Growing up with a family-owned health insurance business, Raegan Le Douaron was expected to help out after school and later on, breaks from college. Spending her spare time filing case management reports and taking precertification information, her younger self vowed two things: To never work for her parents, or for her parents.
“I used to say that to anyone who would listen,” Le Douaron recalled. “There was a much more exciting life to be lived and I was going to live it!”
And she did, traveling the world, getting married, running several successful careers, and then returning home….to now run the family business!
Raegan Le Douaron was promoted to President of WeCare tlc, the leading workplace healthcare company, in 2020.
“Never say never!” Le Douaron laughed. “My journey to WeCare tlc and the healthcare industry is definitely an unconventional one. But I’m so honored by our company’s accomplishments and thrilled to lead the charge to change how healthcare is delivered across the United States. I can now look back and see how the steps of my path led me back here.”
But Le Douaron could not see her path as a young student at Florida State University.
“I was at a point in life where I was just drifting, with no idea of what I wanted to do,” she recalled. “I was just trying to live up to what was expected of me.”
Then in her junior year, her brother, Dustin, died in an automobile accident.
“Losing my brother completely shook me to my core. He was the most important person to me in the world. Growing up with our parents divorced, it was always him and me, Raegan and Dustin. We were each other’s biggest supporters and toughest critics. He was the best,” she said.
Losing her beloved brother was heartbreaking, but in the aftermath Le Douaron was able to summon a sudden purpose.
“Dustin’s death gave me the strength to trust myself. I suddenly knew that if I could survive this, I would be OK no matter what. It was shortly after this that I decided to follow my love of food and cooking and go to culinary school. I began to feel drive and ambition for the first time,” said Le Douaron.
She moved to Rhode Island to study at the prestigious Johnson & Wales culinary school. She landed a job at the posh Castle Hill Inn in Newport, learning to survive in an uber-competitive, fine dining kitchen.
“I was too short, so I became an expert at scaling any surface, so I didn’t have to ask for help. I carried pots and pans that were bigger than me and had burns up and down my arms from having to reach through flames on burners I was too short to reach over. I came in earlier, and worker harder. Every. Single. Day. I was not graceful, but I was persistent. Eventually I became better, gained the Chef’s confidence, and worked my way up.”
Le Douaron traveled around Europe working with fine chefs and making wonderful food. But when she eventually returned home to Central Florida, she could not find the same fine-dining opportunities and so took a detour into hospitality industry sales. She found her kitchen skills translated well to sales, where she was able to multitask without stressing and deliver consistent results.
Her success attracted the attention of some interesting business executives: her parents.
“The day came when they saw the success I was having in my sales career, and they asked me to come work at their reinsurance company,” said Le Douaron.
She agreed. But while reinsurance was financially rewarding, Le Douaron was more interested in her family’s newest venture, WeCare tlc, which manages healthcare centers for U.S. companies looking to cut costs while promote employee well-being. She began helping with brand development, the sales presentation and creating structure around processes.
“I quickly became inspired by what WeCare tlc had to offer,” she said. “A dedicated health center for companies to offer their health plan members to use at no cost to them? A health center totally devoted to improving the lives of people? Promoting health and wellness in a country that has a broken health care system? The chance to help grow a company that I believed in from the ground up? Yes, please!” Her parents were in turn inspired by her commitment to the fledgling company, and the success she delivered. In January they named her President.
“Raegan has been instrumental in building the foundation of, and growing WeCare tlc,” said Judy Garber, former President and new co-CEO. “She is a tremendous asset to the company and shares the same vision and principles WeCare tlc was founded on. I expect Raegan to keep pushing the company to new heights.”
WeCare tlc now manages 54 near or on-site healthcare centers for companies across the nation. Patients who visit employee health centers have access to primary care services, chronic disease management and a formulary.
“I get the chance to bring a product to market that is truly different,” Le Douaron said. “I’m passionate about health, diet, and how the two set the stage for a healthy life. I love that we are not only making changes in the lives of people, but because health care is local, we get to improve entire communities,” she said.
The girl who wanted nothing to do with the family business is now excited to go to work each day.
“My experience has been varied, and until recently I was unsure of how it tied together,” Le Douaron said. “But I now see that there was no other path for me to take. I am truly grateful for all of it, and I can’t wait to see what is next!”