At Acadian, we pride ourselves in setting a foundation that enables our employees to make a long and fulfilling career that leads to an even more fulfilling retirement. In this edition of our Acadian Alumni Association spotlight, we check in with a retiree who says employee ownership provided him a healthy nest egg for a comfortable and happy life after Acadian.
“Richard Zuschlag sat us all down in a meeting and said, ‘If you stick with Acadian, I promise we will take care of you,’ and I believed him, and he did more than I knew was possible.”
For 37 years, Ben Sarro worked for Acadian, working to create “The Acadian Way” and building relationships that stand strong to this day. He was hired in Morgan City in 1976 as a driver, and Acadian put him through EMT school not long after that. Ben worked hard and gained valuable experience with the company. Before long, he was taking on more and more responsibility and rising as a leader among his team.
As his time with Acadian grew longer, Ben’s love for helping others grew stronger. There are thousands of patients who are forever grateful for the care he provided. He also cared greatly for his Acadian coworkers, which Ben described as a close-knit family. That “family” gained a particularly special person in February 1981, when Ben says a “beautiful redhead” walked into his station. “She made my heart jump! In September 1981, I married her, and Paulette and I are now celebrating 38 years together.”
Around the time of their marriage, Acadian started pursuing offshore rescue work. Paulette and Ben were among some of Acadian’s first EMS flight crews, regularly flying out to rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. They ended up working more than 45 offshore medical missions together. When Acadian opened operations in Tangipahoa Parish, Ben and Paulette jumped at the opportunity to move closer to home. They worked out of the Amite station and served the entire parish.
Five years after marrying, Paulette and Ben decided to start a family. In 1987, Paulette left Acadian to stay home with their new baby girl. Ben continued to work for Acadian for 26 more years and, together, they raised three daughters and one son.
Richard’s promise to Ben paid off in 2013, when he retired and was able to cash out his ESOP, which he then further invested. “I’ll never have to depend on social security, and we will be able to leave our kids with the investments we’ve made,” he says. Today, Ben loves to spend his time reading and hanging out with his seven grandchildren. He is forever thankful for the years he spent at Acadian and for the career path he was able to pursue.
Ben offers this advice to all current Acadian employees: “Take advantage of every opportunity provided to you for education and training. It’s hard, it’s grueling and you’ll give up what little free time you have, but it’s worth it. And take advantage of ESOP!”