Ryan Gulick honored as Support and Service Professional of the Year by LeadingAge Iowa

Ryan Gulick, team leader of plant operations at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community, was recently named Support and Service Professional of the Year recently at the LeadingAge Iowa awards ceremony in Cedar Rapids.

This statewide recognition of Gulick was well-deserved according to Bartels CEO Deb Schroeder and echoed by staff members throughout Bartels. “Ryan Gulick has given exemplary service to Bartels residents, staff and families for over 17 years,” praised Schroeder.

Gulick is a lifelong resident of Waverly and resides here with his wife Jessica and three children. He explained he was very honored and surprised by the award. He enjoys working at Bartels and finds it very fulfilling. “I have the pleasure every day of working in people’s homes,” commented Gulick. “My goal is for the residents feel safe and secure with us here.”

LeadingAge Iowa is a statewide membership organization of non-profit providers of aging services and supports and the champion for advancement and innovation in aging services.

Schroeder nominated Gulick for the award and stated, “Ryan routinely goes above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of those he serves.  It is not unusual for Ryan to offer to pick up staff or take them home during an Iowa blizzard so Bartels is properly staffed. Ryan will run a backhoe, snowplow or shovel alongside his staff during snowstorms. He also volunteered to build an amazing above ground raised garden so Bartels residents can enjoy fresh home-raised produce.

“Ryan is a really great example of leading a talented team – he oversees maintenance staff, housekeeping staff and laundry, plus new construction or remodeling projects. He is always willing to help out and has his staff cross trained to help in many non-traditional ways. Did I mention Ryan loves doing parade floats? We have had some fabulous winning parade float entries over the years. He makes himself available for being on-call, along with all the rest of his staff, but Ryan takes the lion’s share of call for emergencies.  Ryan takes the lead to encourage safety and disaster preparedness along with other team leaders.

“Ryan truly leads by example and never asks his staff to do anything he hasn’t already done. No matter how hard or dirty of a job it is, he is up patching the roof in the rain or shoveling snow at 3:00 a.m. right alongside his staff. He is probably the best example we have of leading by example.

“He comes with a sense of humor and sincere passion for his staff, Bartels residents and the mission of this organization. He is known to say that ‘we are privileged to work in our residents’ home’ and he instills respect for the mission of Bartels and the entire industry about staying passionate about our meaningful work each and every day.

“Ryan, with his areas of responsibility, shares the staffing shortages we are all experiencing; however, Ryan never complains. He just takes ownership for the coverage and makes sure his areas of responsibility do not miss a beat, even at times of staff turnover. Ryan has achieved excellent teamwork within his department.

“Ryan saves Bartels tens of thousands of dollars per year because he takes on so many projects internally. He is the ‘MacGuyver’ of Bartels coming up with innovative ideas to solve problems. For example, he built floor stops to keep the beds from making holes in the walls when staff would push them back after making them. Ryan encouraged staff to donate their cans and bottles to Bartels generating additional revenue. He also started a recycling program where staff can bring old appliances, televisions and steel, which his staff recycle for cash.

“He is absolutely amazing and we value his ‘can do’ spirit.  He takes a personal interest in his staff and has helped staff move on several occasions on his own time. He has helped Bartels staff before and after disastrous floods in years gone by and he is simply amazing! He excels at going above and beyond!”

About Bartels

Bartels has over 65 years of experience in long-term care and 32 years of experience in independent living. With its Christian-based mission and “residents first” philosophy, Bartels gives residents peace of mind knowing they can move to a higher level of care when needed without having to leave the community they call home. For more information, please visit bartelscommunity.org.


About LeadingAge Iowa

LeadingAge Iowa is a statewide membership organization of non-profit providers of aging services and supports and the champion for advancement and innovation in aging services. The mission is to be the voice, support and connector for non-profit members and the people they serve. The membership is diverse, representing the spectrum of non-profit long-term support and service providers including skilled nursing, assisted and independent living, PACE, home health, adult day, respite, hospice and home delivered meals. Members serve over 25,000 older adults in Iowa each day.