Outside the box brings big rewards for Green Box ABA
“Our story is what sets us apart. People identify with it and are drawn to it,” says Carl Dzyak, co-owner and founder of Green Box Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in Springfield.
Growing up, Carl and the other neighborhood kids would use the green electrical box on the side of their building as their meeting place. The green box, as well as a lifelong affinity for psychology, inspired him to create a unique business. “We provide high-quality therapy for children on the autism spectrum,” Carl explains. “Our methods allow these kids to gain social skills both inside and outside their homes.”
When Carl started Green Box ABA in October 2014, it was just him at a desk in a tiny, cramped office. Lifelong friend and co-owner Chris Richardson, joined shortly after, and the business began to gather steam . . . rapidly.
Carl’s idea was to employ licensed therapists to provide in-home services to clients for up to 40 hours a week or as few as four. While they do have an office, the heart of Green Box lies with the work they do in clients’ homes.
Once Carl formulated his approach, based on B.F. Skinner’s principles of operant conditioning, he assembled his core team. Often he ran head first into a unique situation: Too much interest. Investors. Ventures capitalists. All with their own angle, and each eager to use
Green Box’s unique methodology. Carl needed an ally. Enter the business counselors at SBDC at the Community Business Partnership in Springfield.
“I found myself getting a lot of advice from people with many agendas,” said Carl. “The SBDC counselors were the only objective voices I found in all that noise. They had the experience and the connections that I needed to get me where I wanted to go. They gave me the opportunity to practice pitching to a venture capitalist, which was really just invaluable because, honestly, where else, outside of having a family member or close friend, would you get a chance like that?”
Green Box works exclusively with military families through the Department of Defense, and the need is great. Yet pacing their growth has been critical. It takes time to assemble a team of highly skilled, trustworthy “behavior technicians.” Carl is quick to credit his stellar team for every bit of Green Box’s success. “Having that synergy with people that I trust is what has made all the difference,” he says.