UCH Board Sees End of Legacy, Welcomes New Member

Sue joined the Board in February 2007 as UCH faced an uncertain future, due to the recession that took a financial toll on the organization. The Board needed to make tough decisions to guide the organization through those difficult times and prepare for a stronger future, she said.

Sue’s relationship with United Church Homes started with her United Church of Christ roots and experiences at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Her grandfather, George Schoedinger, gave to Fairhaven for years, and her father, Robert Schoedinger, continued the tradition, helping to fund an expansion at Fairhaven that included the Gathering Place. Sue has extended her family’s legacy of giving with her generous donations over many years.

Sue is a strategic donor who challenges Board members to contribute to UCH each year to reach their goal of 100 percent participation by sponsoring an incentive for a matching gift to increase their total giving. She was a lead donor in 2011 to support Fairhaven’s Capital Campaign and in 2016 signed on to be a founding funder of United Church Homes’ innovative Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging. Most recently, she led the charge of an aggressive Board goal for United Church Homes’ $20 million comprehensive Campaign for Abundant Life by making another generous gift.

In 2017, Sue was recognized with the exclusive President’s Award of Distinction for her generosity, leadership and vision for the organization. In 2013, Sue was recognized as the honoree for the Ben M. Herbster Award for Fairhaven Community, again following in her father’s footsteps. He was recognized with the distinguished honor in 1999.

A lifelong educator who taught every grade from pre-kindergarten through college, Sue brought her passion to the Board with a special interest in benevolent care. Her late father was a former president of the Ohio Masonic Home, and her family has a long history of helping older adults.

Sue enjoyed her time on United Church Homes’ former Resident Services Committee, which combined Housing and Healthcare Services. She was Board vice chair from 2010-13 and served on the housing, advancement, governance, staff relations and advancement performance committees throughout her tenure.

In addition to her service to United Church Homes, Sue is on the Board of Directors for Andrews Osborne Academy, Willoughby, Ohio; Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio; and the National Alumni Board of Lake Erie College.

Sue said she will miss the comradery of the UCH Board.

“It’s so cliché. I think every person who’s ever retired has said the same thing,” Sue said, “but you hear it so much because it’s true. I admire and have great respect for everyone on the Board. There is tremendous respect and pride in our organization as a whole.

“The upside is I’ll get to sleep in.” Sue joked. “I think I’ve gained more from the organization than I’ve given to it. Coming from education, I didn’t know much about how a corporation worked. I’ve learned a lot about areas that I probably wouldn’t have gotten to learn about otherwise, and I can apply what I’ve learned to the other boards that I’m serving on now.”

In August, the Board voted to amend the bylaws, reducing its size through attrition as members retire. That works well for United Church Homes, as Sue is an irreplaceable asset.

UCH Welcomes David Brainin

David BraininDavid Brainin, a central Ohio affordable housing consultant, has joined the United Church Homes Board of Directors.

David graduated from New York University in 1974 with a degree in sociology and completed graduate work at The Ohio State University. But his passion for working with older adults, which started at a young age, led him to work in development, rehabilitation and management operations for affordable housing communities. He also assists nonprofits in the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing properties.

David was introduced to United Church Homes 25 years ago when he first met Vice President of Housing Services Cheryl Wickersham through LeadingAge Ohio, an advocate for nonprofit organizations serving older adults.

“I’m really excited to be involved as United Church Homes looks to expand its affordable housing services,” David said. “I believe everyone needs housing. With my background in long-term care and the continuum of care, I’m really interested in all facets of the organization.”

David grew up in Detroit, where his mother ran a nursing home, sparking a lifelong interest in David to serve older adults. He followed in her footsteps to become a nursing home administrator before moving into affordable housing.

He brings to the Board a wealth of experience and expertise in senior living services, affordable housing and strategic planning. He also brings a nonprofit perspective, having worked for nonprofits throughout his career.

“I tried retiring, but after six months, it wasn’t working out.” He laughed. “I need to be involved in my field.”

David lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Jackie.