Pines Village board of director profile: John Freyek
Long before joining the board of directors of Pines Village Retirement Communities, John Freyek earned a history degree from Purdue Calumet. Today, he works as a banker. But his interest in history has never waned, and he sees in the people who reside at Pines Village a living, continuing sense of history that has value and wisdom.
"I have an affinity for older people who have lived so much history and have so much to offer," John explains. "I'd like to see this country adopt more of a Japanese model, where older members of the community are honored, not pushed aside."
John brings a wealth of experience in banking and investments to the work of the board of directors. First Vice President and a Senior Relationship Manager for Citizens Financial Bank, he has more than 15 years of banking industry experience, managing multi-faceted client relationships and providing lending and deposit solutions for a plethora of industries.
"In the old banking world, we just made loans," John says. "Now, relationship management is paramount. Really understanding people and their needs is part of what I do. I'm glad I can bring those skills to the board of Pines Village."
A native of Highland, John lives in Crown Point and is currently wending his way through the gauntlet of building a new house. He and his wife Shannon, who is a music teacher, have two boys and a new baby -- a girl! -- on the way.
"Having a family, raising children -- that keeps you grounded," John says with a smile. "It's one of the most rewarding parts of my life."
His work at Pines Village is a natural extension of John's propensity to identify needs and then help devise solutions. He sees his contribution as working to ensure that this retirement community remains on the cutting edge.
"The biggest challenges we will face are increasing competition and the demand of evolving with the times," John posits. "Competition is a good thing and always makes us smarter, swifter, better."
As to changing with the times, John can already see that the coming wave of retirees will be more active and more tech-savvy than any generation in history.
"We've come a long way since the time when my own grandparents retired," John explains. "Today, older people live longer because of the wonderful advances in medicine and senior care. And they're not sitting around idly -- they're going places, doing things, and talking to their grandkids on Skype!"
John expresses a lot of confidence in the management of Pines Village, which he believes strives to be the best and "never rests on any laurels." He also credits residents whose input and support are critical.
"Our residents will teach us what we have to do," John says. "I see wonderful days ahead for innovative and committed communities like Pines Village."
When he visits, John enjoys seeing residents taking full advantage of superior amenities and services.
"I watch tables of people in the dining room, laughing and talking. I see older people on fitness machines putting me to shame. Whenever I visit Pines Village, I am reminded of why being on the board is so satisfying."
John's service also underscores a family propensity for "giving back." John's father, who is 70 and will soon retire from his own career as a banker, was "always involved in helping not-for-profits." He also believes the life story of his mother, who has battled Parkinson's Disease for the past 28 years, has been revelatory.
"These two older people -- my parents -- are heroes," John says. "They taught me what I know about making a difference."
In addition to his work at Pines Village, John is also President of the Board of Directors for Jacob's Ladder Pediatric Rehab Center, Inc. and President of the Highland, Indiana Chamber of Commerce.
"I'm in the business world and that is satisfying," John says, "but there are other things that speak to my soul. I have found that not-for-profit service -- helping people like those at Pines Village -- is essential for me."
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 >