An idea formulated 20 years ago now has Waukon native Peggy Sivesind, and her clients, riding around in style with her new business venture, Cadillac Caring Services, LLC

Cadillac Caring Services, LLC, a new business venture by Waukon native Peggy Sivesind providing private driver and companion travel services, recently received a First Dollar Visit from the Waukon Chamber of Commerce. Pictured above at the First Dollar presentation are, left to right, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member Dan Headington, Waukon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Dugan, Cadillac Caring Services, LLC founder and owner Peggy Sivesind, and Waukon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors members Sherrie Hunstad and Tyler Halverson. Submitted photo.

An idea that Waukon native Peggy Sivesind first thought of about 20 years ago while venturing out into the working world was recently able to be put in drive, literally, following her return to her hometown. Now that idea, Cadillac Caring Services, LLC, has Sivesind driving around in style, and taking others along for the ride - almost anywhere they want to go.

"I first came up with this idea over 20 years ago, but as I moved back to my hometown with a smaller population, I saw such a strong need for this type of service," Sivesind explained of the personal driver and travel companion services she offers. "Also, I need to do something that feeds my soul."

Through her new business, which started in December of 2016, Sivesind initially focused her driving and companion services on helping the elderly, but the foundation of those services has since been expanded to anyone in the community in need of some special attention. "Older adults hold a special place in my heart, but this service is for anyone in the community. I see the value of socialization in life for those who cannot drive or do not have family readily available to support them,” she said.

At the center of Sivesind's new business venture is a 2007 Cadillac DTS. But the luxurious indication the name of her new business venture might portray goes far beyond just the vehicle she drives, as she also wants to take that luxury level to the services she provides her clients in providing those private driver and travel companion services for such things as longer distance medical trips, airport shuttles, executive visitors or business colleagues, concerts, funerals, weddings or just a special night out on the town.

Following her graduation from Waukon High School in 1986, Sivesind first completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Fashion Merchandising at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City before completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education at Iowa State University in Ames that also included a minor in Gerontology. She spent just over 16 years in several larger cities, including Mason City, Des Moines and Ames in Iowa, Madison, WI and completing a college internship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, MA before returning to her native Waukon.

In moving back home to fulfill her desire to be closer to her parents and family, Sivesind also discovered the opportunity to bring her 20-year idea to reality. “There’s no other service like it in the area, a private driver and luxury transportation,” Sivesind said. “I can also be an attendant with others, as needed. For example, taking a bus trip with someone to Branson.”

In addition to her education and work experiences, Sivesind has also been able to draw on her own travel experiences from around the globe. “I used to travel a lot out of the country, which everyone should try and do,” she shared. “It gives a person a new perspective on life and helps one to look at things differently in life. Life is really about the people you meet along life’s journey and what you learn from and take away from short-term, one-time and long-term relationships.”

As with any new venture, there are certainly ups and downs to be expected. But behind the wheel of her Cadillac, Sivesind is ready to ride out whatever comes her way.

“For starting a business, it’s knowing what do first,” she said of the biggest challenges in getting her new venture underway. “Getting things done in the right order can make a big difference. Also, marketing a business now is all different with social media.”
Along with those challenges, however, comes the more positive flipside of the rewards of running one's own business, and for Sivesind those rewards center around bringing out the best in herself. “Using your own ideas to see if you can succeed in life after learning from and analyzing previous employers, and being able to see what you’d do if you were running the business,” she listed as the most rewarding aspects of running her own business.

Within her first few months of being in business, Sivesind has already impressed her clients with the care and service she provides. Richard Meiners of Eitzen, MN recently used Cadillac Caring Services, LLC and found Sivesind’s services to be much more than just a ride in luxury.

“Because of a recent injury and not being able to drive, I was in need of someone to take me and assist me with my doctor and MRI appointments at Gundersen Health Systems in La Crosse,” Meiners said. “I remembered I had a copy of the brochure from Cadillac Caring Services, with Peggy Sivesind as owner. I gave her a call, arranged the time and she picked me up right at my front door. She helped me around the clinic, being there as a caring person. It was hard for me to get around with my pain and discomfort, but she was there to help me. After a long day at the clinic, the ride home was a comfortable one in her Cadillac. I relied on Peggy for more than the ride. I trusted her with my care the whole day.”

Sivesind says she would like to continue to grow her business, perhaps adding another vehicle. But her biggest plans for the future of the business will continue to center around the people she serves. “I just want to give people an outlet to socialize and/or experience or keep living life the way they maybe did before they could no longer drive,” she said. “Possibly they’ve lost their companion or spouse and need support in getting out to stay in touch with family or friends.”

Available to provide her personal driver and travel companion services during the day, throughout the evening or on weekends, Sivesind and her Cadillac Caring Service, LLC can be reached at 563-794-CARE (2273). She is also working on building an online presence for her new business.