For many years, Lenbrook Resident Barbara Cherry Conway has made it a priority to find joy and thankfulness in life. Her commitment to this positive philosophy is one of the reasons she was recently recognized as a Profiles in Positive Aging honoree by Leading Age Georgia.
Profiles in Positive Aging, the signature event of the LeadingAge Georgia Center for Positive Aging, celebrates older adults who exemplify positive aging. It honors individuals who are living with purpose and meaning, who serve others, are catalysts for well-being in their communities, who continue to embrace their passions, and who inspire others to be their best selves as they age. Barbara has fit these requirements throughout her life!
Barbara was born in Cedartown, Georgia, and grew up in Rome, Georgia. She graduated from Rome High School and attended Shorter College until she married her high school sweetheart, Richard Conway. They moved to Atlanta, where Barbara worked at the Coca-Cola corporate office in market research. When Richard graduated from Georgia Tech, they moved to Carrollton, Georgia – the first of 10 moves!
A stay at-home mom, Barbara was an active volunteer for the many activities and events in which her four children and husband participated. She also played bridge, participated in Garden Clubs, and made new friendships each time their family moved to a new place.
When their children moved to college, Barbara continued doing activities she enjoyed and became involved with the Sandy Springs Society. This influential group of 300 women volunteered their time for a variety of philanthropic causes and raised several million dollars for organizations in the Sandy Springs community. Barbara served as both project and general treasurer for the organization, chaired a fundraiser called Tossed Out Treasures, and eventually became President.
Barbara and her husband moved to Lenbrook in 2016. She immediately became active in the Newcomers Committee, baking banana bread and visiting new residents and chairing the committee for three years. Today, Barbara is Vice Chair of the committee.
In addition, Barbara has served on the Lenbrook Residents Council, the Lenbrook Executive Committee, and is a member of the Legacy Society. She also serves on the Backpack Buddies Committee for which she is responsible for scheduling volunteers, assigning volunteer teams, and raising funds.
In April 2022, Barbara chaired the first "Activities Affair” at Lenbrook which showcased in one place all the opportunities for involvement in the community. She and the team identified more than 42 opportunities for getting involved and presented them over a four-hour span. More than 250 people attended or volunteered for the event! The team also produced a brochure listing all the opportunities to get involved to give to new residents.
In December 2022, Barbara will chair the Associate Appreciation event at Lenbrook. This beloved two-day event reverses the roles at Lenbrook as residents will welcome and thank Associates for what they do all year. The event includes a meal for all Associates and residents who get to select either a breakfast or lunch sponsored by Lenbrook and Unidine, our dining services partner.
Barbara likes to say, "I never expected to make so many new friends at my age!" In addition, she notes two key pieces of advice: "You need to make a plan for your life before somebody has to make it for you!" and "If you wait ‘til you are ready to move to a Life Plan Community, you have waited too long!"
We’re glad that Barbara has been honored as a Profile in Positive Aging as she certainly demonstrates what it means to be your best at any age!
LeadingAge Georgia is the association of not-for-profit and other mission-driven organizations who provide housing and services for older adults.
(Pictured from left to right: Leslie Dove, Lenbrook Chief Financial Officer, Barbara Conway, Lenbrook Resident, Chris Keysor, Lenbrook President & CEO)