For Ray McCrary, his work as the maintenance engineer at the Payson Senior Apartments is more than a job.
It is something that he finds very rewarding. And the biggest reward is the appreciation expressed for his work by the apartment residents, it manager and the owner of the facility -- CBM Group.
"Even though I work for the company, I still feel independent at the job," McCrary said. "The appreciation of the residents and the property manager is the biggest reward. It's what keeps me going."
McCrary said he treats the work he does for the Payson Senior Apartments as if it was something he was doing for his own personal home.
"The work always reflects back on me, so I like doing my best," he said.
McCrary and his wife, Denise, came to Arizona in 1999 from Indiana. He had worked for a factory there for more than a dozen years. The couple came to Arizona on vacation in 1998 and fell in love with the state.
When they went home, they decided to move here. "I was burned out on the job and the weather -- it's miserably cold in the winter and humid in the summer."
They didn't know what they were going to do in Arizona.
"We lived at a Best Western motel in Tucson for about a week," he said. Then they heard the CBM Group was hiring a team for its senior apartments in Benson and he applied.
"I was pretty much hired on the spot," McCrary said.
While working at the Benson complex, he was asked to come to Payson to do some work on the facility on McLane and Wade.
"We loved the area. The weather, the country. So, when the company offered me a job up here, we jumped on it."
McCrary has been the maintenance engineer at the Payson Senior Apartments for more than four years. He said the company has offered him jobs at other sites -- it has more than 150 in seven different states and is growing all the time -- but he has refused the transfers. "We love it up here," McCrary said.
The vendors he works with, Ace Hardware and Foxworth-Galbraith, are great, he and his wife have made good friends in the area.
He said the CBM Group is a great company to work for. "They care about the property. If they didn't I could not do all the special projects I've done."
McCrary built the residents a large dog run for their pets; he just finished fixing up the lobby of the building, including the addition of shelving for displays and a place for rental applications; and now he is working on a gazebo where the residents can sit outside under shade and grill.
The work around the facility includes all the apartment and building maintenance, cleaning, landscaping and yard work.
There sometimes aren't enough hours in the day to do all he'd like to do, "You know when you finish one project, there is something else to do."
One of those other projects is building some shaded seating in the dog run for the residents.
McCrary said the Payson Senior Apartments is always accepting new rental applications, and with the improvements he has made to the lobby, those interested just need to drop by and pick up a copy of the paperwork.
The Payson Senior Apartments are at 311 S. McLane Road, for more information, call (928) 474-6761.
Name: Ray McCrary
Occupation: Maintenance engineer
Employer: CBM Group, Payson Senior Apartments
Birthplace: Winslow, Ind.
Family: Wife, Denise
Personal motto: Don't ever be afraid to try something new.
Inspiration: My father, I learned a lot through him and I'm a lot like him.
Greatest feat: Fulfilling personal ideas to make this a nicer place for the residents.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: I love four-wheeling
Three words that describe me best are ... dependable, consistent, trustworthy.
I don't want to brag but ... I don't brag.
The person in history I'd most like to meet is: Abraham Lincoln
Luxury defined: I love going home to my wife.
Dream vacation spot: Caribbean
Why Payson? We came up here to do work for the company and fell in love with the area, so when we had the opportunity to transfer here, we jumped on it.