Primrose Founder Jim Thares Tells the Primrose Story

Primrose Retirement Communities was founded in 1989 based on the premise that a retirement community must reward its residents with value, comfort, security, and convenience. Through the years, this philosophy has been enthusiastically welcomed in all communities where Primrose has been established. It has been our pleasure to create beautiful apartment homes and townhome villas complemented by outstanding internal common areas such as libraries, movie theaters, fitness centers, ice cream parlors, and pubs. From the beginning, our company office has been in Aberdeen, South Dakota, a community known for its friendly, honest, and hard-working people. Those are the characteristics that guide each Primrose Retirement Community.

Primrose Philosophy

Jim Thares, Primrose founder, emphasizes that the objective of each Primrose community is to provide a comfortable, convenient, secure, and enjoyable environment for seniors. “We are in this business,” he says, “to help seniors enjoy a healthy, happy lifestyle.” Thus, the Primrose theme “This is living” represents the fulfillment of this philosophy.

Primrose is guided by this philosophy in all phases of its work, beginning with the architectural design of its communities, the use of eco-friendly construction materials, the location and staffing of each community, and the ongoing management and caretaking that are part of each Primrose.

Primrose Mission

Through the commitment of our investors and dedicated staff, our daily focus is to develop and maintain happy and healthy living environments and provide a “person-centered” care approach for our growing senior population.

By getting the right people on the team at all levels of the organization and by making work fun, we will create a culture where the best people will want to work, residents will want to live, and the following five core values are embraced.

Primrose Core Values


We are accountable for our own results. Accountability means more than just doing our job. It includes an obligation to make things better, to pursue excellence, and to do things that further the goals of our organization.


We are never satisfied with our results because we are always looking ahead for new ways to improve. We focus on positive actions in order to grow. Relentless improvement gives us energy and opportunities to celebrate what we are doing well and envision where we want to go.


We show our passion through serving our residents, our fellow employees, and our vendors. We have leaders who make their own interests secondary and therefore serve the greater interest of the organization. A passion to serve is creating a culture that puts our residents and other employees at the heart of our organization.


We respect the dignity of each individual whether it be a resident, employee, or member of the general public. We foster an environment where trust and openness are the norms. We strive to understand others and actively listen to their concerns. We will resolve problems in a way that is respectful towards everyone.


We are not content with the “Status Quo” and understand that success can only be achieved through change. Change fosters innovation and development which are the precursors to greatness. We are flexible and open to new ideas.

Primrose Officers

Jim Thares
Jim Thares
Founder and CEO

Jim graduated from Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 1983. He worked as a CPA in the public accounting field for five years. In 1988 Jim led a development group that built and operated economy hotels around the country. Over the next 15 years they developed 18 economy hotels including Super 8 Motels, Holiday Inn Express Hotels, and Country Inn & Suites Hotels. In 1989 Jim started Primrose Retirement Communities to build independent senior living facilities. The first one opened in 1991. Today, Primrose offers villas, independent apartments, assisted living and memory care options.

BJ Schaefbauer
BJ Schaefbauer

BJ Schaefbauer received his Bachelor’s Degree from Northern State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in both Accounting and Business Management. BJ has worked in the public accounting field as a CPA for over 20 years. Before joining Primrose in 2010, BJ was the Managing Partner of Cahill, Schaefbauer and Bauer, a public accounting firm, of which he had been a partner since 1998.

Mark W. McNeary
Mark W. McNeary
General Counsel

Mark W. McNeary is Primrose’s Chief Legal Officer. Mark graduated from Northern State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Management. He graduated from the University of South Dakota Law School in 1994. Upon graduation, Mark was in private practice from 1994 until June of 2007. He practiced in the areas of litigation, transactional, real property, and business formation. Mark was also Brown County State’s Attorney from 2001 until June of 2007, at which time he joined Primrose.

Brian Morgan
Brian Morgan
Director of Finance

Brian J. Morgan has been with the management company since 2002. Brian graduated from South Dakota State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and a minor in Accounting. Upon graduation, he worked for a year and a half for a regional public accounting firm. For the next six years, Brian was employed in the accounting/finance department of Student Loan Finance Corporation, a financial services firm that specialized in the secondary student loan industry.


Primrose continues to develop and open retirement communities in locations across the country. We presently have 32 locations across 17 states.