In February of 2015, a new idea was presented by the employee wellness OnBoard team that would help build strong relationships between residents and employees by bringing them together on a more personal level – enter Insights. Insights is a monthly event where a resident shares their story with employees at Plymouth Harbor on the fourth Friday of each month during January–October, from 12:00–12:30, typically in the Private Dining Room. Residents are invited to be the featured speaker, employees sign up to attend, and lunch is provided by the Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Part of the inspiration for the Insights series was the notion that, by residents sharing the paths to their remarkable lives, our employees would perhaps feel invigorated and inspired to achieve some of the things they otherwise felt were unattainable. What we have found is that there are many benefits to the series: connections, inspiration, admiration, and self-fulfillment.

The deepening of relationships that have been cultivated through these monthly connections has been noteworthy. Karen Smith, an employee in Resident Programming, has attended nearly all presentations. She shared, “…The Insights program has been tremendously valuable to me as I seek a more personal connection with our residents.” Paul Pazkowski, an eTech at Plymouth Harbor, says, “When I heard Anne Burroughs speak, I learned that it is important to have a passion in life, but you may or may not make your living at it. From Charles Gehrie’s talk I learned that many people have innovative ideas, but it takes an inventor and a team to make one successful.”

Some of the stories that are shared have deep life lessons and some are riddled with what we might consider strife, yet the storyteller found it to be part of their fulfilling journey. For instance, Sue Johnson’s story began in Manhattan, where she slept in the living room or hallway of their apartment most of her childhood. She wasn’t complaining. This was part of her life and contributed to what has made her the resilient and positive woman she is today. Reina Jay Aavri Troiano was reticent about telling her story, saying that her life was rather unremarkable. However, going through the process of reviewing her life, she found the experience to be uplifting and fulfilling, and she delivered a review of her life that was quite remarkable.

Insights is videotaped by resident Phil Starr every month, who then edits and produces a digital recording that is loaded onto our website at PlymouthHarbor.org/Category/Insights/. DVDs are produced and given to the speakers to share with their families, and a copy is placed in the Resident Library. If you are interested in telling your story through Insights, please contact Becky Pazkowski at Ext. 398.

Current Insights collection:
Charles Gehrie (March 2015)
Don and Peggy Wallace (April 2015)
Beverly and Bill Vernon (May 2015)
Jane Smiley (June 2015)
Senator Marlow Cook (July 2015)
Ted and Fran Rehl (August 2015)
Walt Mattson (September 2015)
Susan Mauntel (October 2015)
Terry and Maureen Aldrich (January 2016)
Phil and Barry Starr (February 2016)
Paul and Macky Groen (March 2016)
Tom and Marie Belcher (April 2016)
Judy Liersch and Al Jennings (May 2016)
John Goodman (June 2016)
Wendy and Jim Underwood (July 2016)
Jerry and Nancy Kaplan (August 2016)
Joe Berkely (September 2016)
Anne Burroughs (October 2016)
Lou Newman (January 2017)
Tom Elliott (February 2017)
Connie Meadows (March 2017)
Reina Jay Aavri Troiano (April 2017)
Sue Johnson (May 2017)
David Beliles (June 2017)
Connie Sanders and
Carl Koenig (July 2017)
Tom Towler and Nancy
Lyon (August 2017)

 

Resident David Beliles discusses his childhood, living through the Depression, and building his own newspaper business, with the help of his wife, Ruth, into what we know today as The Observer Group.

View his June 2017 Insights presentation here:
 

 

Resident Sue Johnson discusses growing up in Brooklyn, becoming one of the first female superintendents in the country, and her marriage to a “Georgia Boy.”

View her May 2017 Insights presentation here:
 

 

An only child born in Boston during the Great Depression, Reina Troiano lived a life of self-exploration. After high school, Reina says she “lived life backwards.” She went directly into the working world, holding many different positions, from a file clerk to advertising to working for a personnel agency and even modeling. It wasn’t until she was in her 40s that Reina decided to go back to college, double-majoring in English and interdisciplinary social studies. Reina later went on to study for a master’s degree, leaving before graduation, and eventually landing a job in the U.S. Senate. What did she learn along the way?

View her April 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

Connie Meadows was born in Maryland, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in psychology. Connie’s first job was with a consulting fi rm, but in 1966, she moved to The Hague to work for the Insurance Company of North America. After becoming Director of the European region, she moved to Brussels for more than a decade. She eventually moved back to Maryland and formed a company that provided financial services and managedcondominiums. But she didn’t stop there – Connie then became CFO of Ocean Petroleum before retiring in 2000. What lead her into her many different careers?

View her March 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

High school sweethearts Tom and Sue Elliott are originally from Toledo, Ohio. Tom graduated from Alma College with a degree in biology, and Sue graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree as a registered medical technologist. After Tom served in the Army in West Germany, the two traveled Europe before returning to the U.S. Upon their return, Sue focused on volunteer work and Tom earned his master’s degree before starting work at Applied Science Associates – where he helped build the company from three employees to over 150 when he retired.

How did he accomplish this growth? And what is the meaning behind the name of their talk?

View their February 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

After receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Cornell University, Dr. Lou Newman moved to Montana and developed a veterinary practice, a wholesale drug supply business, and a cattle ranch. He later made the decision to join the faculty of Michigan State University’s Department of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, where he completed his Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology. Dr. Newman went on to work with two more universities before retiring and focusing on his passion for photography.

Has he always had a desire to work with animals? And what are his surprising stories from time spent with cowboys and cattle?

View his January 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ann Burroughs has been an artist all her life – from oil painting to printmaking to working as a metal smith fusing gold, silver, brass, and copper. Her work with metal ranges from heavy casting to jewelry, some of which is created here in the Wood Shop. Born in Flint, Michigan, Ann attended Mount Vernon Seminary as a boarding student and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from both the University of Colorado and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. How did she develop such an interest in the arts?

View Ann’s October Insights presentation to find out:

Insights is a monthly connection where residents can share stories and insights about their lives, careers, and hobbies with Plymouth Harbor employees. A feature of Plymouth Harbor’s developing employee wellness program, OnBoardInsights is offered at noon on the fourth Friday of each month. Open to all employees, lunch is provided, supported by gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation employee assistance fund. Thanks to Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.

 

Jack Denison is a graduate of Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during WWII in England, Germany, and France. After that, he served a short time with the U.S. State Department and went on to spend his entire business career with the American Hospital Supply Corp. As president of the Export Division and a lead strategist for various sales and marketing projects, Jack traveled extensively in the Middle East, South America, and Japan. After retiring, Jack did volunteer work that brought him to Jordan, Egypt, Poland, Costa Rica, and Romania. What was it like traveling to so many different countries? And what is the meaning behind the title of his talk? Join us to find out!

View his September Insights presentation to find out:

Insights is a monthly connection where residents can share stories and insights about their lives, careers, and hobbies with Plymouth Harbor employees. A feature of Plymouth Harbor’s developing employee wellness program, OnBoardInsights is offered at noon on the fourth Friday of each month. Open to all employees, lunch is provided, supported by gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation employee assistance fund. Thanks to Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.