Tag Archives: Virginia

Loop selected to lead The Chesapeake

05/19/17

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the selection of David Loop as executive director of The Chesapeake, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Newport News.

Loop brings more than 25 years of senior housing experience to The Chesapeake and has valuable involvement with expansion and renovation projects, hospitality program development, strategic planning and fiscal management.  Loop has worked in both large and small retirement communities; with single-site and multi-community organizations; for non-profit and for-profit companies; and with start-up and existing properties. He has also served on numerous professional committees, state association boards and the LeadingAge House of Delegates.

“David’s broad experience will serve The Chesapeake well as the community goes through a major renovation project and strategic planning over the next few years,” said Jonathan Cook, President and CEO of LifeSpire. “We believe he is the perfect fit for The Chesapeake and for LifeSpire.”

Originally from Ohio, Loop holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and received a certificate in nursing home administration from The Ohio State University.  He has a passion for excellent customer service and has received training from Disney, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. He and his wife, Vera, have five children and four grandchildren with a fifth grandchild expected soon.

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

The Culpeper’s bridge club provides social connections, mental fitness for residents

05/23/16

Editor’s note: In celebration of Older Americans Month, LifeSpire of Virginia is featuring one or two residents a week from its four continuing care retirement communities who most embody the characteristics of a “trailblazer” in wellness, community and hospitality.

By Ann Lovell

CULPEPER, Virginia—Jean Isaacson, 72, was disappointed there wasn’t a bridge club at The Culpeper, the LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community where she’s lived since 2013. An accountant who had started her own business in 1980, Isaacson learned to play bridge as a teen and taught the game when she lived in Chicago from 1972-1975.

Then she met Lila Bunt, 89, another avid bridge player who has lived at The Culpeper since 2011.

“Lila and I were walking from ‘the big house’ (the building that houses the dining room and community center) to our cottages,” Isaacson recalls. “I told her how I wished we had a bridge club. ‘Let’s start one!’ Lila said. So we did.”

Bunt laughs. “Two heads plus a need equals a bridge club,” she says.

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Jean Isaacson (left) and Lila Bunt (right) discuss how bridge club began at The Culpeper, the LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community where they live.

The two women started the club with one table in 2013. Then, they asked Pat Ballard, The Culpeper’s Director of Resident Services, to add it to the The Culpeper’s activities’ calendar each month. Soon Bunt and Isaacson were offering weekly classes to those interested in learning the game. Eight players joined a cruise the group took in early 2015, and today the group has grown to 14.

“We need two more players to have four tables,” Isaacson says.

Isaacson and Bunt are two of LifeSpire’s featured trailblazers during Older Americans Month in May. The U.S. Administration for Community Living sets aside May each year to recognize the contributions of older Americans. The 2016 theme is “Blaze a Trail.” Ballard recommended the two women for their initiative in starting the bridge club.

“LifeSpire trailblazers model wellness, community, and hospitality,” agrees Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire President and CEO. “By starting the bridge club, Mrs. Isaacson and Mrs. Bunt showed the kind of community spirit we appreciate from all our residents.”

‘MENTAL GYMNASTICS’

Bridge evolved from the British card game whist and dates back to the 1700s. In 1925 railroad heir Harold Stirling Vanderbilt created the modern version of contract bridge, the version The Culpeper club plays. According to David Owen of The New Yorker, Vanderbilt “had been annoyed by what he felt were deficiencies in the previous version, auction bridge.” Contract bridge caught on quickly, especially as the Great Depression set in, and by the 1940s, 44 percent of American families played the game.

Today, an estimated 25 million Americans enjoy bridge, including such notables as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, who often play as a team. The majority of bridge players are over age 50, says Jon Saraceno in an article for AARP.

“Bridge’s intricacies make it particularly appealing for those who want to sharpen acuity with mental gymnastics,” Saraceno writes. “A study in 2000 at the University of California Berkeley, found strong evidence that an area in the brain used in playing bridge stimulates the immune system. Researchers suggest that is because players must use memory, visualization and sequencing.”

Additional research by Dr. Claudia Kawas of the University of California Irvine, seems to indicate bridge, with its added social element, may have a slight edge over other mental games in staving off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“We think, for example, that it’s very important to use your brain, to keep challenging your mind, but all mental activities may not be equal,” Kawas says. “We’re seeing some evidence that a social component may be crucial.”

A REWARDING PURSUIT

Isaacson and Bunt carve out lots of time each week for bridge. The two women teach bridge on Wednesdays, developing lessons based on the book, “The Fun Way to Advanced Bridge” by Harry Lampert.

“Many of those who come last played in college,” Bunt says. “It’s a great way to welcome new residents to the community.”

The group plays together at The Culpeper on Fridays. Isaacson plays with a group at her home on Saturdays, and Bunt and her husband, John, play Tuesday evenings at the local country club with people from the greater Culpeper community.

When they aren’t playing bridge, the two women are also involved in other activities in their community. Bunt and her husband regularly work in the food pantry at their local church, St. Stephens Episcopal in downtown Culpeper. Isaacson reads to an older friend, plays rummy with older residents, and enjoys caring for her granddaughter one day a week.

Still, bridge has provided a strong bond between the two women and allowed them to forge friendships with other residents as well.

“It’s very rewarding,” Bunt says. “It keeps us busy and provides a lot of good laughs.”


Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

VBH ANNOUNCES NEW CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Lifespire AnnRICHMOND, Va.—Virginia Baptist Homes (VBH) is pleased to welcome Ann Lovell as Corporate Director of Communications. Ann is succeeding Monica Hillery who retired Feb. 5 after 43 years of service. Ann comes to VBH from the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) where she served 13 years as a missionary in media roles in the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand and four years on staff as a writer and editor in IMB’s communication center in Richmond.  As a missionary, Ann led Bible studies with local and international women in the Philippines and South Korea. In Thailand, she founded a ministry to exploited women and children, which focuses on sharing the gospel in the red-light districts of northern Thailand.

Ann’s prior experience also includes 11 years of Federal government service with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Knoxville, Tennessee. While at DOE, Ann wrote speeches, developed presentations and crafted legislative language for senior officials to present to local stakeholders, state and Congressional representatives and the White House.

Ann and her husband, Joe, have two daughters. Lauren is a senior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Alli is a freshman in Tucker High School’s Advanced College Academy in Richmond.

Ann may be contacted by email at alovell@vbh.org or by phone at (804) 521-9192.

Please welcome Ann to the VBH family!

MEDIA CONTACT:
Peter Robinson
Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations
Virginia Baptist Homes
Corporate Headquarters:
1900 Lauderdale Drive, Richmond, VA 23238
Telephone: (804) 521-9276
Email: probinson@vbh.org