2021 October

Jeff O’Neal Started as the New CEO at Brook Lane on October 18

Jeffery D. O’Neal, MBA, LCPC, FACHE, began as the new CEO at Brook Lane on October 18.

Prior to this, Jeffery was with UPMC Western Maryland for 17.5 years, with 12 years as System Director of the Behavioral Health Service Lines, and and the past 5 years as the Executive Director of Clinics, Practices and Behavioral Health Services.

He has been in the Behavioral Health field for 33 years. Jeffery is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, a Certified Employee Assistance Professional, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Jeffery is looking forward to, “Continuing my career with Brook Lane in a faith based program, where I am given the opportunity to serve the Behavioral Health and Educational needs of my local community.”

2021 October

Karl Brummer New President and CEO at Messiah Lifeways

Karl Brummer started as the new President and CEO at Messiah Lifeways in September.

Prior to this role, Karl served as Senior Vice President. Before coming to Messiah Lifeways, Karl was the Senior Executive Vice President for Cross Keys Village, a neighboring Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). Before working in long-term care, Karl has worked in several domestic and international organizations, primarily in HR leadership roles, in the fields of technology, manufacturing, and professional services.

Mr. Brummer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Messiah College and a Masters in Business Administration from Kutztown University. He holds his Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification from the Society for Human Resource Management as well as several other certifications in human resources, staffing, and senior services.

In addition to his role at Messiah Lifeways, Karl serves as an adjunct instructor at several local colleges and universities where he teaches graduate and under-graduate classes in strategic planning, leadership, human resources, international business, and business ethics. Karl has served on the General Conference Board for the Brethren in Christ denomination, Carlisle Brethren in Christ Church (The Meeting House), a local denominational foundation, and is active in his local community. He, his wife and two daughters live in Carlisle, PA.

2021 October

Linda K. Lownsbery Named Vice President of Human Resources at Landis Communities

Linda K. Lownsbery, of Elizabethtown, Pa., has been named the new Vice President of Human Resources at Landis Communities. Most recently she served as Vice President of Human Resources for The Wenger Group, Inc., where she led Human Resource functions for an organization of nearly 500 employees.

President/CEO Larry Zook commented, “From our beginning we have been blessed with a competent, caring and compassionate team motivated by Christ-like love. Our HR leadership has supported this over the years through cultivating a strong culture of service and building a team of individuals committed to Landis Communities mission and values. We are excited to welcome Linda to the team to continue this important work. Linda brings strong HR leadership experience, along with an interest in and passion for our service to older adults in the Lancaster County area and beyond.”

Linda’s extensive experience will be an asset to Landis Communities. Her previous roles have included all aspects of Human Resources management including leading a full range of efforts in talent development, employee relations, performance management, leadership development and succession planning. She has also worked to initiate innovative efforts for talent recruitment and retention, conduct comprehensive talent assessment and leadership development, and lead initiatives designed to keep a values-based culture strong.

Linda graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration (cum laude) with a Marketing/International Business concentration and a minor in Spanish from Elizabethtown College. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Training and Development from Penn State University. In addition, she carries SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.

Linda says, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in an organization where team members living out the organization’s guiding values is so evident.”

Landis Communities grows out of the nearly 60-year history of Landis Homes Retirement Community and is committed to following God’s call to creatively serve the diverse needs and interests of older adults by developing opportunities and collaborative relationships. It is committed to keeping retirement living strong and vital; to providing a number of affordable living options, including new models of age 55+ active adult living; to provide services at home – supporting aging in place, and to developing creative partnerships in support of all of these areas.

2021 October

Adriel School, Inc. Receives Reaccreditation

Adriel School, Inc. has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) as of October 1. In addition, Adriel School, Inc. was expedited through the Pre-Commission Review Report (PCR) process as a result of not receiving any out-of-compliance ratings in any of the fundamental practice standards.

Congratulations Adriel!

2021 October

Coaching:  One Approach to Retaining Your Staff

by Jeremy Kauffman

Only 26 % of employees strongly agree that feedback helps them do better work

Only 2 out of 10 managers know how to coach employees.

87% of Millennials list professional growth and development opportunities as important in their job

The pressure to retain our employees continues to mount.  Large numbers of the workforce are leaving organizations for better opportunities, more flexibility, better work life balance, and higher pay.  This dynamic requires leaders to dedicate more time and resources to their team members in an effort build an environment that people desire, and lead to improved retention.  Studies continue to show that developing an engaged workforce produces better outcomes and motivates people to stay in their current jobs. 

A strategy that is often overlooked in improving engagement and retention is utilizing coaching with team members.  Coaching is not the same as managing and requires different skills and a reset of the way managers relate to people.  While many managers may feel they are coaching their team members, research shows that most managers are not effective coaches.  In a recent study, Gallup found that only 20% of managers know how to coach employees. 

So, what is coaching?  And how can we incorporate that approach into our organizations?

At the core of coaching is regular, consistent dialogue between supervisor and employee.  This two-way communication allows for each person to share how things are going from their perspective.  The supervisor does less directing, instead focusing on asking open-ended questions that allow employees to share and find the answers. Feedback that is given by the manager is in real-time, direct and simple.  Coaching should focus on development and not evaluation. 

Organizations interested in incorporating a coaching approach to leadership should first focus on managers.  Providing training on coaching techniques is key and will help managers feel more comfortable in using this approach.  Secondly, organizations must examine current processes and systems for feedback. Our old methods, such as established timeframes for evaluations, do not fit into a coaching mindset.  Third, managers must be given the time to spend with their teams.  Evaluating their workload to determine whether they have enough time for building effective relationships and providing frequent, productive feedback is critical.  Too often managers are required to complete too many routine tasks. Or they have to supervise so many people that it isn’t feasible to connect regularly with each of them.  And finally, managers must understand the expectations and be held accountable for using this new approach. 

Retention continues to be one of the greatest challenges that organizations face.  Our ability to fulfill our mission and purpose requires having a stable, engaged workforce. 

Coaching is one approach that should be considered as you develop your retention strategies.  The focus on relationships, positive feedback and personal development has the potential to engage your people and motivate them to stay.

2021 October

Your Words Responses for October

What’s your “go-to” work snack?

A piece of fruit and raw almonds

Jen Foster, Executive Director of CCMRS

Protein bar

Christa Held, Director of Donor Engagement at Peaceful Living

Black bean brownies! (full of protein, and just a little sweet!)

Geneve (Evie) Telfer, Director of Pastoral Ministries at Messiah Lifeways


Allen Rutter, Executive Director of Shalom Ministries

Cashews & dark chocolate chips

Steve Muller, COO of Garden spot Village

Dried figs or dried apricots

Amy, Director of Advancement at Landis Communities


Roberta Linscheid, CEO at Sierra View Homes

Chocolate covered coffee beans. Or cheese and crackers!

Kerry Beck, Clinical Supervisor/Therapist at Shalom Counseling and Mediation Services

Salted peanuts in a bottle of coke

Rollan Lehman, owner of Lehman Farm Supply LLC


Robert Carlson, Clergy (Retired) of MCUSA


Robert J Carlson, Clergy/Chaplain in Western District (MCUSA)

Energy balls

Gloria Schroeder, Director of Finance at MHS

KIND bars

Wanda Thuma-McDermond, Professor of Nursing at Messiah University