Finlay_5x7 300 dpiDuncan Finlay, MD
Chair, Board of Trustees

“It is my pleasure to have been associated with Plymouth Harbor since beginning my Sarasota medical practice in 1972.”

Dr. Duncan Finlay is President and CEO of the Florence A. Rothman Institute and Chief Medical Officer of Alive Sciences, LLC.  He held several key appointments at Sarasota Memorial Hospital including Chief Medical Officer and culminated with five years as President and CEO. During his tenure, SMH was named one of America’s Best Hospitals by US News and World Report in seven medical specialties. In 2005, he was awarded the University of South Florida President’s Distinguished Citizen Award. Dr. Finlay received his medical degree from University of Florida and is a specialist in sleep disorders and pulmonary medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Sleep Disorders Association, and co-founded the Florida Sleep Medicine Society.  Dr. Finlay has served on the Boards of Directors of United Way of Sarasota, Inc., the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence), the Human Services Planning Association, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.  In 2002, he received the American Jewish Committee’s Civic Achievement Award.  In 2004, he was selected to be included in the Community Video Archives and in 2005 was awarded the University of South Florida’s President’s Distinguished Citizen Award.


Finlay_5x7 300 dpiThe Board of Trustees of Plymouth Harbor, Inc. welcomed three new members and elected new leadership for 2015.

The newly elected Chair of the Board of Trustees is G. Duncan Finlay, MD who is also currently serving as President and CEO of the Florence A. Rothman Institute and Chief Medical Officer of Alive Sciences, LLC.  During his previous tenure as Chief Medical Officer and President and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the system was named one of America’s Best Hospitals by US News and World Report in seven medical specialties.

Harry Hobson, CEO of Plymouth Harbor said, “Dr. Finlay has served as a Trustee for the past three years.  He brings leadership, experience, vision, and a passion that is consistent with Plymouth Harbor’s mission.”

After four years as Chairperson during which he guided Plymouth Harbor through a significant growth initiative that culminated in the grand opening of new Wellness Center, F. Thomas Hopkins will now serve as Immediate Past Chair.

“Tom has always been present for important governance discussions and decision,” says Hobson, “I can’t imagine a more dedicated person than Tom Hopkins.  While we will miss him as Chair, we will cherish this coming year knowing he is in the Board Room with us.”

Sarah Pappas-portrait_4x5Three current Trustees have also been elected to serve as officers of the Board. Sarah H. Pappas, EdD, has been elected to the position of Vice Chair. Dr. Pappas is President of the William G.  and Marie Selby Foundation and former President of Manatee Community College (now State College of Florida).

Cindy Malkin, recently Board Chair at the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, also a member of the Women’s Resource Board, will serve as Secretary.

Brian D. Hall, Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Management at the Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, will serve as Treasurer.



In addition to the officers, Plymouth Harbor is pleased to welcome three new trustees to the board:

CranorJohn M. Cranor, III, former President and CEO for the New College Foundation, has over 30 years of management experience in the food service and retail industries including senior executive positions with Pepsi-Cola North America, Taco Bell Corporation, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Frito-Lay Company. He currently serves as the non-executive Chair of the Board of Directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

PattersonNora Patterson, a Sarasota County Commissioner, was first elected to the Sarasota City Commission in 1991, and served until 1998 when she was elected to the Sarasota County Commission.  Prior to this she served as the Mayor of Sarasota from 1994-95 and was appointed by the Governor to serve two years on Florida’s Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations from 1996-98.

Woeltjen lo resWilliam Woeltjen has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System since 2010, where he is responsible for all financial matters related to the health care system, including financial reporting, financial planning, revenue cycle, reimbursement, debt management, and managed care contracting. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate health care finance.

Harry and NancyHarry Hobson can count to ten as well as the next person and certainly it must have occurred to him that 2014 marked his 10th year anniversary serving as Plymouth Harbor’s President and CEO.  Nonetheless, when Mary Allyn rose to recognize this anniversary with a tribute at the Board of Trustees meeting last month, he was caught totally off guard.  What’s more, he was just as surprised when she repeated the tribute at the most recent Residents Association Board meeting. On both occasions, Harry says he felt humbled by, yet deeply appreciative of the honor.  For the past decade, Plymouth Harbor has benefited from the leadership of a remarkable man and the warmth and fellowship of his equally remarkable partner and wife, Nancy.

“Ten years ago, Nancy and I did our full due diligence prior to making the life-changing decision to leave our home in Virginia and move to Sarasota. We learned that Plymouth Harbor was not only a wonderful community to serve, but that it had so much more potential to reach what it is today.  And now, there is even more potential looking to the future.”

Imagine the exhilaration of these years during which there has been a great deal of change. The thought of the work can be tiring, yet Harry notes “Ten years later, I am just as excited to get out of bed to come to Plymouth Harbor as I was in 2004.”

He and Nancy discovered early on that Plymouth Harbor’s location may be the hook that brings you in, but it’s the people who keep you here—residents and staff.

“One thing that solidifies my feelings about Plymouth Harbor,” he adds, “is the strength of the relationships we have built and continue to maintain between staff, residents, and our Board of Trustees.”

The entire community has had fun with Harry, a CEO who is not above a laugh at his own expense.  For several years running, he has adopted the name “Barry Dobson” for the annual Plymouth Harbor Players production that pokes playful fun at the community of “Puritan Cove.”   He says the thing that makes him nervous each year is knowing that Play Director and resident Don Wallace requires that he audition for the part of the Executive Director of the fictitious retirement community.  Harry says with a smile that being the real CEO doesn’t make it a shoe-in that he gets the part in the annual play.

Harry is also quick to point out the true sense of teamwork exhibited throughout the development of the new Wellness Center—from resident vision to Board of Trustees moving forward to the staff to bring the vision to reality.

“You don’t have to be on campus very long to feel that sense of community. Whether embracing a project, celebrating a special occasion, resolving a complex issue, or enduring the inevitable bumps along the way, the sharp minds of everyone at Plymouth Harbor pull together for the greater good.”

Hobson testimonial


There is a palpable sense of excitement in the air as the finishing touches are placed in Plymouth Harbor’s new Wellness Center.   The grand opening, scheduled for September 12th, will highlight the residents who envisioned this Center, the generosity of donors whose financial support made it possible, and the hard work of those who put their hearts, minds, and hands together to bring the vision to life.

It was four years ago that we began to strategically re-define ‘Wellness’ at Plymouth Harbor.  To describe this phase of the journey, we tip our hats with respect and gratitude to residents Lois Droege and Paul Groen.  Lois, with a background in fitness education, taught a popular resident exercise class at Plymouth Harbor for many years.  She and “Dr. Paul,” a retired orthopedic surgeon, were instrumental in helping to develop the plan that would take Plymouth Harbor’s fitness program to a whole new level.

Two things were non-negotiable.  First, the program must meet the highest possible standard for senior fitness programming and, second, the program must be led by someone with the credentials and expertise to develop and maintain it.  Enter Chris Valuck, who was recruited to join the Plymouth Harbor staff as Wellness Director in September 2011.

Chris Valuck and Amanda KirkChris holds a master’s degree in Exercise Science and has spent her career working with a wide range of individuals, mostly seniors, with chronic diseases and disabilities.  She is certified as a Clinical Exercise Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CES) and a Certified Worksite Wellness Specialist (CWWS) through the National Wellness Institute (NWI).  She also is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and an Aquatic Fitness Professional, Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA).

In addition to excellent credentials, Chris has experience in cardiac rehabilitation at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.  She has also worked in high-end, exclusive health clubs, and operated her own personal training business for 16 years.  Many of Chris’s clients were referrals from physicians familiar with her success in working with persons with chronic diseases and disabilities.

As soon as she arrived, Chris set to work establishing protocols, developing a variety of new classes, and establishing the framework for future program expansion.   Within 18 months, the fitness program had grown to the point that a second staff member was warranted and Amanda Kirk joined the department as Wellness Program Assistant.

Amanda earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science at Coastal Carolina University.  Prior to accepting the position at Plymouth Harbor, Amanda worked at The Lakes at Litchfield, a premier retirement community on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where she regularly taught a variety of classes to all levels of care, including IL, AL, Skilled and Memory Care.  In addition to teaching classes at Plymouth Harbor, Amanda assists with administrative duties and in the development of the employee wellness program.

Another memorable event was a visit in July 2013 by Jan Montague, an internationally recognized expert in the field, who explored the concept of “Whole-Person Wellness” with residents and staff.  In thought-provoking presentations, Jan shared, “Life is a constant journey for balance to stay well, and staying well is really an inside-out endeavor.”  She emphasized that negativity is actually dangerous, and urged all of us to be careful with the words we use when describing our health, as they tend to be self-fulfilling.  In other words, we get what we focus on. 

As the new vision for Wellness and fitness programming was progressing smoothly, a serendipitous visit by resident Joanne Hastings to President/CEO Harry Hobson sparked the next step in this Wellness journey, a beautiful new 10,000 square foot Wellness Center, now completed.

You’ll see as you enter the Wellness Center the Activity Alcove, a lively space in which to exercise, play, and socialize.  It features a ping pong table and a large flat screen TV with an xBox 360 Kinect gaming system for residents to ‘virtually’ play tennis and golf, bowl, dance and engage in other sports.

Continuing down the corridor, you’ll find the Therapy Pool with a freshly refurbished deck.  The pool, frequently used by residents for therapy and mild exercise, has a brand new hydraulic chair lift to assist when entering and exiting the pool.  An added convenience are the bathing suit spinners located in the restrooms across from the Therapy Pool; no need to wear or carry a wet bathing suit back to your apartment!

Next to the Therapy Pool is the re-configured and updated Wood Shop that now includes an exterior door for easy access and delivery of wood and materials. There’s also an adjacent Hobby Shop for residents who enjoy craft work.

You’ll notice along the flowing corridor two perfectly lighted display walls designed to feature resident art work on a rotating basis.  A bit further and you’ll discover The Commons, a beautifully appointed social area with comfortable furnishings, perfect for chatting with friends or taking a break after your workout.  The nearby Creative Wellness Studio provides a private room for health/fitness assessments and confidential consultations with Wellness Center staff.

To the north of The Commons is the spacious Art Studio featuring 20 artist stations, each equipped with a new table and taboret. Enhanced track lighting, studio lighting for artist models, a teaching area, and a dark room complete this creative new space.

Just south of The Commons is the Group Fitness & Dance Studio.  Natural light pours through floor-to-ceiling windows along the entire south wall, offering a spectacular view of Sarasota Bay.  With a cushioned floor, mirrored walls, and an audio system, this handsome studio is the dedicated space for group fitness and dance classes.  With ample space to move, residents will enjoy Line Dancing, Tai Chi, Sit Fit, Functional Fitness, Total Body Challenge, Better Balance, Body Moves, Yoga, Meditation, Feldenkrais Method®, and more.  The more includes Zumba Gold® and ballroom dancing with professional instructor Jim Helmich.

More floor-to-ceiling windows wrap around the southwest corner of the Wellness Center, allowing that beautiful bay view to serve as a backdrop for the Fitness Room.  Here you’ll find a wide range of brand new cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and Nu-Steps.  Also in this space are two special pieces of equipment by Biodex, a UBE (upper body ergometer) suitable for individuals with limited use of their legs, and the Biodex Balance System for individual balance testing and training.  Keiser pneumatic strength training equipment is in place as well. These special (and easy to use) machines are safer and gentler on the joints than traditional weight machines, making them ideal for a senior population.  Many of the exercise pieces are equipped with televisions and ports for tablets, cell phones, MP3 players, readers and other electronic devices to make workouts enjoyable.  Add mirrored walls to help you monitor proper form during workouts, and, we think you’ll agree—this is beyond compare.

The Plymouth Harbor Wellness Center is a physical embodiment of an entire culture of wellness that has taken root and will continue to evolve at Plymouth Harbor. In fact, there’s more in store with VoyAges, an exciting new, wellness-related program – more to come in the near future!

William_JohnstonWilliam (Bill) Johnston, member of The Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board, was recognized as LeadingAge Florida’s 2014 Trustee of the Year at their annual conference earlier this month at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

This very distinguished honor is presented annually to an exceptional LeadingAge Florida member Trustee.  LeadingAge is a professional association composed of over 6,000 not-for-profit organizations (over 400 Florida communities) dedicated to making America a better place to grow old.  At both the national and state level, the organization advocates, educates, and serves its members admirably.

At the July 30th luncheon ceremony with several hundred in attendance, Johnston spoke passionately about Plymouth Harbor and its mission toward older adults.  He also thanked all of those in attendance for the efforts they put forth in their respective organizations. Bill Johnston Award Acceptance

Bill Johnston is Past President of the New York Stock Exchange and is currently retired. However, he has transitioned to a new calling as a community leader and volunteer. As a highly effective trustee he leads by example and is a founding member of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation.

His parents were residents at Plymouth Harbor, as were two aunts and an uncle. With hopes of someday moving with his wife Betsy to Plymouth Harbor, Johnston serves as a strong advocate of continuing care retirement communities (CCRC).

Summing up the reasons why Johnston deserved the award, Plymouth Harbor CEO Harry Hobson stated, “Plymouth Harbor is a better CCRC today than it was prior to Bill Johnston becoming a Trustee. His leadership and passion for services to older adults is obvious in all aspects of his life. He had a reputation for being an ideal son to his parents regardless of his busy schedule on Wall Street. He never forgot his parents. He looks at this aspect of his life as paying back.”

Bill Johnston and PH group 2

PHOTO CAPTION: Those pictured at the awards presentation are:  (l to r)  Joe Devore, Vice President of Health Services, Harry Hobston, President and CEO, Liz Clark, Director of Assisted Living and Home Care, Karen Novak, Director of Health Services, Bill Johnston, Becky Pazkowski, Vice President of Philanthropy, and Gordon Okawa, Vice President of Marketing and Community Affairs.



Front row (l to r):  Residents Terry Aldrich, Mary Allyn, and John (Jack) C. Denison.  Back row (l to r):  New Directors Dale N. Woodling, Cindy Malkin, Lee DeLieto, Sr., Jon F. Swift, and Brian D. Hall. 

President/CEO Harry Hobson recently announced the 2014 Officers of Plymouth Harbor’s Board of Trustees:  Chair, F. Thomas Hopkins—current shareholder and former President of the Icard-Merrill law firm; Vice-Chair, G. Duncan Finlay, M.D.—current Chief Medical Officer for Rothman Healthcare Research and former President/CEO of Sarasota Memorial Hospital; Treasurer, Randall L. Natherson—partner with Natherson & Company, P.A.; and Secretary, John M. Strickland—of the John M. Strickland, P.A. law firm, former partner of the Livingston, Patterson, Strickland & Siegel, P.A. law firm.

There are five new Board of Trustee directors:  Terry Aldrich (Resident)—former mental health care administrator, business owner, and current Vice Chair of the Plymouth Harbor Residents Association; Lee DeLieto, Sr.—Commercial Realtor with the Commercial Group at Michael Saunders & Company; Brian D. Hall—Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Management at Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida; Cindy Malkin—former Board Chair of both the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and the Suncoast Blood Bank, and a member of the Planned Parenthood Advisory Council; Jon F. Swift—CEO of Jon F. Swift, Inc.; and, Dale N. Woodling—Colonel, U.S. Army (retired), a former Advisory Board member for the Salvation Army of Sarasota, Board member of Orchard Place, and an Alumni Board member of the University of Akron School of Law.

Continuing directors of the Board of Trustees include Mary Allyn (Resident), former administrator of Mount Holyoke College and current Chair of the Plymouth Harbor Residents Association; John (Jack) C. Denison (Resident), former President of the export division of the American Hospital Supply Corporation, and past Chair of the Plymouth Harbor Residents Association; William R. Johnston, past President and COO of the New York Stock Exchange and Chair of the New College of Florida Board of Trustees; William R. Kennedy, M.D., co-owner of Kennedy-White Orthopaedic Center; and Sarah H. Pappas, Ed.D, President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation and past President of Manatee Community College—now State College of Florida.

Plymouth Harbor staff, residents, and specifically, our Safety Committee, are the proud recipients of an FCCI Safety Award.  Twice a year, the loss control consultants at our insurer, FCCI, nominate policy holders that have an excellent safety program and low loss ratio (under 35%).

With a loss ratio this year of only 3.48%,PlymouthHarborstood out from the field. Loss control consultant Pansy Hager pointed out, “Your safety committee is very dedicated to identifying hazards and controlling claims.  That is why I nominated you for the Award.”

The FCCI Safety Award was presented to Plymouth Harbor at the Resident Meeting on November 1 by FCCI’s Regional General Loss Control Manager Brian Smith who pointed out that Plymouth Harbor was selected as the best of the best from a total of 8000 businesses insured by FCCI.

Plymouth Harbor CEO Harry Hobson called forward all the members of the Safety Committee who deserve the lion’s share of credit for this recognition.  The committee, consisting of April Stout, Chris Valuck, Jannelly Collado, Carolina Davis, Bert Adams, Fran Vancil, Lyall Smith and Karen Smith, has been chaired by Jim Myers since 1996, who, it was noted, no longer needs to dress up in costume to make his points about safety to the community.

Three times a year this committee splits into teams of three to survey the entire campus for potential safety issues such as low lighting from a burnt out bulb, an electrical cord, frayed doormat, etc.  Any discoveries are reported immediately and resolved just as quickly. Jim Myers himself surveys the campus at least 10 times a year, going above and beyond the call consistently for 17 years.

Not only arePlymouthHarborresidents and staff safer due to this diligence, but the benefits are monetary, as well.  Harry reported FCCI rewards strong safety records with a reduction in annual premiums.  That’s gratitude and safety that boosts the bottom line, too!

Congratulations to all for this remarkable safety record and recognition!


Plymouth Harbor was represented in force at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon on November 1.  CEO Harry Hobson was there with members of his senior leadership team.

r-l: Harry Hobson, Nick Gladding, Joe Devore, Garry Jackson, Becky Pazkowski, Tom Hopkins, Plymouth Harbor Board Chair, Gordon Okawa, Tena Wilson, Mary Allyn, Jody Hudgins, Trustee, and Tom Barwin.

Of course, Plymouth Harbor, now celebrating its 47th year serving the community, has been a long-time member of the Chamber, but there was a reason for such an enthusiastic showing at this event.  Plymouth Harbor was honored as one of the Chamber’s Salute to Business “Top 9.”

This is the 2nd Annual Salute to Business where the Chamber recognizes members in three areas: Attaining Milestone Anniversaries of Service (years in business), Investing in the Future (capital investments to facilities), or Hiring Our Neighbors (hiring within the past year).  Plymouth Harbor was recognized for Investing in the Future as one of the top 3 in that category.  “Plymouth Harbor is known as a top quality residence,” said Steve Queior, Executive Director of the Greater Sarasota Chamber.  “We are proud to be able to honor such an excellent community for having the foresight to continually invest in its facility at its beautiful location to nurture its well-deserved reputation for excellence.”

Gratefully accepting the award, Harry Hobson stated, “I believe that there is greater risk in standing still than moving forward in this competitive environment, because standing still clearly translates to taking steps backward and jeopardizing your future.”  He went on to point out that, “In our field, expanding our wellness programming and developing a new assisted living/memory support center are two prime examples of how we choose to embrace and ensure Plymouth Harbor’s future and stay in a leadership capacity.”

A video highlighting Plymouth Harbor’s commitment to the future was shown to over three hundred business and community leaders from across the country gathered at the luncheon that day.  It was a proud day for Plymouth Harbor, but in terms of our mission, nothing out of the ordinary for this extraordinary community.

Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay is proud to present Altered Egos Plus, an exhibition of paintings by Jay Scott Pike, in the Mezzanine Gallery, November 5 – December 2, 2013. The public is invited to an open reception Tuesday, November 5 at 4:30 – 6:00pm.


Jay Scott Pike has been a professional artist almost since the day when he, at the age of 16, enrolled in the Art Students League in Manhattan. He finished his art school training at the Ringling School of Art before going back to the northeast for the remainder of his career as a professional artist.

His professional work spanned from commercial art for big name brands to comic books and pin-up art. While in the Marines at the end of WWII he even took commissions to paint lovely ladies on the sides of bomber aircraft.

The Mezzanine Gallery show includes 6 examples of portraits Jay Scott Pike has painted of his neighbors in Plymouth Harbor, but they aren’t the standard portraits you may imagine. Each resident is portrayed as an alternative character in some ways mirroring or countering their real lives.  Other works in the show, including works in acrylics, oils and prints, are also figurative to some degree and always imaginative.

Altered Egos Plus, an exhibition of paintings by Jay Scott Pike – at the Mezzanine Gallery at Plymouth Harbor, November 5 – December 2, 2013. Open reception, Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 4:30-6:00pm.