40 Under 40 The Class of 2012

Danielle Lord: 29

Vice President of Operations, O’Connell Care at Home & Staffing Services

Lord-DanielleA friend and colleague of Danielle Lord called her “a dangerous business person with a very big heart.”
Laughing as she explained that dichotomy, Lord admitted, “I’m very no-nonsense, and I’m not shy about getting to the point.” But, she added, as the director of an organization overseeing the home health care needs of hundreds of clients, with an out-call staff of 250 nurses, “we have a big responsibility; we’re taking care of people at the end of their lives. It’s very important to be doing the best you can.”
Lord arrived at O’Connell upon completion of her master’s in Health Care Management from Springfield College. “But I never thought I’d work in elder care,” she said. “When you’re getting that type of degree, you’re expecting to work in a hospital. I didn’t even know something like this existed. And now I basically run the whole company!”
And runs it quite well. Under her leadership, O’Connell’s has doubled both its visiting nurses and administrative staff. Once a presence only in the Greater Holyoke area, the company has branched out to Hadley, and there is currently an office getting underway in Franklin County.
The company’s president and CEO, Fran O’Connell, has high praise for Lord. “Whether it’s an employee, customer, or patient, Danielle never forgets that these folks are people, and that they deserve respect and dignity. She has the amazing ability to balance the needs of the business with the needs of the individual.”
Balance is a word that figures prominently in Lord’s life as well. While advancing her career in the health care field, she is also becoming more active in the community; she’s currently vice president of the Holyoke Rotary Club, which means she’ll lead that organization next year.  “We’re active globally,” she said of that organization, “but also very invested in the Holyoke community.”
Meanwhile, her home life is important to her as well. Lord and husband, Brett, have two dogs, Boggs and Layla, with whom she chose to share the spotlight at her 40 Under Forty photo shoot.
— Dan Chase