Written by Jessica Meadows
On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, North Central Health Care will officially have a new Chief Executive Officer, Michael Loy.
It’s human nature to be curious about leaders in our community — where they come from, how they grew up, what molded and shaped them… and ultimately, what drives them toward success. In Michael’s case, it’s evident that his resilience through adversity has helped shape his kindness, understanding, and motivation for success. His drive to learn and constantly improve and grow has challenged him to think about how to do things in the right way and to stay focused.
Michael was born in Spring Green, WI, a city near the House on the Rock. Throughout his childhood, Michael called home to over 50 places, relocating into many different schools in Lodi, Land O’Lakes, Madison, and Racine. Michael reflected:
“Being the new kid is difficult. But ultimately, it’s what helped shape me.”
At a very young age, Michael was already embracing the hard work of the family business. With his grandparents being retired dairy farmers who had difficulty staying idle, they took a risk by buying and operating Bent’s Camp, a resort and restaurant in Northern Wisconsin.
Bussing tables at age 7, his family lived, worked, and rebuilt the restaurant over a 20-year period. Michael offered:
“I probably could have taken over the family business and done well for myself. What a different life it would have been.”
Always a part of Northern Wisconsin, Michael attended UW–Stevens Point, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Wellness in just under 4 years. His time in Stevens Point taught him how to approach learning. With aspirations to become a professor, Michael received his master’s degree at UW–Milwaukee in Kinesiology. Obtaining his master’s gave him the ability to read, write, and understand research; however, Michael also learned that academia wasn’t a world he wanted to work in.
Looking for his first job, he landed in Wauwatosa as the city’s Health & Productivity Coordinator. He delved into a world of wellness programs, benefits plans, and human resources, which led him to earning his Human Resources (HR) credentials, along with valuable experience in public sector management. He spent 3 years working with the City Administrator and HR Director/Assistant City Attorney, both individuals he said had a tremendous impact on him.
From there, Michael took a risk on a half-time position at City Hall in Wausau as the Director of Human Resources. During the interview process, the position evolved into full-time and continued to be dynamic in his 3 years with the city of Wausau, working and learning from many of Wausau’s leaders. He recalled learning a great deal about the community during his time working for Mayor Jim Tipple:
“I learned a lot and I am grateful for my time at the city of Wausau. I learned how important it is to have a sense of community. I had the opportunity to influence people every day in a positive way and work with people and ideas that constantly are moving our community forward.”
Michael says he learned that our community has a strong-held belief that anything is possible and that anyone can influence the community in a positive way. Central Wisconsin is the perfect blend of a smaller community, with access to larger things and a tremendous quality of life. Michael also shared:
“I admire the quality of people leading our community. It’s a great place to raise children and have a family, not to mention the recreational opportunities we have here.”
In 2014, Michael had an opportunity to make a bigger impact in an industry that was at the heart of his education: healthcare. He saw this as an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with the community. While determined to lead an organization at some point in his career, he had no expectations of becoming a CEO when he was hired at North Central Health Care (NCHC).
As a Human Resources Executive at NCHC, Michael never stopped learning and educating himself. He had an opportunity to work with and learn from former CEO Gary Bezucha. Upon Bezucha’s retirement, Michael was appointed Interim CEO. According to Michael:
“Sometimes life is about being in the right place at the right time, but also about being prepared when life taps you on the shoulder.”
During the last several years in the Wausau area, Michael and his wife, Emily, welcomed 3 beautiful girls to the world — Olivia, Charlotte, and Josephine. Michael admits:
“There is a lot of pink, but I have always been surrounded by strong women in my life, so it fits. It has always prepared me well for life.”
All while expanding his family and navigating the waters of a tri-county relationship at NCHC, Michael obtained his master’s degree in Business Administration from UW–Madison in May of 2017, saying:
“I am a lifelong learner and have a passion to keep learning and creating opportunities to grow.”
Michael studied business in other countries, and completed his studies at Madison with a trip to Vietnam. Michael’s philosophy is:
“Never be comfortable with how you see the world. There are over 7 billion people experiencing it a different way.”
It is perhaps that viewpoint, coupled with his thirst for learning, that encourage Michael to strive to always be the best version of himself — and to influence others to be the highest version of themselves, too. Michael concludes:
“I want to make a difference and create things that live past my lifetime and make a positive difference for our community. First and foremost, though, I need to be a good husband and father for my three girls. Everything is in service to that.
Communications & Marketing Coordinator | North Central Health Care
As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. Email Jessica Meadows.
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