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ECS News and Updates.

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Marty Tamburrano: A Legacy of Core Values and Progress

Summer 2016

After 40 years of dedicated service to seniors, Marty Tamburrano has decided to join their ranks as an official retiree. Those four decades prepared Marty well for one of the most significant challenges she ever undertook. In 2015, she led Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS) and its boards, management, staff and residents through a process that restated our mission and clarified our core values.

Those core values include compassion. Marty grew up in a small Kansas town where her grandmother lived in a local nursing home. Marty was hired to direct activities in that facility and realized she loved working with seniors. Here was a career that had heart! Her commitment led her to a new post two years later as the administrator of Mennonite Friendship Manor, where the board expected a high quality of service and encouraged its staff to be creative.

That call to creativity and imagination stuck with Marty as she took on new roles. She served on the board of KAHA, the state-wide organization and as its president in 1981. Through the years, she served as executive director of three continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and as a creator/developer of five.

Marty joined ECS as vice president of operations in 2001. Her tenure has been characterized by courage. She worked with then-CEO Kevin Gerber to build, open and successfully operate The Covington in Aliso Viejo. She became our president and CEO in 2005 and led us through a merger with The Scripps Home in 2006 and the establishment of The Sophie Miller Foundation in 2009.  She guided us through the sale of our original property, The Kensington, in 2010, and the successful relocation and continuing care for 120 residents. 

Marty oversaw our name change to Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS) and launched our work in affordable housing through an affiliation with Community Housing Management Services.  In 2012, ECS was one of only 3 senior service organizations in the state to earn an A- rating from Fitch, which helped with our successful bond offering that raised $148 million to develop MonteCedro. The first CCRC to be built in the Los Angeles area in 20 years, MonteCedro opened on time and on budget.

In reflection, though, Marty says that the most satisfying experience during her time with ECS was leading us through the process that restated our mission: “We Create Exceptional Communities and Services for Seniors,” and clarified our values: Courage, Compassion, Integrity, Respect, Generosity, Spirituality, Imagination and Diversity. As an expression of their commitment to the core values of ECS and the well-being of its staff, Marty and her husband have established the Martha and Angelo Tamburrano Core Values Award which will annually recognize a non-management staff member who most exemplifies the values they cherish. We are grateful for this gift and for Marty’s amazing years of service.

“If in any small way my years of service in the field of senior living have been reflective of these values, then all of the days, months, years and decades I will count as a success. I will always hold a deep sense of gratitude to those who have walked this path with me.” ~ Marty Tamburrano

Above photo of Marty Tamburrano, Former President & CEO of ECS.

Changing the World, One CGA at a Time

Summer 2016

As they considered retirement, Chuck and Mimi Hanzel were delighted that the value of their home had increased, but they faced significant taxation on this capital gain. They also had concerns about monthly income in the future. Then they learned that a charitable gift annuity (CGA) would give them a significant tax deduction and a monthly income for life.  Most importantly, it would enable them to help change the world through philanthropy.

It was this last factor that inspired Chuck and Mimi to create two charitable gift annuities that would benefit four nonprofits, one of which is their new home, MonteCedro. They chose to support MonteCedro’s Employee Education Fund by endowing the Chuck and Mimi Hanzel, PhD, Scholarship.  “Education has been a life-long pursuit for me. I know what a difference it makes,” said Mimi.

The Hanzels also made the inaugural gift to the MonteCedro Benevolence Fund, which will be there to help residents in the future who, due to unanticipated circumstances beyond their control, are unable to afford the cost of their care and services.

In addition to MonteCedro, the Hanzels’ philanthropy extends their legacy through three other charities. One is Central Catholic High school in Pittsburgh that left such an impression on Chuck. “That’s where I learned the self-discipline that has served me so well,” he said. The second is St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church, where the Hanzels have been members for 45 years. They are also long-time supporters of Carousel Ranch, where children with disabilities receive treatment through horse therapy.

“The mechanics of these gifts help us with taxes and monthly income, but our main goal is to give back to our community and to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Mimi. On behalf of the MonteCedro family, we are grateful to the Hanzels.

Above photo of MonteCedro residents, Chuck and Mimi Hanzel.

I.T. to the Rescue: Meet Chris Karagozian

Summer 2016

Technology has enhanced our lives in many ways, but every user feels the pain when it just doesn’t work. Thankfully, ECS has an amazing Answer Man in Chris Karagozian. Chris is part of an Information Technology (I.T.) team of four who provide tech resources and support for 480 employees at ten locations. It’s an impressive endeavor, considering all the complicated devices and processes they support. The team receives approximately 100 staff inquiries a month and provides some training for residents, as well.

Luckily, this is a dream job for Chris, who has been with ECS for five years. Born in Lebanon, he and his family came to the U.S. when Chris was nine, settling in Glendale, California. One day, his dad brought a computer home from work. Chris took it apart and put it back together; after that, he was hooked. He quickly became the go-to-guy for technical support among family and friends, and his dream of a career in I.T. was launched.

By now, Chris has more than 20 years of professional experience in I.T. He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from DeVry University in 2001 and worked in website development when the world-wide-web was brand new. He provided I.T. support in the retail industry and then came to ECS. After working full-time and taking classes at night for two-and-a-half years, Chris earned his MBA with a concentration in I.T. from the University of LaVerne in 2015. Our Employee Education Fund helped him accomplish this dream and we couldn’t be more proud.

Chris enjoys working at ECS. He is known for his patience and resourcefulness, and has become an educator of his peers. If you have ever called I.T. for support, you know what Chris’ first question will be. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

Above photo of I.T. Coordinator, Chris Karagozian.

MonteCedro’s Creative Living Academy: Stimulating Lifelong Learning

Summer 2016

Creative Living is a philosophy that shapes the culture of ECS communities for residents and staff. It is inspired by a whole-self approach to wellness in mind, body and spirit. Through Creative Living, residents are empowered to forge their own paths and pursue their unique inspirations and aspirations – to remain their own leaders. Launched in early 2015, MonteCedro’s Creative Living Academy is a lifelong learning model driven by residents, supported by staff and enhanced by the greater community. A group of volunteer Advisors, made up of MonteCedro residents, supervises the development and oversight of the Academy. For each trimester, the Advisors create a catalog of lectures, workshops, trips, tours, discussion groups and other special events. “Our commitment to lifelong learning and excellence in programming are key factors when residents choose MonteCedro,” said Wendy Shiba, Chair of the Advisors for the Creative Living Academy. “The Creative Living Academy is resident-driven, with a great number of the presenters being residents themselves. We learn from and with each other, which builds and fosters a community culture at MonteCedro that promotes growth and fulfillment for all of our residents.”


The Creative Living Academy features distinguished community partners and offers a variety of programs, including Learningprivate discussions and recitals with the Pasadena Symphony; rehearsal previews, meet the cast and set tours with Pasadena Playhouse; docent-led tours of the Huntington Library; tours of Eliot Arts Magnet Middle School, and many others. Because of the wealth of knowledge and insight among residents on campus, the Advisors even created an “Inside MonteCedro” series in which individual residents and staff members participate in a guided conversation or interview about topics related to their expertise and experience. The first “Inside MonteCedro” session featured a resident of Japanese American heritage who shared stories about her life, including her experience of being interned during World War II. The series has attracted large audiences and inspired widespread conversations. Residents and staff at The Canterbury and The Covington are now developing Creative Living Academy programs. Although modeled after the now-thriving Academy at MonteCedro, each resident group will no doubt bring its unique perspective to the model. After all, that’s what Creative Living is all about.

Above photo of Ida Hankins participating in a paint mixology class.

Creative Housing & Services: A New Name in Affordable Housing Management

Summer 2016

In 2012, we welcomed Community Housing Management Services into the ECS family of organizations. Since that introduction, the portfolio of properties managed by CHMS has changed and the type of services provided has expanded.

We are pleased to announce that, as of July 1, 2016, Community Housing Management Services has changed its name to Creative Housing & Services! The new name is a better reflection of the important work we do, which is not based solely on management tasks but also has an important supportive services component.

Creative Living Plus (CLP) is a program that enriches the lives of residents in our affordable housing communities. In keeping with ECS’s Creative Living philosophy, CLP supports resident wellness for mind, body and spirit. Donor-supported services include health screenings, wellness workshops, food distribution, social programing, and spiritual care and support.

Through Creative Housing & Services and its program, Creative Living Plus, we are reaching more than 450 residents at six affordable campuses and residents are responding with great enthusiasm. Some have written letters describing how life-changing the services have been. Perhaps one of the greatest outcomes is the camaraderie that has developed among residents. The place where they live is no longer an apartment building; it is a community of friends.

Above photo of Residents Mei Wei, left, and Yang Lee at Our Lady of Guadalupe keeping the pace in aerobics class.

  
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