I had the pleasure of attending Mirasol’s Gala fund raising kick-off event in late June. The Loveland Housing Authority has decided to build two additional Green House homes by raising money through an aggressive capital campaign. Invitees included influential members of the Loveland community. They had already received a generous contribution of $100K from one person!
The event was beautiful. They had set up the courtyard in front of their event center with brunch stations – one served omelets to order another a waffle bar. They even had a bartender to provide you with a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary. Dr. Bill Thomas and Nancy Fox were on the program as guest speakers.
What could go wrong?
The event had only just started when the rain began to fall. And boy did it fall!
It quickly became evident that the party as planned would not be possible. However, that didn’t stop this incredible team. They quickly pulled out umbrellas’ and helped all the guests get inside. Food was moved into the event center and the program continued. Despite the rain, the event went off beautifully. Guests learned about the Green House Project, toured the Green House homes and learned about the Loveland’s Housing Authority’s vision for Loveland. Dr. Bill Thomas encouraged people to dig deep when giving donations, so they might provide “shelter from the storm.”
When the party broke up and everyone went out to retrieve their cars, many people, including me, discovered that the dirt lot where we had parked our cars had become a soggy, muddy field. They had to call three tow trucks to pull about 20 cars out of the field! It was quite a show watching the cars being pulled out of the mud.
Between the beautiful setting, the rain, the memorable speakers and the muddy field this is an event that no one will forget soon!
The highest honor anyone can receive in Colorado long term care is the Vesta Bowden Achievement Award. This year’s award was presented to Nancy Fox, Chief Life Enhancement Officer with Vivage Quality Health Partners.
Nancy first applied her talents in the 1980s in Texas, including serving as an Administrator at a 120 bed facility, and then leaving to get her associate’s training at Eden in 1996. She was then “lured” to Colorado in 2008 to become Chief Life Enhancement Officer at Vivage where she, amongst other things, led the project development for the Green House Homes at Mirasol, a 60-person skilled nursing community in Loveland, Colorado.
Nancy has served in numerous capacities with respect to the Colorado Culture Change Coalition, the Pioneer Movement and several association and governmental committees and work groups including being named as the first Executive Director of the Eden Board of Directors.
Anyone who has heard one of her training sessions cannot help to be inspired and empowered to serve our elders in their communities. In her role as a mentor, one of the nominee letters stated that “she has impacted thousands of elders and staff by promoting positive, caring qualities through a person centered care philosophy. This role was recognized in 1999 when she was named as Eden’s first national mentor.
Besides her service on many association and governmental committees, Nancy has authored a book about leadership pathways in culture change; a guide for administrators for person-centered care; another guide, called the Neighborhood Guide which is a 30 module training course for transforming institutional thinking into self-directed working environments that is now taught nationally.
Nancy has gone the extra mile for the elders that we serve by giving freely and generously to them and our profession.
It was a beautiful day in Loveland, Colorado for the historic groundbreaking ceremony of the first Green House homes in Colorado. The skies were clear and the beautiful Rocky Mountains provided a breathtaking view in the background. This Green House project is the result of a collaboration between Loveland Housing Authority and Vivage Quality Health Care Partners. These innovative groups worked with NCB Capital Impact, AARP foundation, The Weinberg Foundation and many other sources of financing to bring this project to life for low income elders:
A $16 million project takes a significant numbers of financial partners, as well as time. Nearly four years in the works, financing for the project includes New Market Tax Credits, $584,000 in fee waivers from the city of Loveland, $2.6 million from the Colorado State Division of Housing and a $2 million grant from Maryland-based nonprofit The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
Local residents were an integral part of planning the groundbreaking ceremony. The Reporter-Herald covered this collaborative event, “”The goal is to create rampant normalcy where people can feel at home,” said Nancy Fox, the chief life enhancement officer for Vivage Quality Heath Care Partners. The program was kicked off by Sam Betters, Executive director of the Loveland Housing Authority. He shared the trials and successes of the long four year journey that led to securing financing for this important project, “It takes a lot of people to make this work, and we do this to meet the community’s needs,” Betters said Tuesday in remarks before a crowd Mirasol residents, local officials and a wide-range of partners.” The determined spirit and “can do” attitude was palpable throughout the ceremony.
Next Sue Mendenhall, the Resident Ambassador of Mirasol Senior Living Community described The Green House Project as “breathtaking in its innovation.” Major Cecil Gutierrez from the City of Loveland described Loveland as “one of the most innovative and creative cities demonstrated by art and projects the Loveland Housing Authority has come up with.”
“You are bringing something amazing to your state,” The Green House Project Chief Operating Operator Susan Frazier told the crowd. “You are becoming a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself.”
Nancy believes that leadership is a behavior not a position. In fact, all leadership is volunteer work! Leaders bring hope into the world. In order to shift the leadership paradigm, we must work to redefine accountability. This is a challenge because, most of human behavior is driven by things happening on a sub-conscious level, and leadership requires self-awareness. At The Green House Annual Meeting, Nancy will distinguish between leadership in an institutional model and leadership in a person-directed model of care. Through this presentation, Green House adopters will be inspired to adopt new leadership behaviors.