By Jeff Shireman
Stephen Proctor, the President and CEO of Presbyterian Senior Living, has announced his upcoming retirement after more than 45 years of service to that organization. His career with “PSL” has been superlative in many ways. He started (before age 21!) as a nurse at a small Presbyterian personal care home in the Mount Joy area, later becoming a Nursing Home Administrator, and ultimately rose into increasingly responsible corporate leadership positions. As the CEO, Steve has presided over a fast-growing organization that now serves several thousand seniors over a multi-state area; in the past decade or so PSL has become an industry leader in developing high quality affordable housing for folks retiring on middle class incomes.
Steve has garnered many accolades for his many accomplishments, but he was also incredibly important to me in the early years of my career. When I was hired by Presbyterian Homes, Incorporated (the predecessor of PSL) directly out of graduate school, I worked directly under Steve for most of my 16-year tenure with that organization. He literally taught me everything I know about operating a retirement community. He was a mentor and role model for how a true leader needs to act; more importantly, he also exemplified how a husband and father should carry out their responsibilities to their family.
I spent a lot of time in the car with Steve as we traveled the highways enroute to the many PSL facilities throughout PA, DE, MD and WV. Steve is a storyteller in the best tradition of Mark Twain; his stories (all of them true!) are both funny, instructive and inspirational. I still tell many of them to this day (though the names have been changed to protect the guilty and the innocent!). His sense of humor was a bit dry, and often self-deprecating, which only endeared him more to the folks he worked with. A family man with three children and a lovely wife, Steve eventually became a doting grandfather, and always has ‘grandkid’ pictures readily at hand. When I left Steve’s organization in 1998 to pursue larger opportunities, it was with his blessing and encouragement. Frankly, I never would have been offered those larger responsibilities if not for the lessons I learned from Steve. Best of luck to a true servant leader. Happy Retirement, Steve!