JKV Proudly Opens BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar at Westlake

BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

On April 17, 2024, John Knox Village of Florida (JKV) in Pompano Beach proudly held its grand opening of BV’s French Press Coffee and Wine Bar, located on the lobby level of Westlake, its newest addition to the community. The new luxury apartment towers at JKV include 147 state-of-the-art apartment homes and many spaces on its ground floor where all residents and guests can gather, relax, and enjoy. Courtesy of a generous donation, BV’s was named in honor of its benefactor, JKV resident Bruce Voelkel, who has lived at JKV since 2017 and is an active member of the community.

The John Knox Village Foundation supports the community through innovative, compassionate programming and initiatives. According to the Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Dobosz, “Bruce’s donation to name BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar is a perfect example of his commitment to the lifestyle, well-being, and pleasure for all Village residents to savor the delights of delicious coffee and wine.”


L-R: Lance Sanson, VP Dining, JKV Resident Bruce Voelkel, and Steve Turk, Founder Biscayne Coffee


JKV’s Dining team member Shala McKenzie proudly serves BV’s first cups of coffee to  what will sure to be many happy residents.


BV’s features offerings from Biscayne Coffee, a locally sourced coffee company that donates 10% of its proceeds to ocean conservation. Its founder, Steve Turk, participated in the ribbon cutting and presented Bruce with a gift basket and BV’s French Press apron.

Since 1967, JKV has been providing a fulfilling, engaging, and stress-free environment with an all-inclusive full continuum of care from independent living and assisted living to short and long-term skilled nursing care. As a Life Plan community, the internationally award-winning JKV allows proactive seniors to plan for their future healthcare needs while enjoying first-class amenities, life-long learning programs, and a full range of services that promote wellness of mind, body, and spirit. JKV continues to stay ahead of the curve by emphasizing fitness and overall well-being for each of its residents. Through unwavering commitment to excellence and guiding principles, the team brings the unique JKV experience to life every day for 1,000 residents.

JKV Once Again Receives Distinguished ‘Best in Wellness’ Awards

John Knox Village of Florida in Pompano Beach is thrilled to announce that it has been honored with the 2023 ICAA NuStep Pinnacle and Beacon Awards, solidifying its position among the Top 5 and Top 25 ‘Best in Wellness’ senior living communities in North America. JKV has been recognized annually with these awards since 2019. Once again, the acknowledgments underscore John Knox Village’s commitment to fostering a wellness-centered culture that benefits all residents and staff within the community.

The ICAA NuStep Pinnacle Award and Beacon Award are a joint initiative between the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), an organization at the forefront of leading, connecting, and defining the active-aging industry, and NuStep, LLC, a prominent manufacturer of recumbent cross-trainers widely used in healthcare, senior living, and fitness.

Colin Milner, CEO, and founder of the ICAA, emphasizes the evolving importance of wellness in senior living communities. Milner states, “Wellness has evolved from being a programming option to becoming a way of life. And these communities are setting the pace for the rest of the industry to follow.”

According to Jamisyn Becker, JKV’s Director of Marketing & Innovation, “At John Knox Village, we prioritize programming that embraces wellness as its key focus to nurture physical vitality and maintain a culture of connection. By prioritizing holistic well-being, we cultivate not just healthier bodies but also stronger bonds, fostering a community where every individual thrives.”

As the older adult population continues to grow and individuals seek a better, longer life, the significance of where one chooses to live becomes increasingly essential. John Knox Village inspires the industry, leading the way with its comprehensive wellness culture.

About NuStep, LLC

Visit: https://www.nustep.com/

NuStep, LLC designs, manufactures and distributes recumbent cross-trainer exercise equipment. NuStep products empower users of all functional abilities and fitness levels to engage in exercise that builds strength, enhances independence, and improves health outcomes. NuStep sponsored the Pinnacle and Beacon Awards recognizing senior communities and centers transforming lives through whole-person wellness programming.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)

Visit: https://www.icaa.cc/

ICAA leads, connects, and defines the active-aging industry, supporting professionals in developing wellness cultures for adults over 50. The association focuses on active aging, helping older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness.

For more information or questions, contact:

Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA

Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America); Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595

A Sign of the Times: JKV’s Iconic Clock Goes Digital

The iconic red-neon John Knox Village name and clock that faced Interstate 95 from the west side of JKV’s 17-story Cassels Tower apartment building has been taken down after 35 years.

It has been replaced with a glitzy, new, high-tech LED (Light-Emitting Diode) projecting sign, with features including full-colored lighting and programmable customized messaging.

What began in 1988 as an advertising gimmick, which allowed commuters to know exactly how early, on time, or late they were for work or dinner, quickly became a beacon quite literally, as it could be seen from a mile away.

“We’re hoping to create a new landmark,” Bob Milanovich, JKV director of resident relations, told the Miami Herald in an article that ran 35 years ago. “You have 50 million people passing by every year.”

That was then. Now, according to the website AARoads.com, the traffic volume on I-95 in Broward County generally exceeds 200,000 vehicles daily, which translates into some 73 million vehicles annually.

The old clock was the size of a Mazda Miata, standing 10 feet wide, with a four-foot-long big hand and a three-foot-long little hand. The idea to put a clock on the side of Cassels Tower came from Village resident Arleen Ridenour, who also contributed a sizable amount to the $15,000 price tag.

“It really was quite a visionary marketing idea from Ms. Ridenour back in the day,” said Jamisyn Becker, JKV’s current Director of Marketing and Innovation. “And now, with this state-of-the-art digital clock and sign, we are able to utilize the newest technologies available for providing the time of day and purposeful information about JKV to millions of folks traveling the Interstate.”

The old clock’s red neon has been replaced with LED lighting, has been refurbished, and will be installed on the east side of Cassels Tower to be seen by residents, guests, and staff throughout the campus.

“The clock has served us well over the years, and we are delighted we were able to repurpose it for the other side of the Cassels Tower building for all to enjoy,” said Thom Price, JKV’s Vice President of Operations.

Thanks For Asking: A Grateful Resident Shares His Thoughts

By JKV resident, Dave Bayer

My wife, Jackie, and I moved to John Knox Village (JKV) in Pompano Beach, FL some four years ago.

JKV is a relatively large Continuing Care Life-Plan Community with approximately 900 total residents, including 60 in assisted living and almost 200 in skilled nursing.

Previously, we both lived in the local area for over 40 years and are often asked by our friends in town about how things are going at JKV. Before the pandemic, an answer something like, “It has been a good move for us,” would suffice.

Since the pandemic, with all the negative news about the deleterious effects of COVID-19 on retirement communities in general, and skilled nursing facilities (aka nursing homes) in particular, the question now comes with a tinge of concern.

That’s understandable, with the grim COVID-19 related death toll in the United States approaching 450,000 (as of press time) and, according to reliable sources, around 40 percent of those deaths have occurred in a long-term care setting. Also, the negative effects of lockdowns and social isolation on the mental health of the elderly and their relatives are well known. Yikes.

Fortunately for us, in all three phases of living at JKV (i.e., Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing), the experience has been vastly better than those portrayed in the national news.

Every person who enters our campus is appropriately screened (including taking temperatures). In Independent Living, where we live, we are expected to wear masks and observe physical distancing when outside of our residences. We are encouraged to travel only when necessary. Following out-of-state or international travel, KN95 masks are required for 14 days.

Our dining rooms are closed, but we are provided with nicely prepared meals delivered directly to our residences (at no charge). Our menu changes weekly and presents an excellent variety of healthy choices. We are permitted visitors on campus, but they must wear a mask (KN95 if visiting from another state), observe physical distancing, and confine the visit to within the host’s residence. In short, there are restrictions, but they are by no means onerous.

Instituting Necessary Precautions

The limitations for our residents (aka Elders) in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing are naturally more restrictive, but some visitation by “essential and compassionate visitors” is currently permitted.

Visitors are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19 beforehand. They must be scheduled in advance with only two visitors per visit. All participants must wear full PPE. Some general visitors are allowed depending on local COVID-19 rates at the time, and they must use KN95 masks and observe physical distancing.

Shortly before we moved in, JKV became part of a national movement to change the face of skilled nursing care when they opened The Woodlands. An entirely new facility, it is a trademarked GREEN HOUSE ® Project model of care with 12 homes in the building. Each home has 12 private rooms with private baths. These resident-centered homes are designed and operated specifically to counter the institutional feeling of boredom and isolation.

With a few modifications, some great innovations by our JKV Life Enrichment Team and superb work from the JKV management and staff, the potentially damaging mental effects of COVID-19 among our nursing home Elders have been greatly reduced.

These days, the old adage that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” comes to mind often, especially in the case of our skilled nursing Elders at JKV. On Dec. 16, 2020, JKV’s The Woodlands and Seaside Cove skilled nursing Elders were the first in Broward County and the state to receive the vaccine. On that day, 90 of our Elders and 80 staff members received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. JKV’s track record played a large part in us being chosen by the Florida Governor as the pilot site for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.

In my opinion, the residents of our Village have been blessed with management and staff who work hard, are transparent, do their homework and make compassionate, intelligent decisions. As a result, they have kept the residents safe and provided reasonable opportunities for social interaction.

JKV Was Our Choice

When friends ask about a good retirement situation in which to “age in place,” we suggest that they consider a not-for-profit Continuing Care Life-Plan Community that provides independent living, assisted living, provisions for memory care and a skilled nursing facility. Of course, we strongly encourage them to do their due diligence. Each community is different, and often what you get can be far different than what you expected and less than what you are paying for.

As for us, based on our experience at JKV, it is difficult to comprehend the reports about the number of COVID-19 related deaths and the terrible effects from lack of human interaction in retirement communities throughout our country.

That is definitely not the case at JKV. We can’t imagine a better place to be anywhere, other than right where we are.

Dave Bayer and his wife Jackie have been residents of John Knox Village since 2017. Prior to that, they both had lived in Ft. Lauderdale since the mid-1970s. They have been involved in a variety of volunteer activities in the local community and at JKV. Dave is a retired U.S. Navy Captain, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the National Continuing Care Residents Association and the Florida Life Care Residents Association.

To learn more about John Knox Village and the opportunities we provide for a safe, enriching lifestyle, click here or call 954-783-4040 for a private, personalized appointment (in person or virtual).


GAZETTE – October 2022

 Check out our Topping Out Ceremony on October 28th!

Love is in the air at JKV.


Read more in this issue.

Best Older Adult Philanthropic Support Organization 2022

Twenty Years Ago: 9/11 Remembered by JKV Residents and Staff

There are some 700 recorded 9/11 memorials in the U.S. Remnants of the World Trade Center towers, typically steel girders, have been incorporated into many of the memorials. Some 1,100 pieces had been made available for that purpose. Pictured above is the 9/11 Memorial located at Fire Station 3 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Marty Lee photo.


I remember the time, place and what I was doing that morning. I was watching the “Today” show on NBC, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the video of a plane hitting the World Trade Center. I thought to myself, they must be playing a trailer for an upcoming thriller movie. But no, the voices coming from the “Today” show were sounds of disbelief and horror.


9/11 occurred just one month before I started working with John Knox Village in October 2001. Living in South Florida, I watched it live from more than 1,000 miles away. However, many folks living or working at JKV today were in New York City 20 years ago. On that day, at that time, they saw firsthand another “day that will live in infamy.”


Dr. Paul Rosen and his wife Sue were living in NYC on the 29th floor of an apartment building at 72nd Street and York Avenue (across the street from Sotheby’s). “We had a direct view toward the World Trade Center,” Dr. Rosen said.


“I was in my office at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Sue was at home. Shortly after the first plane hit a tower, someone walked into my office to tell me that a tower of the World Trade Center had been impacted by an airplane. I am old enough to have been living in New York City when the Empire State building was hit by a plane, so my first reaction was that this was another similar tragedy. When the second tower was hit, the reality of what might have happened set in. From our apartment we could see a large grey cloud where the World Trade Center had stood.”


For many, the shock of seeing what was happening, connected with thoughts of those trapped inside the Twin Towers. Village Towers apartment resident Donald Patriss was living in Manhattan on West 60th Street. He was relaxing at home on his day off from teaching at Mount St. Vincent College in the Bronx.


“When I heard the news, I turned on the TV and saw one of the Towers fall,” Donald said. “Soon people were fleeing the area of Downtown Manhattan. The people were covered in ash.


“I had former students who worked on the top floor and never made it down. One was on the phone to his wife who was pregnant, and he knew he wouldn’t make it but left a message for his unborn child. Years later I heard that message and wept.


“Before I left Manhattan to move to Florida, I went to the 9/11 Museum downtown, but after a few minutes inside, I left as the memories of that time in New York City streamed back and I was once again crying.”


Concerns For Family And Lost Friends

JKV’s Administrative Assistant of Plant Operations, Elizabeth Talatinian recalls that day and the tragedy of people close to her. “My older brother was supposed to be in the north tower that day,” Elizabeth told The Gazette. “He was working with Hewlett-Packard at the time, and his installation team went to do an install of a computer system.”


“My brother’s boss kept him back one day to finish up something at the office. He was okay, but he lost his whole team.”


Another current Cassels Tower resident Chris Aubanel was living on 17th Street in New York City, when he learned that a plane had hit the first tower.


“I remembered the guided tour [Chris had taken] of the tower observation deck two weeks before. It was explained that the towers had been designed to withstand the direct hit of a Boeing 707 taking off from Kennedy Airport, that might lose control and hit one of the towers,” Chris said.


Preparing For The Casualties

“When the towers collapsed – a few hours later as I remember well – the hospital on 12th Street, St. Vincent Hospital, was expecting hundreds of casualties and put hundreds of beds along the streets around the hospital to accommodate the wounded. However, none came. All the people in and around the towers were either killed outright or ended up walking home.”


There were tragedies also in Washington D.C. and Shanksville, PA that day. South Gardens villa resident Joyce DeJong’s hometown is Johnstown, PA located just 30 miles from Shanksville.


“We were in Shanksville, a month after the attack,” Joyce said. “We could see the big hole from the bridge, but nothing left of the plane – Flight 93. Next to it, in a field, Shanksville had put up crosses for everyone who was lost. People left memorabilia: Hats, shoes…personal items by the crosses. It gave family and friends an emotional attachment with those lost. It was a very moving site.”


According to Britannica.com, “Some 2,750 people were killed in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania (where one of the hijacked planes crashed after the passengers attempted to retake the plane); all 19 terrorists died.


“Police and fire departments in New York were especially hard hit. Hundreds had rushed to the scene of the attacks, and more than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed.”


No Matter How Painful – We Remember

On Sept. 11 of this year, the skies above Manhattan will again be lit in memory of the 20th Anniversary of the World Trade Towers tragedy.


In all of our lives, there are those pivotal and consequential moments that we remember vividly even decades later. For some of The Gazette’s older readers, it might be the Pearl Harbor attack or D-Day. For those of us who grew up in the ‘60s, it might be the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. or Senator Robert F. Kennedy. For everyone reading The Gazette, the tragedy of 9/11 is indelibly imprinted on our memories. We recollect exactly where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing as the day’s events unfolded, even 20 years later.


An entire generation of young people have come into this world since 9/11. While we, the parents and grandparents remember well the events of that day, let us share our wisdom with our children and grandchildren. Let us resolve to do our best to prevent another 9/11. We are but one humanity, all connected to each other, living on one planet: Earth.

‘You Can Get Anything You Want’ at the JKV Resident Auxiliary Services Thrift Shop!


John Knox Village resident volunteers manage and operate the on-campus RAS Thrift Shop.


At John Knox Village, we love to share stories of residents who showcase a unique dedication to an activity or volunteer opportunity. A group of our residents supervise and operate the Resident Auxiliary Services (RAS) Thrift Shop. A visit to the shop is reminiscent of the 1967 song lyrics by Arlo Guthrie, “You can get anything you want,” but in this case, not at Alice’s Restaurant, but at the RAS Thrift Shop.

John Knox Village was founded the same year as Arlo’s famous song. Nine years later in 1976, RAS was formed by two residents Juana Hux and Sarah Large, as a resident-directed non-profit organization.

Marsha Ellington, RAS Publicity Chair, described RAS’s mission in 2019. “The purpose of RAS is to render volunteer services for the general welfare of the residents of John Knox Village, working in cooperation with the JKV administration.”

“Some of the volunteer opportunities involve working at the Large Print Library and stamp desk and at the Curiosity Shop (Thrift Store). The shop is the primary fundraiser for the organization. Donated items are sold at reasonable prices. The income derived provides funding for requested items and programs which first must be approved by the Board of the RAS.” The Board of Directors includes 10 members at large, officers and committee chairs.

RAS President Claire Dunn


“RAS has helped to purchase defibrillators, hospital beds, an EKG machine, a pool table, the putting green, security cameras, construction of a new fitness studio as well as The Woodlands,” Claire said. “We have also bought a van, popcorn machine, bingo machine and of course donated to the Employee Holiday Fund every year. And very importantly, we fund the purchase of books for the many Village libraries and music pro- grams for our various choral groups.”

Claire said that RAS is celebrating its 45th year and has donated close to $2 million to JKV. The team of resident volunteers makes it all work. “Because of the devotion of our volunteers, RAS has been, and is, a huge success,” Claire said.

RAS Store Manager Lyn Walk


Resident volunteers at RAS bring their enthusiasm and career experience to the job at RAS. Store Manager Lyn Walk has enjoyed a long, and varied career, includ- ing airline stewardess, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train operator, and owner of a floral and gift shop in Alameda, CA.

“I must have inherited an entrepreneurial gene,” Lyn said. “I love merchandising, selling and especially interacting with the customers.”

Lyn shares that enthusiasm with a team of 25 volunteers, with 16 to 18 working on any given day. “We never know what inventory will be arriving. We have had Tiffany lamps, Waterford crystal, Persian rugs, fine art, miniature doll houses. Recently, we acquired a metal toy from the ‘30s, and volunteer Don Williams thought it might be worth quite a bit. It sold for $300.”

Don is another active volunteer who brings life experience to his job at RAS. He is an artist, a resident senator, a welcome ambassador for new residents and an experienced sales and store manager.

“I was formerly the general manager of Grand Fur- niture in Virginia Beach, VA,” Don told The Gazette. “Since I was in the furniture business, I am a worker in the furniture department.” However, Claire interrupted and said, “Don is indispensable.”

Working Together for Common Purposes

Volunteers Mary Busenburg and Nancy Custance showcase the latest fashions available at the RAS Thrift Shop.

Indispensable is a word that applies to all RAS volunteers. Lyn mentions Carol Woodburn, as another example of an indispensable volunteer. “She is a kind and caring person who knows virtually every customer by name. After eight years’ experience at the shop, she can answer almost any question that arises.”

Joyce DeJong, and her husband Don, have had a long association with RAS.

“I am a pricer,” Joyce said. “Our team checks everything when it comes in. We wash glassware, linens and anything that needs cleaning. Everything electrical or electronic is checked to make sure it all is in working condition. If it needs adjusting, we send it to the men’s workshop for further evaluation. We decide on the pricing to make everything very reasonable.”

The Thrift Shop is open Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons specifically for JKV residents and employees. For many, it is a regular stop twice a week to peruse the items for sale and renew friendships.

Longtime JKV resident and former RAS volunteer Edith Meinholtz visits every Tuesday and Thursday. “I love this place and the people in it,” Edith said. “I always pat the volunteers on the back and say, ‘we only shop the best places.’ I shop thrift stores and I know this is the best.”

Thanks to Every RAS Volunteer

Claire Dunn credits all who have made the organization a success. “We thank all those volunteers who have worked endless hours for years, not for payment but because of their generous hearts and the kindred spirits developed in the shop, the workshop and the campus itself.”                                                

While the RAS Thrift Shop is not open to the general public, make some friends at John Knox Village and ask them to give you a tour and accompany you to the Thrift Shop. Learn more about JKV by calling (954) 871-2655 and make plans to visit the campus.   

JKV CEO Gerry Stryker’s Reflections on Community’s Successes and Achieving 60 Years Young

As we celebrate Summer at JKV I’m excited to share my reflections within the achievements in our Master Vision Site Plan and the significance it has made in JKV’s brand awareness and elevated positioning in the markets we serve.


The formal ribbon-cutting openings of the Welcome and Innovation Center, Aquatic Complex and The Center For Healthy Living have truly showcased the importance of Innovation (Vision & Entrepreneurial Spirit), the power of partnerships and how discerning prospects evaluate their future lifestyle aspirations, quality and purposeful longevity. 

JKV has served our greater communities for nearly 54 years. Lifestyle needs, wants and desires have certainly changed over these decades.

The hallmark of JKV’s success continues to be listening and learning from its current and future residents, staff and engagement with our greater community.

Our Master Vision Site Plan was created over five years ago. The contributions of our residents, staff, Board of Directors and various professionals and City of Pompano Beach officials have made it a reality.

Westlake apartment building project opening in 2024 will complete our Phase 2 transformation.


The original master plan identified nine phases of future redevelopment. We are currently in Phase 2. The opening of the Pavilion in the 1st Quarter of 2022 and the Westlake apartment building project—opening in 2024— will complete our Phase 2 transformation.

In a recent Long Range Planning meeting with residents, our Director of Operations, Thom Price, provided an overview of the infrastructure improvements that are also being updated. This includes new waterlines for increased residential capacity and fire protection, conservation and efficiency of utilities, sewer, drainage, lighting, and ultimately campus walkability to enjoy our lakes, gardens and the botanical nature of our 70 plus acre community.

This transformation has been realized through the power of partnerships. Our owner-architect William (Bill) Gallo, CEO of Gallo Herbert Architects, has been guiding JKV’s Master Vision Site Plan creation and execution since our planning stages for The Woodlands (the first Life Plan Community Green House® model of care, which opened in 2016).

Perkins Eastman Architects, EDSA Landscape Architects, Keith and Associates Civil Engineering, Moss Construction and many other professionals have contributed to our Master Vision Site Plan.

Our recent opening of the first CFHL to serve residents, staff and (hopefully soon) our greater community was achieved with Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions, Everside Health and our local Holy Cross Health System.

The support of our Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher, Pompano Beach Mayor Rex Hardin, District 5 City Commissioner Cyndy Floyd have been extremely helpful in supporting our Master Vision Site Plan.

City Manager Greg Harrison, Zoning Director David Recor, Building Inspector Mike Ratta and Fire Marshall Pete McGinnis, along with the Economic Development Council and the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce have all made the plan a reality.

The expression, “It takes a Village to realize a Vision,” is certainly true at JKV.

As I reflect on my journey at JKV, I am grateful to have achieved almost nine years in leading this incredible organization. In May I celebrated my 60th Birthday!

Over the course of 36 years of my professional career I remember a resident comment early on in my first community…“You’re a little young to be having this administrative responsibility.“

While residents do not share this statement anymore, they do inspire me at 60 to: “Live each day, because tomorrow is not promised.”

They look me in the eyes, and often with an affectionate hug, then whisper, “Go for it Ger! Keep making it happen!”

The daily encouragement and prayers are greatly appreciated and a powerful testament to Why JKV is a Great Place to Work, Live and Play!

Gerald Stryker, President/CEO