As the campaign for A Commitment to Memory advances, we are delighted to welcome new donors who have opted to participate: our business partners. It is truly a pleasure to experience the generosity of the organizations we partner with on new construction, renovations, and technology.

Willis Smith Construction has made a pledge of $50,000 towards our campaign. We are happy to recognize their commitment by placing their name on the new Private Dining Room that will be adjacent to the Assisted Living Dining Room. “Our residents and employees see Willis Smith representatives as part of the Plymouth Harbor team,” commented President/CEO Harry Hobson. “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Willis Smith as a prominent member of our philanthropic efforts, especially for this important and long-awaited project.”

The Loyola Group, who has been responsible for building our technology infrastructure to accommodate all of our new IT efforts, such as campus-wide WiFi, the telephone system, nurse call system, and much more, has pledged $25,000 to the campaign. Their gift will be recognized by placing their name on the Family Conference Room and Resource Center on the second floor. Dan Cavolo, President of the Loyola Group, shared that it was very important to him to be part of this campaign, supporting not only the new building, but Plymouth Harbor’s overall mission.

Energy Air, Inc., the supplier of our HVAC in the Northwest Garden Building, Pilgrim Hall, and other projects throughout Plymouth Harbor, has committed to a $5,000 gift toward the project. Charles Kulp, Founder of Energy Air, thanked us for the time and effort we have put into this project.

As of this writing, the campaign total is at $2,949,095 (or 98%) of our $3,000,000 goal. We are delighted to welcome all of our participants and hope that more are inspired to give as we grow closer and closer to our goal. Every gift makes a difference, and every donor is sincerely appreciated and will be recognized on the donor wall. We have reached out to more of our consistent business partners and hope to be able to announce more support soon! Please join me in thanking and welcoming those at Willis Smith Construction, The Loyola Group, and Energy Air to our list of 106 donors!

 
 

By: Isabel Pedersen

Not everyone gets to marry a handsome TV anchorman, but Joan Kiernan did. They married one year after they met and had five great children and six grandchildren. They were married for 42 years. Dave passed away in 1999.

Joan, born in New York, grew up in Connecticut where she lived most of her life except for a short time when the family lived in Puerto Rico. They later moved to Darien, Connecticut, where the children grew up. When their youngest child went to school, Joan did likewise. She graduated from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield and found a career at United States Surgical
Corporation in Norwalk as their corporate secretary. In 1989, she and Dave decided to retire in Florida. They lived on Siesta Key and Longboat Key. They traveled all over the world until Dave’s passing.

Joan found a second wonderful marriage with Vince, who passed away in 2006.

Joan has always been active in her retirement years. She volunteered for local charities and was on the Board of the Asolo Repertory Theatre. She played team tennis at Bath & Racquet Fitness Club, Longboat Key Club, and Bird Key Yacht Club. Joan enjoys theatre and spends as much time as she can in New York City. She loves to travel and has been on almost every continent. Her home reflects her many trips to the far east. Most fascinating places? Dubai, and maybe Komodo Island? And every place in between!

 

By: Al Balaban

Thirty years of active military duty (Army) around the world, mostly accompanied by his charming wife, Kathleen, and their three children, followed by another thirty years of a more stable civilian existence in Sarasota…and now, Plymouth Harbor. Retired Colonel Jamo Powell and Kathleen are settling comfortably into the Plymouth Harbor way of life and have been impressed (but not surprised) with the warm welcome they have enjoyed from their fellow residents, and the professional manner in which the staff has assisted them during their relocation these past several weeks.

Jamo, and yes, that is his real name, and Kathleen are originally from Texas. They became active in community activities shortly after their arrival in Sarasota almost three decades ago. Jamo became President of the Lakes Estates Homeowners Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the Military Officers Association of Sarasota, and Commodore of the Bird Key Yacht Club. Kathleen plunged into membership and chairmanship of a number of local civic, cultural, and social groups while maintaining interest in her earlier work with military wives.

They are extremely proud of their most important lifelong accomplishment — the successful raising of their three children despite the 20 moves to different cities and countries: Jennie Ellen, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy; Thomas, a graduate of West Point (and now, himself a retired Army Colonel); and Mark, a graduate of Texas A&M University, his father’s alma mater. All three children are well-settled in their careers and marriages, and have produced 14 grandchildren, to the delight of their grandparents.

While in the Army, the Powells lived a total of five years in Germany and took the opportunity to visit most of the countries in Western Europe during those years. Since retirement, they have continued to travel extensively and have visited Eastern Europe, the Far East, the mid-East, Australia, and just recently returned from a South American cruise. Cruise ships are, by far, their favorite means of taking vacations. Some 40+ at last count.

Kathleen and Jamo look forward to meeting more of their neighbors at Plymouth Harbor and participating in the many opportunities and activities that are provided for residents.

 

Woodworking is certainly its own unique art form — blending skill, an eye for detail, and a passion for perfection — resulting in some of the most remarkable pieces of custom art and furniture out there. At Plymouth Harbor, we’re lucky to have so many talented woodworkers among us.

At any one time, there is no telling how many projects are going on down in the Wellness Center Wood Shop. Many would consider this passion as a hobby, although for some, it’s safe to say it has turned into a bit of a “second career.” Plymouth Harbor in particular has benefited countless times from the generosity of these skilled craftsmen who reside right under our roof. As an example, in 2015, residents Graham “Barky” Barkhuff, Tom Elliott, and Gene Heide helped dramatically improve the entrance to MacNeil Chapel with the chapel doors they constructed to hold new stained glass panels the Barkhuffs donated, along with a new storage cabinet for Chapel supplies.

Most recently, Plymouth Harbor enlisted Dr. Heide’s help in building custom service cabinets for our Dining Services department (pictured above). He agreed and set to work outlining the project as requested, ensuring each detail complemented the Mayflower Restaurant in both appearance and design.

Eventually, the project became a resident-staff collaboration as members of our Maintenance Department (Hugh Kelly and painter Jim Oates)stepped up to help Dr. Heide install the final pieces and complete the finishing touches on each cabinet. Today, you may (or may not) notice these four new cabinets throughout the restaurant, located by the pillars and blending in perfectly. These new additions aid our servers by providing storage and a place to set their trays, without taking away from the overall dining ambiance.

With these craftsmen showing such dedication to their hobby, some may wonder how the interest was sparked. For Dr. Heide, it began when he was only six years old. His father had recently acquired a pearl-handle pocket knife, which Dr. Heide and his brother both wanted. His father, always pushing education, said he would give it to the person who came home with the best grades that semester. Naturally, Dr. Heide, a first-grader, won against his sixth-grade brother. “I won easily,” he laughs. “And I’ve carried a pocket knife ever since.”

Over the years, Dr. Heide has perfected his skills. From carving play swords and guns out of the sugar pine crates oranges used to come in to working with a cabinet maker for a summer, he’s had his fair share of projects — including cabinets, desks, bookshelves, carvings, and mending items for fellow residents. Today, Dr. Heide certainly stays busy, whether it is working on an entirely new project or improving pieces of furniture found in his home.

“I like to make things better than they were before,” he says. “I’ve always liked that notion: ‘leave a place better than you found it.’” There is no question: after a piece of wood finds its way into the Plymouth Harbor Wood Shop, it will come out looking better than ever.

As a show of appreciation, many who have benefited from the Wood Shop’s talent have made donations to the fund, which is held by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. These funds are used to purchase supplies and tools for the Wood Shop.

 

Plymouth Harbor is proud to announce Marty Martel as our new Director of Maintenance. Marty joined the Plymouth Harbor team in July 2017.

In his role as Director of Maintenance, Marty is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of Plymouth Harbor’s infrastructure, including the repair of all building functions, grounds, equipment and appliances; implementing an ongoing facility preventive maintenance program; supporting the remodeling/upgrade program; and supporting capital projects.

Prior to joining Plymouth Harbor, Marty served as Director of Engineering for Brookdale Senior Living in Sarasota. There, he was responsible for overseeing maintenance of the entire community; managing its team of technicians; maintaining building-maintenance budgets; and establishing maintenance contracts, policies, safety programs, and training.

Before that, Marty spent nearly 14 years at Post Properties, a developer and operator of multifamily communities. He served as Area Lead Engineer in their Tampa office before moving to Washington, D.C. in 2005 to serve as their Director of Property Services Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region, where he managed 10 residential communities in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and New York. Marty also served as Maintenance Supervisor and Maintenance Technician at two additional companies in Tampa, and attended Northern Virginia Community College in Manassas, Virginia.

In addition to his maintenance expertise, Marty served in the U.S. Army from 1987 until 1996. He spent seven years in Germany, five of which were spent patrolling the borders between East and West Germany. He experienced first-hand the end of the Cold War and the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Marty was also deployed during Desert Storm, and was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Valor during this conflict.

Plymouth Harbor is excited to have Marty on board, and we look forward to the continued enhancement of our maintenance program.

 

Picture1Please join us in thanking Dee and Jim Gaylord, who have generously established a $2,000 nursing education scholarship.

The scholarship will be funded and awarded annually, beginning in 2018, to employees or children of employees seeking post-secondary degrees, certifications, or specialty training in the field of nursing, specifically Certified Nurse Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, or a post-secondary or graduate degree in nursing. Applicants must have been employed for at least 12 months prior to application.

 
 

Plymouth Harbor is proud to announce Stephanie Leathers as our new Administrator of Assisted Living and Memory Care. Stephanie joined the Plymouth Harbor team in July 2017.

In her new role as Administrator of Assisted Living and Memory Care, Stephanie is charged with helping to open our new Assisted Living and Memory Care residences in the Northwest Garden Building as well as planning, organizing, developing, and coordinating overall operations. Stephanie will also help to establish policies and procedures, but most importantly, she will be instrumental in the development and implementation of our premier programming in the new residences.

Prior to joining Plymouth Harbor, Stephanie served as Administrator at Mount View Assisted Living in Lockport, New York, where she was responsible for the daily operations of the 150-bed facility with an internal certified Home Health Care Agency. In her time at Mount View Assisted Living, she was instrumental in the establishment and opening of a 118-bed sister facility in a nearby county, and managed a staff of over 80 employees. Before that, Stephanie served in several different capacities at Elderwood Senior Care in Williamsville, New York. Her positions there included Administrator, Resident Care Manager, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Unit Manager.

A Registered Nurse, Stephanie attended Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York, where she received her Associate in Applied Science degree with a major in nursing. While there, Stephanie received the Elena T. Perone Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Plymouth Harbor is thrilled to have Stephanie as a part of our team, and we look forward to seeing her personal touch on the opening of our new Assisted Living and Memory Care residences.

 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is among the largest public health systems in the state of Florida, offering specialties in heart, vascular, neuroscience, and cancer services, in addition to a far-reaching network of outpatient, long-term care, and rehabilitation centers and programs. That said, it is also one of Sarasota County’s largest employers, with over 5,000 employees, 900 physicians, and 600 volunteers.

There are many facets to Sarasota Memorial, which was founded in 1925 and is governed by a nine-member elected Sarasota County Public Hospital Board. This is one of the only politically-elected public boards where members serve on a volunteer basis, at no cost, weighing in on major issues such as overall hospital function, its operations and challenges, real estate acquisitions and expansions, and more. Plymouth Harbor residents have served as members on this board, including John de Jongh and Tom Towler. Tom served on the board for more than nine years and resigned in January 2016. John, who has been actively involved with Sarasota Memorial and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc., for many years, was appointed to fill Tom’s vacant at-large seat and served for one year. 

Sarasota Memorial also depends on its hospital volunteers, who are given a variety of assignments, usually once per week on a four-hour shift basis. Resident Nancy Lyon has been a volunteer for nearly 20 years in many different capacities, alongside Tom Towler who volunteered from 1991 up until last year. Additionally, Alida de Jongh became involved several years ago, formerly working in the gift shop and now serving in the dispatch office. “We’re assigned jobs throughout the hospital, so we’re walking a lot,” Alida says. “But we’re so glad to help because it frees up the nurses for the more important jobs they need to be doing.”

Another element, mentioned previously, is the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation. Established in 1976 as an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Foundation was formed to help raise and distribute funds to improve programs, education, and technological advancements. As such, the Healthcare Foundation may receive gifts, grants, and bequests for restricted or unrestricted funds, and expends those funds for equipment, clinical studies, research, training, education programs, and capital improvements. Resident Bill Stanford has worked with the Healthcare Foundation for close to 20 years. He currently sits on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees as Vice-Chair and formerly served as Treasurer and Chair. John de Jongh now serves on the Healthcare Foundation’s marketing and development committee, and Tom Towler also served on the board of the Foundation for nine years.

Furthermore, Sarasota Memorial’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for the ongoing review of research conducted at the hospital and protecting the rights of those who volunteer to participate in that research. It is guided by the principles set forth in the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research report, and IRB members are appointed by the President/CEO of Sarasota Memorial. Members include physicians, pharmacists, nurses, community members, legal counsel, and hospital employees. Residents Tom Towler and Barbara Balaban have served as community representatives of the IRB.

To learn more about the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, you may visit www.smh.com.

 

We are very happy to announce the scholarship awards this year to employees and children of employees. It gives us great pleasure to assist individuals as they pursue their passions through advancing their training and education.

Picture1Dianna Stilley, Charleen Sessions Scholarship ($2,000)
Dianna is a Certified Nursing Assistant in our Home Care department currently. She is enrolled at Angel Technical Institute to earn her LPN so that she can pursue her passion as a nurse. Dianna relayed a story where her neighbor had collapsed one day in the yard and she administered CPR until the paramedics arrived. She knew at that moment that nursing was her calling.
 
 

Picture2Carol Bello, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Carol is currently a server in Dining Services. She graduated this spring from Florida State University and aspires to practice law. She has applied for a scholarship to help fund a preparatory course for the LSAT (the exam required for all law school applicants), which will help her to be accepted into the two law schools of her choice. This is the fourth year that Carol has received a Foundation scholarship. An advocate for human rights, Carol’s overall goal is to become a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations.

 
Kimberly Gutierrez, Jane T. Smiley Scholarship ($2,000)
Kimberly is the daughter of José Gutierrez, a Plymouth Harbor Employee in Dining Services. Kimberly is attending Suncoast Technical College to earn her Early Childhood Education certification. She is a kind, gentle soul, with deep compassion for young children and helping them to achieve their goals. She has been inspired by her parents, who are hard workers and deeply committed to the success of their children. Kimberly hopes to one day open her own daycare center.

 

Picture4Nathan Stotler, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Nathan is the son of Kay Stotler, a nurse in our Home Care department. Nathan is studying communications at State College of Florida and aspires to a career in cinematography someday. His recommenders describe him as a very determined young man who sets and achieves ambitious goals for himself. He is a polished communicator and has set his sights on a career he is passionate about.

 
 

Picture5Devin Vancil, Jeannette Gehrie Music Scholarship ($1,500)
Devin is the 13-year-old son of Fran Vancil in our Maintenance department. Devin has an interest in violin and wishes to take lessons to improve his skills. He is enrolled at Allegro Music Academy and began his lessons in July. Devin is intelligent and respectful, and has recently been accepted into the National Junior Honor Society. We know we will see impressive things come from this young man.

 
 

Picture6Dayle Cortes, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Dayle is the son of Hernando Cortes, a nurse in our Smith Care Center. This is the second year of Dayle’s scholarship support as he enters his second year at University of Florida Innovations Academy. He recently changed his major from accounting to marketing and aspires to be a successful entrepreneur one day. He is a confident, respectful, and driven young man who we have no doubt will achieve his goals.

 
 

Picture7 Jessica Taylor, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Jessica, daughter of Cindy Taylor in our Home Care department, is pursuing an education in pharmacy. Currently at State College of Florida completing her associate’s degree with prerequisites for pharmacy, she plans to transfer to LECOM via their bridge program to complete the pharmacy program. This is a career track that has been a long time passion for Jessica.

 
 

Picture8Helen Duerr, Residents Association Scholarship ($2,000)
Helen is the daughter of Eva Duerr, registered nurse in our Smith Care Center and Staff Development Coordinator. Helen is a nursing student at State College of Florida pursuing her RN and, eventually, a bachelor’s in nursing. She hopes to work in pediatrics, neonatal, or obstetrics, something involving children. She is passionate about nursing, having shared a story about tagging along with her mother while Eva tended to her home care patients. She was inspired by the love her mother has always had for patient care and making her patients feel comforted and well cared for.

 

Picture8Cathy Laponius, Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant ($800)*
Cathy works in our Dining Services department and plans to complete the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) training to receive her certification. With support from the Dining Services department, and a commitment on her part, we will be fortunate to have another CDM among our talented staff.

*The Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant provides support for employees who show interest in leadership and advancement in their field. This is the first award for this grant program, which was established in 2015.

 

By: David Beliles

If you’re an early riser, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you may have noticed the solitary figure swimming laps in the pool at 7:00 a.m. That would be Barbara Pickrell, new resident of Plymouth Harbor, an interesting new neighbor who you should seek out and meet.

One of the many interesting facts about Barbara is the reason she’s here and how she accomplished getting here. A longtime resident of the Phoenix, Arizona, area, she began having difficulty with the air quality of the region and breathing difficulties began. She searched the internet to find areas of the nation where the quality of the air was better. She discovered that Southwest Florida, the area south of Tampa Bay and down to Fort Myers, enjoyed some of the better air in the nation. That led her to long vacations in Sanibel and Naples, and finally, Sarasota.

Following that major decision to move to Sarasota, Barbara next began research on continuing care communities in the area. She reported that that was the easy part. Plymouth Harbor stood alone as the finest in her opinion.

Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Barbara also lived in Boston, Los Angeles, and Paradise Valley, near Phoenix. She and her husband Hank, a successful mortgage broker, had 25 years together before his death in 1999. Barbara found travel the only release from her grief and has visited over 160 countries since Hank’s death. Most of her trips were with bird study groups, since Barbara is an avid “birder.”

Following high school and junior college, Barbara moved to L.A. and completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State, L.A. After more graduate work, she became a psychologist for L.A. County Department of Hospitals and at the Aeton Rehabilitation Center. During the last four years she has also become a Spiritual Director.

Her civic experience is extensive and impressive. While living in the Phoenix area she served on the executive boards of the Arizona Opera and Homeward Bound. She also served on the Foundation for Senior Living board. Currently, she is a chalice bearer and leader of Centered Prayer at her church, All Angels by the Sea, Longboat Key.

Barbara has two stepdaughters, five grandchildren from them, and 11 great grandchildren.

In addition to swimming, Barbara enjoys dancing, adventure travel, and photography. Her apartment looks like an intimate modern art museum, with large, quality pieces lining the walls.