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Interested in activities and outings planned for the residents at Shepherd of the Valley in Boardman? Take a look at the December calendar or click on the image below to download a larger, printable PDF.
Executive Director Don Kacmar Set To Retire In 2014
At the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services, Inc., Annual Meeting on November 18, Dennis Parks, President of Shepherd’s Board of Directors, announced the promotion of Rich Limongi, LNHA, SOV-Boardman Associate Director to the position of Executive Director Designee for Shepherd of the Valley. This past June, Don Kacmar announced to the staff his intention to retire as Shepherd of the Valley’s Executive Director by the end of 2014. He celebrated his 30th year of service to Shepherd in July.
“Throughout the year, the Board of Directors has worked diligently to select my successor as Executive Director,” Mr. Kacmar stated. “Following a national search, they found that the group of Associate Directors we already have stood out above the external candidates. After a thorough process comparing the extensive skills and talents of our internal candidates, they chose to promote Rich Limongi, LNHA, Boardman Associate Director, to be the next Executive Director for Shepherd of the Valley.”
Limongi brings extensive experience to the Executive Director’s position, which he will assume upon Mr. Kacmar’s retirement. A graduate of Ohio University, he worked for Park Vista Retirement Community for several years before joining the Shepherd staff in 1991. At Shepherd, he has been responsible for the daily operations of Shepherd’s Boardman location, a 109-bed skilled nursing and rehab community, as well as serving as the first administrator for Shepherd’s Poland community. Corporately, he serves as the Corporate Compliance Officer, Rehabilitation Coordinator, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, HIPAA Compliance Officer, Staff Education Coordinator, and Integrated Care Delivery Services Coordinator.
“I would like to thank the Board of Directors at Shepherd of the Valley for this great opportunity,” stated Rich Limongi. “Having been an employee of this corporation for 24 years, I have seen the growth of the organization and have sight into future opportunities as well. I would also like to personally thank Don Kacmar, my mentor and direct supervisor, without whose guidance over the years, this promotion would not have been possible.”
Don Kacmar, LNHA, a native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, received his BS degree from Temple University which he attended on an NCAA football scholarship. During his tenure as Executive Director, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services, Inc. has grown from one location in Niles with less than 100 employees supporting 170 residents to five sites in two counties and a home health agency, At Home With Shepherd, serving more than 750 elderly clients and employing nearly 500 people. He also spearheaded, along with Lutheran Social Services of Northern Ohio and St. Luke Lutheran Community, the Manor at Howland Glen building project which created a 50 unit income-adjusted apartment community In Howland, Ohio, for persons age 62 or older.
“For the last 30 years,” Mr. Kacmar stated, “it has been my pleasure to have worked with some of the finest people in my profession. Our staff and Board members have routinely shown thoughtful care and compassion for those we serve.”
In addition to his responsibilities as Shepherd’s Executive Director, Mr. Kacmar also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Shepherd’s Foundation, a separate not-for-profit corporation charged with raising benevolent funds to support Shepherd of the Valley’s residents and programs. During this time, he has periodically served as a business consultant for Lutheran Services in America
This year for the annual report, each community and At Home With Shepherd was asked to provide an inspirational story about a resident or client. Join us as we remember some of the high points from 2013. Click on the photo or name for a PDF with the full story…
At Home With Shepherd
We first met Leo Barker when he was referred to us in 2012 following a total hip replacement. He and staff did very well and he reached his goals and was discharged. In August, Leo had his second hip replaced and because he had done so well with the first, he requested our agency for his Home Health services.
Shepherd of the Valley-Niles
How do you spell rehab at SOV-Niles?
Since opening our remodeled short-term rehab unit in May 2012, we have had well over 100 graduates. One client who moved to the top of the class was Bob Streb.
Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman
From the simple to the sublime, at Boardman we know how powerful dreams are. A part of the excellent care provided at Boardman includes recognizing those dreams… and sharing the happiness fulfilling them brings to our residents. Joyce Martin, a former Boardman resident, had a wish filled with sugar and spice and everything nice.
This summer the Howland Dream Team helped make a special dream come true for Bob and Esther Shaffer. Esther resides in our nursing community and Bob lives in our condos. This summer, they wanted to renew the wedding vows they took 66 years ago!
Shepherd of the Valley-Poland
The assisted living community at Poland exemplifies the S.O.V. mission statement every day. Nothing sums up what we do better than the following letter received from Lois Davidson’s family. Her daughter wrote: As I walked out of Shepherd of the Valley Assisted Living in Poland on October 15, 2009, the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. After three months of constant worry about Mom, I could finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I was leaving her in a lovely apartment in good and caring hands.
Interested in activities and outings planned for the residents at Shepherd of the Valley in Boardman? Take a look at the November calendar or click on the image below to download a larger, printable PDF.
Shepherd of the Valley is so much more than just our great communities! See why our residents, families, and staff love where they are. Find out more about our services, and hear first-hand how Shepherd of the Valley became a name you’ve trusted for decades.
Click here to experience Shepherd of the Valley. (short video)
Throughout the year, employees at each Shepherd community select employees to honor for their dedication and service. In March, five employees from that group, one from each Shepherd location, were honored as an Employee of the Year. This year the following employees were recognized:
Shepherd of the Valley- Niles: Anna Lisa Fawcett, 10p-6:30a shift aide. “She is always positive and always has a smile on her face,” commented Rick Mattix, Niles Associate Director. “You can tell she truly loves her job and was very appreciative of her most deserved honor. “ She has worked for SOV-Niles for 2 years.
Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman: Christina Resek. Christina has been a member of the housekeeping staff at SOV-Boardman since 2009. “Christina is very helpful to everyone,” stated Rich Limongi, Boardman Associate Director. “She goes out of her way for the residents, is always friendly, and a hard worker.”
Shepherd of the Valley-Howland: Lisa Freeman, LPN. “Lisa started at SOV-Howland in 2005 as a housekeeper, studied to become an STNA and is now an LPN,” stated Tamara Salvino, Howland Associate Director. “She is a dedicated employee who always has a smile on her face and a positive attitude.”
Shepherd of the Valley-Poland: Aaron Simko. Aaron has been employed in the SOV-Poland Dietary Department since 1996. “Aaron was chosen by his peers because he is always going out of his way to help the residents each and every morning” explained Kelly Stansloski, Poland Associate Director. “He gives them his undivided attention, warmth, and love. The entire staff at Poland is glad Aaron is on our team!”
Shepherd of the Valley-Corporate/Home Health: Melissa Tustin. Melissa joined the Shepherd of the Valley staff as the Accounts Receivable Supervisor in January of 2010. “Melissa was a good addition to the staff. She is very professional and leads her staff by example,” stated Victoria Brown, CFO/Corporate Office Associate Director.
Americans are recognized for being the most caring and giving people in the world. The 29 members of the 2012 class of Valley Legacy Award nominees are inspiring examples of this caring and giving nature.
Take a moment to meet them “up close and personal”. Click here to download a PDF with a short summary of each person’s nomination and photograph.
Oprah Winfrey shares our nominees’ motivation, saying “I choose to rise up and see that in moments of desperation, fear, and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another.” This year’s nominees give of themselves, not to achieve recognition, but because they see a need. They truly care about helping others.
In the past seven years, the Valley Legacy Awards have honored nearly 175 extraordinary people and organizations, with 39 receiving the Valley Legacy Award. This year, a record 29 nominations were received from across the Valley. Nominees hailed from Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, East Palestine, Girard, Leavittsburg, Lowellville, New Waterford, Niles, Poland, Salem, Warren, West Farmington, and Youngstown. Our nominees span a multitude of interests, occupations, and talents. Friends and family nominated educators, community volunteers, veterans, business people, couples, sisters, and physicians.
Tickets to the luncheon on October 11th at Avion on the Water in Canfield are still available. Contact Lynn Miller at 330-530-4038, ext. 2057, or via email.
When she learned she had taken over-all first place in the Special Fine Art category at the LeadingAge Ohio Art and Writing Show, 90 year old Lucille VanAllen said “”I never thought I was an artist until now.”
Mrs. VanAllen, a resident at Shepherd of the Valley in Boardman, entered a soft pastel chalk drawing in the Special Fine Art category at the Regional Art and Writing Show sponsored by LeadingAge Ohio. In creating her artwork, she used stencils for the outlines then rubbed the pastels together to create the drawing. Mrs. VanAllen placed third in her category, qualifying her to move to the state-wide art show held during the LeadingAge Ohio state conference in August.
“When I told her she won first place in the Special Fine Art category at state, she was absolutely delighted,” said Kim Osborn, Activity Director for SOV-Boardman. “She told me that it made her feel like she was a real artist. I love this job when I hear things like that!!!”
LeadingAge Ohio is a non-profit organization represening approximately 400 nonprofit long-term care organizations located in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities, as well as those providing ancillary health care and housing services. Member organizations serve more than 50,000 elderly Ohioans daily and employ more than 20,000 persons statewide. Leading Age sponsors an art and writing show for member organizations annually.
For more information, contact Kim Osborn, Activity Director, Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman, at 330-726-9061, ext. 2414 or KOsborn@ShepherdoftheValley.com.
There was fellowship, food, prayer, and song as nearly 100 people gathered at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church to celebrate Shepherd of the Valley’s 40th anniversary.
Everyone gathered in the Crossroads Hall the evening of September 16, where they were greeted by a dozen collages of events and activities organized by site and decade. A visual media presentation highlighted people, locations, and events from Shepherd’s 40 years or service. The dinner buffet featured cakes decorated with Shepherd’s various logos through the decades was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Prior to the prayer service, a short program recalling the formation and achievements Shepherd has experienced over the past 40 years. Featured speakers included Ernie Sigle and Rev. D. Gary Schreckengost who were present from the beginning, and Dennis Parks, the current president of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Sigle talked about the initial meetings where the idea of a place where the Lutheran churches could care for their aging congregants became the reality of the first location in Niles. He took the crowd through the challenges of creating the idea, obtaining support and financing, and purchasing the first location.
Rev. Gary Schreckengost led the guests through the expansion years for Shepherd of the Valley and they moved into Mahoning County. He jokingly commented that he became the “building expert” as he was called upon to head the building committees for the Niles expansion, Poland condos, and the Poland assisted living building.
“Thousands have been served because of the efforts of faithful people like yourselves,” Rev. Schreckengost said in closing.
The final speaker was current Board President Dennis Parks who talked about the program additions and expansion projects undertaken in the 1990s including building the Howland community, its nursing home expansion project, and the addition of home health services.
“My nine years serving on the Board have been rewarding,” Mr. Parks commented. “(Shepherd is) truly a treasure to our area as it continues to serve our senior citizens and our community.”
Following the featured speakers, everyone was invited into the sanctuary for a prayer service. A mass choir made of members of the Zion and other Lutheran churches led them in song as prayers of thanks were offered for continued prosperity in the years to come.
Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America offered encouragement and blessings. Pastor Ronald Young, Assistant to the President of the Ohio District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, offered congratulations and gratitude.
“Happy 40th anniversary, Shepherd of the Valley,” Rev. Eaton said. “May God continue to bless your work and may this continue to be a place of refuge.”
Click here or on the image below for a collage of photos from the event.
This year, we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary; “40 Years of Caring”. Over the summer we will host celebrations at each of our communities. Our Niles community kicked off the celebrations in May, followed in June at our Boardman community. Please come and celebrate with us:
July 15, 1-4pm - Poland Campus (301 W. Western Reserve Road, Poland) invites you to “Revisit Idora Park”. For more information, click here to download a poster or click on the poster image below.
August 19, 1-4pm - Howland Campus (4100 North River Road, NE, Warren). Watch for more information.
On May 11th, 87 year old Joe Briganti, a retired United States Navy Flight Instructor, finally got his wings and back on a plane.
During WWII, Joe flew SNJ single engine planes for the Navy. He was 18 years old when he enlisted and his last flight was in 1947. “Being up in the air is very quiet and peaceful to me,” he explained, “the only thing you hear is the engine of the plane and if you didn’t hear that you knew you were in trouble. Just talking about flying again puts a smile on my face and reminds me of the good old days in the Navy.”
Joe has talked about how he loved flying and being in the Navy; teaching new pilots about the planes and how to fly in all kinds of situations and weather. Being an instructor also kept him state-side longer and out of the “shooting war”.
His son, Joe Jr., stated that while Joe still had his flight gear, goggles, and log book, he was missing his pilot wings. The Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman staff, with the help of Major Brent Davis and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, has worked to make Joe’s dream of getting back onto a plane come true.
At 12:00pm on May 11th, Joe’s dream was granted. He and hs son had lunch at the 910th Airlift Wing Community Activity Center and then toured a C-130 aircraft. Members of the Reserve Station presented him with a certificate of service and an honorary set of Air Force wings.
“They are our heritage. The legacy that they have handed down to us we try to honor and continue to the best of our ability and we have to get these guys out here and let the young guys see them and know where our heritage came from,” said Lt. Col. Donald Milliken, squad commander of the 773rd Airlift Squad.
Joe was accompanied by his son and staff from Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman (7148 West Blvd, Boardman)
Marilyn Barnhart has made Shepherd of the Valley-Boardman her home for the past two years. During that time, she hasn’t able to make a home cooked meal for her husband, Don. Many people take home cooked meals for granted, but when getting into the kitchen isn’t as easy as it used to be, making a meal for loved ones becomes even more special.
On April 26th, the Boardman staff helped Marilyn get back into the kitchen. Marilyn’s daughter got Dad out of the house for the surprise while Marilyn cooked his favorite meal: fried chicken, baked potatoes, applesauce, green beans, and chocolate pie. Click here to see WKBN’s coverage of this very special dinner.