When Richard Weaver became Executive Director of Laconia Housing six years ago, he thought his job was going to be maintaining the status quo. He quickly realized that New Hampshire was changing and that Laconia Housing needed to adapt to the changing housing needs of the aging population. Demand for housing with extensive supportive services for the elderly and disabled was only going to increase. Weaver said, “Laconia Housing is well positioned as a licensed home health care agency to expand its services in existing projects and even to a new housing development.”
The first step was to develop a strategic plan to guide program funding decisions over the next several years. One major output from that process was to restructure the debt financing to raise capital for physical improvements and to improve cash flow at all the existing Laconia Housing properties. To make things easier for prospective tenants, a standard application form was developed for all projects. Weaver has worked to make all departments more efficient by modernizing their paperwork process with desktop scanners and electronic file storage. Laconia Housing is now as paperless as they can be and this has effectively sped up the time to process and approve applications as well as freeing up office space with the removal of dozens of filing cabinets.
Working alongside Weaver, Tom Cochran, Deputy Executive Director, is happy to bring his business management expertise to managing a nonprofit. He praises the efficiency of Laconia Housing Staff and is proud of the team’s cohesiveness and staff longevity. Cochran has placed a lot of emphasis on teamwork regardless of the department so that they make decisions based on what is best for the Agency.
Nancy Shannon, RN, who has 43 years of nursing experience said, “This is the most rewarding nursing job I’ve ever had in my life.” Julie Partridge, RSC/FSSC Residence Service Coordinator and Inspection Specialist, agrees: “I love working with the tenants and staff. This sounds like a Greeting Card but if I can help one person on any given day then my day is not wasted.”
Going forward, Weaver believes that Laconia Housing will remain an important part of the community. The updated strategic plan calls for Laconia Housing to coordinate and partner with the city and other nonprofits to continue revitalizing Laconia and the surrounding areas.