Picture3354Plymouth Harbor embarked on an ambitious expansion plan in the mid-1980s, prompted by the financial necessity of adding more apartments to ensure our financial viability. The North Garden complex, designed by architect Stuart Barger, was built to complement the Tower with its open-air atrium. When it opened in 1988, a big selling point was the long waiting list for Tower apartments—which the North Garden did not have.

“I didn’t have any sales tools! What I did have was a long waiting list for Tower units. I used that to talk to people about the North Garden,” says Margaret Wierts-Parrinello, a staff member at the time. The Board wanted the new apartments filled as soon as possible so that the future residents could pick their paint colors, carpeting, tiling, etc., and help the architect complete the building.





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: Becky Pazkowski

Personalized Music Therapy Program

The Smith Care Center has begun a new pilot program, the Personalized Music Therapy Program, which includes the use of iPods and personalized music playlists as an enjoyable therapeutic activity. The purpose of the program is to calm behaviors frequently associated with the need for antipsychotics, thus creating an alternative to the use of medication. The initial target population includes residents who are experiencing behavior and personality changes frequently associated with dementia, such as agitation and restlessness. The pilot program has been funded through gifts to the Foundation from Wendy and Jim Underwood and Laura and Joe Devore.

Leadership Development Grant Program 

We are thrilled to announce a new program: The Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant Program. The purpose of the grant program is to develop the leaders of tomorrow by equipping them with the training they need today, specifically in the field of aging services. Harry and Nancy’s vision is to help blossoming leaders here at Plymouth Harbor receive the coaching, training, and skills they need to become leaders of the future. The Hobsons have provided initial seed funding for the program. For more information, please contact Becky Pazkowski in the Foundation Office or Harry Hobson directly.


The year 1983 marked the beginning of many renovations for Plymouth Harbor. It began with Pilgrim Hall, which underwent minor renovations for a period of about six weeks. The project was made possible through generous gifts of the residents and included a new stage, carpet, chairs, and a new cooling and heating system.

In the year 1984, the Residents Long-Range Planning Committee was established. That same year, as an important part of corporate due diligence, the committee and the Board of Trustees began working on a longer-term plan for Plymouth Harbor. Out of these meetings arose an ambitious expansion and improvement program that Plymouth Harbor would complete in the coming years. Soon after Plymouth Harbor celebrated paying off the $4 million mortgage it took out in 1965, the building projects — both large and small — began.





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.



By: Becky Pazkowski

Congratulations to the 2015 Plymouth Harbor Foundation scholarship recipients! Thanks to the generosity of over 70 donors, we were able to award eight scholarships for a total of $14,000 this year!


Bea Davis was a beloved, longtime (38 years) employee of Plymouth Harbor who passed away in 2013. She was a housekeeper in the Smith Care Center when she died. This scholarship was established in her memory and is available to housekeeping staff or their children.

Recipient: Carol Bello –
$1500 Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship

Carol is the daughter of Martha Chavez, a member of the housekeeping team at Plymouth Harbor since 2013. Carol is a sophomore at Florida State University working on a degree in Social Work and Political Science. She is interested in joining the Peace Corps, and is very involved in volunteer activities at FSU, such as Relay For Life and Ronald McDonald House. She is also an intern at the State Capitol.




Jane T. Smiley has resided at Plymouth Harbor since 2004. From a family that encouraged academics, she graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She went into the business world and worked her way up from the training squad at Macy’s to assistant buyer at The New Yorker, and finally to Vice President at Burdines.  Well-educated, well-travelled, and a consummate philanthropist, Mrs. Smiley made two scholarships available this year to employees of Plymouth Harbor or their children.

Recipient: Nancy Chan – $2000 Jane T. Smiley Scholarship
Nancy Chan is a Certified Nurse Assistant working toward her LPN certification at Manatee Technical College. She has been with Plymouth Harbor for over 10 years, has been a CNA for over 17 years, and is now ready to take her career to the next level.  She feels that her years of experience as a CNA, and the understanding she has for others in need, will help her to become a wonderful nurse one day.

Recipient: Tricia Roman – $2000 Jane T. Smiley Scholarship

Tricia Roman has been part of the Plymouth Harbor housekeeping staff for two years.  She is very dedicated and motivated, and is working toward her Medical Administrative Assistant certification from Ultimate Medical Academy. She says that she has a heart to help people, especially the elderly.



Picture5Evelin Corsey resided at Plymouth Harbor from 1995 until her death in 2013, at age 98. Her life was filled with show business and the arts, but her most noted contribution to the business world was her career in real estate. She was known as the “broker to the world” and had the distinction of becoming the first woman CEO in Manhattan real estate. When Evelin passed away, she left a bequest to Plymouth Harbor in her estate. With a portion of that bequest, the Evelin Corsey Scholarship was established to benefit the employees of Plymouth Harbor.

Recipient: Luis Santiago –
$1000 Evelin Corsey Scholarship

Luis has worked as a houseman in Dining Services for over 3 years. He is working toward an Associate in Science degree as a Radiology Technician at State College of Florida.  He was inspired to pursue this field when he had his own sonogram and was completely fascinated by the technology.





Jeannette Gehrie lived at Plymouth Harbor with her husband Charles from 2012 until her passing in October of 2014.  She was wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and musician.  Before her death, Jeannette and Charles established and endowed a music scholarship to be offered annually, in perpetuity, to Plymouth Harbor employees or their immediate family members who wish to study music.

Recipient: Paul Pazkowski – $1500 Jeannette Gehrie Music Scholarship Paul Pazkowski has been a Plymouth Harbor employee for nearly three years, most recently as an eTech; he plays guitar in the Mayflower Café twice a month. Paul is taking guitar lessons in order to expand his song selection to include more pieces from the eras of our residents.


We are extremely grateful to the 70+ donors whose gifts have made additional scholarships possible for our employees and their families. 

Recipient: Lekeya Butler – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Lekeya Butler is a CNA working in our Home Care department. She is a student at State College of Florida in the LPN program. Lekeya has ambitious plans for herself, as she would eventually like to earn her Nurse Practitioner degree where she would apply her skills in the field of women’s health.

Recipient: Vernicia Crenshaw – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Vernicia (Nici) Crenshaw is the daughter of Michelle Jackson, a member of our housekeeping team for over 8 years, with a total of 29 years with Plymouth Harbor. Nici herself is a member of Dining Services. She is studying to become a Radiology Ultrasound Technician at Keiser University. One of her instructors commented that she is one of the most gifted of her contemporaries.

Recipient: Sabrina Galvan Cortez – $2000 General Education Scholarship

Sabrina Cortez is a CNA in the Home Care department. She has been a CNA for 11 years, and is studying to earn her Occupational Therapy Assistant certification at State College of Florida. Sabrina has 6 children and manages to work full-time and attend school.