LifeSpire awards staff scholarships

06/15/17

By Ann Lovell

 

Kristen Peters, a dining services employee, receives a scholarship award from Jim Jacobsen, The Culpeper’s executive director.

CULPEPER, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia recently awarded its first-ever employee scholarships to staff and family of The Culpeper, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Culpeper.  Kristen Peters, a dining services employee at The Culpeper, and Brandi Houck, daughter of Paula Bolton, The Culpeper’s assisted living administrator, each received $1,500 to continue their education. Peters, a graduate of Culpeper County high school, plans to pursue a degree in nursing. Houck, a graduate of Eastern View high school, will attend Christopher Newport University in the fall.

Brandi Houck and her mother, Paula Bolton, The Culpeper’s assisted living administrator, display her scholarship award from LifeSpire’s Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation.

The scholarships are funded through donations to LifeSpire’s employee education fund and administered by the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation, LifeSpire’s benevolent arm. Scholarships are available to employees and children or grandchildren of employees.

“We are pleased to provide scholarships to these students, and we are grateful to our donors who helped make these inaugural awards possible,” said Patricia Morris, vice president of the VBH Foundation. “We wish Kristen and Brandi the very best in their future studies.”

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.


LifeSpire releases 2016 Annual Report; CFO has reasons to smile

06/12/17

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—Joe Kelley is a stereotypical accountant. A quiet guy with a dry sense of humor, you’ll most often find Kelley sitting quietly at his desk in his corner office surrounded by mounds of paperwork.

As LifeSpire of Virginia’s Chief Financial Officer, Kelley spends his work days analyzing the financial situation of LifeSpire’s four continuing care retirement communities. For financial reporting purposes, Kelley explains, LifeSpire’s Lakewood in Richmond, The Chesapeake in Newport News and The Culpeper in Culpeper make up what’s known as “the obligated group.” The Glebe in Daleville is a separate financial entity.

Although he’s always up for a good laugh, co-workers say Kelley rarely gets excited. When he’s happy, those closest to him notice a slight smile and a twinkle in his eye. Based on the consolidated financial statements released in LifeSpire’s 2016 Annual Report, Kelley’s smile is broader than usual — for very good reasons.

“For the first time in nearly 20 years, LifeSpire posted a net operating gain in 2016,” Kelley reports.

UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Joe Kelley is LifeSpire of Virginia’s Chief Financial Officer.

Kelley gets particularly excited about debt service coverage ratios. The debt service coverage ratio compares debt payments to adjusted net operating income, Kelley explains. Anything over 1 means a company has enough cash to cover its debts. Generally, banks require a debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.2. The higher the ratio, the stronger the organization is financially.

“Our debt service ratio for the obligated group is 2.09 and for The Glebe it’s 2.11. That’s amazing considering where we were just a few years ago,” Kelley says.

Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire’s president and CEO, also appreciates the significance of these numbers.

“A few years ago, it was very common for the financial benchmarks in each of our communities to hover around debt compliance levels,” Cook says. “Thanks to the hard work of staff in each of our communities, we now have the opportunity to build some reserves to sustain us in the event of future economic downturns.”

Kelley has a number of charts that accompany his presentations on LifeSpire’s financial position. One of them highlights the downward slide of operating income that began with a $1 million loss in 2000 and bottomed out with a $9 million loss in 2007 at the start of the global financial crisis.

“If I had looked at the financials when I came to work here, I might not have come,” Kelley jokes. “The auditors thought we were going out of business; we received ‘going concern’ audit opinions from 2008 through 2011.”

A number of factors contributed to the financial difficulties of VBH:  the development and startup losses at The Glebe, the recession and capital market collapse in 2008 and 2009 and The Glebe’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, Kelley says. These factors impacted all VBH communities.

“Because of the organizational distraction and the costs associated with the bankruptcy, VBH was unable to adequately reinvest in our communities the way we wanted to,” Kelley says.

But the problems actually began two decades before the economic downturn of the 2000s, says Cook, who recently discovered a 1980s-era letter from then-VBH board chair, Hunter Riggins. Titled “Facing the 80s: Problems and Solutions,” the letter begins, “Virginia Baptist Homes, Inc., faces the greatest challenge it has ever faced in the decade of the 80s. This challenge is at or nearing crisis proportions. The challenge facing the Homes is how to put the overall operation on a firm financial foundation and at the same time maintain current operations and continue the substantial work done in the past and the present for elderly Virginia Baptists.”

“In reality, the organization had been struggling for years before 1999 because we focused more on the spiritual and mission components of our business and less on fiscal stewardship,” Cook says.

LifeSpire board chair Susan Rucker defines it as a “downward spiral.”

As a result of the flagging economy, “losses had begun and were accelerating,” says Rucker, who joined the LifeSpire board in 2014. “One or two years of losses are not a disaster, but you don’t want to get in a position where you can’t recover.”

Fortunately, both the board and senior leadership realized the organization’s dire predicament and took steps to reverse the trends. “Sustainability became the board’s goal,” Rucker says.

REVERSING THE TRENDS

The reversal began in early 2008 when, in response to The Glebe’s escalating difficulties, an external management firm came in to oversee operations.

“The management company provided the chief operating officer, the chief financial officer and other operational expertise,” Kelley says. “They brought a level of proficiency VBH didn’t have in-house at the time.”

Specifically, this management expertise helped VBH communities receive Medicare certification, adding “$4 to $5 million in annual reimbursements for services we were already providing,” Kelley says.  “This coupled with economic recovery was the turning point.”

VBH utilized the company’s services for about three years and then moved to hire the talent they needed, Kelley says. In 2014 the board hired Cook, and the steepest recovery began then.

“We understood the next CEO had to have financial acumen,” Rucker says. “Part of the job was getting the communities on track to be profitable and sustainable.”

But, financial stability is more than just “good business,” Rucker stresses.

“Being financially stable positions us to live up to our commitment to our seniors. When we are financially stable, we are able to try new things and invest in new ventures and new technology. We want to help seniors age where they want to age and continue to look at ways to serve seniors outside the walls of our CCRCs,” Rucker says.

A PROMISING FUTURE

Rucker says LifeSpire’s current situation is “night and day” different, and the future is very promising, thanks in large part to the commitment of staff at each community. Sustainability can’t be achieved “by senior management alone.”

Cook agrees, “Our goal is to provide lifestyle-based services with hospitality, dining and wellness as the focal points,” noting this vision relies on the full buy-in of staff at every level.

“We want to build on being a place where people want to come,” Rucker says. “Over the next five years, we envision significantly refreshing our physical plant, offering new programs and finding other ways to serve the market that are relevant to seniors.”

Kelley and Cook share Rucker’s vision and enthusiasm for the future.

“LifeSpire has been transformed,” Kelley says. “We are actively engaged in becoming one of the premier mid-sized senior living companies in the mid-Atlantic region, financially and operationally. The groundwork we have been laying recently will enable LifeSpire to meet its commitments to current and future residents for many years to come.”

Cook agrees, adding, “If these trends hold, and I have every reason to believe they will, we may even hear Joe start to whistle.”

 

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.

 


Lakewood’s ‘Cumberland group’ wins Leading Age Virginia Award

By Ann Lovell

The Cumberland group displays the Power of Purpose award they received from LeadingAge Virginia June 7.

NORFOLK, Virginia—What do these have in common: six sisters, a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law, and a cousin; four housekeepers, three CNAs, an LPN, and a floor tech? At Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end, they represent 156 years of combined service.

Seven current and two former employees are a family who make up what’s known as Lakewood’s “Cumberland group.” The family received the inaugural “Power of Purpose” award June 7 at LeadingAge Virginia’s annual conference in Norfolk. The award recognizes a front-line caregiver — or in this case nine — who demonstrate remarkable commitment to the people they serve.

The legacy began in 1988 when Dorothy Trent joined the staff of Lakewood as a housekeeper. Her sister, Nancy Wheele, joined Lakewood as a CNA in 1989 and worked there until her death in 2016. Other members of the family soon followed. Sister Annie Trent worked as a housekeeper from 1991 until 1998, and Julie Athey, a third sister, joined as a CNA in 1992. Five years later Becky and Jimmy Edmonds, Trent’s fourth sister and brother-in-law, joined Lakewood in August 1997 as a CNA and floor tech, respectively. Annette Johnson, a cousin, came to work as an LPN in 2003, and Laura Langhorne, Trent’s fifth sister, and her sister-in-law Lucy Langhorne joined Lakewood as housekeepers in 2008 and 2013, respectively. Together, this all adds up to a combined 156 years of service from one family.

“We call the Cumberland group a ‘legacy family,’” explained Patricia Morris, vice president of the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation who nominated the group to receive the award. “A ‘legacy family’ includes residents or staff families who have chosen to live or work at Lakewood for a number of generations.”

“The family carpools about an hour each way from their home in Cumberland County to Lakewood,” Morris said. “They are dedicated people who show up on time and work hard.”

Barrett Way, Lakewood’s Executive Director agreed. “Residents depend on them, and they answer the call of service happily. Their commitment to the Lakewood family is evident every day, and we are grateful they chose to join us.”

“We are very honored to have been nominated for this award,” said Jimmy Edmonds, speaking on behalf of the family at the awards ceremony held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. “We are real pleased and even more honored to have won the award.

We enjoy working at Lakewood. We enjoy the residents and consider them part of our family,” Edmonds continued. “We do travel long distances, but we do that because we love our jobs, the residents and the staff. We greatly appreciate this award.”

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. 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 breaks ground

05/23/17

By Ann Lovell

Residents and guests recite “The Pledge of Allegiance” at The Culpeper’s groundbreaking May 10.

More than 225 residents, staff and guests of The Culpeper, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community, gathered May 10 to break ground on their new home — an estimated $23 million, 125,000 square-foot facility that will include space for independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing and memory care. The new Culpeper will also offer residents larger living space, modern dining facilities, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Randall Robinson (right), former president and CEO, and Mick Feauto, Executive Vice President and COO of LifeSpire, talk with LifeSpire of Virginia staff .

Utilizing the theme, “Building for Tomorrow,” the afternoon was a celebration of The Culpeper’s past, present and future. Randall Robinson, former president and CEO of Virginia Baptist Homes, the predecessor to LifeSpire of Virginia, recalled The Culpeper’s history and the courage and vision it took for Dr. J.T. Edwards, then pastor of Culpeper Baptist Church, to build the very first Virginia Baptist Home just following World War II.

“(Edwards) took it upon himself to travel down to Richmond to meet with the executive committee of the Baptist Board,” Robinson said. “You have to remember this was during World War II, during a time when people knew nothing but cutbacks. This was a time not to spend but to save.”

However, Robinson noted, when The Culpeper was dedicated in October 1950, the new building was paid for as the result of an intensive state-wide capital campaign by Edwards and his team. “That’s an essential part of our past,” Robinson said.

Susan Rucker, chair of LifeSpire’s board of trustees, talks with a guest during The Culpeper’s groundbreaking celebration.

While Robinson shared about the past, residents Mary Miller and Kathy Davis shared their enthusiasm for living at The Culpeper today, describing it a “wonderful experience.”

“I’ve felt safe and secure, Miller said. “And the residents have been like a second family.”

Davis agreed. “We were tired of raking leaves. Facing reality, we knew we’d face life changes, and we would need to move into a retired assisted living community,” Davis said. “We have found exactly what we were looking for.”

Residents and guests enjoy breaking ground on the new building.

Looking toward the future, Jonathan Cook, current president and CEO of Lifespire of Virginia, began by reading a 1980s-era letter from former board chair, Hunter Riggins. The letter detailed the need for a new building at The Culpeper and the lack of resources available at that time to provide one.

“This letter was written in 1980, meaning we’ve been talking about a new building for quite a long time within Virginia Baptist Homes,” Cook said. “Today we are excited to say that we are making that a reality. While we honor our past, it is now time to look toward the future.”

The original Culpeper building stands behind the site of the new community, which will face the Blue Ridge mountains.

“This building has been our ancestral home for almost 70 years,” Cook continued. “This building has provided care for tens of thousands of Virginia Baptists; this building has provided a living for thousands of staff in the area, and this building has been closely tied to the identity of Virginia Baptist Homes.”

“Today we are starting a new beginning for the Culpeper,” Cook concluded. “I just want to thank you all for being a part of it and challenge us all to make sure we carry that long and rich history and tradition of care into our new building.”

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. 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.


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.


Now Hiring: Executive Director for The Chesapeake

May 5, 2017

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is seeking to hire an executive director for The Chesapeake, a not-for-profit life plan community in Newport News, Virginia. The Chesapeake is one of four communities owned and operated by LifeSpire of Virginia, based in Richmond, Virginia.

The Chesapeake currently consists of 252 independent living apartments/cottages, 57 assisted living beds, 15 assisted living memory support beds and 52 skilled nursing beds. Beginning this summer or early fall, an $8 to $10 million common area renovation project will take place over the next few years.

The community has an outstanding reputation in the Tidewater market and currently provides service to 390 residents and employs 280 staff members.  The health center provides excellent care and has a four-star rating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Executive Director is responsible for continuing and enhancing the reputation of the community by providing strategic leadership consistent with the LifeSpire mission, vision and values.  The Executive Director shall provide leadership in the development of policies, procedures and plans, which result in the accomplishment of both the organization’s long and short-range goals.  The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the development and delivery of appropriate services to the residents, clients and their families.

Key qualifications, duties and personal characteristics for this position are:

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience as an Executive Director of a life plan community
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • NHA license is a plus, but not required
  • Thorough understanding of the senior housing industry
  • Financial management skills; ability to develop and manage the budget for the entire community; identify areas for expense savings or revenue generating opportunities
  • Ability to maintain and strengthen positive working relationships with staff,  residents, and leadership across communities
  • With support of the leadership team, develop and implement a strategic plan that aligns with the LifeSpire mission, vision and values
  • Provide quality programming and services that meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer
  • Develop and sustain a community culture of teamwork, professionalism, mutual respect, continuous quality improvement and accountability
  • Develop a strong team of competent and committed professionals who are committed to service excellence
  • Articulate a vision, create consensus and motivate people to build a sense of community

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Support the strategic plan and direction of LifeSpire of Virginia.
  • Direct the overall operations of the facility while complying with state and federal regulations as well as the company’s policies and procedures
  • Ensure compliance and licensure with all licensing agencies
  • Manage occupancy development
  • Plan, develop and manage facility’s operating and capital budgets
  • Develop and monitor all contracted provider services
  • Foster effective communications and teamwork among the facility’s management group
  • Maintain current knowledge about changes in federal, state and local regulations
  • Focus on achieving and maintaining 5-star status in the community

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS:

The ideal candidate will be a competent, compassionate and committed professional who is willing to enter into a long-term commitment of service to the organization and do so within a team-oriented, collaborative, servant-leadership environment.  He/she will be a person of high integrity and ethical standards and have a personal reputation that will reflect well on the organization. Of equal importance will be a high standard of care and concern for current and future residents.  He/she will evidence a commitment to establishing community collaborations.  As a relationship-oriented person, the Executive Director will be an excellent communicator and will maintain a visible presence among staff, residents, clients and within the surrounding community.

This job offers a competitive base salary with a bonus incentive structure as well as an excellent benefits package. The full-time benefits package includes options for health, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, generous paid time off, and relocation assistance.  EOE.

Qualified applicants may apply by e-mailing a resume to:

Mick Feauto, Chief Operating Officer, at mfeauto@lifespireliving.org.

 

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.


The Culpeper to break ground on May 10

By Ann Lovell

An architectural rendering of the exterior of the new building at The Culpeper highlights the state-of-the-art facility.

CULPEPER, Virginia—Residents at The Culpeper, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community, will soon say goodbye to their 70-year-old building and welcome a new state-of-the-art facility. The new Culpeper will offer residents larger living space, modern dining facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a memory care neighborhood, the only one of its kind in the Culpeper area.

On May 10, The Culpeper will break ground on its new community. While the old building will continue to serve residents until the new building is completed, residents and the greater Culpeper community are invited to gather on the front lawn at 2 p.m., May 10, to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony. Utilizing the theme, “Building for Tomorrow,” the afternoon will include brief remarks from community leaders, displays of historic photos, a video of the original 1949 ground breaking, and architectural renderings of the future community, among other surprises.

And yes, there will be opportunity to move some dirt.

“Yes, there will be shovels,” said Jim Jacobsen, executive director of The Culpeper. “We will have opportunity for everyone to put a shovel in the ground. We expect it to be a fun afternoon, and we are pleased to open our doors to the community for this event.”

When the original building was constructed in 1949, it was state-of-the-art for the time. Over the years, however, the building could not keep pace with the demands of today’s active seniors, explained Peter Robinson, Vice-President of Marketing and Public Relations for LifeSpire of Virginia, The Culpeper’s parent company.

“The new facility is modern and state-of-the-art, in keeping with the vision of The Culpeper’s original founders,” Robinson said. “We want to assure that seniors who live in the Culpeper community don’t have to leave Culpeper to find compassionate care in modern, comfortable surroundings.”

While a new building is welcomed, demolishing a 70-year-old building steeped in tradition doesn’t happen without a degree of sentimentality. Jacobsen and his team worked with The Culpeper’s residents and the greater Culpeper community to discuss their feelings associated with tearing down the old building. As a result, some of the features of the old building will be preserved, including the stained glass from the chapel, which will be displayed in the new lobby.

“We recognize the rich legacy of our past, and we honor those beginnings,” Jacobsen said. “At the same time, we are embracing the future and renewing our commitment to tomorrow’s seniors to provide exceptional care in a family atmosphere. That commitment is what makes The Culpeper such a special place to live.”

The Culpeper is located at 12425 Village Loop in Culpeper, Virginia, 22701. Phone number is 540-825-2411.

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. 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.

 


Rucker elected to chair LifeSpire’s board of trustees

03/17/17

By Ann Lovell

Susan Rucker

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the election of Susan Rucker as chair of its board of trustees. Rucker, who was elected to a 3-year term,  assumed her duties January 1 and presided over the board’s first meeting of 2017 in early March at Lakewood, a LifeSpire community in Richmond’s west end.

Rucker is currently the chief financial officer at the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also president of Prospective Insights, a consulting service that helps businesses define and execute business strategy and leadership development.

“I have worked with Mrs. Rucker as a LifeSpire board member for the past two years. Her business and financial leadership have helped propel us to the strong financial position we have today, ” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “I look forward to working with her in this expanded leadership role.”

Formerly a partner with KPMG, a global professional firm that provides audit, tax and advisory services, Rucker holds a bachelor’s in business administration from William & Mary. She and her husband, Michael, live in Midlothian, Virginia.

 

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.

 


A spirit of giving

03/10/17

By Jodi Leonard

Culpeper staff display the Spirit of Giving award. Left to right: Janet Caplinger, Jackie Gordon, Vicky McClung, Twinkle Moore.

Nothing speaks more to the value of family than the 2016 Spirit of Giving Award, which was presented to Jim Jacobson, executive director of The Culpeper, in an awards banquet in October. The award recognizes the LifeSpire community with the highest percentage of staff who give regularly to the Employee Crisis Fund (ECF). Funded through payroll deductions, the ECF provides financial support in times of crisis for an employee, such as a family illness.

“The ‘Spirit of Giving’ award truly tells the ‘Family Story’ displayed at The Culpeper,” Jacobsen said. “Our staff care so much for one another. It is truly a blessing to have such a family atmosphere within our great community. I am so proud of my team and appreciate their dedication to the residents and to each other.”

Twinkle Moore, an employee for 29 years who now works in The Culpeper’s administration office, has been giving to benevolence since 1994 and to the ECF since it began in 2014. Vicky McClung, a nursing employee for 23 years, says she and her co-workers have grown up together. She contributes to the Fund knowing that the money raised supports her friends. Jackie Gordon, a housekeeping employee for six years, already understands the importance of the ECF as she has seen staff assisted by the funds. Janet Caplinger, who works in assisted living, says it this way: “I am more blessed to be able to give.”

In addition to the ECF, LifeSpire and the VBH Foundation have also created a new Employee Education Fund (EEF), which will provide financial support to staff in the form of college scholarships and tuition reimbursement. The EEF is funded through both employee and donor gifts and provides financial assistance to deserving staff through:

  • Tuition reimbursement toward a degree, continuing education, or certification.
  • College scholarships for college-aged staff and staff’s children and grandchildren.

To make a gift to the EEF, please visit the Employee Education Fund tab on the VBH Foundation’s website.

The comfort and assurance that our founder Dr. J.T. Edwards promised to Virginia’s seniors will always be at the forefront of LifeSpire’s values. But it is the commitment that every employee has to one another that enables our communities to feel like home for everyone.

Jodi Leonard is the annual fund manager for the VBH Foundation. She can be reached at jleonard@vbh.org or 804-521-9213. 


LifeSpire selects Executive Director for Lakewood

03/09/17

By Ann Lovell

Barrett Way

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the selection of Barrett P. Way as executive director of Lakewood, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end.

Way is currently the executive director of Westminster Village in Terre Haute, Indiana, managed by Life Care Services. During his tenure with Life Care Services, Way led a $2 million villa expansion project, oversaw the refinancing of $8.9 million in debt and helped the community achieve more than 400 days in “no lost work.” His efforts led to an overall increase in resident satisfaction to 92 percent, with 96 percent of residents recommending the community to family and friends.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Way to lead the Lakewood community,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “His background in senior living and health care administration, and his proven track record of success in community expansion, financial stewardship and resident focus will serve Lakewood well. We are excited to bring him on at a time when we are expanding our community and increasing our focus on wellness, hospitality and dining.”

Way, who grew up in Richmond’s west end, looks forward to returning to his childhood neighborhood. Way holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management and a bachelor’s in business administration from Ohio University. He and his wife have one daughter and will welcome their second child in late March.

 

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.