From Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Jonathan Ramaci is a mobile product and innovation visionary entrepreneur. He has founded multiple companies and is currently the CEO of Wellnest, a venture that he involved with for the past five years.

After graduating from the Citadel military college with a degree in business, Jonathan Ramaci served in the army for four years. He went on to work in research and development for Duracell. During his time with the company, he was one of the first to use the database system, Oracle. Oracle later recruited him and Jonathan managed the technology consulting practice for the company in their northeast region.

Through his work, Jonathan Ramaci saw the ability for companies to use the Cloud as an all-new model to host their information and decided to become an entrepreneur. His first company, Pangea Database Systems, was later bought by Rackspace. Early success gave Jonathan the bug to commit to being a serial entrepreneur and it has defined his life ever since.

Jonathan Ramaci was inspired to launch Wellnest after his family dealt with healthcare issues surrounding his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer. Because Jonathan and his siblings were dispersed across the U.S., it was difficult for his family to keep up to date with his mother’s condition and care. With an aim to support seniors and to ease the burden and provide a “circle of care” for families, Wellnest was born.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

That there’s an opportunity to positively change people’s lives and that includes not just the lives of seniors we directly affect with Wellnest, but also the adult children of seniors. From everything we’ve studied on the issue, the children are overwhelmed, so we can certainly touch that group as well. There’s a big, big market in that and we can have a lot of impact.  

What keeps you motivated?

Visualizing the possibility of what we can do and how unique the opportunity is and the validation that we’re getting in the marketplace from some major organizations motivate me. It’s all very fulfilling when you start out with an idea and then you go through a long process that is elevated by a partner with as many in-house experts as they have. That’s all motivating.

How has your company grown from its early days to now?

We’ve evolved in our offerings, but where we have really grown is in terms of the number of people that we’re able to bring on board and make a part of this vision.  Doing well by doing good has become our mantra, and it’s allowed us to grow in many different ways, from personal to our clientele to our geographical reach. We’re solving for a problem that’s not isolated to the United States. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that has allowed us to grow into Europe and India as well.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

There are many and I think I use little bits and pieces of all their influences. I would say in some respects, Elon Musk is a role model. He takes really big ideas in their early stages. People look at them as if they’re pie in the sky ideas, but then he brings them to reality.

Another role model for me was my grandfather, who was president in a local bank. He was a good man. He treated the janitor the same way as he would the senior vice president of the bank.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I have to constantly remind myself to try to maintain a balance. I have a tendency to work too much. I keep little pictures and mementos of my kids and my family on my desk to remind myself that there’s more to life than just work. I’ll tell myself, “You’ve worked enough today. It’s time to do something else.” Pay attention to the important things in life.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

I think one thing is always giving everyone a voice on my team. Recognizing that I don’t have all the answers and that the reason I asked all these other people on board was because they had something to contribute. I keep my mind open to the fact that a problem can be looked at many different ways and there are many potential routes to addressing them. Listening to my team, letting everyone finish what they’re going to say, and being the last one to speak, I try to do that a lot.

What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?

I would say to look at things with open eyes and have a very fresh perspective on things. Don’t follow, but lead. Don’t be prejudiced by the solutions that people are already working on that seem like the next great thing, but come up with your own because that’s probably where the really great ideas and innovations that will make a difference in your life all lie.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

Like I mentioned before about my grandfather, probably to treat the janitor like the senior vice president. Beyond that, from a business perspective, make sure you know your numbers. Absolutely know your numbers. Because if you don’t, you can have the best idea but the business you’re building around it will fail.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

In business, definitely starting an idea on a blank piece of paper at the age of 34 and growing it within two years into a multimillion-dollar business was one of my proudest accomplishments.   

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

Being involved in my kids’ lives and their activities is significant to me. We do things with the Cub Scouts, and I am involved in their schooling. They’re 11 and 8, so it’s a lot of fun with them at this age.

Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

I see Wellnest being a really integral part of the lifestyle of probably half of the homes in America, because they’re either occupied by a senior or the adult child of a senior.