If you had told Larry Smith in the 1970s that he would be president of a faith-based senior living organization that operated in six states, he might have raised an eyebrow.
As a young man working in the physical therapy unit of a hospital in Omaha, he knew he’d found a calling to serve seniors, thanks to a veterans’ nursing home attached to the hospital. He recalled finishing his shift and walking over to talk to the veterans in the evening.
“I believe God places us in the positions where He wants us, and where we can be His representative,” Smith said. “He placed me in a situation there in that hospital and helped me discover my affinity for older adults. For the past 40 years, that’s been my personal ministry.”
Fast forward four decades—during which he got married, joined his wife’s family nursing home business, worked as an administrator and then transitioned into multi-site management before finding his way to lead Bethesda Senior Living Communities (BSLC)—Larry is still as passionate about serving seniors today as he was at the start of his career.
“Our core values spell out SERVANT, and we consider it a privilege to do what we do,” he said. “Many assisted living communities offer a lot of the same services, but we approach our work and our lives as servants, and I believe that’s what sets our communities apart—our faith-based culture.”
Today, one of the things that most excites Smith is BSLC’s newest community, Bethesda Gardens at Monument, which is located in our corporation’s backyard.
He said, “I’m a 25-year resident of the Monument area, and I’ve watched it grow from not having a single stoplight to having a variety of shops and restaurants that make it a really nice place to live. It’s a great bedroom community for Denver and Colorado Springs. A lot of people are retiring here, yet it’s extremely under-served for senior services.”
As a former board member for the local fire department, Smith knows his community well, and everyone he’s talked to is excited that Monument will soon have a senior living community. And the buzz from the sales office is matching buzz from the community, with many people already placing deposits.
Smith said he anticipates fill-up to be about half the time as some of BSLC’s other communities. “It’s exciting for me because Bethesda is headquartered here,” he said. “A lot of us live in Monument. We go to church in Monument. We are Monument citizens, so Bethesda Gardens is our local senior living community.”
Posted on Fri, May 26, 2017
by Margaux Sprinkel