When Ron Jaeger started his career in accounting, he had a plan. He wanted to get experience in a range of different industries rather than sticking with one job his whole life. He spent time working at a bank while he was still in school, then as a controller at an industrial manufacturer, and then as a CPA. For his next step, Ron took a job at Meth-Wick Community, where he planned to stay for five years before moving on.
“And that was 28 years ago,” Ron says with a laugh.
As the CFO at Meth-Wick Community, Ron is responsible for the organization’s financial management and well-being. He’s a certified public accountant and lives with his wife, Dawn, outside of Springville. They have four children.
Since the finance department at Meth-Wick is a team of just three people, Ron’s job is very hands-on. They work hard to earn residents’ trust and safeguard their investment in Meth-Wick. Ron enjoys meeting residents and building relationships with them and their families because it’s not something most accountants get to do.
“Any place you go, you’ve got customers. But Meth-Wick is unlike any of the other jobs I’ve had because I actually get to know our customers. It’s rewarding work because you get to see the difference a place like Meth-Wick makes in people’s lives,” says Ron.
Meth-Wick is a not-for-profit organization, which poses an interesting challenge for Ron. The business model is set up to allow for complete focus on the resident’s needs. There are no shareholders or investors to please. The board of directors is unpaid, made up completely by community volunteers with professional experience in real estate, finance, marketing and health care. All financial decisions — whether it’s building a new facility, introducing a new service, or planning for the future of the organization — are made in the best interests of residents.
“When you’re a for-profit business, you can make a lot of promises to your customers but ultimately you need to satisfy your shareholders. Being a not-for-profit, we don’t have to worry about that. Our residents make an investment when they buy a unit at Meth-Wick and it’s our job to be good stewards of their investment, not any other outside group,” Ron shares.
When Ron first started at Meth-Wick 28 years ago, they had just completed construction on their second building. Now there are eight different buildings and neighborhoods spread across the wooded, 65-acre campus.
“Robin Mixdorf, our CEO, is always looking to the future,” says Ron. “Meth-Wick really changes the way a lot of people think about retirement.”
With a full range of services and living options, Ron has watched residents build the lives they always imagined living in retirement.
“It’s truly fulfilling working at a place like Meth-Wick.”