In February 2021, Howard (Howie) Chandler was named executive director of Peabody Place. A New England-native and long-time resident of Laconia, Howie has worked for over 50 years in the non-profit sector with a focus on continuing care, retirement communities, assisted living and nursing homes. To learn more about Howie and the Board’s vision for Peabody Place, check out this Q&A below:
Why did you choose to pursue a career in long-term care?
I have always worked in the non-profit and municipal world and have found this work to be mission-based, which has been a true calling for me. Working with charitable not-for-profit mission-based organizations is a wonderful way to help individuals and the greater community.
What will the New Peabody Place provide to members?
Our vision for the new community is to provide our members with ways to keep an active lifestyle with a connection to the community, which will include entertainment options and the ability to provide locally sourced healthy food. Unlike other retirement communities, Peabody Place has no entrance fee and Members never have to feel trapped by contracts that restrict what you can do and how you can do it. Our Members deserve independence and control.
What can members expect from Peabody Place?
We want to be unlike any other place around. We trust our members and we work hard to earn and deserve their trust every day. Communication with them and their families is a key part of our everyday routine. We are transparent in all that we do.
What is the culture like at Peabody Place?
Retirement is a time to celebrate and be happy and we want their experience to reflect that. We strive to impact people’s lives by making them smile and instilling joy. We are here to enhance the quality of life which we measure through smiles. Our culture is one that challenges our caregivers to find a way to get our members to smile at least once per day, if not many times. If we can do that, along with our regular care, then we can make a positive difference in their life.
What is the vision for Peabody Place?
To maintain and develop a connection to the community and be a place where Franklin area people can continue to live and thrive during retirement with first-class services that are affordable. We want to be a healthy, home-style community that is pet-welcoming. Affordability is a huge factor for us and we pride ourselves on providing the best care and services without Members having to pay the huge entrance fees required by others.
How do you ensure quality care for your members?
It starts with our caregivers. How we care for them is how they in turn care for our members. We are an extended family, and we build relationships with staff. We treat them with respect, so they feel valued and are able to provide the best experience to our members.
How is Peabody Place different?
In relative terms, Peabody Place is wonderfully small and personal. We’re large enough to provide the best in accommodations and services, but small enough where every Member rightfully feels special.
What inspires you in your role as executive director?
Our members inspire me every day. I enjoy putting smiles on their faces. Over the years, I have learned so much from all of them and I cherish every moment and memory. All our caregivers, along with myself, do what we do because of heart and wanting to help others.
What is so special about Franklin?
With its rich history, Franklin has much to offer and is coming back to full life. This is a perfectly centrally located area. Within a short drive, you can get to the lakes, the mountains, and the ocean. Instead of being separate from the community, Peabody Place enjoys a central spot within the community. Franklin is a city on the move and we are proud to play a part in that revitalization.
When you are not caring for members, what are your hobbies?
Family time of course comes first and I am very fortunate to have my in-laws so close by. When we are not visiting children and grandchildren my wife and I enjoy heading off on our motorcycles along with our Newfoundland who rides in the sidecar. The winter will find me working in my stained glass studio in my basement.