When the golf simulator at Majerus & Co. Physical Therapy was struck by lightning in 2008, John and his wife, Jodie Paschall-Majerus, each read the situation differently.
Majerus, 58, thought the lightning strike meant the simulator “should get upgraded.” Paschall-Majerus, 52, who co-owns the physical therapy clinic with her husband, took the strike as a omen.
“That was supposed to be our message that the golf simulator should go and we should put something else in there,” she said.
Fast-forward to current times, the simulator is working again and still has a home in the back of their clinic, as Majerus wished.
“We had different opinions — and we stayed married,” Paschall-Majerus said with a laugh.
Compromises, splitting Costco runs, playing yin and yang to each are what make relationships thrive, whether they be as a married couple of 23 years or business partners of 12 years, as Majerus and Paschall-Majerus are. They run a true mom-and-pop business, since their two kids worked for them growing up by washing laundry and turning over rooms after patient visits.
Majerus and Paschall-Majerus enjoy running a small business, but it comes with challenges.
“You don’t have a safety net,” Majerus said. “You don’t have people funneling you patients. You’re not Kaiser. You’re not Vancouver Clinic. You’re not Rebound working for the docs. We have to rely on reputation, word of mouth. That’s our lifeline to stay in business.”
Both husband and wife approach physical therapy with similar but different backgrounds. Majerus was an outpatient physical therapy clinics manager with Rebound Rehabilitation and helped start its joint program. Paschall-Majerus did physical therapy contracting on her own with places such as Vancouver Clinic, and was one of the first people to offer specialized PT for lymphedema patients in Clark County.
As Paschall-Majerus said, her husband “keeps his nose to the grindstone,” working with plenty of patients. Paschall-Majerus has expanded her training to also treat pelvic floor dysfunction, and she also handles administrative tasks and is cross-trained to deal with insurance billing.
“I think John would have no clue,” she jokes.
“We complement each other,” Majerus adds.
Owning their own business has been a culmination of hard work that has crisscrossed the U.S. The spouses met during schooling for PT in 1993 at the University of Iowa in John’s home state.
For a period of time, they traveled around in a recreational vehicle, doing contract PT work.
“It’s kind of hard to have a marital spat in an RV. Slam a pocket door and it kind of bounces back open,” Paschall-Majerus joked. “But it might have made us stronger.”
In all, they’ve lived in Texas, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and Iowa together. Traveling is one of their shared passions.
For a while, they also ran a clinic in Ridgefield. Complications — including a car driving through the location — made the business difficult to get off the ground. Now they just have their Vancouver location in Fisher’s Landing. They average between 50 to 60 patients daily, and have eight therapists on staff.
They hope to continue to grow their business in an organic manner. As far as succession plans go, their kids’ stints doing laundry didn’t lead them to want to join the family business, which is fine with their parents.
“When they were younger, and started putting two and two together and noticed that our name was associated with the business, they approached us separately and said, ‘I don’t want to be a physical therapist.’ And we said, ‘It’s OK,’ ” Paschall-Majerus said.
Majerus & Co. Physical Therapy
Place: Majerus & Co. Physical Therapy.
Address: 16219 S.E. 12th St., Vancouver, Suite 100.