Our Town Tomah

Our Town Tomah: Caring for those with memory loss

Our Town Tomah is a unique assisted living facility focusing on memory care, an issue close to the owners’ hearts.

SERVICES USED: Entrepreneurial Training Program, SBDC Consulting

Our Town Tomah is a unique assisted living facility focusing on memory care, an issue close to the owners’ hearts.


Jill and Ray Monroe, together with Katie and Jason Yahnke, opened Our Town Tomah in May 2022. The memory care focus at the facility features daily schedules and activities designed specifically to help those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory loss.

For example, since one resident who worked as an accountant in younger years fondly remembers working with numbers, Jill obtained a laptop for this resident to work on balance sheets and perform other accounting tasks. Another resident previously loved being a handyman, so the team provides materials for him to do things like build bird houses and fix chairs.

Our Town Tomah believes that residents should be out in the community as much as possible. Residents often dine out at local restaurants or go out to play bingo in the area. The North American Squirrel Association (n.a.s.a) is a non-profit organization with the goal of providing physically challenged and elderly members of the community with outdoor opportunities. Using donated funds and equipment, n.a.s.a. volunteers to take Our Town Tomah residents out for boat rides and other outdoor activities.

In the near future, Jill plans to bring local musicians to the center for monthly performances. The small business also offers senior financial health services and state programs which help fund assisted living costs.

“[Terri] helped us understand realistically how taxes work and what it means to own a business.”
Jill Monroe
Our Town Tomah
  • Ownership guidance
  • Financial projections
  • Business plan

Jill is a Licensed Practical Nurse and Ray has worked in Operations Management for 25 years. He strives to continue to improve culture and enhance efficiency at the facility. Jason has lots of experience as a contractor and his work helped ensure the facility was built using the highest standards and quality. Katie’s MBA and business experience is invaluable to this growing business. 

Jill has managed assisted living facilities for more than 20 years and holds a passion for the people she serves. She said, “I have always loved working with people who have Alzheimer’s and dementia, but I didn’t like that they were mixed in with others who did not have those ailments. When a former clinic in the area was available, we decided to fulfill our dream of having our own memory care facility and servicing the elderly population.”


They came to the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance. Ray participated in the Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) offered at the SBDC. “Terri Urbanek, a consultant at the SBDC, really helped us to succeed. She was honest with us and didn’t sugar coat things. She helped us understand realistically how taxes work and what it means to own a business,” Jill said.

The entrepreneurs also worked with SBDC consultant Mike Walker. “He was great, very informative and helpful!” Jill shared. “He guided us through developing a business plan and financial projections.”


Like most small businesses, they had to overcome some obstacles on their entrepreneurial journey. “Staffing and retention of employees are the most difficult. We have learned that it is important to take care of our staff, so we offer good pay and treat employees well.” And they are truly overcoming that obstacle. When they first opened, the business had five employees and now they have nineteen.

The dedication to the people and community of Tomah is evident. They work closely with the Tomah Chamber of Commerce and help raise money for the local branch of Alzheimer’s Association. “My favorite part of the job is spending time with the residents,” Jill said. “We take walks together, visit, chat and form great friendships. I am currently learning to speak Spanish so I can communicate with a Spanish-speaking resident. When I said in Spanish, ‘I love you’ and the resident responded, “I love you so much,’ I knew our business was making a real difference in people’s lives.”