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In the residents’ best interests

Linden Ponds board provides oversight, dedication, compassion

Created date

July 23rd, 2014
Mary Helen Lorenz (left), chair of the board of directors at Linden Ponds, and Eva Marx, resident director of the board, take a moment between the community’s spring festivities.
Mary Helen Lorenz (left), chair of the board of di

Beyond the more than 1,200 residents and 800 employees of Linden Ponds, a smaller group also has a vested interest in the community’s mission and success: its board of directors. 

The eight-person board provides oversight for the independent nonprofit organization, Linden Ponds, Inc., sponsored by National Senior Campuses, Inc. The board oversees Linden Ponds’ operations, long- and short-term financial planning, and management. The expertise of the board’s members includes city planning and community development, health care consulting, banking, financial planning, operations, nursing, and employment law.        

“The mission of Linden Ponds is to provide a high-quality, active, affordable lifestyle, and since we’re a not-for-profit, our goal is to do that through a financial plan that uses the resources wisely,” says Mary Helen Lorenz, the board’s chair. 

In addition to regular meetings with Linden Ponds’ management, the board is responsible for approving the community’s budget and regularly reviewing finances, management’s performance, and resident satisfaction surveys, among other tasks.

“The board definitely has the best interests of the residents at heart,” says Eva Marx, who lives at the Hingham, Mass., Erickson Living community, and is the board’s resident director and newest member. “I’m impressed by how concerned they are about the residents’ welfare and obviously keeping the residences affordable. And I’m really impressed by their sincerity and caring.”

Opportunity on a broad scale

Just shy of her two-year anniversary of living at Linden Ponds and about four months into her tenure on the community’s Resident Advisory Council, Eva saw the opportunity to join the board as its sole resident representative. 

“I’ve always been accustomed to working on a broader scale professionally, and I like to look at things systemically, so it had appeal,” Eva says. 

Though it wasn’t part of her plan when moving to Linden Ponds, Eva adds, “I was beginning to learn my way around, and I also realized that this opportunity probably would not present itself again too soon.”

Following two decades working in public health and education policy at a national level, with expertise in organizational issues and communication, Eva fit the role of resident director. The position is demanding, requiring a minimum dedication of 200 hours a year. All members are financially compensated for their work.

“Eva is well respected by many, many different groups,” says Lorenz. “She has a lot of wisdom about how to create community, be transparent, and communicate.”

Eva replaces Annette Sexton, who served on the board for seven years and remains resident director emeritus and a mentor to Eva in her first of the three-year term. 

In addition to the board’s overarching mission, Eva wants to enhance the board’s visibility in the community and its interaction with residents of Linden Ponds. Since joining the board in April, Eva has begun writing a regular column about her experiences for Life@Linden Ponds, the community’s electronic magazine. She does her best to be present at community events and available for questions or comments from others who live at Linden Ponds.

“I’m enjoying it,” Eva says of her new role. “One of the things that I appreciate most is I like learning new things and I’m still learning.”   

Eva was heavily involved in the community before as the chair of the Interfaith Council and as a member of the Political Interest Committee, Caregivers Support Group, Unitarian Universalist Community, and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She attends meetings of the Resident Advisory Council on behalf of the board of directors.

Personal connections

Fellow members of the board of directors also bring with them not only professional, but also personal experience that inspires their work. 

When Lorenz was asked to join the board to represent New England communities, she reflected on her father’s experience in assisted living at a Michigan Erickson Living community. She gladly accepted the offer to serve both Linden Ponds and its sister community in Peabody, Mass., Brooksby.

“My father received excellent care in assisted living, and I was and am very enthusiastic about the care, commitment, and excellence of the staff and management at all the Erickson Living facilities,” Lorenz says. “I feel lucky to have been able to contribute to the continuation of the quality lifestyle at Linden Ponds and the other communities.”

Board members have contributed to philanthropic funds at Linden Ponds, including the resident care fund and the student scholars fund.    

This summer, board members will be busy finalizing the Linden Ponds budget and preparing for their annual fall meeting with board members from other Erickson Living communities nationwide.