2021 May Your Words

Your Words Responses for May

What spiritual practices have improved your ability to positively motivate, develop and lead your colleagues?

Motivating others starts with motivating myself and being the best role model, which means that my own self-care and emotional/psychological wellbeing is critical. Spending time daily on a spiritual practice has been most important for me in my leadership role.

Karen Lehman, President/CEO at MHS

Being a follower of Jesus and proclaiming His Word

Eugene Weaver, Chaplain at Fairmount Homes

A regular intellectual diet of the latest leadership information available coupled with a daily time to meditate and reflect on what and how to implement.

Leland Sapp, CEO of Peaceful Living

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I sent a daily email that included a passage of scripture accompanied by a prayer. After 13 months I ended the practice. Employees immediately asked me to continue this practice, so after one month off they will begin again on June 1. The response was a surprise to me and I treasure the many comments that I received about how much our employees looked forward to the spiritual connection each day.

Richard O’Hara, Director of Spiritual Ministries at Frederick Living

Centering prayer, silence and sabbath have all helped me int he past 15 months to maintain a nonanxious presence (ok… maybe a little anxious) whish has been helpful in leading during crisis.

Steve Lindsey, CEO of Garden Spot Communities

This answer is going to sound really strange, but the thing I have found most helpful in leadership has been learning natural horsemanship with my horse. As I have begun to internalize what it feels like to listen to the horse’s body language, work with rather than against them and discover how to motivate them, these skills have translated to my work with my team.

Evie Telfer, Assistant Director of Pastoral Ministries/ Residential Living Pastor at Messiah Lifeways
2021 April Your Words

Your Words Responses

What is your favorite interview question to ask? Why?

Tell me what attracts you to this organization and how do those characteristics fit with your own values? Because I believe this gets to how an employee or student fits within the system, their own values, and their motivations.

Don Tyson, Professor of Nursing, MSN Programs Director at EMU

Often applicants have many of the same qualifications. Why should we choose you, of all candidates, to help us serve our mission?

Dawn Veh, Executive Director at Mennonite Friendship Communities

You’ve lost your keys. How does that make you feel and how do you go about finding them?

Missy Schrock, Executive Director at Center for Healing and Hope

Why do you want to work here?

Bob Aschliman, President at Aschliman & Co CPAs

When interviewing for a community based counseling position, I want to be able to assess how candidates might react to the unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable situations they may encounter in a client’s home or in the community. At the end of the interview, I let them know I saved the most challenging questions for the end and ask…”what is the color of the number 7?” “If 7 is (insert their answer) then what is the color of the number 3?”. Obviously, there is no correct answer but it I feel able to assess how they might react to something unexpected and slightly odd. Full disclosure, I learned the question from a Clinical Director who thoroughly enjoyed adding humor to the work place.

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

If you were a piece of furniture, what would it be and why?

I ask this question as it reflects what’s important to the person. For example, if a person wants to be a television, you know they choose to be the center of attention; if a kitchen/dining room table, then they are most likely a collaborator who likes to surround themselves with meaningful conversations/relationships. No wrong answers, but very interesting to hear.

Deanna Beins, Administrator at Menno Haven

Is it more important to you that people like you or that they respect you? (Those who want to be liked will compromise almost anything to make people happy. Those who seek respect will do what is right, even when it is unpopular.)

Richard O’Hara, Director of Spiritual Ministries at Frederick Living

What pushes your buttons and how do you manage those reactions/feelings?

Bob Redcay, Dir. of HR at Friendship Community

Tell me about a time when you went over and above for a patient or resident. What did you do and what was the end result? Why I like this question – This is a great question to get candidates talking about their view of what “over and above” actually means to them. It will reveal people who struggle with boundaries and do not have awareness of appropriate boundaries. A few candidates answered this by sharing something they did that was unethical or a poor practice. However, they considered it “going above and beyond” and did not have good awareness of the need for boundaries in mental health treatment.

Nicole D Twigg, Director of Human Resources at Brook Lane Health Services

What are your wellness practices? It gives a glimpse of the balance someone has, it helps me know what’s important to them, and it often shines a light as to their level of adventure/risk.

Michelle Rassler, Executive Director at Landis Communities

We often talk a lot about what we do, but I would like to know more about why you do what you do?

Allen Rutter, Executive Director at Shalom Ministries

If you had to be an egg, what kind of egg would you be and why?

This question, in my opinion, allows for the candidate to think quickly, be confident in their answer and maybe a little light-hearted. These qualities may not be perfect for each role but in front line caregivers they are important qualities. It usually allows a chance to see a little bit of color from nervous candidates as well.

Lauren Thomson, Clinical Director at Frederick Living

“Please tell me about yourself.” Good broad opening first question before getting into specifics, and it’s insightful and fascinating to hear the person describe themself.

Jeff Evans, CEO Cross at Keys Village

I like to end with: “Give me 3 words your friends and family use to describe you.”

Jennifer McKenna, Enhanced Living Administrator at Messiah Lifeways

Why is a manhole cover round?

J Brian Nealon, CEO at Wesley Health Care Center

I give background on our CORE Values: Trust, Teamwork, Dignity, Integrity, Quality, Compassion, and Community. Then I ask which is more important: Compassion or Quality?

Susan A Howard, Director Human Resources at Fairmount Homes

“Tell me about a time when you encountered a mess at work and you fixed it.” I like this question, because it gives the candidate a chance to talk about solving a problem and taking ownership of a project. Proactive candidates will have stories to tell.

Steve Keener, Executive Director at Jubilee Association of Maryland

What did you play as a child when no one was telling you what to do? This indicates their motivational pattern. If playing dolls, were they nurturing or organizing the play household? If they were playing ball, were they getting the team together? Playing the game? Focused on stats? This gives insight on what they love to do and feel guilty accepting a paycheck because they are having so much fun.

Anne Krabill Hershberger, Goshen College Associate Professor of Nursing Emerita, Retired

Define leadership in abstract terms – unrelated to a particular job.

I’m interested in how a person thinks and that they do indeed think rather than how well they understand and apply the latest management theory.

Carl Ginder, Board Member for Paxton Ministries
2021 March Your Words

Your Words Responses

What is something that started during the pandemic that you will continue to do when it’s over?

I will continue to strategically connect with team members via zoom for brief meetings and check ins to mitigate transportation challenges and reduce travel time in our schedules.

Jen Foster, Executive Director of Central California Mennonite Residential Services

Continue to use Zoom to better facilitate the use of remote partners

Ned A. Haylett, Owner of Haylett Consulting Group

Some board and committee meetings will happen via Zoom or other virtual platforms.

Warren Tyson, Board Chair of Frederick Living

The pace and the space in my personal schedule. I will continue to spend a balanced amount of time at home evenings and weekends.

Bob Redcay, Dir. of Human Resources at Friendship Community

Zooming with family who live far away.

Deanna Beins, Administrator at Menno Haven Rehabilitation Center

We will continue to monitor the temperatures of all individuals entering the facility. It is the first step in electronic access to the facility.

Stanley J Noffsinger, CEO of Timbercrest Senior Living Community

A virtual concert to kick off our annual Grand Illumination event. It reaches more people including families of residents who are out of the area.

Amy Cummings-Leight, Director of Advancement at Frederick Mennonite Community DBA Frederick Living

Reflection/quiet time in the morning

Michelle Rassler, Executive Director at Landis Communities

RLPS has really enjoyed becoming experts at attending and hosting webinars that help us share information and stay connected to our clients and industry partners. We feel this is a silver lining of the pandemic. While we love participating in sessions in person and look forward to getting back to this format – the virtual platform definitely broadens participation. We plan to stay engaged in these opportunities going forward.

Margaret Yu, Director of Client Experience at RLPS Architects
2021 February Your Words

Your Words Responses for February

What is one thing you’re looking forward to doing once you’re vaccinated?

As more people on our campus are vaccinated, I’m looking forward to our residents getting some normalcy returned to their lives, and to seeing residents and family members physically reunite!

Allen Geckle, CEO of Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg

Travel! (I’m sure this is a popular one)

Krista Ogburn, Director of Human Resources at Jubilee

Travel and visit family

Charles E. Cable, retired

Going on sabbatical with Jonathan
Place TBD

Carol Shenk Bornman, Bornman Boat Builders 🙂

Enjoying the feeling of being at peace knowing I have done this small thing to help stop the spread of the virus in our world.

Allen Rutter, Executive Director at Shalom Counseling and Mediation Center

When all of our adults with intellectual disabilities have been vaccinated, and so have all of our employees, we can open up our facility! Our participants can come back to learn and grow and our employees can come back to work. Praise God for that day!!

Kirt Barden, CEO at Lighthouse Vocational Services

Being able to visit family and friends without fear of getting COVID.

Warren Tyson, Board Chair at Frederick Living

I am vaccinated but nothing has changed. I do feel less anxious about being around others, going to restaurants, traveling, etc. I’m most looking forward to an in person visit with my mom who lives in a Personal Care Home and is also vaccinated.

Susan Noriega, Vice President of Health Services at Fairmount Homes

I’m excited to be able to see my family.

Pamela Miller, Development Director at Pleasant View, Inc

I’m looking forward to hugging my 96 year-old mother (who’s also vaccinated)…and my children, of course!

Deanna Beins, Administrator at Menno Haven Rehabilitation Center


Ken Neher, Executive Director at Garden Terrace Senior Living
2021 January Your Words

Your Words Responses for January

What is one way you have practiced self-care during the pandemic?

I downloaded the “pray as you go ” app and walk and listen as the sun is rising.

Kevin King, Executive Director at Mennonite Disaster Service

Making sure I walk between 10,000 to 20,000 steps a day. I listen to podcasts and books when I walk.

Myron J Weaver, Executive Director at OrrVilla Retirement Community

Intentionally looking for sparks of redemption in everyday.

Missy Schrock, Executive Director at Center for Healing and Hope

Taking time in silence each morning, walking on lunch breaks and spending time with family. Maintaining good boundaries.

Allen Rutter, Executive Director at Shalom Ministries

I found it helpful and necessary to purposefully step back from the noise of the pandemic and spend some time alone. These times of introspection help me become more aware of the constant, loving presence of God, who knows all things and does not change, and is sovereign over the affairs of the universe. This awareness helps bring peace in the midst of the turmoil of the season.

Curt Stutzman, President/CEO at Messiah Lifeways

I discovered and experience the “2-minute listening/grounding meditation” created by the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Don Tyson, MHS Board Member and MSN Programs Director at Eastern Mennonite University

Always wearing a mask. I keep a box on front seat of my car. Mostly church & prayer meeting is virtual – ZOOM.

Rebecca M. Nolt, Retired RN

Deep conversations with friends over coffee, outdoors, social distancing, in freezing condition, with many layers of clothing 🙂

Dennis R Koehn, PhD Principal at Koehn Consulting

Daily walk of 30 to 60 minutes!

Robert Carlson, Retired from MMHS

I have explored new recipes that incorporate healthier food choices.

Beverly Raine, Executive Director of TelePsychiatry at Kings View

Marlene and I at age 81 have just expanded the amount of walking we do every day, getting to new rivers, forests, and by meeting people who are discovering life in special ways. Life is waiting for us to find it.

Gerald Kaufman, Retired Social Worker

Spent time communing with our Maker in God’s “living room,” the outdoors!

Randy Murray, chaplain at OrrVilla Retirement Community

Starting a new hobby of covering table tops with tiles.

Carol Bornman, Bornman Boat Builders

I take time every day to exercise and make sure I have at least a 5-10 minute break from screen time every 2 hours.

Gretta Petersen, Director of Operations at Kings View

Making sure I sleep enough, accept the unknown and that things will continue to change.

Mike Kosareff, CFO at Kings View

Spending time with nature – doing lots of hiking.

Colleen Deegan, Sr. HR Generalist at Kings View

Stay connected with family and friends through social media platforms such as Zoom or group texting.

Warren Tyson, Board Chair at Frederick Living
2020 December Your Words

Your Words Responses for December

What is an innovative process your organization has employed for staff recruitment or retention during the pandemic?

For recruitment, we have done a couple virtual job fairs through Indeed. We have done some zoom meeting interviews as well.

For retention, we have partnered with We Care Connect to do Onboarding surveys. We are able to address concerns quickly, preventing someone from possibly leaving. We have also shown our appreciation through bonuses, gifts and special treats. One treat that was very popular was a local Coffee truck came out and served specialty coffees and teas!!

Reminding supervisors that simple, sincere thank you’ s go a long way as well. Not really innovative, just a reminder of the basics.

Keeli Looper, VP of HRat Tel Hai Retirement Community

For the recruitment area we have employed many virtual events and instituted a same day offer on the interview day. If we like them we offer and do not wait to compare with other candidates. We are also cutting down the time of offer to stat day as much as we can. This sometimes means doing on demand orientations rather then the large group presentations.

Mike Scheuren, VP of Talent and Culture at Frederick Living
2020 November Your Words

Your Words Responses for November

What Are You Thankful For?

I am thankful for both positive and negative opportunities to more fully embrace the growing edges of my leadership skills.

Missy Kauffman Schrock Center for Healing & Hope, Executive Director

Good leadership during difficult times. This is a period of great challenges but also great opportunity. It takes good and thoughtful leaders to help us through the former while leaning in to the latter.

Mark Regier, Center for Healing & Hope Board Chair

I am thankful for co-workers with a strong sense of TEAM. Working together in harmony is so much more productive than each one working only for themselves.

Dan Kauffman, Mennonite Friendship Community Director of Environmental Services

These days, I am thankful for a caring community that meets virtually and sometimes physically. I am aware of these global connections and conversations which keep me focused on the innovative possibilities and doable as an adaptive leader. It keeps my spirit saying, “yes, I can!” In a time of racial injustice and economic disparities, I am thankful for a teachable spirit, an ear to listen, and a gentle heart that is in tune to God’s Spirit that leads us collectively to level and just places for everyone (Psalm 143:10). These trusting relationships energize me in my creative community work. Together, we help one another breathe and hope even as we face the difficult days ahead of us.

Lori J. Witmer, Menno Haven, Inc. Executive Director of Spiritual Care

The Light that shines in the darkness; that grounds and sustains and encourages in surprising ways.

Gail Graber, Bethesda Home Chaplain

Generous donors who believe in our mission, love our organization, and appreciate the work of staff to keep them safe during the pandemic.

Amy Cummings-Leight, Frederick Mennonite Community DBA Frederick Living Director of Advancement

I am extremely thankful for a Board that is very considerate of our resident’s needs and the needs of our staff. They are very supportive and helpful throughout the year and I know they are praying for our property. I thank God for them.

Cheryl Luli, Harmony Village, Inc. Project Administrator

The sustaining and keeping power of our God during a time of chaotic turbulent divisive politics with a threatening pandemic all around us.

Warren Tyson, Frederick Living Board Chair

I’m thankful for a dedicated team at Landis Communities, guiding the organization through this challenging COVID time, but also keeping their sights on the long term values, mission, and plans for the organization.

Allon Lefever, Landis Communities, Lancaster, PA Board Chair

It’s been a stressful year, but I am thankful I can work in a Christian environment where I can openly pray and I am thankful for a great team that displays Christ-like values. I am also thankful for the residents that call Fairmount home!

Jerry Lile, Fairmount Homes President/CEO

God’s guidance in my life for 59 years. I am so grateful.

Leland Sapp, Peaceful Living CEO

I am truly thankful for the extraordinary team members I have the privilege to work with every day in the execution of our mission. Our residents are the reason I am in this business and the team continuously confirms that commitment.

David A. Gentry, Menno Haven, Inc. CFO
2020 October Your Words

Your Words Responses

“Get to know people without being swayed by the negative opinions of others.”

Missy Kauffman Schrock, Center for Healing & Hope Executive Director

“Always lead by example”

Mary Scott, Mennonite Village-Lydia’s House Administrator

“Even younger team members will be given extensive opportunities as the Boomers retire. Take it and run with it!”

Larry Guengerich, Landis Communities Director of Organizational Communications/Church Relations

“Learning is key. Learn the keys to succeed at the next level up, at the level you want to get to, and learn the tools needed to be the person you aspire to be. Learning is a gift that stays with you.”

Nicholas Hankins, Upland Manor Executive Director

“Hold your principles, live your passion, share your joy”

John Hendrickson, Frederick Living CEO

“Be brave and face new challenges by engaging with the perspective of others. Don’t get stuck in your own thinking when there is much to be gained by understanding others.”

Heather Hinkle, Frederick Community College Education Program Coordinator

“Develop a strong and reliable network of professionals who can support you with mentoring, role modeling and providing business & professional opportunities.”

Karen Lehman, Mennonite Health Services CEO

“Be creative in your thinking, be responsible in your decisions, be bold and visionary as you lead organizations.”

Warren Tyson, Frederick Living Board Chair

“Walk through each day facing challenges and making decisions KNOWING that Jesus is leading and holding your right hand! (Is 41:13)”

Dan Kauffman, Mennonite Friendship Community Director of Environmental Services

“Always maintain your integrity!”

Clare Krabill, Mennonite Health Services COO

“Don’t limit the possibilities of the future by looking too long at the past. (See 2 Corinthians 5:7)”

Sarah Byerly, Messiah Lifeways Director of IS

“Accept your role as a leader and not be limited by the constraints of process. There is a place for listening, learning, and affirming but just as important is the need to make decisions with clarity and certainty in a timely way.”

Gerald Kaufman, Kaufman Counseling Associates Author and retired counselor

“Leadership at it’s core is presenting the ongoing invitation to others to employ their gifts within a framework of core values, vision and mission for the joint pursuit and accomplishment of worthwhile goals. When you clearly name these components: gifts, values and goals, and provide regular feedback in open dialogue, powerful outcomes are possible.”

Jen Foster, CCMRS Executive Director

“A critical piece of leadership is assuring that each person understands the importance of participation in the process. Leaders need engaged followers.”

Bill Braun, Sierra View Homes, Inc. Chair of the Board

“Makes sure you know the facts before you react!”

Leland Sapp, Peaceful Living CEO

“Always keep the needs of people above the fiscal bottom line.”

Richard O’Hara, Frederick Living Director of Spiritual Ministries

“Work at being non-anxious.”

Myron J Weaver, OrrVilla Retirement Community Executive Director

“Never be afraid to recruit and hire people smarter than yourself.”

Ann Marks, Frederick Living Vice President Health and Wellness

“Fine tune your deep listening skills.”

Don Tyson, EMU Professor of Nursing & MSN Program Director

“Nurture your relationship with Jesus so you are in tune with Holy Spirit promptings as you lead.”

John Sauder, Mennonite Home Communities President

“Be your authentic self in representing why you believe in your organization’s mission and donors will appreciate it.

Amy Cummings-Leight, Frederick Living Director of Advancement

Love everyone – you lead with the love of the Christ!”

Randy Murray, OrrVilla Retirement Community chaplain

“We all put our pants on the same way… by jumping in them.”

Ally M Lawton, Mennonite Health Services Administrative Coordinator