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60/20 Tour: A Leaping Pup, Striking a Deal and Engaged Leadership

Brookdale Battle Creek and Clark Retirement

After zigzagging across Michigan,  Leslie and I end up in Battle Creek on the evening of September 11th and are able to participate at the very end of a small but powerful tribute to the victims of 9/11.  The next morning it’s off to another Brookdale site, and it doesn’t disappoint!  I’m in love with so many Dorothy’s on this trip – these ladies put smiles on my face as I think about my own mom, Dorothy.

Dorothy is not by herself on this trip; she has a five-pound dog named Millie ready to join forces with us.  I had no idea what to expect,  but Millie was awesome,  furtively dancing in between my lap and Dorothy’s as we cruised Battle Creek along with Leslie and Sarah.  What a hoot!  The dog relaxes Dorothy and all kinds of conversations flow.  When I find out she used to play the accordion and still does crochet.  I cut a deal that before the end of the year I’ll buy her an accordion if she crochets me something.  I think it will happen, I just have to figure out how to expense it!

On to Clark Retirement in the afternoon, where a large group of around 100 mainly independent residents is there to greet us.  Chris Simons leads the welcoming party.  She bought into iN2L in the mid-2000s and Clark became our first customer in Michigan.  It means a lot to be able to thank her for her vision and to see the incredible programming under her watch.  We cruise with a delightful independent couple,  Jim and Bernie. Like so many other people I’ve met on the journey, their faith is their guiding light.

Brian Pangle,  Clark’s CEO, is another visionary doing great work in the gentle forests of Grand Rapids.  I love getting to meet CEOs on their own turf. When I’m not trying to sell them anything,  they open up,  I open up, and you hear such heartfelt stories of dedication and vision…I loved it.  Leslie and I find a brewery named “Perrin” on the way out of town and I buy up enough souvenirs and beer to fill up a suitcase (seriously).

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