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Rose Villa CEO, Vassar Byrd’s address at the Friday, June 13, 2014 Groundbreaking Ceremony
This represents a long road. It’s longer than the ACTUAL design process because it really starts back in 1957, with the vision of a handful of men who started this community. Men like John Peery, Max Kenworthy, Norman E. Thomas, and Robert Curry who signed the original Articles of Incorporation, starting Rose Villa. Although I doubt they would have thought of themselves this way, I consider them social revolutionaries – actually creating a company and a community based on the idea of supporting each other through the challenges and joys of living all the way to the end of a rich and fulfilling life… planning AHEAD for any physical, medical, social, or financial issues that might arise ….investing in the concept that community – living together – has meaning and value in and of itself, that it creates a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.And what a payoff we have all reaped.

To be able to stand here, on the threshold of the next 50 years, with such a powerful foundation underneath us – without the work of all of those who have gone before us, our work now would be impossible.

Rose Villa continues to attract strong, independent, visionary residents. People who take their own road, who are accustomed to achieving their goals, who approach each challenge with courage and humor, who can stay the course no matter how rough it gets.It is humbling to me and everyone who works here – humbling, inspiring, sometimes breathtaking, what we can do, together.

Our redevelopment would not be possible without the sacrifice and vision of the Rose Villa Voyagers, those 29 residents who lived in the area we are rebuilding.  Their grace and support in moving to new homes elsewhere on campus were critical to insuring our future will be strong.Our staff, who have lived with this idea of redevelopment for so many years now and FINALLY will see it happen – they have been steady throughout, working hard to support the residents through all the transitions we have come through and all the changes yet to come.For the partners outside of Rose Villa, those people who have believed in our community and helped us through these terribly complex and difficult times, pulling every aspect of our rebuilding together, those are people and organizations who have a lifetime stake in our future. To highlight only a few:
  • Bob Boileau, and his team from Myhre Group Architects – who first walked the campus with me 7 years ago and sketched out what we could possibly achieve here.
  • Mary Munoz and, more recently, Sarkis Garabedian, from Ziegler Senior Living Finance, who was there from the beginning, helping us to understand how we could achieve our goals financially
  • Craig Witz, our Project Manager, who guided us every step of the way and made sure every penny has been spent wisely
  • Craig Kimmel and the team from RLPS, who partnered with Myhre Group and brought our ideas all the way to the construction stage
  • All the folks at R&H Construction who have been there and will take our plans and make them real.
  • Laurel McDonald, the landscape architect who will make the new campus beautiful
  • Dave Humber with MGH, our civil engineers, who has gone above and beyond in every way
  • And the team at Martino & Binzer, who have helped us to bring our message to the community, trying to put what Rose Villa IS into words – because all of this work doesn’t go anywhere if people don’t know about it!
And finally, to the residents of the future – most notably those who have already reserved the homes we are about to build – our Charter members. Similar to the Voyagers, you have demonstrated your faith and commitment to Rose Villa by investing NOW. Without your vision and belief, we would not be able to build. You are cut from the same cloth our existing residents are and your presence here will inform and direct our growth in the future. This project has been a demonstration of our core values: collaboration, community, faith, respect, hard work – and a lot of parties. We know how to celebrate. We have come a very long way – and we are at the beginning of so much more. It is noaccident we are all here together. We have chosen to be here. Make no mistake – every one of you, every one of US, is responsible for the success and longevity of Rose Villa. You and your children and your grandchildren will be able to point to this thriving, innovative, robust community and say, with pride, I BUILT THAT.

Thank you.

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