Pines Village board of directors profile: Erica Passauer
Erica Passauer wears many hats. A mother, a lender, and a community volunteer, she leads a busy life. But even though it is one more responsibility for her, Erica relishes her role as a board member of Pines Village Retirement Communities.
Like many who visit Pines Village years before they'll enjoy retirement, Erica admits her first reaction was, "Hey, I want to live here!"
"Pines Village has the tag line "We Celebrate Life." And it's true. It's a beautiful place and people really do come here to live, to stay active, to enjoy new pursuits and meet new people."
That's how it should be, says Erica, whose role model was her great-aunt Eva. A woman who owned businesses (in an era when it was the exception rather than the rule), Eva was a "strong woman who knew what she wanted and went after it."
"I really think I patterned myself after her," explains Erica. "Aunt Eva was self-directed. She never thought she couldn't do something, she just figured out the best way to achieve her goals."
Today, Erica is achieving her own goals. And as the president and executive director of the Regional Development Company (RDC), she's helping others achieve theirs. The RDC is one of five Certified Development Companies in Indiana empowered to administer the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 lending program.
"It's a tough market right now," Erica says. "It's hard to find people who want to borrow. There's enough nervousness about the economy to make prospective borrowers skittish."
Erica is able to communicate effectively and also be thoughtful in her appraisals. No wonder. At Indiana University, she majored in Organizational Communication and Philosophy and also earned a minor in English.
Erica's perspective on the economy, finance, and lending has brought valuable expertise to the board of directors, which she joined in 2007. Her background in commercial lending and her knowledge of the region make her a great resource.
Erica's ability to size up a company or an idea gives her a unique perspective on Pines Village.
"It's a great organization and very well managed," Erica says. "Pines Village is a leader in its field -- locally, at the state level, nationally. It feels good to be on the board of an organization that sets the standard."
Pines Village, Erica believes, has all the qualities of an elegant home and none of the "institutional flavor" that typifies so many retirement communities.
"There is style and charm at the Pines," Erica explains. "The breadth of activities and cultural events for people here is unparalleled. Pines Village even has its own art gallery. You don't often see that."
Erica also feels that the professionalism and caring attitude of staff members is a major asset for Pines Village.
"Nothing slips through the cracks here," Erica says. "They take such good care of the residents -- whether it's the quality of the apartments, the activities, the excellent dining service, the home health access -- everyone is fully committed to the people who live here."
Erica won't retire anytime soon. She's having too much fun right now raising sons Nate, 11 and Grant, 3 with her husband Joe, who works at Urschel Laboratories. But she's certain that retirement for her will be -- like it is for so many at Pines Village -- a wonderful "second life."
"I want to do what my parents did. They raised strong, self-sufficient children and now they travel, enjoy their own pursuits, really live life."
As a board member, Erica applauds Pines Village for encouraging just that approach.
"I always tell people that if they want to see what retirement should be like for all of us, just visit Pines Village," she says. "It's definitely where older people can go to live life to the fullest."
We Celebrate Life is a collection of portraits, in words and photographs, of just some of the wonderful, extraordinary people who live, work and serve Pines Village Retirement Communities. View more >