Parkwood Retirement Village general manager Mark Rouse is retiring after an impressive 27 years at the helm.
The 61-year-old finishes on September 3 and is busy handing over the reins to Stephen Lyons who is taking over the role.
He can look back at his time at the Waikanae based retirement village with a sense of satisfaction.
Mark was involved in accountancy roles in other companies before applying for the retirement village's general manager role.
The role appealed because of the people orientated focus as well as the various challenges.
And there were quite a few early challenges especially "as the place wasn't in good shape".
"It was a bit of a shambles to be honest."
With the books in the red, and not many properties being sold, the immediate focus was on "what needed to be done".
But with some experience behind him, including knowing how to get a business on a solid financial footing, improvements were implemented.
Installing a computer system and bringing services, such as accountancy, in-house, created "a real sense of ownership" too.
"It has been great to see it through to where it is now."
Mark said the role had meant continual challenges, not just various regulations.
"It's largely about problem solving. If people have a problem then you want to fix it and make them feel good about it.
"That is the culture of the place. And no problem is too small."
Some of the highlights had been celebrating various occasions like the 25th and 50th anniversaries, building and opening the Lloyd Parker Plateau Centre, improvements to The Lodge rest home area, and finishing the village's housing development.
Moreover, it had been about the "community being one".
"When I started there was Parklands and Woodlands, and they were quite separate, but gradually over time those barriers were broken down to a point where everyone feels comfortable."
Most of all he's enjoyed working with staff and residents, enjoying a bit of banter, and helping people with their lives.
"It has been great."
Mark, who estimates he's been to 281 board meetings over the years, had been mulling over retirement especially with more changes on the horizon and after the Covid-19 lockdown last year which saw him work 67 days straight.
Spending seven days a week, instead of just two in the weekends, doing what he wanted to do became more appealing.
He is looking forward to spending more time with wife Lynette, seeing their two children, Sam, who is a winemaker in the Wairarapa, and Anna, who is an accountant in Auckland, and exploring parts of New Zealand until the overseas bubble opens.
There's various tasks around the house lined up as well as two golden retrievers to exercise.