When Alan Mikesell and James “Jim” Henry joined United Church Homes’ Board of Directors in 2006, the organization was struggling financially and tough decisions needed to be made for UCH to survive.
Alan and Jim agree the organization’s financial outlook began to change after the Board named Rev. Kenneth Daniel the new president and CEO of United Church Homes, adopted new vision, mission and values statements and began focusing on what UCH was called to do.
“There was a lot of prayer as the decisions were made. But even during those difficult times, things never degenerated into finger-pointing. We all knew we had to work together. We just knew we had to get it right,” said Jim, a certified public accountant and managing partner in the firm Willis, Osmond and Beilstein.
“It was difficult. There were some painful things that had to take place, but we did what we needed to do to help the organization survive,” said Jim.
The organization not only survived, but is thriving.
Since the mid-2000s, UCH has acquired several new communities, including Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Harmony Apartments in Long Prairie, Minnesota, and secured management contracts for six additional communities in Columbus, Ohio, and Martinsville, Indiana.
Rev. Daniel thanked Jim for his leadership over the last 11 years and honored him with the President’s Award of Distinction. This award celebrates people who have done something of such merit and impact that it creates transformative change.
Alan received recognition for his 11 years of Board service and received a signature clock given to Board Members as they finish their term.
“Jim and Alan are two extremely talented men who made significant contributions to the Board. As Board Members, they gave their time and effort and believed in United Church Homes’ mission to transform Aging,” Rev. Daniel said.
“I was really honored to receive the Presidential Award of Distinction. I didn’t expect it at all,” Jim said.
Alan said he is pleased he contributed to the Board during both good and difficult times.
He described Jim as a talented individual who will be missed by the Board. But Alan said the new Board Members will make significant contributions.
“I think the Board improves all the time,” Alan said.
Alan feels one of the most significant decisions Board Members made during his term was naming Rev. Daniel the new president and CEO. He praised Rev. Daniel’s decision-making for turning the organization around.
“As soon as Rev. Daniel joined UCH, we began looking for people with specific strengths such as an accounting or financial background, a philanthropic background, attorneys or the healthcare segment,” Alan said.
Jim said the organization has seen “transformational” financial changes.
“Certainly, we’ve turned the corner. It was a great learning experience for all of us. It was just a great thing to be a part of,” Jim said.
Alan is pleased the organization is doing better financially and is expanding, but added he hopes UCH won’t grow too quickly and get back in financial trouble.
Jim said United Church Homes is in good hands.
“I think the organization has a lot of talented and gifted Board Members. I know they are going to be able to take the organization places I won’t be able to dream of and support the organization in new ways,” Jim said.