2021 September

Leadership Changes

Curt Stutzman will retire from Messiah Lifeways September 30.

Curt Stutzman will be retiring from Messiah Lifeways on September 30, after eight years with the organization.

Stutzman oversaw the Project Envision expansion that created new living spaces across the Messiah Village campus, and the expansion of Mount Joy Country Homes. During his tenure, the Rising Leaders Academy developed leaders at all levels and encouraged executive leaders to acquire graduate degrees.

Stutzman plans to take some time off to travel, spend time with family, and spend purposeful time discerning the structure of the next stage of life. He says, “I am looking forward to exploring a wide range of exciting alternatives for a fruitful and purposeful next stage of life.”

John Thorhauer started as the new President and CEO at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging this month.

Thorhauer previously served as President and CEO of UMRC and Porter Hills in Michigan, where he served for 14 years starting as Vice President of Administration.

Prior to that, he was Director of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Mississippi.

2021 September

In Pursuit of Board Excellence

by Clare Krabill, MHS COO

The financial and strategic pressures from COVID make a highly functioning Board of Directors more important than ever. MHS offers a number of tools and resources to support excellence in Board Governance.

Are you making the most of your MHS membership? The following are available to all MHS Members at no added cost. Email or call 574.534.9689 for more information.

MHS Board Self-Assessment. The Board Self-Assessment blends perspectives from various governance approaches and includes the following dimensions: board practice, fiduciary oversight, strategic engagement, generative/creative work, integration of faith and values in board work, and personal board member engagement. The assessment process typically takes 5-7 weeks. It is recommended that self-assessments be completed every two or three years.

MHS Board Peer Assessment. The MHS Board Peer Assessment tool is a brief survey typically used to measure a board member’s individual position on the board as they are being considered for reappointment.

MHS Original Resources. MHS has created a number of resources to better serve our members and those interested in board development. Please take a look at the resources below. Visit the MHS webpage for more tools and resources at

Informal Consultation. Sometimes it is good to have someone to talk to about a particular governance challenge. MHS loves engaging with our members.

Innovating Level Members. MHS’s most robust membership includes: consultation and support for board member recruitment; annual board education by MHS staff; Board monitoring schedule and meeting planning; and strategic planning or other consultation engagement by MHS staff triennially.

Webinars. MHS offers many webinars each year. Sign up to receive webinar notifications at Do you see a webinar that you wish you hadn’t missed? Email or call MHS and we will be happy to email a link to the video to our MHS members.

The following resources are available at additional cost.

MHS Consulting Services. MHS Members receive a discount on consulting services including, but not limited to strategic planning and CEO searches. Mennonite Health Assembly. MHS’ annual gathering of MHS member leadership. The March 2022 Health Assembly will feature a pre-conference extended workshop on Governance Training for the CEO & Board Chair as well as a one-day track on Strategic Positioning. Additional workshops suitable for Board members will be offered.

2021 September

Leading the Path to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

By Cynthia Miller, MHS Executive Coordinator

You cannot lead others to a destination you have never been.  The journey of many begins with your own personal journey.  In John Maxwell’s wisdom he writes:  “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion is the new hot topic.  There are many reasons “why” your organization should consider heading in this direction.  How do you lead such an endeavor?  It begins with you.  Are you ready to start your own personal journey?

This makes me reflect on my own personal journey into “awakening” as some call it, which began after the death of George Floyd.  I had completed anti-racism training 15 years earlier but never felt the calling to educate myself further.  As with many, George Floyd’s death sparked a new level of humanity in me.  I began to delve into every movie, book and documentary I could get my hands on. 

For the first time, I wanted to really understand terms like “white privilege” and “systemic racism”, as well as dissect the differences between racism, supremacy, and dominance.  Guess what happened when I did this? 

A passion stirred within me.  I began to see the injustice of systems that were set in place to advantage white men. I began sharing my new found knowledge.  Organically people began following me.  Sidenote:  not everyone embraced my passion and views.  Leading is not for the faint of heart.  It takes courage, especially when leading in diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Are you feeling a calling to DEI within your ministry?  Are you feeling a “personal” conviction?  Good…it has to be personal.  Remember, you cannot lead where you have never been. 

The first step you can take toward your personal journey is to prioritize your DEI education: 

  • Read, read, read!  I personally recommend White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.  The book helps you understand your own resistance as well as the resistance you will receive from others as you move closer to DEI within your organization and other aspects of your life.
  • Become familiar with black history.  The video, Holy Post – Race in America, is a synopsis of black history and the laws that were put into place that led our country to systemic racism.
  • Learn to empathize with the journey of black men and women.  We are a product of our environment.  Put yourself in their shoes. The video,  Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary: Post Traumatic Slave Disorder , is one source to aid you in this.
  • Embrace the message of God in regards to diversity, equality and inclusion. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Galatians 3:28.   Delve into the scriptures and let God lead you!