How did you get involved with this business?
I was hired as Still Hopes’ CEO in July of 2000, just as Still Hopes embarked on strategic planning for the organization’s future. In 1977, Still Hopes opened as a not-for-profit retirement community, with the vision and mission of being the best place in the Midlands for retirees to live. In 2000 we served a resident population of nearly 200 and employed about 160 staff members.
What differentiates your business from other providers in the field?
The Board of Trustees’ conscious decision was to strategize a future that would help our residents live healthier, longer, and overall better lives. The board’s official strategic plan was adopted in 2001. Since that time I have worked, in concert with the Board of Trustees, and with an awesome staff team, to implement the strategic plan. To this day, we have added 135 active living homes in the form of apartments and cottages. We have built a comprehensive Wellness Center and Wellness Program, which serves our own residents, our staff, and about 100 greater Columbia area members. We completed Main Street, which encompasses more than 40,000 square feet of common space, to provide vibrant spaces for residents and their friends to enjoy great food, fun, learning, and entertainment.
What are the latest developments/innovations in your field?
Just this week we held the Grand Opening of our Greenway building, which provides a new model of person-centered health care. Greenway contains 48 private skilled nursing rooms and 22 assisted living apartments. In the future, we plan to add 100-plus active living homes, first in an apartment building, currently under construction, and then in villa-style apartments and additional duplex cottages.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you or your business?
Today we employ nearly 600 staff, and soon we will provide housing and services to more than 400 of our city’s seniors. We provide educational and entertainment programs for the greater community and offer them wonderful forested walking trails.