Incubator manager helps entrepreneurs prioritize mental health, grow their business

Written by UCF Business Incubation Program Communications

A few years ago, Kelly Daubach had a turning point in her life. A transformation of her values and what she wanted to do.

At the time, she was incredibly successful in her career, growing her division of Lincare Holdings from five people to more than 300. She had a national team of employees working for her. She was on the “Specialty Services Team,” a select group of key executives developing and acquiring new services and products.

Her life was on the fast track.

Until it wasn’t.

“I burnt out mentally twice and was hospitalized,” Daubach says. “I was turning parts of me on and off, trying to be a certain way in this corporate role and being a different person at home and it was literally draining my battery.

“I went through a personal transformation to be truly healthy, and I was passionate about living my truth,” she adds. “I then spent time growing that truth into opportunities without having to turn off and on any type of personality.”

As is the story with so many people, hardships turn into prosperity. That was the case with Daubach.

It led her to start ANU Coaching in 2021 and set a course to work with other business leaders and executives, teaching them how to find their path and ensuring they understand mental health is key to any entrepreneur’s success.

“I came to a place where I was working in servant leadership helping people and I wanted to do it more,” Daubach says.

That desire led her to apply for and recently join the UCF Business Incubation Program as a program manager, overseeing the Mentorship, Leadership and First Customer programs.

 “Today, I am first and foremost a community advocate and liaison for economic development within the brand of the UCF Business Incubation Program. How grateful I am to be welcomed and embraced by our leadership. I’ve never worked for a more collaborative, ‘How can I help?’ type of organization.”

Daubach came to Orlando via Miami and Kansas City, after graduating from Eastern Illinois University. She thought she wanted to be a dietitian when she was in college, but really that was her first seed planted in the now-embraced passion for human wellbeing. She was rejected for a position in St. Louis after graduating but was offered the role of medical nutrition specialist in Kansas City.

She took it, saying “I’ve always been someone to follow opportunities.”

The move paid off as she was continually promoted at the company, growing her division, and becoming a key executive for Lincare, then serving a key role in strategic positioning for Life Line Screening.

It was also where she met her husband Brent Daubach, who works for Cadence Strategies and has a track record of helping communities build and expand sporting/public venues. He did that first for the St. Louis Cardinals, then KC Royals, Miami Marlins, and now in Orlando working with Camping World Stadium, Exploria Stadium and the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

They have two children and you can often find them experiencing the outdoors – or at some type of sporting event.

“Even though I grew up a Cardinals fan, we’re Rays fans now,” Daubach says. “We love going to the game. My brother-in-law, Brian Daubach, played for the Red Sox and now my son’s dream is to play Major League Baseball.  All while my daughter is pursuing her dreams in STEM and the ARTS at Howard Middle School.  Orlando truly offers us so many opportunities to be the REAL version of ourselves.”

While the couple has lived in Orlando for a decade, she joined the UCF Business Incubation Program in May. It was a logical step in her journey and one that has put any thoughts of not living her truth to the side.

“I wake up and just want to jump out of bed in this position,” she says. “The impact of the UCF Business Incubator is an easy story to tell and, frankly, it surprised me how aligned it was with what I wanted to do.”

And for the entrepreneurs she works with today, she has one key bit of advice.

“Lean into what feels good to them,” she says. “Think about what you can do forever and find the path of least resistance. Being an entrepreneur can really drain you mentally, so you must be very careful about where that energy is going and making sure you are in alignment with your values.”