President/CEO, Penny Solberg of Spring Valley Living, grew up on a farm near Harmony, Minn., and married a farmer. Even though she is well known throughout the state as a leader in the healthcare field and is an avid traveler – inside and outside of work – she still considers herself a just farm girl from Fillmore County. Perhaps her connection with those who work the land gives Solberg special insights to her company’s tagline – For the Seasons of Your Life.
After graduating from Harmony High School, Solberg attended college at UW La Crosse, majoring in accounting and gaining her CPA license. She married Daniel Solberg, who was farming in the Preston area. “The health care field was not on my radar at that time, but I started my career as the financial officer of Harmony Hospital,” says Solberg. “During my time with this organization, my father, Clifford Hegg, became a resident of the care center and I listened to him talk about his stay and how it made him feel.”
Because Solberg’s father received such great care and had a positive experience, she was led to pursue her Nursing Home Administrator’s License. “The license allowed me to take on the CEO role when the position was open. This provided me with a new perspective on healthcare with rural hospitals, clinics, and care centers to manage within the scope of the role. As the industry was changing and housing for seniors was taking off, it lead me to Spring Valley Living,” comments Solberg. Before long, she finished her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with emphasis on Strategic Leadership, which she has used for the past 16 years facilitating the possibilities of expansion to further meet the needs of the Spring Valley community.
The people she works with and the community she serves gives Solberg satisfaction as well as enjoyment, yet she finds the changes in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Affordable Care Act provisions offer her challenges. “I like a challenge,” states Solberg, whose life has offered her enough challenges including the loss of her parents early in her adult life, cancer and her husband’s near fatal accident. She has learned that “each day is what you make of it, whether in a rural community or a large community; small company or large company.”
Solberg expresses her gratitude for those who have helped her though out the years, stating, “I have had a very supportive husband and wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I have without his support. My children help me to keep my skills sharp and expand my knowledge base. Having a visionary board of directors has been instrumental in moving the organization forward and I have a great team to work with at all levels of the organization in Spring Valley Living. LeadingAge Minnesota, our state association, provided avenues to be involved at the state level to make sure the rural provider was heard. And we have been making sure we are heard.”
The community of Spring Valley Living recently embraced an extensive strategic planning process, redefined the mission statement, and shortened the name to better reflect what they do. As stated on their webpage, “Our mission is to enrich the lives of those we serve. Our vision is to Provide choices and opportunities to Live Well.
We accomplish our mission and realize our vision by following our “LIFE” Principles: Leadership in providing opportunities and choices to live well in the surrounding communities. Integrity in all aspects of the business. Fostering continued growth and innovation in those we serve and employ. Embracing continuous improvement in all aspects of what we do.”
Solberg remarks, “When I joined Spring Valley Living, I saw so much potential and continue to see future growth in enhancing the lives of those we serve. The health care industry has so many opportunities now and in the future. It is a great field to be involved in.”
To contact Solberg, visit the Spring Valley Living via their website at http://springvalleyliving.org/ or stop by 800 Memorial Drive to visit this vibrant community.