July 4, 2016 // 9:06 AM
“I Remember” with Nevin Kraybill
Written by Trish Lauer
There are many residents with many memories of when GSV first started, but Nevin Kraybill, retired CEO, offers a different perspective. Nevin has been associated with GSV since its inception. After spending 10 years in Tanzania, East Africa, in various administrative roles, he moved back to the States and in 1989, was offered a position by Dale Weaver to help develop what would eventually become Garden Spot Village.
Originally, Leola was considered as a location, but it was New Holland that would become where the community would be built. “My role during the early years was meetings, meetings, meetings!” Nevin remembers. There were meetings with the township for zoning, the land development engineers for planning sessions, and architects, as well as visiting other retirement communities as everything was just starting to get off the ground.
Once the ball got rolling, growth began to happen. “Ground breaking and open house, of course, were highlights in the history of Garden Spot Village. The first residents moving in was a very exciting day. Seeing staff added and recognizing the importance of each one’s unique contribution to provide a comfortable environment for the residents of the village was very rewarding.”
There was also a lot of office work to be done, and in the beginning, the office was in the first cottage off Ranck road. Starting off with just six cottages and Gardens North, Nevin and his wife, Barbara – who was also Nevin’s first secretary– “moved in too”, staying in one of the new apartments for two weeks to help the very first residents with their new move. Shortly after, Gardens West was built, along with Mountain View and Dining Services. Some of the staff Nevin worked with in those early days are still a part of the team today, including Karen Horning and Bryan Groff. After retiring in 2001, Nevin continues to be a part of the GSV community. He helped with lawn care for a while and is a bus driver for resident trips to this day.
Given his long history at Garden Spot Village, Nevin has seen how much the community has evolved and grown, but also how some things remain constant. “GSV continues to attract new residents from far and wide . . . I think the caring attitude of the staff is a very significant factor in the rapid growth and success of GSV. It is bigger now than when I retired, but the same friendly spirit is present.”
“I am indeed grateful to the Lord for His help in launching GSV, and it has been a real privilege for me to be part of the process of helping to fulfill the dream and vision of the late Victor Weaver in bringing a retirement community of the quality and excellence that is evident anywhere you are on the campus of Garden Spot Village.”