Jaida Osborn is a self-described “people person” – and especially so when it comes to family. Which is probably why, following high school, she chose to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in her hometown of Moundridge, Kansas. Caring for people – check, close to family – check.

Once she began building a family of her own, Osborn moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, to be with her future husband as they welcomed their first child together. But the almost-30-mile commute back and forth between the two towns eventually became too much. So when a friend suggested she consider a career switch to Hutchinson-headquartered Mike’s Rent-To-Own, Osborn decided to give it a go.

“That was about five years ago,” Osborn recalls. “I began as an account manager, and moved up to store manager almost two years ago. Rent-to-own is really a family-oriented business, which I love, and I like talking with, interacting with, and helping our customers every day.”

Caring about people – check. Family-centered environment – check.

Mike’s Store Manager of the Year? Yep – check!

“We LOVE Jaida!” effuses Josh Hogg, District Manager for Mike’s Rent-To-Own. “She has a laser-focus for growing both her team and her store. We’ve got nine locations around the state [of Kansas], and the Hutchinson store is our biggest, our busiest, and our home-office location, so it offers a lot of challenges. Jaida meets and exceeds all of them. She sets not only daily goals, but also weekly goals for her team, and has consistently led them to amazing growth.”

Osborn says being adaptable and a quick study has helped her excel at Mike’s, as she and her team are “constantly learning new ways to do things and new technologies – it seems like I learn something new every day,” she notes. And her managerial style is just as easygoing and considerate as you might think.

“To be honest, I don’t like telling people what to do,” Osborn confesses. “I don’t like that part of my job, because I don’t want anyone to be mad at me when they don’t like what I have to say. So I envision myself as more of a role model; rather than telling people what to do, I try to show them the right way to do things, how to treat the customers, how to do a delivery, etcetera. I just do my best to help the business grow in a positive way, and to encourage my employees to do the same.”

Not surprisingly, part of what drives Osborn professionally is also personal – she seeks to succeed so that she can take care of her family, which today includes her husband, their two children together [ages 2 and 5], a “bonus” stepson [age 8], and a dog named Vegas.

“Our family loves water, so we spend a lot of time at the pool and the lake,” notes Osborn. “We do some camping, and enjoy boating with my dad at the helm. And we love visiting my parents on their farm. They raise cattle, pigs, goats, and chickens, so it’s fun for the kids, and there’s always a project to help out with.”

Osborn’s life comes across as a rather idyllic exercise in going-with-the-flow. Still, underlying that mellow sort of approach is, apparently, the heart of a fairly fierce competitor.

“Jaida cares – about doing her best, doing what’s best for the company, and keeping her customers happy and excited to do business with Mike’s,” attests Hogg. “She also has a true competitive spirit; she’s always thirsty to do better. She wants to be the best store in the company in all categories. She wants to see other stores and managers succeed as well, and will help them with whatever they need … while still striving to be slightly better.”

“I like to win,” Osborn concurs. “I never like to be coming in last when it comes to numbers, so I pay attention to not only my own numbers, but everyone’s numbers companywide. I want to be the top.”