Bates County Memorial Spotlights: Mike Taranto

BCMH Board Member Spotlight: Mike Taranto

Bates County Memorial Hospital’s board member spotlight features Mike Taranto, who was first elected for his position in 2016. He currently serves as secretary for the board of directors.

Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, Taranto was drawn to the Midwest to attend Park University in 1963. He was drafted to the Army for the Vietnam war in 1967, but a football injury prevented him from serving overseas. He worked for Kansas City Southern Industries telecommunications division for about 20 years. In 1982, he completed an Executive Fellows MBA from Rockhurst University.

Taranto’s career in marketing and manufacturing management and microwave communications took him around the world, including a 5-year stint in Athens, Greece to help prepare for the 2004 Olympics. He took part in several other remarkable projects, one of which landed him in South Africa for about six months. While there, he toured vineyards and noticed a specialized fabric utilized for protection from hail and other storms. This would become the inspiration for the company he founded in early 2000, Solar Shade USA. He retired from his active role with the company in January 2020, and his family runs the business today, located north of Rich Hill, Mo.

“When I look back at the experiences I’ve had, I’m really grateful,” Taranto said. He was approached for the role of hospital board member in part because of his background in running a business, with specific focus on strategic planning, quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

“In my bones, I am an opportunity seeker,” Taranto said. “Creative marketing is what I do.”

Mike and his wife Beth live in Butler. They have five children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Beth volunteers at Bates County Memorial Hospital with the Auxiliary.

As elected officials, BCMH board members serve five-year terms, and oversee such matters as making strategic decisions for the hospital, hiring and monitoring an effective CEO, ensuring the hospital is providing quality care, overseeing the hospital’s financial well-being, staying educated in healthcare industry news and best practices, and being a representative of the hospital in the community. They delegate the responsibilities for the hospital’s day-to-day operations and decision making to the chief executive officer and the hospital’s management team.

The hospital medical staff, employees and volunteers thank Mike Taranto for his service.