Someone recently asked us what keeps us up at night and what gets us out of bed in the morning. Our answer was simple: The family business.

We don’t just run our business. We live our business.  And that tradition goes back a long way.

E.A. Gralia Construction was founded in 1966 by our grandparents, Ernie and Rose Marie Gralia. Since then, Gralia Construction has built over 5500 housing units as well as schools, a hotel, nursing homes and several housing developments for the elderly.

Grandpa’s claim to fame was pioneering many successful adaptive reuse projects. President Jimmy Carter had an interest in this kind of innovative housing and he once invited Grandpa to the White House to discuss it.

The early stages of our family’s involvement in elderly housing started with Pheasant Hill Village in 1979. Wilbraham Commons soon followed.

Over time, the next generation — our parents — all came to work at the company alongside their parents. Ernie Gralia III and his sister Carole established Westwood Management in 1988.

Ernie III was instrumental in expanding the company to include assisted living. Carole became the management operations person for elderly housing complexes and condominium developments, ultimately becoming the lead operations person for the assisted living businesses.

Our generation — Amie, Gary, Sara and Emily — started young. Washing dishes, mowing lawns. You name it, we did it. We’d inherited the work ethic and drive to make a difference in people’s lives from the generations that came before us and we made it our mission to continue the tradition and take The Arbors businesses to the next level.

Together with our spouses, we have driven all of the companies forward with a strong focus on personalized care and innovative programs designed to keep our residents and those in our home care program engaged, active and healthy.

Other important developments within the Gralia Group have been The Arbors Kids and Integra Home Health. Through our Arbors Kids childcare centers, we discovered there are many similarities to caring for people both young and old. And Integra has given us the amazing opportunity to bring our high level of care directly to people’s homes.

We may be a little bigger today, but our family philosophy remains the same:  Genuine kindness, comfort and care can make a big difference in people’s lives.