POULSBO—Lynette Ladenburg jumped right into her new job as chief executive officer of Martha & Mary. She started work on Oct. 31 and on Nov. 3, she was helping host the 2016 Martha & Mary Donor Reception and Philathropy Awards at Village Green Community Center in Kingston, honoring the Langer Smith family and Kitsap Bank.
It’s a big job. For seniors, Martha & Mary offers the independent living units at Ebenezer Senior Retirement Apartments in Poulsbo, Village Green Senior Apartments in Kingston, and Bay Vista Commons in Bremerton as well as the Martha & Mary long term care apartments in Poulsbo. Then there is Martha & Mary AT HOME that provides in-home non-medical care needs throughout Kitsap and the Geriatric Care Management program that provides professional guidance and advocacy with regard to navigating today’s systems of healthcare. Hearkening back to its original childcare roots of 125 years ago, Martha & Mary KIDS also manages the Child Care Center and Children’s Learning Center in Poulsbo and as as the Early Learning Center in Silverdale and on-site at all North Kitsap elementary schools and Cougar Valley Elementary in Siverdale, as well as spring break and summer camps for elementary students in Poulsbo and Silverdale.
Ladenburg said the intergenerational programs Martha & Mary offers bridges the gap between young and old “and is just wonderful!”
All told, Martha & Mary employs about 600 ataff members, Ladenburg said. And getting to know them, and those whom they serve, and their families, and the volunteers, and the donors, and the board has been her primary goal since she started. She sees herself very much as a servant leader and that means getting to know people, their needs and dreams. and the unique Martha & Mary culture.
With this much responsibiliity, it helps that Ladenburg is no stranger to Kitsap County and Poulsbo; her sister’s husband is Poulsbo Municipal Court judge, the honorable Jeff Tolman, and she has been a frequent visitor to Poulsbo. And 16 years ago, she helped provide management services to Martha & Mary for almost two years when she was then working for Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community.
Ladenburg worked for Tacoma Lutheran for 17 years. During two of those she was also working with LeadingAge Washington.
Ladenburg felt her four years at LeadingAge gave her insight into the state, regional and national issues confronting organizations like Martha & Mary, particularly in the area of new technologies designed to help older adults “age in place” in their own homes. LeadingAge (formerly known as Washington Homes and Services for the Aging) is the state trade association of not-for-profit and mission driven organizations “dedicated to providing quality housing and skilled longterm services” according to its website.
Finally, even though she is less than two months into the job. Ladenburg is very aware of some of the challenges and needs of Kitsap county’s aging population, such as the lack of any assisted living north of Poulsbo and the long waiting lists. “There’s a three year waiting list for the 35 units at Village Green, the affordable senior housing in Kingston,” she said. Kingston appears to be becoming a retirement destination. “I was amazed how many of our residents there were from across the water in Edmonds.”