Jason Hynson recognizes the financial problems that plagued Victory Mission & Ministry five years ago when he came on board as executive director were significant. However, overcoming the challenge provided the leader with his greatest professional victory.
“I knew that I was made for a situation just like this,” Hynson says, noting he grew the annual budget of Wonderland Camp Foundation – the nonprofit he previously led – by 45% over a four-year period. “This was the time where I found out what I was made of. Victory Mission needed me to step up, step out and lead.”
Hynson says when he started, Victory Mission had $1 million in long-term debt, no reserve funding and a pile of accounts payable. A cost-benefit analysis to track the nonprofit’s expenses and maximize the value of its services resulted in savings of $600,000 in his first year on the job. Victory Mission now has no long-term debt, is current on all bills and has nine months of reserves, he says. The faith-based nonprofit provides emergency relief through outreach services and encourages long-term empowerment in its programming.
“Overall, the cash swing was almost $2.5 million,” Hynson says. “It’s amazing to look back on the challenge and to realize you influenced the change.”
Another challenge Hynson says Victory Mission faces is the shortage of funds to hire seasoned employees, which results in reliance on young people either in college or newly graduated. Still, he says it also provides an opportunity for the nonprofit to grow talent and confidence among its young staff.
“I am so grateful to be a person who leads with my heart and makes decisions in the best interest of those who want to do the best job, including young leaders looking for a place to grow, develop and be empowered,” Hynson says.
Commerce Bank Vice Chair Bob Hammerschmidt, who has known Hynson for five years, says the Victory Mission leader has reinvigorated the nonprofit. “A consummate networker, Jason always works to find a way to make things happen and brings excellence to all his endeavors,” Hammerschmidt says.
Future plans for Victory Mission include redeveloping its men’s shelter, dubbed Victory Square, into a two-story, modern facility, as well as adding three duplexes. The estimated $7 million project doesn’t have a start date, but Hynson says the new building is part of the nonprofit’s vision for 2026, which will mark its 50th anniversary.
“Victory Mission has momentum and looks forward to engaging with those ready to take personal responsibility and work on their lives,” he says.
Outside Victory Mission, Hynson has been an active member since 2014 of Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast.
Hynson, a married father of seven, says he believes a man is defined by both the professional and personal marks he leaves. He takes inspiration from a quote by author Rory Vaden: “Success is never owned, it is rented – and the rent is due every day.”
“My rent is paid at home, at work and in this community,” Hynson says. “May those I lead say I have paid them well.”
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