Land of Opportunity – May 2014
The Stratford at Beyer Park is a retirement community that offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and Dementia/Alzheimer’s care to a wide range of residents. The facility, which opened its doors in 2003 under the leadership of owner Bill Schilz, is aimed at elevating the standards of assisted living facilities. It welcomes residents with the warmth and charm of a gracious home and 70 caring employees who want to help seniors have truly golden years.
What have you done in your professional career that has led you to where you are now?
Over the last 35 years, I have been what I like to call a “serial entrepreneur.” By that, I mean that I have owned a number of dissimilar businesses and when I see opportunities, I’m not afraid to take the risk to jump in with both feet. At the age of 28, I decided that I could never achieve my goal of independence and a comfortable retirement working for someone else. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur ever since.
When you were younger what goals did you set for yourself and why?
When I was young, my parents both worked to support the family. There wasn’t extra money to do many of the things we would have liked. If I wanted something like a baseball glove or a bicycle, it was up to me to buy it using money I earned from my newspaper & lawn mowing routes. From a young age, my goal was to not live under the same kind of pressure my parents faced each month. I made a promise to myself that by hook or crook, I would go to college and get a degree to help me get ahead and work hard.
Do you have any particular history that has contributed to helping you achieve your goals?
Having a paper & lawn mowing route helped build my confidence and hone my people/sales skills. I had to meet adults, look them in the eye and sell them on the idea that they needed my newspaper and they needed me to cut their lawns. Getting past rejection and feeling confident in dealing with others helped me tremendously as I grew up.
What are some of the accomplishments of which you are particularly proud?
The accomplishment I’m most proud of is building the Stratford at Beyer Park from the ground up and providing seniors in Modesto and surrounding communities with a very comfortable home that I would feel happy having my parents live in. Then, surrounding the residents with caregivers, activities, dining room, housekeeping, marketing and maintenance staff along with a superb management team is the key to our success. They are all loving, caring and compassionate people and our residents and their families feel that every day. The care we provide makes a huge difference in our residents’ lives, while giving their families a tremendous sense of security knowing their parents are being well cared for!
What is the single biggest reason that you have achieved the level of success you have?
I think there are two reasons… always remember the Golden Rule and treat others with care, consideration, respect and compassion… just as you would have them treat you. Make situations you are in with others a win-win and look out for them as well as for yourself in your dealings. Don’t be greedy… be fair with everyone and they will treat you the same.
The second is, don’t be afraid to take risks and put your butt on the line emotionally and financially. Move out of your “comfort zone” and pursue your dreams and ideas, and don’t always take the easy route. Take the hard route, especially when the rewards are greater in the long run.
What do you like about your job?
Right now I enjoy being able to oversee my business from a “30,000 ft.” perspective. I have surrounded myself with very capable and committed people who take care of my business as if it were their own. I enjoy my interactions with the staff and the residents a lot, yet I’m not tied down where I can’t enjoy life.
Do you participate in any community outreach efforts or clubs?
I learned a lot about the issue of homelessness in our community and have since volunteered to be a part of the solution. I’m currently the Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of Contra Costa Homeless Outreach, an organization committed to helping the homeless when they are most vulnerable… at night! We reach out to homeless individuals in their encampments between the hours of 8PM and 4AM and provide them with the necessities they need to survive living on the streets. We show them how to find the resources available to them and leverage them for their benefit. Learn more at www.homelessoutreach.net
What do you like about doing business in the Modesto community and why do you think this is the Land of Opportunity?
I love doing business in Modesto. The people within the community are very caring, friendly and they treat each other with respect. The business community is supportive of each other and work together for the betterment of businesses in Modesto. The Chamber of Commerce is very active and supportive and will go the extra mile to help when you put on events or community activities. The Chamber is a true advocate in so many ways in their quest to make Modesto a stronger and more vibrant community.