Boarding a plane from Indiana to New York in 2018, Donn Kump was eager to meet with a development group to discuss the future of Majestic Care. A skilled nursing home and assisted living company, Majestic Care was cofounded by Donn and his business partner, Bernie McGuinness. At the time of the meeting, Majestic Care didn’t have employees, policy and procedures, a handbook, or even a logo. Now, five years after the meeting, Majestic Care is proud to manage forty-six facilities in four Midwestern states.
Although it’s been a whirlwind of aggressive and rapid growth, Kump and his colleagues are more concerned with quality than they are with quantity. “We manage nursing homes and similar facilities, but a nursing home is not an institution. It’s a home where we have the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives there,” Kump says.
That’s the foundational principle that has guided Majestic Care from the start. It compels Kump, McGuinness, and other leaders to focus on two main things—residents and care team members (employees).
Kump wants each Majestic Care campus to become part of the fabric of its community. The company achieves that goal by focusing on what he calls “cluster markets.” They partner with or acquire buildings in targeted areas served by a major hospital or health system. This allows the company to offer specialized care based on local needs. It also provides the opportunity for Majestic Care to deliver their mission of “individualizing the quality of life of those we care for through the magical culture created from the hearts of our care team members,” Kump says.
Passionate about healthcare for two decades, Kump entered the industry in an entry-level finance role. The Cincinnati native was once a business office manager for a one hundred-bed Alzheimer’s facility. After realizing Kump’s potential, the CFO of that company began to mentor Kump, and the young leader stepped into roles with increasing responsibility.
During that period of growth, Kump realized he had more than a job and a career—he had a calling. “I started to see how we were taking care of people and changing lives for the better, and that brought fulfillment,” he explains. Inspired by his journey, Kump hopes to ensure that all Majestic Care Team members have the same level of mentorship and opportunities within the organization and industry that he had.
The strong commitment to culture and care team development is what makes Majestic Care and its leadership unique. “We want this to be a place where people can carry out their calling. To be good in our industry, you have to see what you do as more than a job. We want to find and nurture the passion people have to take care of people as they age.” In doing so, Majestic Care creates advocates who promulgate the company’s good work and share how other candidates also can find a meaningful career in healthcare.
How do Kump and his team create advocates? By focusing on the “Majestic Difference.” The company provides their care team members with benefits like a personal smartphone, perfect attendance bonuses, quarterly raises, tuition forgiveness, life insurance, free telehealth, discounted housing, weekly pay, and double pay on holidays.
But the Majestic Difference goes beyond perks and bonuses—it’s something Kump lives out as he leads by example. Kump is intentional about spending lots of time in as many campuses as possible so he can interact with residents, families, and care team members. “I’m not the kind of leader who’s locked in an office staring at dashboards on a computer screen. I prefer to talk to the people who take care of those that live in our campuses,” he explains.
Soliciting creative input and new ideas is critical at Majestic Care: this mindset helps foster inclusion and ensure that each care team member has a voice (and that they know their voice matters). The approach has fostered strong growth in the first five years of the organization.
“We’re serious about the work we do. This isn’t a game, to buy buildings and flip them. We’re trying to welcome buildings into the Majestic family to stay and make a difference. We want to provide stabilization and help them remain established for years to come in their communities,” Kump says.
Leading in an organization experiencing rapid growth—as Majestic Care is—brings its share of stress and challenges. Whenever Kump needs to ground himself, he visits a campus to chat with whomever he happens to encounter. He’s been known to fire up a grill and cook steaks for many of the care team and join them in celebration of their achievements.
It’s a way for Kump to show appreciation and reflect on all that has been accomplished—which is a great deal. Five years after its inception, Majestic Care has 4,000 employees and 3,700 residents. “We’ve changed a lot of lives,” he says. “And that’s rewarding.”