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Terwilliger Plaza Celebrates Representative Self-Governance with Parkview Expansion

The continuing care retirement community has a fiercely independent streak that makes Members proud

Presented by Terwilliger Plaza September 2, 2021

The Terwilliger Plaza campus sits at the doorstep to Portland's arts and culture district, drawing many of Portland's most distinguished professionals as Members. 

Parkview at Terwilliger Plaza, the newest residential tower that is part of the sprawling continuing care retirement community in Southwest Portland, is integral to the revitalization of the area on SW 6th Avenue and enhancing the vibrancy of the neighborhood. Once completed, in addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the region due to its innovative Passive House design, the skybridge connecting Parkview to the Terwilliger Plaza campus will be a demarcation of downtown—a landmark welcoming people both north to the downtown core and south to Terwilliger Boulevard. 

This commitment to civic engagement also extends into the broader communities of Portland, with a shared belief that Terwilliger Plaza has a responsibility to their downtown neighbors. “There is a tremendous amount of pride within the Terwilliger community and its many connections within Portland, both through affiliations with other nonprofits and outreach with neighborhood organizations. The vast majority of our Members live here because of our proximity to downtown. There is a tremendous allegiance to the downtown community and how we can make that better,” Terwilliger CEO Bob Johnson said.

A fixture in the Portland landscape for nearly sixty years, the Members of Terwilliger Plaza define their own future as an independent community that is vision-oriented and looking forward to the long-term sustainability and viability of the place they call home. Often recognized as a neighborhood within a neighborhood, once the Parkview senior living expansion is completed in 2023, the vibrancy of this community will continue to expand.

Members of Terwilliger Plaza enjoy a structure of representative self-governance, offering each Member the chance to elect board members who will work for the entire community. 

Generations of families have called Terwilliger Plaza home, drawn to the people-centric commitment that empowers Members to maintain active and engaged lives. Within a supportive residential community, Members create a stimulating environment and embrace representative self-governance.

This board structure is a point of distinction and pride within Terwilliger Plaza. Other nonprofit continuing care retirement community models mandate that boards have one resident appointed to their governing board, although it is not a requirement to allow them to vote. At Terwilliger Plaza, Members elect the eleven Directors, six of whom live at Terwilliger Plaza. As a result, the majority of the board is comprised of Members who live at one of the campus’s several residential buildings—and all board members have the responsibility of voting.

For Members, while their only direct vote is to elect the Board of Directors, there are numerous ways in which to have their opinion heard. These possibilities range from informal interactions and standing committees to residential floor meetings and resident council, which is structured to be a conduit between the Members, the Board, and the Administration. The result is that resident involvement and opportunities for input are significantly higher than most other communities of this type.

Terwilliger Plaza recently broke ground on Parkview, its newest campus addition scheduled to be completed in 2023. 

Representative self-governance is embraced by the Board as a collective responsibility interconnecting the current needs of the community and the ongoing sustainability and future of Terwilliger Plaza to, as the community’s motto states, Live Forward. During the stages of its history, Terwilliger Plaza has always been living forward in the sense of growth, as exampled by its foray into health care and establishing assisted living. This means living for the community and what comes next, not just for today. 

Individuals interested in membership must be at least 62 years old upon occupancy. Visit parkview.terwilligerplaza.com or call 503-809-8667 for more information.