Staff, residents and community members to pay tribute
LONGMEADOW—On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Glenmeadow community will bid farewell to Timothy V. Cotz, who has served as president and chief executive officer for the past 23 years.
This week, in advance of the celebration, Cotz learned that $16,000 has been raised in his honor by staff, residents and community members for the Glenmeadow Staff Education Fund, which makes scholarship funds available for employees returning to school. In addition, the largest gathering room, formerly known as Great Hall, has been renamed Timothy V. Cotz Hall.
Reflecting on his time at Glenmeadow, Cotz said much has changed in the industry since he began, including that residents are coming to the life plan community later in life, they expect more in terms of quality, and they are healthier and more active.
Cotz also noted that the nonprofit itself, known for its holistic mission and innovative programs and outreach to the wider community, has greatly expanded. Once offering services only to residents, the organization now provides services to people living across the greater Springfield area. Through such innovations as Glenmeadow at Home, the Lifestyle Pass and Glenmeadow Learning—all programs Cotz helped found—area residents have access to services from transportation and care management to education.
“We serve more people who don’t live on site than we do who live on site,” Cotz said. “By expanding the number of people we’re serving, we’re better able to fulfill our mission of meeting the needs of elders. That’s been a real positive.”
What has not changed over several decades, Cotz said, is Glenmeadow’s mission, vision and values. “Our mission of providing premier services and meeting the needs of the whole person has not changed, and the organization’s values of caring, compassion, quality, integrity and stewardship remain very much in place.
These guiding principles, coupled with the longevity that’s evident in the staff team, and a committed Board of Directors, will provide consistency and stability as Glenmeadow transitions to a new president and CEO, Cotz said.
“The 200 employees of Glenmeadow are diverse in so many ways, but they all share one commonality—genuine compassion and kindness,” he said, adding, “Our board members are so willing to share their talent and expertise. They bring such a depth of knowledge and talent in areas that are not my areas of expertise.”
Glenmeadow has always operated from a strategic plan, and lending further stability is the fact that the board recently approved a new, two-year strategic plan that offers a guideline for the organization through October 2018.
“The plan is focused on further expansion of community services, staffing levels—because we know that if you look at projected numbers of elders compared to projected numbers of available workers, there’s an ever-growing gap between the two,” Cotz said, noting, “We are also going to be looking more closely at how we provide services to people with cognitive loss. As people live longer and longer, the older people live, the odds of developing cognitive loss increase.”
Cotz said his work over the past 23 years has been both a passion and a joy. “The absolutely enriching part of this job is getting to know both the people we serve and the people we employ. It’s been a real gift to me to share the life’s wisdom of the people we serve—they’re role models for me on how they deal with loss, how they age with dignity.”
Cotz, of Longmeadow, plans to spend the next three months traveling with his husband, Ken Moffett. He continues to sit on the board for Girls Inc. of Holyoke, and he is a lay reader and member of the altar guild at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Holyoke, where is also serves as a trustee of the church’s investment portfolio.
To learn more about Glenmeadow and the history and offerings of its various programs, visit www.glenmeadow.org.
In the 1800s, elderly individuals without family or means were sent to live at what was called “the poor farm.” In 1884, a group of civic leaders raised funds among themselves and other area families and purchased a house on Main Street in Springfield’s south end. Quickly outgrowing that house, land was purchased on the corner of Chestnut and Carew streets, where a new home was constructed and opened in 1900. In 1960, the name was changed to Chestnut Knoll, and in 1992, it began to admit men.
In 1993, the organization purchased a 23-acre parcel in Longmeadow to build a new community that would provide both independent living and assisted living in one building with various common areas. This was a new concept known as a continuing care retirement community. Existing residents from the old Chestnut Knoll property were moved to the new campus in 1997. Shortly after the move, the board voted to change its legal name to Glenmeadow to coincide with the name being used by the developer of the property.