Using a classic "roll-up" strategy (purchase and consolidation of companies in the same industry) Bain vastly expanded CRC's network, purchasing new treatment facilities across the country and increasing revenue from $271 million in 2006 to $450 million in 2011. CRC now serves nearly 30,000 patients a day at 104 treatment facilities in 21 states.
Looking to expand more, CRC had its eye on Maine, where roughly three-quarters of all methadone patients are covered by MaineCare, the state's taxpayer-funded health insurance program for the poor. CRC expects local resistance to its facilities: "There's a range of opposition," says CRC regional vice-president Timothy Bohman. "Warren, Maine, obviously, is on the difficult side of the spectrum." But Maine's shocking drug-addiction statistics and taxpayer-dollars for methadone treatment make it a worthwhile fight.
Bob Emery Jr. is where Bain and Maine meet. He's a small-town businessman who was born and raised in Warren. In August 2010, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration shut down Turning Tide, the methadone clinic in Rockland, the next town over. Owner Angel Fuller-McMahan was allegedly dealing cocaine. Among the nearly 300 patients left without a medical provider was Emery's son, Robert III.
It was the opportunity CRC was looking for. "We're a national company," CRC's Bohman says. "[We're] always looking for opportunity in any state, and when Turning Tide Inc. closed we knew there was an unmet need in the community."
The Maine Office of Substance Abuse transitioned former Turning Tide patients to clinics in Waterville and Bangor, but the three- to four-hour daily round trip made it impossible for some, including Emery's son. According to MOSA director Guy Cousins, roughly 15 to 20 percent of Turning Tide patients ceased treatment altogether.
"My son came to me after they closed the clinic that day and he was lost. He didn't know what to do," Emery recalls. "I'm a resourceful type person; when I want to know something I go find out, so that's why I started leaving messages for Guy Cousins . . . He called me on my cell phone, I pulled my truck off to the side of the road and sat there for about two hours to pour my heart out to him, to tell him my story."
For Emery, there has never been a line between business and family or work and play. He employs two of his children and has folded his hobbies into his humble family dynasty of 11 small businesses, which he began at the age of 18.
Eager to help his son, Emery offered his real-estate experience to help a treatment provider find a location to set up a methadone clinic. Cousins eventually connected Emery with CRC.
"Other companies called me," Emery recalls, "but it wasn't about who's got the best deal. They [CRC] seemed sincere and very, very honest."
CRC flew Joe Pritchard, then the company's vice-president of Midwest operations, to Maine to scour the Mid-Coast region for property — with Emery as his local tour guide.
Emery was visibly excited recounting the day he showed Pritchard the old schoolhouse that the town of Warren had been trying to sell for years — the very building where he attended school as a child and right next to the church where he was baptized. "We drove up that treed-in area next to the cemetery, and when he saw that building, and he saw that steeple on that church, he was ecstatic," Emery says.