By Matt Fresh, Independent Living Administrator
A third generation native to Dunedin, Matt is a grandson of our Founder, Pastor James H. Fresh. Matt graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree of Bachelor of Science from the College of Business Administration and spent the next 16 years as a Financial & Insurance Advisor. He still carries several professional licenses including the State of Florida Assisted Living Administrator Certificate of Achievement. In 2015, after years of discussions with his father, Doug Fresh, CEO, Matt found his calling here at St. Mark Village. His life-long history at The Village is shared with family including his 4 grandparents and 2 great-grandmothers who all have called the Village home. Matt is truly dedicated to the present and the future of St. Mark Village to ensure that his grandparent’s legacy flourishes for many years to come. He resides in Dunedin with his wife Erica and their two children, Justin and Brooke.
In 2021, we are all looking for our “refresh” button, applying the lessons we have learned from 2020, and march forward! Along with the rest of the world, St Mark Village endured many changes due to the virus, but the unseen benefit was that it forced us to make adaptions and enhancements that improved the quality of life for all of our Residents.
One of those enhancements was the massive upgrade to our technology infrastructure, which has been allowing our Residents to reunite with their families virtually for holidays, birthdays, and even weddings. The upgrade also paved the way for our new security system as well as giving us the ability to integrate many forms of technology for our Residents. Our expanded inhouse TV channel provides for daily Wellness and Exercise Classes, weekly updates from our CEO, as well as announcements and activities for the week. Our Sales Team has been communicating and touring prospects and their families virtually on FaceTime and Zoom, and our new 5-minute Virtual Tour Video on the website provides for an introductory look into the life at St Mark Village.
In January of 2020 we launched our 40/40 Vision, which included the 40th Anniversary celebration and the Capital Campaign, yet of course those plans were all put on hold. The Capital Campaign has now resumed, and we received a generous donation from one of our favorite Resident couples, the Bishops. The donation from Joyce & Bob Bishop allowed us to fully renovate our Club Room and incorporate smart technology along with the new 70-inch interactive smart touchscreen TV/Computer. We also were able to refresh the Village Café with other donated funds and have a significant amount of donations that will go towards upgrading and improving the Village next year. I am also very exciting that my father, Doug Fresh CEO, will be out in the community assisting with the 40/40 Vision in 2021.
Through Strategic and Succession Planning, it was determined that Jeff Gorddard, our COO, will now be managing the day to day operations of the Village in 2021 and beyond. That change created an opportunity for me to step into the position of Independent Living Administrator to enhance the lives of our 300+ Independent Living Residents. I will be overseeing Sales, Marketing, Independent Living Life Enrichment, Resident Services, Administrative Services, Spiritual Ministries and Development. I will work with each of those departments to expand the services and programs providing the best Resident experience possible. In 2021, we want to enrich the lives of the Residents we serve by creating an environment that fulfills their every need – body, mind and spirit.