-year-old young man. “All three kids are super talented and are all on different paths,” said Willobee. “It is so amazing getting to watch them grow up.”
Because the business is so prevalent in the household, the children are always a part of the conversation. Positive and open communication in the household sets the tone for stepping out of your comfort zone to do what is important. About their marriage, Willobee also credits Ahlov with creating a stronger bond.
The moment Ahlov became available on iTunes was one of Willobee’s biggest accomplishments. When looking back on her career, she is grateful for those who helped her get to where she is today.
“When you find a great mentor … they can see the red flags and help you illuminate the green lights,” said Willobee. “Mentors push you out of your comfort zone and see you for who you really are. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those who pushed me.”
With every step along her professional journey, Jodie learns more about herself and the business world, as well as being a mother and a wife. She has developed patience, an impressive work ethic and a will to succeed along the way.