Picture1 (3)Marty (Martha) Buenneke moved into Plymouth Harbor 11 years ago, in October 2004. Prior to her move here, she always considered herself an active person. Not only was she an active member of the Des Moines, Iowa, community as a volunteer, she served as President of United Way and was a member of a number of other not-for-profit boards. Marty also stayed active by reading, writing, gardening, and exercising.

“I always had to be doing something,” she says of herself. So naturally, when the Wellness Center opened in September 2014, Marty became one of the “regulars.” And even though she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease some 22 years ago, Marty hasn’t let it hold her back. “I believe that you have to keep moving,” she says. “Exercise is one of the most important things anyone can do.”

When Marty first moved into Plymouth Harbor, she didn’t know a soul. She’s made countless friends since then, but she says the Wellness Center has provided a great way for her to meet new people. “I’m not shy, as you can tell,” she laughs. “It’s nice to see different people down there.”

You can find her in the Wellness Center almost every day, whether she’s doing her daily 45 minutes on the NuStep or attending the Body Moves fitness class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On top of that, Marty also works with a personal trainer each week to improve her swimming.

In addition to the physical aspect of wellness, Marty also embraces her artistic side, with her own station in the Art Studio. While she’s not always in the studio, she stresses the importance of staying active in many different ways. Marty is truly is an inspiration for overall wellness, and encourages others to keep wellness top of mind.

“The Wellness Center is heavily used by a lot of people, but I wish there were more,” she says. “We’re lucky to have it.”


ATemizerZFLAkgun Temizer was born in Konya, Turkey, and grew up in the capital city of Ankara. He was an only child born into a middle income family. His parents were hard working and made do with what they had. Despite his not so glamorous upbringing, Akgun feels lucky to have grown up in Ankara.

“I’m a product of public education,” he says, having attended primary school, middle school, high school, and college all free of charge, courtesy of the Turkish government. “It was the best free education you could get,” he adds.

When he graduated from high school, Akgun went on to attend the University of Ankara, where he studied both Finance and Political Science. After graduation, he applied for a job with the Turkish State Department in Ankara. He spent seven years there before he was transferred to the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. to work as an Assistant Economic Counselor. Originally intended as a two-year assignment, and unknown to him at the time, this position would remove Akgun from Turkey for good.

While working at the Embassy, a military takeover of the Turkish government back home caused Akgun to lose his job. “I had a choice to go back and face uncertainty and no job prospects,” he says. “Or I could stay here and face uncertainty and no job prospects.” He chose the latter.

After losing his position at the Embassy, Akgun applied for a position at a construction company in Washington, D.C. He worked his way up from the bottom, and at the end of his nine years there, he was in a supervisory position.

From there, Akgun saw a listing for a job opening at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and decided to give it a shot. In 1971, he landed the job. “Would you believe my construction job led me to the job at IMF,” he says with a laugh.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IMF hires employees from all over the world as they work with 180 member countries. Having become a U.S. citizen in 1969, Akgun joined IMF as an American member of the staff. He worked in the treasury department and oversaw all kinds of fiscal transactions between IMF and its member countries.

During his time at IMF, Akgun only occasionally traveled for work. However, he does remember a time in 1976 when IMF held its annual meeting in Manila, Philippines. He recalls this trip as especially memorable because he was introduced to Imelda Marcos, the Philippines’ First Lady at the time, as well as English ballerina Margot Fonteyn, Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and American pianist Van Cliburn.

While IMF only paid for Akgun’s travel for the meeting, he decided to extend the trip. “They paid for the travel to and from Manila, but I paid for the travel in between,” he says. Before returning to the U.S., Akgun explored Japan, Thailand, Egypt, and Nepal — where he saw Mount Everest “from the sky,” in the comfort of a private airplane.

In 1987, Akgun retired from his post at IMF. At that point, having spent 48 years in the Washington, D.C. area, Akgun believed that he would live out his retirement in Arlington, Virginia. It wasn’t until his cousin invited him to come visit Sarasota that this idea changed. “Sarasota is a great city,” he says. “It has a small city feeling with big city advantages — like the opera, theater, and symphony.” Akgun moved to Sarasota in 2003, and into Plymouth Harbor in 2012.

After relocating here, it didn’t take him long to get involved in the community. Akgun enjoys attending musical performances at our local theaters, particularly opera and classical music, and in recent months, he’s become largely involved with New College of Florida.

In fact, this past summer, Akgun established a $1.3 million scholarship program for students from his Ankara high school to attend New College. Akgun says his desire to do this stems from his days in Turkey’s public education system. “I felt indebted to Turkey and wanted a way to pay back my mother country,” he says. Continually impressed by its reputation and consistently high rankings, Akgun says New College was the obvious choice for him.

“Before I moved to Plymouth Harbor, I had named New College in my will, but after I moved in, I realized I wanted them to see that money now,” he says. “Spending money on education is an investment for the future.”

Because New College can use only the income derived from the scholarship fund, the number of students will change year by year. This September, the first of these students arrived at New College, ready to begin his studies for the next four years. Akgun has met with this student several times, and just recently enjoyed Sunday brunch with him and his cousin at Plymouth Harbor. Akgun proudly shares that he shows great promise, and already has plans to earn his advanced degree at MIT.

In addition to his generous spirit, Akgun is a smart, caring individual, whose regard for hard work, perseverance, and education is contagious.


11220073_10203851021984159_73092776949619558_nIn October, we shared that OnBoard, Plymouth Harbor’s new employee wellness program, received LeadingAge Florida’s Best Practice Award. This month, we’d like to provide a closer look into OnBoard and why it was formed.

OnBoard incorporates comprehensive wellness programs within each of the seven dimensions of wellness — Environmental/Community, Emotional, Intellectual, Physical, Professional/Vocational, Social, and Spiritual. Our inspiration for building this program came not only from our employees, but also from our residents. Building a strong sense of community and creating an outstanding living environment depends, in no small part, upon our success in recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing the highest quality workforce. It is the combination of residents, employees, and services that makes Plymouth Harbor one of the nation’s top Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

OnBoard was implemented as a formal program in September 2014. Throughout the planning process, it was evident that many current benefits (like scholarships, complimentary flu vaccinations, volunteer programs, etc.) fell within the framework of a defined employee wellness program. But we also recognized a great opportunity for growth. Therefore, we formed a small planning group and set to work developing a program that would build asdfhkajsDF KAsdfstronger, healthier employees; encourage mentoring relationships with residents and employees; and contribute to overall employee happiness.

To do this, OnBoard focuses on achieving whole-person wellness, rather than on one specific area, such as fitness or exercise. For that reason, we offer numerous programs within each wellness dimension. Pictured right are just a few of the many programs and events that OnBoard is responsible for. We’re excited to offer this program to our employees and will strive to improve it with each passing year.


By: Celia Catlett

Ann Burroughs radiates energy. Just moved in and only two days after knee surgery, she sat there cheerfully, answering my questions and filling me in on her very active life.

Ann has been an artist all her life — an oil painter, a printmaker, and, for forty some years, a metal smith working with gold, silver, brass, and copper. Her work with metal has ranged from heavy casting to jewelry. Her apartment is a treasure trove of her own and other artists’ work. In the entry hall are two of her mono prints, which, as she explained, require both etched plates and painting. Throughout the living room are examples of her cast metals: her children’s heads, a chalice, a planter, and others.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Ann attended Mount Vernon Seminary as a boarding student in Washington, D.C. She received a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from both the University of Colorado and the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, and is a member of Delta Phi Delta, an art honor society.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, was her base location, but she has traveled worldwide (with Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar among her favorite spots) and has lived in San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado, and wintered in Longboat Key for the last 20 years. She still maintains her summer home in Whitehall, Michigan, where she enjoys sailing and kayaking.

Ann raised three children, a son who lives down the road in Venice, and two daughters — one now living in Kansas City, and one a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. She also has a granddaughter at the University of Tampa, one grandson in high school in Naples, and another who is a graduate student at the San Francisco Arts Academy. Her talents and intelligence seem to have descended unto the third generation.

Ann’s energy has not, however, been confined to artwork and family. In Grand Rapids, she was steadily involved in her community. She was on the founding boards of three important organizations: Home for Runaways, Educational TV (now PBS), and Project Rehab.

Her ongoing interests include water sports and fitness activities. She plans to take full advantage of our Wellness Center. Knee surgery is obviously not going to slow this lady down. “I am not retired,” she corrected me at one point in our interview. She intends to continue with her jewelry making in a space that has been set up for her in the wood shop. What I saw of her jewelry work was striking, from delicate large-ringed gold chains to bold metal cuffs.

Ann chose Plymouth Harbor partly because she already had friends among us. With her talent, liveliness, and evident good nature, she will soon have many more.




On Tuesday, October 27, Plymouth Harbor attended The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual Salute to Business Awards luncheon. This event recognizes Chamber member employers who demonstrate growth, commitment, years of service, and high levels of achievement within three categories: Hiring Our Neighbors, Investing in the Future, and Reaching a Milestone Anniversary.

There are three honorees in each category, and we are excited to announce that Plymouth Harbor was named an honoree in the Investing in the Future category this year! Matter Brothers Furniture and Sarasota Ford are also honorees in this category.

To be eligible for this recognition, Plymouth Harbor completed and submitted an application in August 2015 regarding years served in the community, number of full-time employees, and capital investments. As a result, Plymouth Harbor was recognized for this award  because of past and future capital investments. Our Northwest Building Expansion will officially kick off in December with our groundbreaking ceremony.

Capture684706The event was held at the Hyatt Regency, with over 500 attendees, including local media and business professionals. In addition to recognizing the top nine honorees within each of the three categories, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce also presented certificates of recognition to those members that reported positive gains within the same categories.

As a part of the event, Plymouth Harbor was also asked to participate in a short video that features our President & CEO Harry Hobson, as well as footage of the campus and design plans for the Northwest Building. The video will soon be available on Plymouth Harbor’s website, and Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/PlymouthHarbor.


Capture3654068Beginning in the fall of 2014 through the spring of 2015, several residents at Plymouth Harbor began to suggest that residents could benefit from an upgrade of Pilgrim Hall. Thus, recommendations began to surface, and a visioning and planning group was formed to help guide the process.

The group generated the following purpose statement to help guide the process:

  • Design an intimate, comfortable space to seat 100-120 people utilizing state-of-the-art technology, acoustics, and lighting to accommodate all residents, including those with hearing, mobility, and sight challenges. 

Planning ensued throughout the summer. An architect was engaged, an A/V and acoustics expert was consulted, and a recommended plan was produced to improve the sight, sound, and space in Pilgrim Hall.

At the beginning of the planning, the question was raised as to how we would fund the project. Available capital was scarce with the imminent groundbreaking of the Northwest Building, which will house a new and much-needed assisted living and memory care center. After considerable discussion, The Foundation Board recommended that a capital campaign effort be launched to raise the funds needed to upgrade Pilgrim Hall.  Thus, we began quiet discussions with potential donors who might have an interest.

On October 20, 2015, we were very pleased to present the recommendations to all residents of Plymouth Harbor. During the presentation, we shared the six requirements that were developed to help frame the rejuvenation of Pilgrim Hall:

  • Comfortable, theater-style fixed chairs with high stage visibility from any seat.
  • Professional stage and theater lighting to enhance sight and stage ambiance.
  • Acoustics and sound system that amplify and enhance sound, and accommodate patrons with hearing challenges.
  • Integrated video connection throughout Pilgrim Hall, with adaptations necessary for Club Room integration.
  • Ability to view and participate in virtual podcasts from around the world.
  • Expanded backstage accessibility, space, and storage.

Capture654061Also, on October 20, thanks to the work of the Foundation Board and some very generous donors, we were able to announce that over $477,000 had already been committed to this project, officially launching The Next Stage Capital Campaign to Rejuvenate Pilgrim Hall.  Included in this amount is a partnership contribution from Plymouth Harbor, Inc. The goal of the campaign is $1,000,000.

A donor recognition plan approved by the Foundation Board, designed as a Donor Playbill, will be permanently displayed on the exterior wall of Pilgrim Hall. Additionally, all donors to the campaign will be thanked in the printed version of the Grand Opening Playbill, and in the annual Impact Report.

A sample Donor Playbill is pictured right, showing the available naming opportunities (theater, stage, acoustical design, video technology, integrated audio system, and house and theatrical lighting) as well as personal recognition levels (producers, directors, stars, cast, patrons). We are extremely grateful for the gifts that we have already received, some of which have been reserved and are reflected in the Donor Playbill, including the stage, acoustical design, and video technology.

A Campaign Committee is currently being formed and will be announced soon. We very much welcome the opportunity to speak with anyone who might have an interest in supporting this campaign. If you would like more information, please contact Becky Pazkowski at 361-7398 or at BeckyP@PlymouthHarbor.org.



“Have I got a story for you!” This phrase is not only Susan Mauntel’s signature slogan, but also accurately reflects her life and career. Susan was born and raised in Philadelphia, but later moved to Boulder, Colorado, to attend the University of Colorado. She was an art major, journalism minor, and destined for show business.

After school, Susan continued west to California—modeling in TV commercials and print advertisements, first in San Francisco, then Los Angeles. From there, Susan’s next adventure was broadcasting – she hosted daily live TV shows in San Diego and San Francisco, interviewing prominent figures like Maya Angelou and Gerald Ford. Then, she co-anchored the news in Los Angeles. Later, she made her way to Aspen, where she made her living with a paintbrush, rendering fine art on furniture, and co-founded a resident theater company.

How did Susan make it in Los Angeles? And what did she learn along the way?

View her 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 resident Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.

Susan Mauntel was our final Insights presentation for 2015. The Insights program will pick back up in January 2016, so stay tuned for more!


21116554478Back in June, we asked you to complete a survey rating your current level of satisfaction on a wide variety of topics here at Plymouth Harbor. In order to ensure the best possible results, the Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees contracted with Holleran, a highly reputable independent research firm, to conduct the survey. In September, Plymouth Harbor received an extensive report of the results and held a resident meeting to present the findings. Below is a summary of the results and survey responses.

Holleran uses a national benchmark when analyzing survey results. The benchmark is comprised of 71,000 cases from 302 independent living communities, 11,000 cases from 250 assisted living communities, and 12,300 cases from 230 skilled nursing communities. Data collection from our survey lasted from June 5July 6. Seventy-four percent of independent living residents completed the survey, along with 87.5 percent in the Callahan Center, and 73.5 percent in the Smith Care Center.

Overall, independent living residents indicated administration, dining, and daily living, such as competency and courtesy of staff and quality of services, as strengths of Plymouth Harbor. The Callahan Center also identified administration as a strong point, along with quality of care, confidence, and responsiveness. In the Smith Care Center, strengths were indicated in areas of accessibility of the Director of Nursing, quality of care, friendliness and courtesy of staff, and most importantly, preservation of dignity.

Of course, we recognize that within each segment there are areas of opportunity for Plymouth Harbor. The very purpose of this survey is to help us identify areas where we can better serve you, and we vow to take a closer look at these areas. In particular, such opportunities include further explanation and clarity of contract, fulfillment of expectations, and effective management of changes and growth.

That said, we are excited to share that Plymouth Harbor was awarded two Holleran Highest Honors this year! Holleran Highest Honors recognizes areas that score significantly above the Holleran Benchmark. Plymouth Harbor received the award in two categories, including:

  1. Overall Plymouth Harbor for Daily Living and Dining Services
  2. Smith Care Center for Overall Satisfaction

Overall, we hope that you are satisfied with the services here at Plymouth Harbor. If you would like to view a full report of the survey results, two copies are now available in the Plymouth Harbor Library.

By: Jim Ahstrom

George Robinson was born in 1926 in Natick, Massachusetts, a town known for the manufacturing of shoes and baseballs. George finished high school in Natick in 1944. That summer, he was a lifeguard in Hyannis Port, and taught Ted Kennedy in his lifeguard class.

Five months later, in December 1944, he joined the Navy, graduating from gunnery school in August 1945. He says that “the Japanese capitulated because they had heard that he joined the Navy.” His tour was spent patrolling the East Coast of the U.S. and playing baseball with Navy teams, being discharged in July 1946.

The GI Bill enabled him to enroll in Boston University where he majored in Marketing. He had done some selling in junior high school where he had gone door to door selling ties hand painted by his sister.

In the winter of 1947–1948, he hitchhiked to Cape Cod to interview for a job selling and delivering milk during the summer. No answer until May 1948, when, surprise, he received a phone call telling him he had the job. Then, for five summers, he sold milk on Cape Cod, often working from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Since it was all commission work, he made quite a bit of money.

Back in Boston that fall, he noted that New England Telephone was hiring. He began his 36-year career with the telephone company in marketing, but soon moved to a more lucrative position in the Billing Department. The last ten years were spent in the Labor Relations Department, before retiring in 1988. From then until this year, he lived in Palm-Aire.

1951 was a big year. George graduated from Boston University, in the same class as his sister. And he got married, fathering four boys in five years and a girl seven years later. His five children have given him three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. George’s first marriage ended in divorce after 20 years and he lost his second wife to illness after 30 years. He met Ginny McIntyre five years ago and moved in with her on August 14, 2015.

George enjoys traveling and has visited Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Norway, plus several river cruises in Europe. Interested in sports, he ushered for the Chicago White Sox while they trained here. George was captain of the Over-70s Longwood tennis team. He ran three marathons and still enjoys running, estimating his annual distance at 1,000 miles. He tries to walk 20 miles a week, works out three times a week, and plays golf that often also. For a special birthday celebration, he went skydiving with his son and granddaughter. They jumped at 14,000 feet and had a freefall of 11,000 feet.



Over the past few issues of Harbor Light, The Continuum has featured an article that portrays a fictitious scenario of a family’s journey through our full Continuum process at Plymouth Harbor. The series is designed to provide a closer, more detailed look at our continuing care philosophy. This marks the final article in the series.


After mom talked it through with our family and the staff, she began working with Home Care to provide in-home health services. At that point in time, mom knew that she needed an extra hand, but like many of us would, she wanted to remain in the comfort of her own home. She still took good care of herself, but was becoming a bit forgetful and needed more help getting around. It was for these reasons that she ultimately decided to work with Home Care, rather than transition into assisted living.

Together with Home Care nurses, she developed a plan that aligned with her goals. They began coming up to the apartment to help out, and were extremely caring and personable with her. They helped mom with everyday tasks – getting from here to there, both within the apartment and Plymouth Harbor, taking medication, preparing meals, and more. In addition, they provided all of us with peace of mind, just knowing that a helping hand was there if needed.

Three years went by, and mom continued to work with Home Care. Over the years, our family grew to know the nurses extremely well. We appreciated all that they did for mom (and us) and how they always kept us informed of her goings-on. Even with the extra help, mom remained her spirited, energetic self. She kept up her social life, and always loved having our families over to her beautiful apartment.

At the end of that third year, mom (now age 90) began to slow down. She began needing more and more help, and was losing her memory at an increasing rate. She often wandered and forgot where she was, and we were all beginning to worry more about the chance of her falling. So, mom, along with the nurses, decided it was again time to discuss her options. We sat down together once more and talked about what the next step might be. After some discussion, mom decided that she was ready to move into the Smith Care Center (SCC), which offered more medical assistance and personalized care.

Shortly thereafter, Home Care contacted SCC, and began making arrangements for mom to move in. After some time, mom was able to get a single room, and in the meantime, we worked with Residential Services to ensure we had ample time to move her belongings out of her Tower apartment. They helped us to downsize, and we were then able to bring her favorite possessions into Smith Care, making her room homey and comfortable.

It didn’t take long for mom and our families to get acquainted with the new staff in SCC. Everyone was extremely patient and kind, and they made sure mom continued to have an interactive schedule. She participated in resident meetings, monthly art therapy, and birthday “bashes,” and even got her hair and nails done each week in the salon.

Mom remained in the Smith Care Center for two more years before she passed. We will never forget the many wonderful experiences she had there, and how Plymouth Harbor was there for her at every stage. We are forever thankful that mom chose to live at Plymouth Harbor — it was one of the greatest gifts she could have given us those 16 years ago when she moved in.