Hard work pays off for Omega Frater Daron Butler
Morgan native Daron Butler has found sweet success in Americus since he moved here after graduating high school in 1986, to attend Georgia Southwestern College (GSW). For the past three years Butler has served as vice president for community relations at Magnolia Manor, which is among the many promotions he has had in his professional life.
A psychology major at GSW, Butler said he owes his work ethic to the days he spent working on his father’s 15-acre Calhoun County farm.
“I learned independence and responsibility out there on the farm. It’s part of my life I hold dear. The country boy is still in me,” Butler said.
He said that he had a lot of time to think during his formative years about what he wanted to do when he grew up. Butler said that he knew early on that he wanted to work with people, and that’s why he chose psychology as his field of study.
Butler and his sister, Carla Henderson, both GSW alumni, are first-generation college graduates. His sister paved the way for Butler, beginning her course work in 1983.
In December of his freshmen year, Butler’s roommate, later to become his brother-in-law, told him about a job opening at Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare, which Butler pursued and was hired. He said that the job opened up a challenging world to him but he was able to employ the lessons he learned on the farm.
“It was a part-time job with big-time responsibilities,” Butler said.
He worked closely with mentally challenged consumers, monitoring the self-administering of their medication. He said in a relatively short time he was promoted several times and eventually became director of that department and managed 35 employees. For 10 years he was employed at Middle Flint and in 1996, he interviewed for a job at Magnolia Manor for a personnel position and got the job. He was later named director of human resources when the department transitioned into a larger department. He was able to deal with people more and enjoyed resolving employee issues.
His years of experience working closely with people had prepared him for the new job and eventually he ascended to his present post as a liaison for Magnolia Manor to the community. Butler also is responsible for Magnolia Manor’s servant leadership program and oversees social accountability initiatives.
“I had no idea Magnolia Manor was such a large organization and had so much going on,” Butler said. “They’re so much more than a nursing home.”
What he loves most about his job is “telling the story of Magnolia Manor” and working with the different people in the organization.
When he’s not working in the office, Butler enjoys time with his wife, Mesa and his sons, Kendall, 10, and Ray, 23. He said that most of his family time is spent attending Kendall’s athletic events. Butler said that at the beginning of each year the family is busy, going to basketball games; then it’s baseball season and then, football.
“And then when I think it’s over, basketball is starting up again,” laughs Butler, who also played basketball in school.
Butler coaches sports as well, devoting his time and energy to coach baseball, football and basketball at the Sumter County Recreation Department. He finds fulfillment in participating as a coach, enjoying the time spent with kids who may need a positive role model.
“I appreciate that opportunity to work with children,” Butler said.
The Butlers are also active members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where Daron is an officer. He said that this week the church is observing pastor Melvin McCluster’s 22nd anniversary.
Butler is also devoted to his college fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Inc., which he said taught him much about leadership and organization. He said as an undergraduate he was intent on making sure the fraternity business affairs were in order and enjoyed event planning. He now is a very active alumni, serving as vice president in the organization and advisor to undergraduates at the Georgia Southwestern State University chapter.
As vice president of community relations at Magnolia Manor, Butler visits eight campuses across South Georgia on a regular basis conducting leadership training. Currently he is working with facilities from Columbus to St. Simons Island in incorporating an energy management plan to find better ways of utilizing resources and cutting waste.