Over the past year, with the retirement of our long-serving President and CEO Doug Spitler scheduled for the end of 2016, Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) has been conducting a rigorous national search for a successor to take the reins.
Now, that search is complete. The person best suited to lead our organization is a true embodiment of the ERS culture with a life-long passion for serving older adults.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Laura Lamb.
Decades of service to Cincinnati’s seniors
Lamb currently serves as our Executive Vice President of Housing and Healthcare. She’s been a part of the ERS team for the past 22 years, and her deep knowledge of the challenges of providing retirement care in this region make her uniquely qualified to lead.
“Serving older adults has been a calling in my life. It started with my grandmother being an incredible influence on me,” Lamb recounted. “It continued with my mom’s work as a Resident Assistant in a local nursing home. And if it weren’t for serving elders, I don’t know where I’d be. It’s just who I am.”
“She has been an integral part of the planning and execution of our strategic goals. She is both hands-on and high energy. No one knows this organization better.”
That passion for providing elder care has made Lamb a standout in the profession. She’s an acclaimed expert with a strong record of positive outcomes.
“Laura has been a key player in the success of ERS,” ERS Board Chair Robin Smith said, in announcing Lamb’s appointment. “In addition to her work ethic, demonstrated record of success, and deep knowledge of our company and our industry, she is the embodiment of our person-centered culture every day, and this was a critical factor in our decision.”
“I am thrilled about Laura’s appointment,” Spitler said. “She has been an integral part of the planning and execution of our strategic goals. She is both hands-on and high energy. No one knows this organization better.”
New challenges and unprecedented growth
As Lamb assumes her new leadership role, she’ll be tasked with overseeing an exciting moment in ERS’s history.
“We now represent close to 30 communities. In terms of lives served, over 1,400 elders are within our organization,” she noted.
Over the past decade, ERS has expanded beyond the bounds of Greater Cincinnati. We now manage Affordable Living by ERS communities throughout Central and Southwest Ohio.
We opened an Affordable Living by ERS community in Lexington and recently expanded into the Louisville market via our partnership with Episcopal Church Home. We cut the ribbon on a retirement community in Indiana.
We’ve undertaken the expensive rehab of several distressed historic buildings (such as the turn-of-the-20th-century YMCA building in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood), turning them into vibrant retirement apartment developments that provide person-centered, affordable care to seniors of limited means.
Given her record of diligent, steady service, we’re confident in her ability to continue Spitler’s legacy.
We’ve also worked with our development partners, in places like North College Hill, to build mixed-use retirement homes from the ground up, so that they might anchor and catalyze sustainable growth in economically challenged communities.
“It’s a lot of responsibility,” Lamb acknowledged, “but we have an amazing staff and leadership team, an amazing Board of Directors that give us guidance and direction.”
ERS is continuing to look at new projects and to expand outside the Cincinnati area. And other, unanticipated care provision opportunities will inevitably present themselves over the next decade.
As chair of ERS Strategic Planning and Master Planning committees, Lamb has been deeply involved in those growth processes. And that was a strong factor in the Board’s decision to ask her to lead.
(Lamb with the ERS Year One Success Committee)
Given her record of diligent, steady service, we’re confident in her ability to continue Spitler’s legacy of expanding the availability of person-centered, dignified senior care to people from all walks of life, of varied means.
The staff, board members and residents on the “Year One Success Committee” will help to guide a successful CEO transition. Committee members include: Joan Wetzel, Harry Kangis, Megan Bradford, Tom Regan, Pat Donaldson, The Rev. Canon Jack Koepke, Laura Lamb, Glenn Scott, Keith Lawrence, Kathy Ison-Lind and Rev. David Lowry.
“I am both excited and honored to be chosen by our Board to lead this incredible organization,” Lamb said. “We have an amazing team at ERS consisting of our residents, employees, board of directors and business partners, and with their help I am looking forward to creating our bright future together.”