By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL
Mike Moore is a familiar face in the halls of the United Presbyterian Home, having served for 41 years.
Moore has announced he will be retiring from his post as CEO/president/administrator of United Presbyterian Home in December.
When asked what he would miss, he quickly answered the people he works with and the residents.
?The job itself is about the people,? Moore said. ?They?re like a family. They?ve helped me through a lot of things. During my time here my wife died of cancer, Cindy, and they were there for that. For our son Nick, one of the ladies that lived here made sure he had a place to go because he was only going to be a junior in high school and helped us plan his graduation and all that stuff.?
The year before Cindy died, Moore?s mother died from cancer and everyone at the United Presbyterian Home helped Moore through that, he said.
?It?s just a support group that we built,? he said. ?It?s a big extended family.?
Moore was born and raised in Washington. He served in the Air Force from 1970 to 1975 . After the service, he moved back to Iowa, married Cindy Gronnert, and eventually found his way to a job at United Presbyterian Home.
?They were looking for a business manager and I applied for it,? Moore said. ?There were five of us interviewed and a lot of us had higher degrees than I had but I must have clicked with the board. It was an entire board interview, so it was kind of spooky.?
At that time the board included Doctor McCreedy and Dick McCleery. Moore said he was lucky to have been selected for the position.
The first thing Moore did when he became business manager was set up an accounting system with internal controls and brought computers there, he said.
There were several things initiated at the United Presbyterian Home when Moore became associate CEO and administrator.
Thirty-two years ago the day care facility opened on campus.
?Not many places had that,? he said. ?It was all for the employees and if we didn?t use it people in the community could fill the extra spots. We did it basically at cost. We were actually losing about $30,000 a year, but I thought it was important for families to have a place they could afford for their kids and still afford to pay their rent of whatever they had.?
Moore also brought people from WCDC to work on campus.
?We have a laundry and kitchen and have trained those people out there to work here,? Moore said. ?They run my laundry seven days a week, and somewhere close to 300,000 pounds of laundry is done a year.?
Before, it was hard to get people to show up for shifts in the laundry department. Moore often had to come in on the weekend to work in the laundromat. Now he isn?t concerned about people not showing up.
?They provide a job coach and we hire the people,? Moore said. ?They get all the same benefits as all the other people that work here and they do a great job.?
There has been a lot of change to the campus since Moore started.
?At that time I think we had roughly 35 houses out back,? Moore said. ?We had Stewart Hall and they were just finishing the Brownlee Care Center and since then we?ve grown to 75 houses.?
The McCleery Building, Kerr Hall, Shebron and Herman Hall were also built.
Moore hired Amy Kleese as health and wellness director, whom he credits with getting more people involved in the exercise classes, he said, and this year a new wellness center opened on campus.
Even though Moore is retiring, he still plans on being involved at United Presbyterian Home. He?s been asked to serve a three-year term on the board of directors and will be using the wellness center, he said.
Michelle Steinberg is an administrative assitant at United Presbyterian Home. She has worked for Moore for almost 35 years. When he told her he was retiring she was happy for him.
?I think he?s ready,? she said. ?I?m just happy that now he can go and do what he wants to do and not have to come in to work because he?s worked hard and has been through a lot.?
The thing she will miss the most about Moore is his knowledge of the history of the facility, she said.
?And he?s been a rock here for so long now it?s just like you?ll miss that knowledge,? Steinberg add.
To celebrate Moore?s retirement, the staff has planned a retirement party for him from 2 - 4 p.m., Dec. 10, in the dining room. The public is invited to come celebrate with him.