MorningStar’s story begins with an impassioned prehistory—namely, the life of Ken Jaeger, Founder/CEO. Born and raised on a large multi-generational farm in the Midwest, Ken and his 11 siblings were presented daily with lessons in economics, diligence and hard work.
In 2003, after 15 years of executive leadership experience and thoughtful observation of the senior housing industry, Ken determined to establish his own bold brand of senior living rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.
Here’s how Ken recounts the opening chapter of MorningStar Senior Living in its inception year of 2003: “I had a dream to start a senior housing company that was defined by the human touch. I wanted to re-create my grandmother’s house, a place where one can go and feel a sense of family.” Out of this heart of Ken’s, one focused on the power of relationships, came a three-pillared mission upon which MorningStar remains grounded:
Honor God in our business practices and relationships — A commitment to strong moral values and ethics
Value all seniors as gifted and contributing individuals — A commitment to creating a community that promotes a healthy, engaged lifestyle, while providing security and independence
Invest generously in our team’s ability to serve well — A commitment to hiring and retaining employees who use creative minds and compassionate hearts to serve residents
Ken continues the story, “I had been searching for a company name for months. Something that was alive and comforting, that offered a powerful, guiding force—even more, a name that spoke to the passion I have to bring loving care to seniors.”
Then one day while he was reading the Bible, that name—MorningStar—leapt from the pages of Revelation 22:16 where Jesus said, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star”. In sharing his discovery with wife Shanna, she mentioned that just that day she’d seen this reference to Jesus in 2Peter (“…you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts”).
The following day Ken read a front page article about an Indian reservation suffering under abject poverty. One of the Native American women being interviewed was named MorningStar. That settled it. For even at the genesis of his company, Ken knew he wanted its profits used, in part, to relieve poverty around the world. And so we were christened: MorningStar.
Since our first privileged year of service, the lasting impression we want to make is this: By weaving all the threads of a better story, by knowing our purpose is greater than any one of us, MorningStar is resolved to elevate the world of business and leave a legacy of benevolence and changed lives.
OUR BRAND STORY
ON A MISSION
While the company was founded on a Judeo-Christian tradition, we honor all faith systems and worldviews among our team members and residents. Our preeminent goal is to meet a resident’s social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs, all of which contribute to creating a comfortable home and offering truly compassionate care. It is our responsibility to honor spiritual preferences as part of caring for the whole person.