Ivan Van Essen
ST. JOHN, Ind. (February 2015) — Construction crews have started work on Park Place of St. John, the first Providence Life Services community in Indiana, and the first employee for the campus has been hired: Ivan Van Essen has been named Community Relations Director, and his goal is to share information about the complex that will eventually stand on the land.
In his new role, Van Essen will be building relationships in St. John and surrounding Northwest Indiana communities, providing information about and generating interest in the new senior living complex.
“I like to be of some benefit to other people, to help people,” Van Essen said. “I’m excited to be helping others realize there’s a place for them, a place to make their lives more enjoyable. I certainly think it will meet a big need in St. John.”
Van Essen and his wife, Barbara, currently live in St. John, and they have three children and 11 grandchildren who also reside in the St. John area.
He comes to Providence Life Services from Crown Point Christian School, where he served 10 years as the development director. His main function was to secure funds for the new and growing school, which is located at The Gates of St. John — right next to the site of Park Place of St. John.
He also served as teacher and principal of DeMotte (Ind.) Christian School for more than three decades and was the superintendent and development director at Central Wisconsin Christian School in Waupun, Wis., for seven years before coming to back to Indiana.
“One of Ivan’s strengths is his ability to build relationships — this was key in the success of Crown Point Christian Schools,” said Ray Hemphill, Providence’s Executive Vice President of Project Development. “We are excited to have him join our team in this new and exciting venture.”