Ed Stewart is the first to admit his job has been challenging in recent months. Yet it’s given him a new appreciation for the difficulties experienced by the residents, staff and families. As Executive Director of the Katzman Family Center for Living for the past six years, Ed has supervised a multi-million dollar building renovation and worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus outbreak. In doing so, he has earned the respect and admiration of all who know him.
Originally from Lawrence, Massachusetts, Ed holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Salem State University and has completed graduate studies at Harvard University Extension School. Ed and his wife Raylene moved to Georgetown where they raised their two daughters, April and Erin. Once the girls graduated from college, they moved to Eliot, Maine. As Ed explains, “Twenty-two years later and we still love living on the Maine coast! Our three grandchildren live in Kennebunk, Maine so it’s wonderful to have them close by.”
As one would imagine, Ed has experienced many memorable moments at KCL. One story, in particular, remains close to his heart. Last year a former Katzman Center CNA was admitted to KLC as a resident. He had just learned he only had a few months to live and expressed his desire to return to his home country of Tanzania. Ed recalls the staff’s desire to help. “Our team was passionate about turning this man’s wish into reality,” explained Ed. Led by the efforts of CEO Barry Berman and Chairman of the Board Gilda Richman, the direct care team worked with the resident and his son to make the trip possible. Within weeks, the resident was back in Tanzania and reunited with his family.
Ed keeps as busy at home as he is at work. He usually has a few projects going on at once, from laying down hardwood floors to partially installing an HVAC system to gardening and birdwatching. Although his favorite activity, by far, is spending time with his grandchildren.
In recent months, Ed has overseen procedures and protocols to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He was touched by the support of the families and impressed with how quickly the staff stepped up to the challenges, going above and beyond every single day. When asked about his philosophy for guiding his staff, he was quick to respond with a quote from Maya Angelou. “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Clearly, Ed has a way of making people feel very special indeed.