Glen Coopman and the Pioneer Network
Glenn Coopman erupts in a throaty laugh when he tells the Village Voice that his wife has been known to take exception to his constant involvement in the happenings of communities they’ve been connected to.
It’s the type of joke borne from a lifetime of love, and it’s his way of describing how his desire to contribute to the betterment of lives around him is as much a part of him as that laugh of his.
It’s this aspect of Glenn’s personality that landed him on the advisory team helping lead culture-change initiatives at the Village of Taunton Mills, where he and his wife have lived for two years.
And it’s a sure reason why he was nominated to represent Schlegel Villages with 12 other ambassadors at the upcoming Pioneer Network Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, where more than 1,000 people are expected to gather to discuss the movement to person-centredness across the aging spectrum.
“I’ve always been one to get involved in things like this, all of my life; I just get satisfaction out of it,” he says.
There was the time he spent as a union president with the Scarborough Board of Education; he’s been in leadership positions with the Salvation Army and before moving to Taunton Mills he headed up a senior’s group of 100 people in the small town of Hastings.
Relationships are important to Glenn, and creating more opportunities for residents in retirement living at the village to connect with those living in long-term care at Taunton Mills is something he and his fellow advisory team members have identified as a priority.
In terms of his expectations at the conference, Glenn has a love of good food and is looking forward to the all-day session focused on dining approaches in elder-care settings that put people first.
“I think there could be some changes made in the dining and that would help all sides,” Glenn says, noting he’s in close contact with Taunton Mills food services director Sharen Doyle, and he intends to bring much back for her to consider.
“The whole purpose of going down there is to find out what’s going on in all the other homes. I think it’s good that everybody gets together because we can always get feedback from other people — I mean we don’t know everything,” he says with that throaty laugh.
That his insights into the culture change movement as an elder and resident are not only respected and valued, but intentionally sought, means a lot, Glenn says, and he’s happy to be a welcomed addition to the team headed for Jacksonville.
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