Company Reports - Baptist Housing
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Baptist Housing: Old Folks At Home
A. Selway Ryan
Marc Kinna’s life before taking over as Executive Vice President and COO of Baptist Housing sounds a bit like the set-up to a movie. Once a successful senior Director at a major telecom firm, Kinna found that he wanted to make a difference in his life. “I was really looking to pursue something that was values-based,” he says, “as opposed to being part of a team that had the goal of producing profits for shareholders.”
SEVEN YEARS LATER
Kinna attended a Baptist church and once he found the will to do some good in the community, the way presented itself through his association with some of the professionals there. Seven years later, he’s firmly established in a pillar organization in the elder care community of British Columbia.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” he says. “Every day I feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of seniors, and not just seniors, but all the lives of our team members, and all the families that are related to both our residents and our team members.”
Baptist Housing is founded on the kind of dedication, charity, and community building that Kinna has demonstrated over the course of his tenure there. Established in 1964, the residences have grown dramatically over the past nearly half-century, and the organization has set itself apart as a dignified, forward-thinking non-profit.
Kinna in particular was inspired into the field through the raw facts of demographics: the baby-boom generation is aging into its senior years, with the first wave turning 65 in 2011.
“We’re at the beginning of what is a rather large onslaught of aging people within our communities,” says Kinna. “The baby boomers are all going to require housing and health care and a variety of services in order to live well.”
Here Kinna points to another engaging feature of this sector: the fact that as a generation, the baby-boomers are likely to demand a historically unprecedented level of care – and the community will need to be able to provide it.
“What they’re looking for isn’t what used to be provided,” he says. “We’re seeing them increasingly demand – and we want to provide – services that are based on their definition of what it means to live well.”
“I think it’s a transition that the whole industry’s going through, and we’re at the forefront of that transition.”
It’s a smart play, because the elder care facilities that are better prepared for the onslaught will be more successful, better-funded, and most importantly, resilient enough to survive through the hectic times.
ALL THE HELP THEY CAN GET
Moreover, given Baptist Housing’s pedigree, affiliated actors are taking an interest in its operations – and given the scope of the challenge, they’ll need all the help they can get. That means finding what’s best in each partner, and forging relationships that get the best out of everyone. As a former businessman, Kinna appreciates the role of both government and industry in helping non-profits meet their goals. He doesn’t share many activists’ contempt for one or the other.
“We really don’t consider our peers in the industry to be competitors,” he says. “We really try to operate as a community, whether that means information sharing or whatever assistance it takes to be successful. I think for-profits bring a level of innovation and competition because of their requirements to produce profits for shareholders. They add something to the mix that keeps the whole industry sharp.”
As for the government, Kinna is encouraged by their eagerness to help. “We’re seeing evidence that governments are looking to partner with both profit and not-for-profit enterprises to serve the needs of seniors,” he says. It’s the kind of cross-community synergy that can only come from honest, dedicated work.
With 2,000 residents enjoying exceptional care – and an integrated holistic wellness program over and above its first-rate traditional services – all that work is clearly paying off.
It impresses even the staff itself. When VP Marketing & Communications Deanna Bogart saw the job posting at Baptist Housing, she was only looking for consulting work. After experiencing the passion and dedication of the community first-hand, she decided that this was a place to stay. It’s a good thing she did, because she brings over 20 years of marketing and consulting experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.
With that caliber of people to guide them – and a keen eye on demographic trends – the future looks bright for Baptist Housing. Three new sites are in the pipeline to begin to meet the demand, with one 55-unit residence already in progress. If you remember Woodstock, you might want to think about booking your place.