RiverWoods Exeter renews partnership with American Independence Museum

By Rob Levey, Seacoast Online  (click here to view this article on seacoast online website)

RiverWoods Exeter partnership with American Independence Museum _ Exeter NHEXETER — RiverWoods Exeter, a continuing care retirement community, recently renewed its partnership with the American Independence Museum with a $1,000 contribution.

According to Ben French, marketing manager at RiverWoods Exeter, the partnership with AIM is “much more than a financial obligation.”

“It’s actually a very active partnership that engages our residents and staff to get involved in the greater Exeter community,” he said. “Like RiverWoods Exeter, the American Independence Museum embraces history in a way that makes it both current and sustainable.”

For French, though, the partnership is as much about the future as it is a celebration of history.

“What makes us stand out from the pack is the fact that we both as nonprofits are always looking to the future, leading the way, and expanding people’s perceptions beyond those of your typical retirement communities and museums,” he said.

RiverWoods Group unveils plans for Durham community

Continuing care community to be company's first outside Exeter


(click to view this article on the NHBR website)

The RiverWoods Group has announced plans to build a new continuing care community in Durham, the first RiverWoods facility outside of Exeter.

Scheduled to open in late 2019 or early 2020, the nonprofit RiverWoods Durham is being built by general contractor Lecesse Construction of West Henrietta, N.Y., which built two of the last three RiverWoods Exeter communities, designed by AG Architecture of Dover and with landscape architecture by Robbie Woodburn of Newmarket. RiverWoods’ development partner is Greystone of New York City and Chicago-based investment bank Ziegler is its financial partner.

RiverWoods Exeter Announces Major Charitable Partnership with Seacoast Family Promise

Exeter retirement community’s outreach effort to culminate in October 2018 gala fundraiser with fellow nonprofit.

RiverWoods Exeter Announces Major Charitable Partnership with Seacoast Family Promise Exeter, NH (June 6, 2017) – Residents at RiverWoods Exeter have selected Seacoast Family Promise (SFP) of Exeter as the recipient of the retirement community’s two year partnership to culminate in a major fundraising gala event in October 2018 at RiverWoods Exeter.

From the first year RiverWoods Exeter opened, the community has held a fundraiser for another local nonprofit. The most recent RiverWoods Exeter Gala Auction raised a record $120,000 in one night for Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Exeter. The record breaking evening was held at RiverWoods Exeter Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) last fall with more than 400 in attendance. RiverWoods Exeter staff and residents donated hundreds of hours of time during the multi-year partnership.

NH's largest arboretum opens at RiverWoods Exeter

RiverWoods Exeter Arboretum - volunteer resident docent group


By Rob Levey, Seacoast Online

Click to view this article on Seacoast Online website.

EXETER — On Friday, May 12, RiverWoods residents, volunteer docents, staff and others held a celebration ceremony on the Exeter campus to formally open New Hampshire’s largest arboretum.

At the ceremony, a Kentucky Coffeetree was planted to commemorate the occasion.

Featuring more than 100 unique trees and woody shrubs, the arboretum is spread over 200 acres on the RiverWoods Exeter campus and is the result of a concerted effort by both residents and staff.

“It’s been the most rewarding work of my life,” said Dan Burbank, landscape manager at RiverWoods. “When the idea was brought up by the residents, we began the investigative process to see if it was feasible and then took it to the senior team. We realized this was a possibility.”

He said it was a possibility only because of the work that had been put into the selection of trees and woody shrubs on the property many years prior, which he said was spearheaded by several residents. Tom Adams, who has lived at RiverWoods for the past 12 years, was one of those residents. 

“There were small trees planted here and there in the beginning — there was basically dirty here,” he said. “After a year when some of the plants started to die, we thought of some unusual plants that could replace them.”

RiverWoods Appoints Deb Riddell Executive Director

Deb Riddell, Executive Director, RiverWoods ExeterNew role created to help RiverWoods best position the community for the future

Exeter, NH, April 2017 -- RiverWoods is pleased to announce that Deb Riddell is the new Executive Director of the non-profit’s three campus continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Exeter. Riddell brings a wealth of experience from her more than 20 years in senior leadership roles within the CCRC industry in New England, including Silverstone Living in Nashua and Piper Shores in Scarborough, Maine. Riddell received her Masters degree in Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St, Louis and earned her BA from the University of Iowa.

Riddell’s role as Executive Director is a newly created position at RiverWoods. Her responsibilities include managing the operations and planning for the future of the RiverWoods campuses in Exeter. Riddell will be reporting to Justine Vogel who, as President/CEO of The RiverWoods Group, RiverWoods’ parent company, will be focusing her time and talents on additional growth projects outside of Exeter.

RiverWoods Accepting Applications for Beneficiary of 2018 Gala Event

Previous Gala Fundraising Totaled More Than $120,000 for Local Non-Profit

RiverWoods Gala Raises Record $120,000 for Society of St Vincent de Paul Exeter

Exeter – Following the record success of the 2016 Gala hosted and organized by RiverWoods, the Exeter-based non-profit organization is putting out the call to all greater Exeter area non-profits who are interested in being the next Gala recipient. In October, RiverWoods held its tenth Gala fundraiser benefitting the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Exeter, which raised a record of $120,000 in one night for the local charity. RiverWoods is now seeking applications from 501c-3 organization in the greater Exeter area who would be interested in partnering to raise money for their organization.

“After another extremely successful event we are looking forward to preparing for the 2018 Gala,” says Penny Teodorczyk, Chair of the 2016 RiverWoods Gala. “Our residents and staff enjoy the opportunity to work closely with other non-profits. We are excited to spend the following two years working closely with our next partner.”

2016 President & Chairman's Letter

President and Chairman's Letter - By Justine Vogel and Bruce Mast - RiverWoods at Exeter The following letter was published in the 2016 RiverWoods Annual Report . Current and past RiverWoods Annual Reports and Financial Statements can be found by clicking here .

"You are not here to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more of who you really are." - Oprah Winfrey

Oprah... Who would have guessed we’d be quoting her in the RiverWoods Annual Report? But I think she’s nailed it with that thought.

If you ask the staff at RiverWoods what our motto is, they would reply, “Be Better.” Not “be perfect” mind you, just better, better every day. We believe that no matter how good you are, there is always room to grow.

We are in a constant state of blossoming into who we really are, as individuals and as a community. This is true for our residents, for our Board, and for our staff. That blossoming can take the form of new relationships, friendships and even love. We see it every day. All you need is a heart that is open to opportunity.

The blossoming can take the form of new and continuing learnings for residents and for staff. All you need is a mind that is open to challenge.

It can take the form of outreach, as we do every year by working with another local nonprofit that serves our Seacoast Region. All you need is a mission that is open to partnering and possibilities. Blossoming can take the form of building a deeper connection within our RiverWoods community, as we did this year when a team of residents organized and designed a program to teach critical business skills to our staff. All you need are people who appreciate how interdependent we all are.

RiverWoods Named 2016 Business of the Year

Chamber awards bring laughter, tears of appreciation


Exeter New-Letter/Portsmouth Herald/Seacoast Media Group

September 2, 2016

PORTSMOUTH — Thursday night, dozens of Exeter area business owners, movers and shakers gathered at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel for the Chamber’s 2016 Community Awards Dinner.

RiverWoods active retirement community and the Exeter Inn/Epoch Restaurant and Bar were big winners, taking home the Health Care — large employer and Tourism and Hospitality awards.

Birch Hill Terrace-RiverWoods affiliation OKd

Agreement aims to bring ‘fresh ideas and resources to the table'

BY JEFF FEINGOLD, NH Business Review

Published: July 12, 2016

(click to view on NHBR website)

State regulators have officially approved the affiliation agreement between Birch Hill Terrace, a continuing care retirement community in Manchester, and The RiverWoods Group, parent company of the RiverWoods continuing care retirement community in Exeter.


Birch Hill to Begin $9 million Renovation and Improvement Plan

Cathleen Toomey
[email protected]

July 12, 2016, Manchester Birch Hill Terrace, a non-profit charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with roots in Manchester that go back 125 years, announced an affiliation with The RiverWoods Group, a non-profit, charitable organization that is parent company of RiverWoods Continuing Care Retirement Community ( CCRC), based in Exeter, New Hampshire.

LOGOS_IMG00341This announcement is the culmination of a two year process of discussion and deliberation between the two boards. The affiliation has received approval by the NH Department of Insurance, which governs CCRCs, as well as the NH Department of Charitable Trust, which must review and approve such proposals in the state.

“We are thrilled that our work together has culminated in this partnership,” said Gary Zabierek, President of Birch Hill Terrace. “This affiliation will bring fresh ideas and resources to the table. Next month we will start a major capital investment in our physical plant, which will transform the look of our apartment homes, and bring new energy to the community.”

Justine Vogel, CEO and President of The RiverWoods Group added, “Although we have not taken this step until now, Birch Hill and RiverWoods already share identical values and mission; we were both founded by grassroots community members interested in improving the lives of others. Together, we can provide peace of mind to more seniors in New Hampshire. As two charitable non-profit CCRCs we will both benefit from an affiliation.”

With approval in hand, improvements are the next step. Birch Hill is revealing their plans for a reimaged community, and will be investing $9 million in the next 24 months into the building. This will be the single largest capital investment in the company’s history.

Nationally, there are close to 2000 Continuing Care Retirement Communities, and the concept has been around for more than 100 years. With that said, the story of this “holistic approach” to senior care is only now being shared with the public. Although it’s growing, right now there only are a handful of CCRCs in northern New England. However, interest and education about this concept has been rapidly increasing among retirees. CCRCs welcome people 62 years or older, to enter as independent residents. Once there, residents can enjoy a variety of amenities (housekeeping, laundry service, dining, inside and outside maintenance, programs and exercise classes), while making friends. As they age, if a resident needs a higher level of care, it is available to them within the same campus. Depending on the CCRC contract type, this is generally at a reduced cost. Additionally, often a resident can get a refund on their initial entrance fee, when they pass away or move. To provide affordability and meet the needs of a clientele looking for comfort and quality care, the majority of CCRCs are non-profit, and many are organized within systems.

In addition to its capital improvement plans, Birch Hill has also created a new program, the Leader’s Circle, that provides significant financial incentives and special home upgrades to a limited number of people. The plans for Leader’s Circle will be reviewed at a luncheon program open to the public on September 21, at LaBelle Winery. To reserve a seat, please contact [email protected] or call 603-836-2302.

“We will transform our campus in the next 2 years,” said Gary Zabierek. “I can tell you that if you think you’ve seen Birch Hill, you owe it to yourself to take a second look.”