GODFREY — All good things must come to an end, but they can sometimes lead to better things.
That’s the case for Patrick Noonan, who is leaving his position as executive director of The United Methodist Village after 13 years to take an executive position at a larger facility in Florida. Even though he is leaving, Noonan said he considers his UMV tenure time well-spent.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “It’s been great because of the residents and employees that work here, past and present. Of course, some residents I’ve known for a long time and some of them have passed on, but I’ve developed a lot of friendships over the years because of my role. I’m grateful for that opportunity.”
Noonan began his time with UMV in September 2003 when the senior living facility’s board of directors hired Life Care Services, a company specializing in the management of senior living communities, to help run their community.
Noonan, who has worked for Life Care Services for 18 years, was working in another department at a similar facility in Missouri when his supervisor approached him about the executive director position at UMV.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for us,” he said. “When we came in, this community was faced with challenges. There were some occupancy issues. There were some debt issues. The board (of directors) was doing a great job, but really needed professional management. We worked together as a team to get through those issues and we did.”
During his stint at the facility, Noonan, who has a degree in business administration and is a licensed nursing home administrator, spearheaded several improvements.
Under his leadership, UMV has consistently scored high in resident satisfaction, often more than 92 percent. It has added a refurbished exercise room, a backup generator, a walking path and gardens. Noonan also helped reduce United Methodist Village’s debt, increase its equity and its occupancy.
Noonan, a married father of five who plays bass in a local band, said he’s proudest of his employee training work.
“We spent a lot of time on training, in particular in the areas of hospitality and quality care,” he said. “We work very hard with our staff. The staff members who are here and have stayed a long time really understand what it means to be of service to these folks, and our reputation in the community says that.”
Even though he works for Life Care Services, Noonan reports to UMV’s board of directors, which he said he admires.
“I think the board of directors is really top-notch,” he said. “They volunteer their time and their experience for the betterment of this community. They don’t take any money for doing it. They do it for doing God’s work, and they feel this is a good thing to do.”
Noonan will soon leave the community he has come to know, however, to take a job in Florida.
Beginning Sept. 1, he will work at The Glenview at Pelican Bay retirement community in Naples as the corporate operations director/executive director. In that role, similar to his current one, he will oversee “providing services for the independent living side of the condo association, making sure the quality care and skilled nursing is meeting or exceeding our standards and making sure we are providing good home health care for the surrounding community.”
Rick Exline, executive vice president and director of senior living management at Life Care Services, approached Noonan about the opportunity at a company conference.
“He thought I’d do well in this community,” Noonan said. “We wanted to bring a higher level of service, and he felt that I had the experience and the knowledge to make sure that we have high resident satisfaction and also high board satisfaction. They felt I would benefit personally and professionally from the move, so I accepted that challenge.”
Anita Martinez will assume his position after Labor Day. In the interim, a department director will serve as executive director.
Martinez is the administrator at Friendship Village Chesterfield in St. Louis. She joined Life Care Services in December, bringing more than 30 years of experience in the field. She has a bachelor’s in business administration and a nursing home license in Missouri.
With his impending departure, Noonan said he hopes his leadership will cause those he has worked with to remember him fondly.
“For me, the most important thing is the camaraderie as a team among the department directors and the friendships I’ve built with the residents,” he said. “Not always has everybody agreed with everything, but I hope that when the residents and staff think back on my time here, I hope that they think I cared a great deal and wanted to do the right thing always.”