LeadingAge Florida, an affiliate of the national professional organization for the senior housing industry, honored Harry Hobson as their 2013 “Executive of the Year” at the annual conference held in Orlando, Florida, July 14-18, 2013. The announcement was a complete surprise to Harry who was enjoying his coffee surrounded by colleagues and Plymouth Harbor staff during the awards luncheon on Wednesday, July 17 at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando.He was listening to the description of the individual to be named Executive of the Year. Only when certifications in Ohio emerged at the end did he look up to say, “Uh-oh, this is embarrassing.”  He went on to accept the award at the podium and graciously thank his industry colleagues.

Unbeknownst to Harry, the senior staff at Plymouth Harbor had collaborated on the nomination that resulted in this recognition of his exceptional leadership and management style as well as specific accomplishments of the past year.  Among those accomplishments is the establishment of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, which garnered charitable contributions of $760,000 in the first year to support life at Plymouth Harbor.  His team also fully implemented Electronic Medical Records in the Skilled Nursing and Short Term Rehabilitation Center. And during this year, the design and capital campaign for a newly renovated and expanded Wellness Center at Plymouth Harbor is underway and the conceptual planning of a new assisted living facility which will also serve memory support residents. 

These accomplishments all occurred during a financially secure year of high occupancy rates while achieving a 5-Star rating for the skilled nursing facility with U.S. News & World Report and the Governor’s Gold Seal Award for Excellence in Long-Term Care.


Harry thanks his wife, Nancy. They truly work as a team.

Harry has served as CEO of Plymouth Trustee of Plymouth Harbor since 2004.  From the beginning, he employed his transparent, communicative, and participatory style of leadership to pull together teams that would work together for the good of the whole.  The result of his early leadership were a new structurally sound electrical and plumbing system, an economic stabilization program led by employees that resulted in no layoffs and a balanced budget, and a satisfied resident population, as evidenced by Holleran resident satisfaction surveys. 

After hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Harry’s leadership skills revealed themselves among his senior housing peers when he recognized that those in our industry in and around Sarasota could and should pull together during these catastrophic disasters.  He reached out to five peer organizations in the area to form a consortium that would work together in a supportive nature during any impending emergency. The consortium continues today.  The executives from all member organizations meet on a regular basis to share best practices, so that every provider of services to seniors in our area has the most recent and comprehensive information possible to deliver the best of care to those we serve. 

With a career in both hospital and retirement community administration, he holds advanced degrees in Business Management and Healthcare Administration, and has completed gerontological studies at George Washington University.  He is also a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Ohio and Florida. 

Harry is an educator as well and has held adjunct faculty and lecturer positions in the Fisher College of Business and College of Public Health at The Ohio State University where he taught Executive Leadership and Long Term Care Policy, respectively. He has served two terms as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and was elected to the Virginia Association of Homes and Services for the Aging Board of Directors.  He served as Chairman of the Health Services Agency’s Certificate of Need Review Board for hospitals and nursing homes in Ohio.  He currently serves on Governor Scott’s Continuing Care Advisory Council in Florida. 

Is this enough evidence that Harry deserves the recognition he has received?  Perhaps, yes. But there is more.  We can’t measure the admiration, appreciation and affection that Harry inspires, but it was present in full force at a reception thrown in his honor at Plymouth Harbor the Monday after the award luncheon. Residents, staff, board members, and former board members lined up to congratulate the honoree and to sign Harry’s banner of honor. Guests enjoyed cake, punch and many stories of how Harry, and his wife Nancy, have enriched the community of Plymouth Harbor through their leadership and care.

LeadingAge Florida was established in 1963 as a Florida not-for-profit corporation, as the only statewide association representing the full continuum of care for seniors.  The organization serves nearly 400 mission-driven communities trusted with providing quality care and services.  LeadingAge Florida promotes practices that support, enable, and empower people to live fully in the Third Age.  This year’s conference marked the 50th anniversary of the organization. 


The Residents Association of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay welcomed its new officers who form the Executive Council in May.   George Peters is the President of the 2013-14 Executive Council and he is joined by Mary Allyn, Vice President; Joan Sheil, Secretary; Ellen Steele, Treasurer; and Immediate Past President Ellen Harrison.

The council also includes three Executive Associates who serve as liaisons with resident committees, colony directors, and residents as a whole. The three Council members serving as Executive Associates are Jim Griffith (committees), Bill Brackett (colonies) and Elsa Price (residents).

Three members of the Resident Association Executive Council- the president, vice president and immediate past chair- serve as members of the Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees which guides the management of this exemplary not-for-profit continuing care retirement community.

Photo: L-R (sitting): Ellen Steele, Treasurer; Joan Sheil, Secretary; George Peters, President; Mary Allyn, Vice President; Ellen Harrison, Immediate Past President
L-R (standing): Bill Brackett, Executive Associate; Dr. Jim Griffith, Executive Associate; Elsa Price, Executive Associate

Larry Coffey, the Executive Council’s previous Immediate Past President, just concluded his three year term of service on the Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees. Board President Tom Hopkins recognized Mr. Coffey with an engraved award for his service, dedication, and willingness to serve on the Philanthropic Advisory, Finance, and Assisted Living Facility/Memory Support Planning committees.  Photo: L-R Larry Coffey, Tom Hopkins.

The new Resident Association President, George Peters emphasizes the importance of communication as one of the key mission points of the Resident Association pertaining to life at Plymouth Harbor.  Serving as a conduit to maintain the ongoing dialogue between the residents and the administration, the Resident Association is essential to balancing the communication with the active participation of residents in nearly all facets of this lively community.

“I consider the colonies to be the hub of the operation,” says Mr. Peters. “We are intentionally putting more emphasis on resident colony input.”

Plymouth Harbor’s unique organization of resident colonies stems from the three-level atrium groupings in the iconic tower on campus.  These natural resident “neighborhoods” follow a democratic process to make decisions that pertain to their colony, such as the use of common spaces.  Each colony also elects a director and associate director to represent their interests on the board of the Residents Association.

All residents are welcome to participate on any of a variety of committees that add to the quality of life and strength of the community at Plymouth Harbor.  Those committees include Art, Building & Maintenance, Civic Affairs, Conservation, Décor, Dining Services, Finance, Gratuity, Grounds, the Harbor Light newsletter, Health, Hospitality, Housekeeping, Library, Multi-media Library, Programs, Resident Fund, Safety & Security, Spiritual Life, and Wood Shop.



Plymouth Harbor Smith Care Center Five Star Rated Nursing Home, US NewsAs a certified Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Plymouth Harbor not only offers a spectacular lifestyle for independent residents, but also provides excellent assisted-living and nursing care.  We don’t just say this, because that is too easy. We have the Five Stars to prove it, says U.S. News Health.

The data behind the U.S. News report on the Best Nursing Homes comes from Nursing Home Compare, a website run by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.)  CMS sets and enforces standards for nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, as most are. The agency also collects information from states and individual homes and assigns each home a rating of one to five stars in each of three categories: state-conducted health inspections, nursing and physical therapy staffing, and quality of medical care. The ratings are combined to produce an overall rating of one to five stars.

This means at Plymouth Harbor data collected measured the quality of service in our Smith Care Center for comprehensive skilled nursing and rehabilitative care. The five stars measure nurse staffing, quality measures from clinical data, and results of periodic health inspections.

Check it out yourself

U.S. News collected meaningful data and ratings from about nearly every nursing facility in the United States, and built from them a searchable database designed to highlight the highest-rated homes likely to meet each user’s needs.  Here’s the link to that database if you would like to check it out yourself.

We commenced a national search in October for a new Vice President of Health Services that attracted many talented candidates.  After an extensive review process, we are pleased to announce that Mr. Joe. Devore has been hired as the new Vice President of Health Services, effective January 1, 2013.   Along with a broader scope, Mr. Devore will assume the responsibilities of Dorothy Barichak, Administrator of Health Services, who announced her retirement at the end 2012, after 35 years of service to Plymouth Harbor.New VP of Health Services

Mr. Devore has extensive experience in continuing care retirement community administration, with emphasis in healthcare administration, dating back to 1988.  More recently, from 1999-2007, he was with Otterbein Homes, Inc. as its Executive Director of Otterbein Portage Valley and Administrator of Otterbein North Shore, both located in Ohio. Mr. Devore moved to Naples, FL in 2007 to become the Executive Director of Health Services for the Chateau at Moorings Park, a premiere 106-bed skilled nursing facility, and Orchid Terrace, a 74-bed assisted living facility.

Mr. Devore graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Psychology and Miami of Ohio with a Master’s in Gerontology. He is a licensed nursing home administrator.

Mr. Devore possesses a strong background in program development, marketing and public relations, sound fiscal management, survey preparedness, quality improvement, and resident and staff satisfaction.

Mr. Devore’s responsibilities will encompass the Smith Care Center, Callahan Center, and Home Care Department. As a member of our Senior Staff, he will also be involved in strategic planning, policy development, and community engagement.

We at Plymouth Harbor have great respect for Mr. Joe Devore’s work and dedication to this profession and are excited to welcome him aboard the Plymouth Harbor family.   He and his wife Laura will be settling in Sarasota sometime in the near future.  Please join us in welcoming them both.

It’s that time again…to vote for the Herald-Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Award. There is a lot to celebrate at the beautiful Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay!

Vote Plymouth Harbor for 2012/2013 Reader's Choice Award!

Vote Plymouth Harbor for 2012/2013 Readers' Choice Award!

Whichever business gets the most votes will be named the Readers’ Choice winner. Cast your vote by the deadline, 12/12/12, and you may win $1,000 cash! Pick up your official ballot at the Herald-Tribune Media Group or go online at HeraldTribune.com/readerschoice to submit your ballot.

You could also complete your official ballot at Plymouth Harbor. Voting assistance tables will be located in the business center and in the lobby to assist you in completing the official ballot. Voting times are Monday – Friday from 11am-1pm and 3-4pm. We need your vote in order for Plymouth Harbor to win the Honor of Readers’ Choice!

For the Ballot to be valid, you must fill out the following:

  1. Name and Date of Birth
  2. Address and Phone Number
  3. Your Signature
  4. You MUST fill out at least 25 categories

Please include Plymouth Harbor as your choice for:

  • Best Retirement Community
  • Best Non-Profit Organization
  • Best Assisted Living Facility
  • Best Waterfront Restaurant
  • Best Restaurant with a View