What is your favorite vacation/destination?
Our family loves to travel. We try to travel overseas every other year and are always looking for adventures in the U.S. However, our lake cabin in Minnesota is a tried-and-true family favorite and a wonderful place to relax. It gives our family the chance to enjoy fishing, cooking, swimming, evening bonfires with s’mores, and many other great traditions and memories.
What is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
I’m really a “no-place-like-home” kind of guy. Whenever possible, I prefer to spend my evenings at home, cooking dinner with my wife, playing with my kids, and puttering in our garden. When time allows, our family loves to spend time outdoors. We are into traditional tent-camping, hiking, biking and fishing. Quality time with my family is the best thing I can do to recharge. I am also an avid reader, so we are frequent visitors to the Daviess County Public Library. It is such a fantastic resource for this community.
What is still on your bucket list?
I would have to say that visiting all 50 states is at the top of my bucket list. There is an infinite variety of amazing sights and culture across our country and I would love to see it all. International travel is wonderful, but I think we often forget just how spectacular the scenery is right here at home. We have already started on some of the unique offerings around this region, such as Land Between the Lakes and Garden of the Gods.
What experience from childhood later influenced your career path?
I grew up in a family of seven physicians and two hospital administrators, so I was immersed in the health care industry from an early age. My grandfather really instilled a passion in our family about community service; to him that was the very core of being a doctor. Basically, I grew up around a hospital and always knew I would work in one someday. It was just a matter of choosing the medical side or the administrative side.
Who mentored you / Who first saw the gifts in you?
I will always be grateful for the advice and friendship of Mark Tarr, who is currently the executive vice president and chief operating officer at HealthSouth, where he has been since 1993. I was only 27 when Mark offered me my first CEO job, and I gained a great deal of confidence and experience under his watch. He saw potential and gave me an opportunity to achieve success.
What skills did you develop early on that help you today?
The ability to communicate is one of the most important skills a leader can have. That is why I am rarely at my desk; I prefer to be visiting employees—so I can learn what is important to them. I want our staff to feel invested in our mission and to know the direction we are going as an organization. At every stop in my career, listening and developing relationships have been the keys to success. I also value spending time travelling throughout our regional community in Western Kentucky. There are so many innovative leaders and dedicated citizens who are passionate about the future of our region. There is much we could learn, even from industries outside of healthcare, that could help us better meet the needs of the communities we serve.
Do you remember your first paycheck? How did you earn it?
Before I could start a formal job, I started mowing lawns around the age of 12. But, my “paycheck” working career started as a clerk at Delchamps — a chain of grocery stores headquartered in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama. I bagged a lot of groceries and stocked a lot of shelves in my time there! It was back when we would individually bag and carry everyone’s groceries to their car, and there was no better training on how to be nice to people.
What is your favorite thing about Owensboro?
When Crystal and I began researching Owensboro, we were amazed by how progressive the area really is. The riverfront, the festivals, the schools — the enthusiasm here is very contagious, and we wanted to be part of it. Owensboro has lived up to all of my expectations — and exceeded them. Plus, people are so warm and friendly, which made us feel right at home from our first day here.