Rick and Dana Loewenstein
Rick and Dana Loewenstein may be recent business partners, but the couple, who have been married for 40 years, are enjoying working together as co-founders of TeamGame Advisors.
“We have a niche business,” said Rick, CEO. “We work with private equity and venture capital as well as family office-backed autism therapy providers to help them grow and scale their business.”
Rick is a Cranbrook Schools alum, and both of their sons also graduated from Cranbrook, where each won state hockey championships, and Rick worked as chief advancement officer for Cranbrook Educational Community. He followed that up with positions in the disability field, with positions which included CEO for JARC and chief strategy and growth officer for Centria Healthcare. “I really helped grow nationwide the autism therapy business,” he said.
In 2019, Rick was ready to go out on his own with a focus on helping autism therapy companies. Centria Healthcare and Judson Center were among his first clients.
“I wanted to grow and scale the autism therapy business and also work with nonprofits to help them grow their business and make impactful relationships in the communities that they serve,” he said.
Shortly after the pandemic hit, Dana left her position as director of strategic gifts for Michigan State University Hillel, an organization for Jewish student life on campus, and joined the business as managing partner.
It turns out the two make a great team. “At the end of the day, we feel really good about our work,” Rick said. “It’s been a really amazing ride.”
“It aligns perfectly with our values and our previous work,” added Rick, who is also passionate about food insecurity, previously serving as president and CEO for Gleaners Food Bank. “I had the experience of supporting people that need help. This mission was focused, organized and completely aligned with who we are as people.”
The needs of people with disabilities like autism changes over time from a support standpoint. “We can help them transition into the community with independent housing, employment and transportation,” he said. Among their clients is AngelSense, in Israel, who they have assisted with technical solutions for clients with autism.
With autism, early intervention and early diagnosis are the key to success. In 2013, the state of Michigan legislatively mandated that insurance companies in Michigan must offer applied behavior analysis therapy (ABA) to their members. ABA is the only evidence-based therapy approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the Surgeon General that has the most profound impact on children with autism.
Approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism as they are being better diagnosed and diagnosed earlier, and the autism spectrum disorder now includes Asperger’s. An increase in diagnosing autism translates to more people gaining access to services.
“The greatest reward is the impact we made in so many communities across the country and in people’s lives, having access to autism therapy,” said Dana. “It’s exciting to be a part of something growing organically, and it’s the first time we’ve worked together.”
“We help families get services that they need. If your child has a special need, your whole family has a special need,” said Rick. “Early diagnosis is tremendous and it leads to better outcomes,” added Dana.
Early in their careers, Rick worked for Little Caesars and Dana was a prosecuting attorney. “Our path to this point has been incredibly non-linear,” he said.
“It’s been a long and winding road,” she agreed.
“We couldn’t have mapped it,” said Rick. “We’re just so grateful for where we are today. It’s part of our DNA.”
Story: Jeanine Matlow
Photo: Chris Ward