As the president and CEO of Asbury, it has been my privilege to work alongside Sue DaCamara for much of my career, and today I announce her retirement from the organization that she has helped shape for more than 35 years.
Sue DaCamara has been Asbury’s stalwart since 1983 when she started working at Asbury Methodist Village to support resident activities on that campus. Nobody is surprised today about the extraordinary successes that she has brought to Asbury over the decades of service she has given us. Also, no one who has come across Sue ever doubted her relentless capacity for work and her extraordinary ability to dissect and solve problems, all while caring deeply for those around her.
Those who have worked with her closely know that Sue’s memory deserves a special place in Asbury’s story. She can often describe in detail the content and the nuances and context (physical, emotional and cultural) of conversations that happened long ago — or just last week — and give shape to the initiatives that we are discussing today. Further, except Ed Thomas, our former CEO, no living person has been as often involved in the organization’s pivotal decisions. Sue has been a fixture in the “room where it happens.”
To go through the obligatory list of accomplishments that often accompany communications such as this would do Sue no justice. Her involvement has been so vast that it is easier to mention those critical organizational accomplishments she hasn’t been involved in since her start date. There would not be one. However, one event does stand out because of its far-reaching consequences in transforming Asbury into a system from the single CCRC of its origins at Asbury Methodist Village. From concept, all the way to what it is today, the development of Asbury Solomons has Sue DaCamara’s imprint all over it. It was a pivotal step towards the Asbury we are today because it demonstrated our ability to replicate the Asbury experience directly from its origins. While Sue was involved in Asbury’s expansion efforts before and since, her vision remains embedded in that community and will be an indelible part of her enormous legacy for decades to come. Her most recent work on the integration of Albright Care Services with Asbury demonstrates her reverence for the richness of existing organizational cultures and the emotional intelligence required to make those transitions with the extraordinary level of care that only she can deliver.
Personally, I am grateful that Sue brought me to the Asbury family and has served as a close mentor and advisor since. I have benefited from her uncanny ability to synthesize, cite and recall the work of the great management thinkers of our time. I have heard her quote Peter Drucker, Jim Collins, Jack Welch, and numerous other gurus and philosophers at the exact opportune time and with precision. Her passion for learning has been an inspiration to me and to the rest of those who have had the pleasure to work with her. I am most privileged to be her colleague and her friend.
Since transitioning from her Chief Operating Officer role late last year, Sue has been engaged with me in developing strategies and work plans to position Asbury well for decades to come. She will finalize some deliverables over the next few weeks before leaving Asbury. Over the years, Sue has served as mentor to many who have felt inspired by her. She draws inspiration from Maya Angelou’s quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Please join me in gratitude for Sue and her service to Asbury.