One alumnus passes the torch to another as CEO for large retirement community

Ron Yoder (left), a 1968 EMU alum, is passing the torch as president and chief executive officer of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community to 1982 alumna Judith Trumbo. Trumbo served for 20 years as the director of RMH Home Healthcare and currently chairs the Faith & Life Commission of Virginia Mennonite Conference. She is also an associate trustee on the EMU board of trustees. (Photo by Lindsey Kolb)

A hospital administrator and community leader will be the new president and chief executive officer of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Va., starting in April. Judith (Reitz) Trumbo ’82 succeeds Ron Yoder ’68, who is retiring.

VMRC, neighboring Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) on the northeast, has a $20 million annual budget, 400 employees, and 750 residents in a wide range of homes and other accommodations.

Trumbo is perhaps best known for directing the transition in 2010 of Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH) Healthcare from Cantrell Avenue in downtown Harrisonburg to a new 660,000-square-foot facility at the eastern edge of the city.

After the hospital move, Trumbo served as RMH’s acting director of perioperative services (surgery and all the services surrounding it). For 20 years before the move, she was director of RMH Home Healthcare.

Trumbo went to work at RMH as a registered nurse after her graduation from EMU as a nursing major. She also holds a master of business administration degree from James Madison University.

Over the years, Trumbo has been active in leadership roles with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Healthy Community Council, RMH Foundation, Generations Crossing, and ElderAlliance. Currently she chairs the Faith & Life Commission of Virginia Mennonite Conference and serves as an associate trustee on the EMU board of trustees.

“Judith has the financial astuteness, strategic planning experience, knowledge of our industry, and strong communication skills to lead VMRC,” said Sheryl (King) Wyse ‘68, chair of the board of directors. “In addition, Judith is well respected throughout the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities for her professional and volunteer leadership contributions.”

Yoder is wrapping up 13 years as president of VMRC, where he strengthened the organization’s financial health and enhanced its culture of innovation and quality. Under his leadership, VMRC added Woodland Park, VMRC Community Health Center, First Choice Home Health Services, Transitional Care, and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services.

Yoder became president of VMRC in 1999 after being vice president for global ministries at Mennonite Board of Missions (now Mennonite Mission Network) in Elkhart, Ind. Before that he served the National Council of Churches USA as regional representative for Church World Service in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

As an EMU student, Yoder was a business administration major. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in public and international affairs. Yoder said hopes to stay engaged on a part-time basis as a consultant in the field of international development.

This article was published March 1, 2013.