Three New Lifetime Honorary Members Voted into Membership at Annual Meeting
Posted on September 28, 2023 by Libbie Chapuran
Barb Rode, Mark Landreville, and Gene Gustason were nominated for LeadingAge Minnesota’s Honorary Lifetime Membership and approved by voting members at the Annual Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting & Leadership Forum.
Barb Rode is the retired President and CEO of Saint Therese, a nonprofit senior living company. Barb helped shape senior care and healthcare in Minnesota for over 30 years. Barb retired from her post at Saint Therese in the summer of 2022.
She started as a nurse assistant, moved on to a staffing supervisor, and eventually became an administrator at a senior community in Crosby, Minn. For her last 21 years, Barb led Saint Therese, a senior care organization that was founded in the
Twin Cities in 1964, and oversaw more than 1,000 employees, serving more than 2,000 Minnesota seniors and their families.
Under her guidance, the organization expanded from one senior community, Saint Therese of New Hope, to two other full-continuum of care communities in the metro area: Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake and Saint Therese of Woodbury; a palliative care setting-- Saint Therese at St. Odilia; a transitional care unit located within North Memorial Health Hospital in Minneapolis (closed in 2022); and a stand-alone rehabilitation, wellness, and home health care company--Ascend Rehabilitation.
Barb’s passion for seniors extends beyond Saint Therese. She was an active member of LeadingAge Minnesota and, over the year, served on its Board of Directors and various committees, including Quality Measurement and Improvement, Regulatory Affairs, Annual Meeting, and Education and Leadership Development.
In addition to serving on LeadingAge’s board and committees, she was on the boards of Care Choice, Care Ventures, Empira, and CSS.
In 2019, she was honored by Leading Age Minnesota with the Ray Johnson Pioneer Leadership Award. In 2022, she was inducted into the McKnight’s Hall of Honor, a distinction given to women at an executive level in the senior living industry who have significantly affected their organization or industry.
Eugene “Gene” Gustason has been a licensed nursing home administrator for 39 years, serving as the administrator for the Stewartville Care Center for the past 29 years.
Gene has demonstrated exceptional leadership through his contributions to LeadingAge Minnesota throughout his career. Gene was involved in the District F activities, serving twice as District Chair. He also served as the Secretary and Chair of the annual District F Golf Planning Committee for over 16 years. Not only did he coordinate the team of planners, but he and his wife Cheryl, a fellow LeadingAge MN Honorary Lifetime Member, shopped for all the drawing prizes to be given away so each player could win a prize at the event.
Gene was also very involved in the District F meetings and was instrumental in bringing guest speakers and sponsors to the district meetings to ensure that these vendors could speak one-on-one to the key leaders of facilities in our region.
Gene attended Day at the Capitol every year to engage in conversation with legislators and advocate for the residents he served in his community. He was one of the first people to suggest getting a bus for District F to attend these special days and arranged for the bus to pick up not only key staff but also line staff along the route to be able to participate in and ensure increased attendance and cost savings for the membership living in rural Minnesota.
Gene also served on the LeadingAge Minnesota Regulatory Committee, Housing Committee, and Payment Committee.
Mark is currently the Managing Director at Ziegler and will retire in the coming months. This is the first time the Nominating Committee has selected a Business Partner to receive the distinction of Honorary Lifetime Member.
Throughout a remarkable 40-year career, most spent exclusively in the field of aging services, Mark has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting nonprofit senior living institutions in Minnesota, both large and small, to further their missions of service.
His dedication, professional expertise, and deep-rooted empathy make him an exceptional candidate for becoming an Honorary Lifetime Member of LeadingAge Minnesota.
Mark’s career has been nothing short of remarkable. He has consistently exemplified the true spirit of service, going above and beyond his professional duties to make a meaningful difference in the lives of seniors and those who serve them. His compassion, integrity, and passion for our industry have been evident in every endeavor he has undertaken.
Throughout his career, Mark has played a pivotal role in financing various projects for nonprofit organizations within the senior living sector. He has shown exceptional insight in evaluating financial opportunities and has been instrumental in securing funding for critical initiatives that have improved the quality of life for countless seniors.
One of the most impactful aspects of Mark’s work is his ability to see beyond numbers and create strategic partnerships with his clients to ensure their long-term future success. His vision has resulted in more than $2 billion of financing in his career. He has financed CCRCs, independent living projects, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and memory care facilities, which have left an enduring legacy that continues to benefit seniors and their families.
Alongside his professional responsibilities, he has volunteered countless hours to support various initiatives to enhance seniors' well-being. Mark’s contributions extend beyond the boundaries of his professional career. He has actively participated in community events, advocacy campaigns, and fundraising drives, all aiming to uplift the lives of seniors in need. His philanthropic endeavors have left a lasting impression on the community, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.
Please join us in congratulating Barb, Gene, and Mark on becoming Lifetime Honorary Members of LeadingAge Minnesota. We are sincerely grateful for your contributions to our Association throughout your careers.
Mark Landreville and Gene Gustason (Barb Rode not pictured)