Bethel Place is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of 7–12 members appointed from 4 of the founding church communities of Bethel Place.
Board members are guided and informed by the Mission and Vision of Bethel Place to carry out their responsibilities, including:
Board members meet monthly, including at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and are appointed at the first meeting following the AGM. All meetings and decisions adhere to the Board’s By-Laws, are recorded as minutes, and are provided to the administration of Bethel Place. According to the By-laws, members can serve on the Board for a maximum of 2 three-year terms.
Bethel Place is also governed by corporate members who approve board actions and decisions on an annual basis. Like our board members, corporate members belong to, and are delegated by, one our 4 supporting churches. We are always seeking qualified and engaged individuals to become corporate members: we encourage you to contact your supporting church if you are interested in volunteering as a Bethel Place Corporate Member.
Meet the dedicated volunteers that make up our Board of Directors:
Ron, and his wife Connie, are members of Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship. Ron has been a teacher and administrator during his career – in Winkler, Split Lake First Nations, Lobatse Botswana (with MCC), at CMBC and at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary Schools. In retirement he has served in various MDS locations, with MCC and in other volunteer capacities. He enjoys spending time with their growing grandchildren, travelling and doing practical hands-on projects.
After attending CMBC and graduating from the University of Manitoba, Gord Friesen had a 25-year career in Human Resources management at Inco Ltd. and Boeing Commercial Aircraft. He spent the next 15 years volunteering with Mennonite Disaster Service, primarily on their provincial, national and binational boards and executives, as well as volunteering as business system project manager with CMU. Gord was also a management consultant with the Regional Health Authority and volunteered in community and church-related organizations throughout his working life in Thompson and Winnipeg.
Milton Friesen has been treasurer on the Bethel Place Board of Directors since 2013. He is a member of Charleswood Mennonite Church, where he has also been the treasurer since 1991. Milton has been farming west of Winnipeg, near St. François Xavier, since 1987 and also enjoys choral singing, travelling and hiking with his wife Janice. He and Janice have two children and celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary this summer. Milton’s parents, who are both in their 90’s, live at Bethel Place and are very happy to be there. Milton’s goal on the board is to support Bethel Place in continuing to offer a wonderful place for seniors to live and to keep Bethel Place as the inviting, supportive, affordable community that it is.
Bill Reimer is currently also a volunteer in the South Oak Inn, meeting and serving Bethel Place residents with families/guests on an informal basis at meal times. His life-long career in the regulatory aspect of food production and distribution systems provided him with the opportunity to work with, and respect, a wide range of personalities. Bill’s work experience also provided him with the skills and abilities to develop and manage the delivery of national agri-food inspection programs according to prioritized goals as well as respond to food safety issues.
Robb Nickel is a retired writer and broadcaster. His hope is that this communications experience will assist in sharing Bethel Place’s mission: providing safe and affordable homes for seniors.
Dorothy Adrian (BA, BN, RN) has been a Registered Nurse for the past 36 years working in places as diverse as Mexico, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and in Manitoba from Lynn Lake (north) to Vita (rural south) and Winnipeg. She continues to work part time as a community health nurse in Manitoba’s northern aboriginal reserves. She has been a volunteer on numerous provincial, national and international obstetrical, womens’ health, and neonatal nursing organizations responsible for continuing education and promoting communication between nurses across the Canadian health care system. She has been a volunteer at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre since a young adult. As a nurse she has seen how a lack of adequate housing affects the health and well being of individuals especially those in the senior years. She has been a member of the Rentals Committee (formerly Admissions) for the past five years. She looks forward to working with the Board and residents to help make Bethel Place a home where Independent, Together is a daily reality. She is a member of Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship and a graduate of CMBC.
Edgar Klassen has worked most of his working career with charitable organizations that were run by volunteer boards. Most of this time was in positions of management. These organizations served the community, but also received funds from various government agencies.
Larry Suderman was raised in Southern Manitoba and is a member of Home Street Mennonite Church. He graduated from RRCC as a carpenter and has been in the construction industry for 44 years doing house building, commercial construction and presently in the kitchen cabinet industry. Being on the Bethel Place board gives him the opportunity to see the construction industry from a different perspective and not as hands on as he is used to.
Larry and his wife Claudette enjoy different modes of travelling….whether by air, car or motorcycle. They hope to do more when retired.
Eric Fast has been a teacher and school administrator for almost 30 years in Manitoba, Zambia and Nigeria. He and his wife were also Country Representatives for MCC for 11 years in Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania. He has four children and two grandchildren and attends Charleswood Mennonite Church.
He carries respect and appreciation for Bethel Place resulting from its care and support of his mother while she lived there. He looks forward to working as a new Board member as Bethel Place continues to provide seniors with a caring and independent living environment.
Nick Unrau and his wife have been members of Home Street Mennonite Church for over 50 years. They recently took the advice he gives to customers as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and decided to move from their home to an apartment while they could still make the decision. He says too many people wait until the decision is made by others. He is still involved in real estate sales.
Dean Joyce was born in Calgary, raised in Edmonton and spent most of his working career in Calgary with Air Canada as an aircraft maintenance engineer. He and his wife Helga are blessed to have three children all living and working in Winnipeg and area. With a mother still living at a facility in Edmonton at 99 years of age, he appreciates the caring community at Bethel, looking after one another in a Christian setting.