Timbers administrator admitted to Rotary ClubPublished 6:21pm Sunday, August 22, 2010
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
Dowagiac Rotary Club President Donald Woodhouse Aug. 19 inducted The Timbers of Cass County Administrator Doug Wamack as a new member.
Wamack, of Eau Claire, grew up in northern California until, at 19, he joined the Air Force.
“Then I moved around a lot,” he said. “I came to Michigan in 1988 from Texas, where I went to college, then Andrews University for a graduate degree in business. We lived here until 1994, when we went back to Texas.”
Wamack lives in Eau Claire between his job and his wife’s.
She is originally from Peru and works for Andrews in Berrien Springs. The Wamacks have been married almost 23 years.His wife came to the United States at 22 and married him when she was 30. They raised three daughters and have five grandchildren.
Wamack previously belonged to Rotary from October 2000 to November 2001 in Del Rio, Texas. After recently visiting family in Texas, Wamack finds southwest Michigan cool by comparison. He also enjoys fishing.
“In the military I was a ground weapons instructor,” he said. “When I got out, nobody wanted to hire me.” With his training, “I could have been a hit man, but I decided to go to school and study business. When I finished my master’s degree here, I worked fulltime in real estate for another six-year period” — about 12 years in all.
Then a friend — a former friend, he insists — persuaded him to become a nursing home administrator 15 years ago.
The Timbers opened with a huge open house July 16 attended by 1,500 — triple a typical turnout, in Atrium Living Centers’ experience.
Wamack warned the Columbus, Ohio, company to brace for 2,000. “They told me they expected 500,” he said. “They told me I was crazy, but I said this is a big deal for Dowagiac. It really hurt when (Dowagiac Nursing Home closed in 2007) and 140 jobs were lost.”
Though it’s been a month, the state has yet to issue its license. Then The Timbers must be certified for Medicare and Medicaid.
“We may have our license by the end of this month,” he said. “I’m hoping. The way this process works, we have seven people lined up right now to be our initial group. We have to take care of them four to six weeks — whatever the state wants to show a record of delivery of care so they can analyze what we’ve done to see if we meet the criteria for Medicare and Medicaid,” which could take until October.