“In the short time that I’ve been here at Plymouth Harbor, I have experienced a camaraderie with staff and residents that you don’t get to see in other campuses. I am excited to be part of the team and I look forward to using my experience in the field to help establish in-house construction here at Plymouth Harbor.” – Brian Bly

Plymouth Harbor is proud to announce Brian Bly as our new Construction Superintendent. Brian joined the Plymouth Harbor team in August 2017.

In his new role as Construction Superintendent, Brian is responsible for organizing and directing the work of field personnel and trade contractors to meet Plymouth Harbor’s construction objectives, including cost, quality, schedule, equipment conservation, and safety for all assigned projects. Brian is part of our new Facilities Department, working closely with Vice President of Facilities, George McGonagill.

Before coming to Plymouth Harbor, Brian served as construction superintendent for Questar Construction Inc. from 1998 until 2013. He was responsible for overseeing the organization’s subcontractors, ensuring their work was performed correctly and ahead of schedule, in addition to daily work reports and working in partnership with project managers to identify and address any issues that arose, including delays, cost, time requirements, and the like. From June 2014 to August 2017, Brian worked with Kellogg and Kimsey, a commercial building and construction company, serving on projects including Hampton Inn Tampa, Aloft Sarasota/One Palm residences, Mallard Law Firm, and more.

Additionally, Brian attended Barclay Career Institute and served in the United States Marine Corp from 1987 to 1990. With more than 20 years of construction experience, Plymouth Harbor is thrilled to have Brian as a our new Construction Superintendent.


Change the world with a giving heart…is the message every year sent out by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on November 15th, recognized as National Philanthropy Day. Since 1990, this day has been celebrated across the country, honoring those who devote their time, talent, and treasure to the community through generous acts of philanthropy.

The Plymouth Harbor Foundation is pleased to honor our own donors, who together have made a huge difference in the quality of life at Plymouth Harbor. More than $8,000,000 has generously been given to projects at Plymouth Harbor since 2012, some current gifts, and some that have been promised through estates. Make no mistake…philanthropy changes the world.

Honoring Barry and Phil Starr: Our 2017 National Philanthropy Day Honorees
In Sarasota, our local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts a luncheon and celebration of the far-reaching impact of generosity in our community. This year at the luncheon, Plymouth Harbor, Inc., and the Plymouth Harbor Foundation will honor Barry and Phil Starr, for their leadership, philanthropy, and goodwill at Plymouth Harbor.

Barry and Phil, residents since 2012, have played an integral part in our philanthropy program. Phil has been a resident trustee of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation board since 2013. The couple has co-chaired two back-to-back capital campaigns: one to rejuvenate Pilgrim Hall for $1,100,000; and one to establish our premier program in innovative care in the new Memory Care Residence for $3,000,000. The couple gave generously to both campaigns.

In addition to their own gifts, they secured the lead gift for the new Memory Care Residence by championing a grant from their family foundation in Kansas City, marking one of the few gifts by the foundation to ever be awarded outside of the Kansas City geographic area. The Starrs lead by example, with quiet elegance and generous charitable giving, and by doing so, have inspired a deep culture of philanthropy at Plymouth Harbor since their arrival.

This quote by Winston Churchill exemplifies the Starrs: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.” We are honored and deeply grateful for their participation and citizenship at Plymouth Harbor.


“I am extremely happy to be part of the Plymouth Harbor family, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Director of Nursing for Home Care as well as the new Assisted Living and Memory Care residence. I look forward to working with the residents and bringing my 25 years of nursing experience to this position.” – April Gillespie

Plymouth Harbor is proud to announce April Gillespie as our new Director of Nursing for Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Home Care. April joined the Plymouth Harbor team in August 2017.

In her new role as Director of Nursing, April is responsible for overseeing the professional nursing care and delivery of services for the Assisted Living and Memory Care departments in the new Northwest Garden Building as well as Home Care. In addition to establishing departmental policies and procedures, April is tasked with managing all personnel who provide direct patient care and ensuring that professional standards of community nursing practice are maintained.

Prior to joining Plymouth Harbor, April worked at the Sarasota Health & Rehabilitation Center for six years, most recently serving as Assistant Director of Nursing. In this position, April oversaw nursing personnel, recommended the establishment of policies and procedures, and set objectives and goals for the 143-bed facility. Before that, April worked as Assistant Director of Nursing at Harmony Healthcare & Rehab Center and as Staff Development Coordinator for Magnolia Health & Rehabilitation.

A Registered Nurse, April has more than 25 years of experience in clinical settings, primarily focused in long-term care. She graduated from Sarasota Vocational Institute’s Practical Nursing Program in 1992, went on to earn her Associate of Science degree in Nursing from Manatee Community College (now State College of Florida) in 1996, and attended Hodges University in Fort Myers, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2004.

April is also the stepdaughter of Bert Adams, a concierge in our Smith Care Center who has been with Plymouth Harbor for more than 26 years.

Plymouth Harbor is thrilled to have April as a part of our team and truly values her expertise as our new Director of Nursing for Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Home Care.


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!


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.


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: Becky Pazkowski

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Doyle Scholarships: Teah Stebbins and Caleb Genot. Each student has received a scholarship totaling $10,000, which is an increase in the Doyle award this year.

Teah Stebbins
Teah is a high school senior attending Sarasota High School, while also enrolled in the nursing program at Suncoast Technical College. Her goal is to continue her education at Suncoast to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and continue to earn Registered Nurse status, and later a bachelor’s in nursing. She began at Plymouth Harbor as a Dietary Aide early in her high school experience, and has since become a Certified Nurse Assistant in the Smith Care Center. Needless to say, Teah is highly motivated, focused, and ambitious in her career path.
Caleb Genot
Caleb is a senior at Riverview High School in the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Honors programs. His goal is to study biology at Nova Southeastern University, followed by osteopathic medicine, specializing in neuro-immune medicine. He is very interested in working on more effective treatments or cures for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Disease, and disorders that result in dementia. Caleb has been with Plymouth Harbor as a Valet for over a year. In his school and volunteer life, Caleb is involved in fundraising, teen court, competitive soccer, and is a camp counselor.