Career Spotlight: Dave Piehl’s 45 Years with LSS

By Dave Piehl
Lead Programming Specialist
LSS IT Department

This year I marked 45 years with LSS.

I am finding that such a length of service is more and more an anomaly in our changing world,. People don’t stay with the same company for five years, let alone 45, anymore! So, when I was asked to share a little bit about my journey at Lutheran Senior Services, I thought it appropriate to start at the beginning.

It began as a summer job doing dishes in 1972 at Lutheran Altenheim, which later became a founding part of our organization. Even in those early days, I found that I loved working with the residents. I moved to the business office while attending high school, taking additional responsibilities once I started college at UMSL. Every single day I saw the Christian mission of LSS lived out by those around me: my co-workers, supervisors, and leadership. When I graduated, I realized what a special place LSS was. When the opportunity presented itself to become the assistant business manager, I jumped at the chance.

Here’s a picture of me from around 1985 when I was responsible for payroll and employee benefits. Despite the messy desk, I convinced the organization to buy that first PC which communicated with our single timeclock!

I’ve grown a lot since that picture. And LSS has too. From all the communities and services we’ve added, to the number of people we’ve touched with our Christian mission, I can say with confidence that LSS has grown in its servanthood to seniors.

For me, it has been quite a ride. But don’t think for a second that I am ready to retire. The work I do in Information Technology is part of LSS growth and evolution, a search for faster, more effective ways to stay connected and share information. I plan to stick around to be part of that.

But I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some “tried and true” lessons I’ve learned in my 45 years at LSS. I hope you will find them helpful in your own careers.

  1. Keep learning. Orientation never ends. One of the main reasons I’m still working at LSS is there is always something to learn – from other employees, from residents, from our competition and from the world around us – that can be applied to my job today and tomorrow.
  2. Don’t gripe, do. Instead of complaining or griping about how things aren’t what they should be, start working on ways to make them better.
  3. Do what you like. That doesn’t mean don’t do the things you don’t want to do. It means put your efforts into shaping your future by learning and spending time on those things you are good at and want to do.
  4. Be ready to change … changes are coming and they won’t wait for you. I enjoy the past. I can tell you stories of the past. But the future is coming, ready or not. Choose to look forward rather than looking over your shoulder and stumbling into tomorrow.
  5. Be here to serve. God has put me in the place I am today for a reason – whether it’s to show others the love He’s shown me or to help them through difficult times or to celebrate the good times. Every day I look forward to discovering what He has for me to do that day.

One day I will retire. But until then, I look forward to what’s ahead for all of us as we work to fulfill our Christian mission – Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest. This focus has given me a life of abundance during my first forty-five years at LSS!