Susan Devaney

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Location: Westfield, NJ
Founded: 2007
Industry: Real estate sales, home staging and move management

Susan Devaney
President and CEO

The Mavins Group

The Mavins Group helps families navigate through the physical and emotional demands associated with age and lifestyle transitions, including downsizing, relocating and aging in place. “Growing up, I was blessed to know all of my grandparents and many great-grandparents, so I am very familiar with how overwhelming it is when maneuvering through major life milestones,” says president and CEO Susan Devaney. During her early career, Devaney covered aging issues as a reporter on Capitol Hill. “After raising three children as a stay-at-home mom, starting a company that specializes in these same concerns was a natural step for me.”

Quick Tip: “Finding and hiring the right people, then establishing systems of operation, were two of the most critical steps I took.”

Devaney’s plans to start her own business were fast-tracked when her husband lost his job in 2007, following a corporate reorganization. “Although I knew that I was going to be headed back to work soon, the urgency of this situation propelled me into action,” she says. “I felt immediate pressure to be successful, but was opening my doors with limited access to financial capital to grow my business — just working from our family savings. What I learned as a leader is that you can’t do it alone. I had to take a risk to implement my vision by investing in the recruitment of a team.”

Devaney is currently the president of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, an industry organization with more than 900 member companies who specialize in move-management services for elders. “My dedication to our profession and leadership in it … has provided me with a wealth of knowledge to be able to lead my company and serve our clients,” says Devaney.