Name: Jim Snyder
Title: Program Director Meals on Wheels San Antonio
Organization: Meals on Wheels San Antonio
How did you become interested in this work?
After 35 years in engineering, I came to the conclusion that it was time to search for something different. The Program Director job for Meals on Wheels San Antonio popped up in a Linked In search and I immediately thought this is the something different I was looking for. Meals on Wheels is such a wonderful mission, with a great brand, and it is quite a daily operation where I could utilize my experience. I knew it was long shot without any non-profit experience except for being a leader in Boy Scouts, but after a couple of interesting interviews with Sharon Baughman she agreed to give me a try. Running a Meals on Wheels operation has so much in common with project and program management in the private sector. In both you have contracts, budgets, people, and other resources to manage toward a successful outcome. And the successful outcomes for Meals on Wheels are so great for seniors – the daily contact and nutrition makes a real difference in their lives.
What drives your passion?
Making things better. I like challenges, fixing things that aren’t working at their best, and most of all making a work place a fun place to be. With Meals on Wheels I am motivated to put my passion to work to get the most out of our resources so that we can improve the quality of our food and service and serve more clients.
Does your organization offer any other programs besides meal delivery?
Yes, we operate three Grace Place Alzheimer’s Day Care Centers that are wonderful for the clients and offer respite to their caregivers, and we have a Companionship Services program. We also have an upstart Animeals program.
What is the best advice you’ve ever recieved?
Take care of your employees and they will take care of everything else.
What is the biggest challenge in your work?
Keeping 3,200 clients, 2,700 volunteers, and 60 employees happy every day.
Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?
It happens almost every time I go out and deliver. I’ll ask the client if they enjoy being a Meals on Wheels client and its heartwarming how many stories I get about how my driver or case manager did something extra sweet for them and how much they love them. It gives you that proud parent feeling 100 times over. I go home every day feeling blessed to have this opportunity. Well, almost every day.