Wide image of Rod Craft's Headshot

A Passion for Caring and Connecting Drives Rod Craft, Executive Director at Heritage Pointe of Fort Wayne

Blog, News | June 24, 2024 | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes

Rod Craft has long ties to the Fort Wayne community, and those are getting stronger as he takes over the reins as executive director of Heritage Pointe of Fort Wayne.

Craft grew up in Fort Wayne and was considering a career in hospital administration before deciding that skilled nursing was the path he wanted to take. He’s continued on that path for 30 years.

Craft’s brother-in-law’s father-in-law was among the first licensed nursing home administrator in Indiana, which is how Craft became aware of nursing home administration as a possible career path.

“My brother-in-law mentioned nursing home administration to my wife, and she wasn’t interested in it, but I was,” Craft recalls. “That’s how it entered my mind. It hadn’t been on my radar before that.”

Craft, who received a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, went on to receive a license as a skilled nursing administrator. Before coming to Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne senior living community, which offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, short-term rehab and memory care, he most recently worked for a community in Bluffton, Indiana.

Craft, who had family members who previously resided at Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne, said the community’s stellar reputation was one reason he decided to take the job there.

“I wanted to be associated with a community that is forward-thinking and committed to caring for residents,” he says.

He’s been spending time on the job for just about a month getting to know the community better.

“I want to get to know people by name –residents, staff, and family members,” he says.

Craft characterizes his leadership style as “approachable.” He likes to be a visible presence at Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne and is happy to talk with residents or share a meal with them.

“If you don’t have that approachability, then you become an administrator who just sits in his office,” he says.

Being an administrator calls on various skills that Craft has honed over decades in the industry and is putting to good use at Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne.

“As an administrator, you have to be good at a lot of facets of business—operations, regulation and compliance and social services,” he says. “You have to be knowledgeable and share that knowledge with people.”

Looking to the future, Craft wants to ensure that Heritage Pointe continues to be a viable and dynamic community.

“We want to create experiences for our residents because this is their home,” he says. “We also want to be efficient so that Heritage Pointe is here long after I am gone.”

The community’s newest exciting event is Friday Night at the Bistro.

Craft wants to see residents, in whatever level of care they are in, staying as active as possible and enjoying life.

“We want them to thrive and have an active lifestyle and be part of the community,” he says. “It’s good for them and their families.”

Leading a senior community isn’t like making widgets or any other business. It’s about serving people who have real emotions, opinions and feelings and that’s what Craft likes about it. He’s glad that a conversation many years ago led him to pursue a career in caring for others.

If not for that, “I would have missed being engaged and interacting with residents and their families. I am glad I took this route,” he says.

Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne

Heritage Pointe of Ft. Wayne is conveniently located just off Interstate 469. The senior living community is on a beautiful campus featuring scenic trails, a community garden, four lakes, a community clubhouse, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and more. Heritage Pointe of Fort Wayne offers vibrant independent living in freestanding villas and apartments. Assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, and long-term skilled care are provided on the same campus, thus offering a complete continuum of care, also known as Life Plan. Heritage Pointe of Fort Wayne is owned and operated by The United Methodist Memorial Home, an Indiana non-profit founded in 1907. To learn more about Heritage Pointe of Fort Wayne, visit www.HeritagePointeOfFortWayne.org.