After 17 years on the board of Jamie’s Place Adult Family Home in Winthrop, co-founder Glenn Schmeckel is moving out of an active role and into an advisory capacity.
Jamie’s Place was made possible by a gift from longtime Methow Valley resident Jamie Finlan, who gave her estate to The Cove food bank. Glenn, founder and current Executive Director of The Cove, says when Finlan donated her inheritance with the intention of meeting a community need, he set out to determine what that would be.
It soon became clear that elder care was widely viewed as one of the top issues the valley was facing.
“One of the things we were concerned about was how do we honor and care for our elders in the community,” Glenn said. “Having to move out of the valley made it hard to have families involved in elder care.”
At a conference, Glenn learned about the Green House Model, which “creates an intentional community to support the most positive elderhood and work life possible.” Glenn and co-founder and nurse Sheila Brandenburg learned more about the Green House Model and then put their heads together and envisioned a unique, affordable, community-based alternative to institutional care for Methow Valley elders that would allow them to remain near family and friends in an “engaged community setting.”
“Green House Model homes like Jamie’s Place honor individual dignity and experience,” Glenn says. “Elders have control over their rhythms of the day.”
Since 2007, Jamie’s Place and its sister home, Mountain View (which are the only Green House Adult Family Homes in WA State) have provided loving, individualized care to more than 70 Methow Valley elders.
“Glenn is a visionary,” said Jamie’s Place board member Carolyn Sullivan. “We can’t begin to thank him for the vision for Jamie’s Place. He and Sheila really created this next step for our elders.”
Methow Valley resident Monica Petelle said, “Glenn’s tireless efforts over the decades to build the infrastructure in this community to help everyone thrive are invaluable.”
Glenn says the time is right for him to step off the board. “We have a healthy, dedicated, and qualified set of board members,” he said. “My position now is to bless their efforts as we continue to give elders in the community places of honor and care.” Glenn mentioned the Lookout Coalition and Methow at Home as other organizations dedicated to serving elders in a respectful manner.
“Glenn is taking off one hat, but this is a man who wears so many hats,” Sullivan said. “Now we need others to pick up this baton.”
Glenn says he’s strategizing to recruit a few more board members.
Those who have worked with Glenn say that he offers a thoughtful and respectful approach. “Glenn exemplifies service with integrity. The Methow community has been fortunate to have had someone like him devote many years of dedicated service to Jamie’s Place,” said Patti Ahlfs, who is a family member of a resident.
Monica Petelle gives voice to what so many in this community feel about Glenn. “I continue to be amazed at what we can do for each other when we work together for the benefit of all. Thank you, Glenn, and all the helping hands that make our valley richer and more resilient.”