When someone is truly passionate about his or her job, wonderful things are possible, and the positive energy is often infectious. Billy Ward, who is a maintenance director at Fletcher Health and Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida, is an ideal model of this. His passion for his job allows him to lift the spirits of everybody around him, including his co-workers and the care center patients. He humbly credits all his success right back to those people that he helps.
Billy’s path to where he is today is not a typical one. Believe it or not, Billy was in the tire business for 28 years prior to working for Consulate. After successfully selling his tire businesses, Billy found himself in the field of remodeling for healthcare facilities, which led to doing maintenance in health care settings. He started as a maintenance director at Consulate over six years ago, and hasn’t looked back. Billy jokes that he is “re-tired” from the tire business, but as you will learn from his incredible story, he couldn’t be any further from actual retirement!
Staying motivated is not a problem for Billy. He said that he is motivated by the fact that he gets to make a difference in someone’s life each day. He feels rewarded every time he is able to put a smile on a resident’s face. Billy loves working at Consulate because he said the staff is courteous and he gets to meet and develop relationships with the residents over the years. Although Billy is based at Fletcher, he is a valuable resource for other care centers in the region too. He loves that mobile aspect of the job too, because he is able to visit with residents and staff that he has met over the years from multiple buildings.
We learned a lot about Billy by talking with his co-workers, and every one had wonderful things to say about him. Valerie said “What I like about Billy is that he never says “no.” Even though he is so busy, before you know it, it’s done. Even if it’s just changing a lightbulb, he goes above and beyond.” Another employee said that “he always has time to check in on you personally. He is a very busy man, but it is so, so appreciated.” One nurse said, “He fixes flat tires so we can get to work, he listens to us cry when we are upset, he jokes with the residents to help make them smile, and he supports the culture of caring at the facility.”
It’s often said that “Nothing brings people together like good food.” Billy is a talented chef, and generously shares his food with the staff at the care centers. Several employees told us about Billy’s fantastic Greek salad that he makes for his co-workers. He knows that everyone is working long hours and he wants to make sure the staff is hydrated and has something to eat. As if that weren’t enough, Billy also hauls a trailer with a barbeque to the care center parking lot, and barbeques for the staff.
With all of this, you’d think that Billy doesn’t have time for much else. But Billy likes to spend any of his free time by volunteering , in the community. For several years, he has served as the director of the Pasco County Fair. One year, Billy brought some staff to the fair to try fried Snickers bars! He has also brought cotton candy and candy apples from the fair back to the care center.
Billy told us that he wouldn’t trade his job with anyone in the world. “Who else gets to stand on the roof, work in the dietary and laundry departments, and fix beds and toilets?” He appreciates the variety of work that he can do in a day. As put by one of his co-workers, “His work ethic is irreplaceable, and he is an asset to our facility.” Billy, thank you for the amazing work you do each day. We hope you never actually re-tire!