ROOTED: The Resilient Spirit of Tina Wellman: A Journey Rooted in Compassion and Leadership   

 The Resilient Spirit of Tina Wellman:

A Journey Rooted in Compassion and Leadership   


In the heart of Schoharie County, amidst its rolling hills and tight-knit community, resides a human symbol of resilience and entrepreneurial prowess. Her journey from army service to founding successful ventures like BrightDrive Healthcare Solutions embodies the indomitable spirit of the region and serves as an inspiration for aspiring business leaders. SEEC had the pleasure of sitting down at Schoharie’s own, 287 Main, with serial-entrepreneur, Army veteran, Breast Cancer Survivor, single Mom of two boys (now men), and Schoharie County native, Tina Wellman.  

A tale woven with threads of resilience, compassion, and an unyielding dedication to uplifting others, Tina’s story begins in Schoharie County when she was six months of age and her parents decided to make a home here. Surrounded by the nurturing embrace of her community, Tina has fond memories of her childhood in the county leading to a pivotal life shift down the road.  

Graduating from Schoharie High School, Tina enlisted in the Army viewing it as a gateway to higher education.

Tina always knew she wanted to be in medicine, when the military recruiters told her she scored high in engineering, she persevered and became an Army medical lab technician. Serving in this role for five years, Tina soon realized that her true calling lay in working directly with patients, rather than just specimens; “I am happiest when helping people,” she said.  

While stationed in Alaska, Tina had her first son, Madison, now a 28-year-old gentleman and professional. Far from home, in the Reserves with a two-year-old toddler, Tina decided it was time to move back home. Such that, 1997 was a pivotal year for the now serial-entrepreneur and single mother of two. When asked why she chose to move back to Schoharie County, “This place is home. It’s where my people are. It’s where I was raised, and I wanted my kids to experience the opportunities I was given. It’s safe. They are known by their teachers. Loved by the community. Looked out for by neighbors.”

Tina, an advocate for education, shattering ceilings, and breaking barriers emphasizes to others that rural communities have a wealth of opportunities. She firmly believes “Kids aren’t missing out on opportunities in rural areas they quite possibly have more.”

Her life has become a testament. 

Following her service in the Army, Tina faced a challenging yet transformative journey aiding in the inspirational story she shares today. To secure the position she desired as a respiratory therapist working directly with patients, Tina needed to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a clinical license. Pursuing higher education post military, at 23 years old, with a precocious toddler at home came with its own set of challenges. Tina enrolled in Hudson Valley Community College where she earned her degree as Valedictorian with the highest honors of her entire graduating class.  

Balancing her academic pursuits with the demands of motherhood, Tina had to juggle various responsibilities to make ends meet, including working at the Tory Tavern, tutoring students, and even cleaning houses. Soon after enrolling in Albany Medical College, a symbol of resilience, Tina was offered a full-time position swiftly transitioning from student to an employee. Recognized for her talent and seizing the opportunity in a position in the burgeoning medical Engineering technology field, Tina quickly ascended to top educator of “all things respiratory.” Tina welcomed her second son, Aidan, during her time at Albany Med. 

Contributing and authoring a chapter in a prestigious medical tech book, Tina simplified the complex ventilator waveform concepts for deeper and broader understanding. Word of her success gained quick recognition propelling her into speaking engagements on this cutting-edge technology around the world.  

“I saw how many people I could help while traveling and I knew my impact could be much larger,” Tina exclaimed. 

Yet, Tina’s journey was not without its share of challenges. Frustrated by the systemic barriers faced by women in the corporate world, Tina resolved to create an environment where personal and professional growth could flourish—a vision that gave birth to BrightDrive Healthcare Solutions in 2014. 

With a vision to revolutionize the health care industry, Tina founded BrightDrive, a medical billing agency, which rapidly expanded into an international corporation with offices in Bangalore, India, and the U.S., employing more than 170 individuals. Remarkably, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, BrightDrive, the “platform for positive change,” not only survived but thrived, acquiring new clients and expanding its workforce. Tina believed “honest growth for people would translate into growth for the company,” a philosophy that proved right.  

“I’m thankful for SEEC (Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation) and its supportive programs; we were able grow, add more clients and maintain our entire workforce – not lay one person off. No layoffs. SEEC encouraged us to take the necessary risks,” BrightDrive founder explained. 

Meanwhile, Tina survived a difficult diagnosis and battle with breast cancer starting in 2020. After much personal reflection, Tina decided to sell BrightDrive in 2023. Dedicated to creating opportunities for others and driven by her innate desire to make a meaningful impact and pursue a larger purpose, Tina is actively working on two endeavors or so-called brainchildren: Tina’s House and

“If I make it, I’m going to do this,” spoken as a vibrant and confident serial-entrepreneur, Tina Wellman. 

Tina’s House stems from her personal journey, born from the challenges she faced transitioning from military to civilian life as a young single mother. This dream, conceived at the age of 23 during her own struggles, aims to provide rent-free housing for veterans, single parents, and families pursuing higher education. Tina envisions Tina’s House not only as a shelter but as a supportive community offering guidance and life aid. Her goal is to create a sustainable environment where residents can thrive, with the vision of collaboration and skill-sharing within the community. 

Undergoing treatment and managing her medical company, Tina’s entrepreneurial spirit remained resilient and driven to help others. was once an empathetic idea and is now Tina’s newest consulting startup – or a safe space for advice. Now proudly cancer-free, Tina adds Breast Cancer Survivor to her long list of titles and accomplishments. 

Tina wants people going through similar struggles to know “cancer is not a death sentence. You can still thrive. You can still run a business. You can still see positivity and have hope.”

When asked how she keeps this attitude despite life’s happenings, she let us in to her personal life and told a sweet story: 

“I always joked with my sons saying I want to see Madison turn 80.” This means she will be alive at 101 years old to see that happen. When the news was announced to Tina’s sons of her diagnosis, her youngest son questioned “101 right, mom?” Every day Tina envisioned both of her sons walking her into her 101st birthday. “You have to see it to make it happen,” Tina emphasized.  

A remarkable journey and selfless dedication, it’s no wonder Tina Wellman was awarded SEEC’s ASPIRE AWARD in 2022. Thank you, Tina, for showing Schoharie County the true meaning of resilience, compassion, and leadership. Your journey stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration for us all. 

Interviewed and Authored by SEEC Associates, March 2024


  • Tina Wellman
  • CEO, Pick Tina’s Brain, Blue Cap Properties LLC, Hand PiQ Consulting LLC



  • SEEC ASPIRE Awardee, 2023
  • Six Sigma Green Belt, Purdue University
  • Bachelor of Arts, American InterContinental University
  • Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist (CPFT), NYS
  • Certified & Registered Respiratory Therapist, NYS
  • Valedictorian, Respiratory Therapy, HVCC 


  • Self-Funded
  • Family/Friend-Funded
  • SEEC Free Business Resources


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