Soon the organization was dealing with tough economic times and as a financial professional, I wanted to help. I wanted to stabilize an organization that provided vital services to residents, their families, churches, and communities. Over time, the work became more challenging, and difficult decisions were made that influenced the survival of UCH and its ministry.
More than seven years after the recession, UCH is thriving. As a member of the UCH Board of Directors for 11 years and Board Chair for three, I have seen UCH navigate through one of the most difficult times in its history. To survive, the leadership and board members adopted a robust new mission and implemented strategies that resulted in transformational growth. Observing the new mission, vision, and values in action, and how the energy inspires passion for the ministry to persist, has been life-changing for me.
Hiring President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel was a highlight of my experience on the board.
We couldn’t have chosen a better faith leader. My work with him over the years has forged a lifelong friendship and I view him and his work with deep respect and admiration.
Many other memorable experiences include the new management contract at Friendship Village Columbus in Ohio. The contract demonstrated renewed confidence from our peers in the senior living business. Another proud moment was when United Church Homes acquired Glenwood Community and Harmar Place in Marietta, Ohio, from the Marietta Memorial Health System. UCH was selected because of our reputation for quality care and ethical business practices. The centennial celebration in 2016 expressed deep gratitude for the leaders of the past and provided inspiration for the leaders of tomorrow. The energy from the launch of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging was captivating as it reflected UCH’s commitment to innovation and education as a teaching and learning organization. The integration of Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was especially meaningful to me. Being a voice and advocating for increased opportunities to provide affordable housing for individuals has been a vibrant activity as we resolved to provide services to a flood of older adults from the baby boomer generation.
As my tenure expires later this year, I continue to be proud of the dedicated Spirit filled, Spirit led, Spirit driven residents, families, volunteers, donors, staff, and board members who work tirelessly to transform Aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace. I am blessed and grateful to be a part of this ministry.