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New Board President Named

Seibert, First Woman, To Head Friendship Village Board

Lydia Seibert, the first woman board chair of Friendship Village, will continue a tradition of strong leadership with emphasis on listening to residents in her new position.

Seibert takes over this month as head of the 11 member local board that manages the two Friendship Village senior living communities in Sunset Hills and Chesterfield.

“With serious issues in a changing culture and an industry currently plagued by change, I will strive to make our plans and our strategic pillars reflect our resident care,” Seibert said.

She brings unique credentials to the chairmanship position.  “Many board members and certainly past chairmen fall into the current or retired corporate executive mold.  I break that in two ways.

“First, as a woman, but I also come from the health care industry with my whole career centered on senior adults and health,” she said.

Seibert, who displays good communication and leadership development skills, believes the board made a conscious decision in her selection. 

She holds a bachelor of science degree from Washington University, currently works for Physical and Sports Therapy Services, Clayton, and runs a subscription based leadership development company.

In the chairman’s seat, she replaces Howard Curtis, a retired Monsanto human resources executive currently executive vice president at Quest Management Consultants, who rotated off the board with Seibert’s election.

In listening with a soft ear to residents and evaluating their input, Seibert will focus on resident care as well as making Friendship Village an employer of choice and a model for financial responsibility. 

“Primarily, I want to make Friendship Village a better place to call home.  After my service—I believe leadership equates with service—I want to leave the Villages better,” she said.

One major challenge for Seibert and the staff revolves around the changes and construction on the two campuses including a $58 million expansion program at the Sunset Hills community.

“Senior adults can prove sensitive to change, and construction makes for mess, disruption and change.  Nevertheless, we must move into the future.

“Construction and renovation remain an important key to shoring up and refining our continuum of care.  As we implement the master plan for the Sunset Hills community and develop a new master plan for Chesterfield, we will continue our commitment to excellence in senior living and health care as well as the LifeCare concept.

“As the only LifeCare community in St. Louis, we offer unlimited days of assisted living and health care, if needed.  We take our fiduciary responsibility seriously, aware of our social accountability as a not for profit.

“For employees, we initiated a wage review and a study of employee policies and programs to increase employee satisfaction and wellness.  We want the best employees in this industry, and we want Friendship Village known as the best place to work,” Seibert said.

Seibert and her husband of 32 years, Dr. Daniel Seibert, OD, owner of Overland Eye Associates, attend Confluence Church in West County.  They boast six children whom they home-schooled and five grandchildren.