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. 

Supporting Employee Education by Becky Pazkowski

Building a strong sense of community and creating an outstanding older adult living community depends, in no small part, upon the quality of the work force. In the spirit of a deep culture of fellowship, and an equal emphasis on recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing the best work force possible, Plymouth Harbor offers education assistance to its cherished employees. Educational assistance is funded through the Mildred and Bernard Doyle Trust, administered by Northern Trust, and through charitable gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund, administered by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. It is our goal to continue to award these scholarships annually.

Doyle Scholarship

Through the generosity of the Doyle’s, former Plymouth Harbor residents, the Doyle Scholarships provide educational assistance to a worthy and needy employee or high school senior child of an employee seeking to increase their skills or to obtain a higher education. Up to two scholarships are awarded annually.


We are very happy to announce that this year, through past generous donations, several new scholarships will be available for employees, and in some cases their immediate family members, through The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Applicants must be employed for at least 12 months by Plymouth Harbor. The following describes the new scholarship offerings.

Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship

Supports educational opportunities for housekeeping employees and their immediate family members. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.

General Education Scholarship

Supports educational endeavors of current Plymouth Harbor employees who are seeking post-secondary degrees, certifications, or specialty training in any field. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.

Nursing Education Scholarship

Supports educational endeavors in pursuit of post-secondary degrees in nursing from an accredited college or university. Up to five $2,000 scholarships will be awarded annually.

We are grateful to the donors whose gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund have made possible these scholarships currently and in the past. Continued offering of these opportunities annually depends upon charitable support.

Congratulations to Patricia Martinez for being nominated by her peers and winning the “Employee of the Month” Award for January 2013.Patricia Martinez, Employee of the Month for January 2013

Patricia is originally from Cali, Colombia.  She moved to the Sarasota area in 2001. Patricia previously worked at The Springs and Bay Village in the housekeeping department.

In February of 2011 Patricia came to work at Plymouth Harbor as a full time Environmental Aide in the SCC.

Patricia received exceed standard remarks on her most recent appraisal in Job Knowledge, Quality of Work, Efficiency, Attitude, Relationship with People, Responsiveness to Supervisor, and Personal Conduct.  Her supervisor describes her as a very kind and conscientious worker, an asset to the Plymouth Harbor staff.

Her nomination form reads,  “Patricia is kind and considerate, friendly and helpful.  She always greets everyone with a smile and offers help and support to the residents.  She has an exceptionally positive attitude.  Patricia is very supportive of the Plymouth Harbor vision.”

In her spare time Patricia enjoys riding her bike and spoiling her cat, “Shadow.”  But what she enjoys the most are visits from her sons, Felipe and Pablo, who are engineers and work out of town.

It is our privilege to recognize Patricia as the “Employee of the Month” for January 2013.  As a tangible expression of our appreciation, she was given sole use of the Employee of the Month reserved parking space during the entire month of January.  She also received $100 in cash and eight hours of PTO.