Don Stump Honored for Service to CCH, Affordable Housing Industry
Friends and colleagues gathered February 7 at Oakland’s Scottish Rite Center for a heart-felt tribute to celebrate the more than 40 years of dedicated service and compassionate leadership of former President & CEO Don Stump upon his retirement.
Don was joined by his wife Leanne, son, daughter and more than 200 guests who congratulated Don and thanked him for his many years of dedicated service and for being a mentor to many. His passion for seniors and providing them affordable homes was evident in the many moving tributes and warm exchanges throughout the evening.
“Don had a great impact on my life, my work style and my way of working,” shared newly appointed CCH President & CEO Syd Najeeb, the evening’s host. “I welcome the opportunity to have worked closely with Don for many years.”
Syd shared that Don did a great job in growing CCH to where it is today as an industry leader with 60 properties in nine states serving thousands of low-income seniors. Syd pledged to continue the work to bring dignity to the lives of residents by providing decent, affordable housing in caring communities.
Following a moving invocation by CCH Board Chair Rev. Jerry Lang, guests enjoyed a delicious dinner and the soulful sounds of Top Shelf Classics.
In a touching moment, Rev. Dr. Todd Adams, President and CEO of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church, brought greetings from the Disciples Church and presented Don with the Honored Minister’s Pin, usually reserved for church ministers. At the discretion of the president, the pin may be presented to lay employees who have given years of dedicated service. “Those of us who know Don’s work and the lives he’s touched, know how deserving he is of this pin,” Todd shared.
Rev. Bob Ihler, a long-time CCH Board Member and past Chair for many years, highlighted Don’s history and early path to leadership when, at the age of 14, he lived with his family at CCH’s Westlake Terrace. This experience of living among seniors, coupled with his father’s executive role within CCH, gave Don a deep appreciation for seniors and fueled his life-long passion to serve.
“Growing up in his father’s shadow, Don got to know seniors and came to understand them,” Bob said. “For Don, it was never about himself but the work was always about someone’s mother, grandparent or family member.
“Don spent 40 years making a difference in other’s lives,” Bob added. “He’s been gifted with human kindness and leaves a bit of himself with us and in everything he’s done.”
In honor and recognition of Don’s many achievements, the CCH Board of Directors voted to rename Southlake Tower to the Don Stump Southlake Tower. A sign with the name change will be placed on site. “Now Don will have a tower of his own,” Bob quipped.
Clearly moved by the many accolades bestowed on him, Don thanked everyone for their well wishes. “I’ve spent my whole life working with seniors and everything I learned in life, I learned from them,” Don shared. “I’ve had a wonderful chance to blend my work, my job and my values to all be wrapped up as one. It has been a tremendous bonus to work for a company where the mission drives the task to care for others.”
As a tribute, guests were able to give to the Resident Care Fund (RCF), established under Don’s leadership, which provides emergency aid to residents in crises. “Don’s legacy was enabling residents to prevail and live with dignity, even in the midst of crisis,” Syd said. “We invite you to give in Don’s honor and to please accept our gratitude.” If you’d like to learn more about the RCF, click this link and consider making a donation in Don’s name.
Photographs from the retirement celebration are also available. Click here to view and print fun photos from the event.