I FIRST MET Zoey when she joined the networking group that I hosted in my position as Membership Director at the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. She was in the marketing position for an assisted living in Wausau. She seemed kind of quiet and reserved, which is pretty funny in hind sight! Shortly after joining the group in 2008, Zoey was hired by a new company in town, Primrose Retirement Community.
They made an excellent choice! Although Zoey was pretty young, she had attended college at Winona State University, she had invaluable industry and life experience. You see, Zoey wasn’t the kid who grew up with all the advantages. She had to grow up faster than most kids, she had to fend for herself and she grew up making lots of decisions that were beyond her years. Her grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and came to live with Zoey and her mom. This was the start of training for the future Executive Director of Primrose in Wausau. She worked in the long term care industry as a CNA and was promoted to assistant manager of an assisted living in Wausau that was at the time the premier community in the area. The training continues. . .
Primrose was the opportunity for a strong young woman to meld her compassion for seniors with her knowledge of the industry gained through hard work and excellent mentors. She understands what families are going through because she’s been there. She knows what can be done to help those families because she’s been helping. She knows the stress of being a caregiver and she understands when to hold the line and when to extend grace in order to build the strongest team possible. Zoey is an excellent Executive Director to work side by side with. As part of her management team, I appreciate her willingness to do whatever needs to be done. She and I have worked together to scrub floors and clean toilets when it needed to be done. She would never ask anyone to do something that she wouldn’t do herself. Zoey has matured as a manager and has found a great balance of expecting accountability without micromanaging her staff. These are all good qualities that have contributed to Zoey being successful in her position, but the real reason that she is flourishing is because Zoey is not the “boss“ at Primrose in Wausau. The residents who call Primrose home are the “bosses” and we all work for them. We are guests in their home and everything we do and every decision we make is made with our residents’ best interests in mind.
Primrose in Wausau has enjoyed excellent occupancy since opening and the long waiting list is no coincidence. Zoey has created a cohesive team of caregivers and a warm home where seniors feel loved, safe and well cared for. What more could anyone ask for?
by Kathy Jamison