A Wisconsin, Faith-Based Senior Living Community
Cedar Community is a faith-based, not-for-profit Wisconsin senior living community where our residents enjoy, explore, and embrace their best lives. Our natural settings, faith-based mission, and high-quality services afford seniors the opportunity to live a more purposeful, fulfilled life among family and friends. We have senior living facilities for those 55+ in West Bend and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Our ministry program offers opportunities to worship in large and small gatherings, work with others in fellowship and prayer, explore spirituality and diversity, and enjoy the blessings of all faith traditions. Cedar Community works in partnership with all faiths and area congregations for our residents. Together, our team members, residents, and volunteers live out the mission of Cedar Community each and every day.
Our Mission Statement
To model Jesus’ love by creating life-enhancing relationships, services, and environments.
Our Vision Statement
To be a community where individuals live with purpose and dignity.
Our Values: LIVE
L – Love
As we strive to fulfill our mission, “To model Christ’s love for humanity … ,” we do so by “loving our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:39). The Golden Rule, to “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12), guides what we say and do.
I – Integrity
We serve with personal and professional integrity. Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.” We hold each other accountable to high ethical and moral standards. We are honest, open, and respectful.
V – Vitality
Cedar Community is a place to “live more.” Our natural setting reminds us of the beauty and diversity of creation. We want our residents and their families to enjoy, explore, and embrace their best life. The Gospel tells us Jesus came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Our relationships, services, and environments allow for abundant and purposeful living.
E – Excellence
Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world.” We strive for excellence in all things. We look for creative solutions to the complexity of needs experienced by our community. We want to do our best, and then some, for those we serve.
Cedar Community Milestones & History
The history of Cedar Community began in the early 1950s. Over the years, the diligence and dedication of many people has made us among the preferred faith-based senior living communities in Wisconsin.
In 1953, aging bachelor farmer William Koehl donated his property overlooking West Bend’s Big Cedar Lake to the United Church of Christ (UCC) to serve the elderly. In 1956, Cedar Community opened its first nursing home there. Under the guidance of Executive Director Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Lake Home grew over the next 35 years to provide as many as 415 skilled-care nursing home beds.
In 1976, Rev. Riesch – acknowledged nationally as a pioneer in aging services, created one of the nation’s first nursing facilities dedicated solely to the unique needs of those suffering memory loss. Ten years later, Cedar Valley Retreat Center was opened on 100 acres in nearby Kohlsville, as well as Cedar Ridge, a 312-unit apartment complex for active and independent seniors. Rev. Riesch also oversaw the development of four independent Village Homes for active retirees over the course of his career, as well as one of the nation’s first not-for-profit rehabilitation agencies. He retired in 1991 and passed away in 2007, but his legacy lives on.
Rev. Riesch was succeeded by Steve Jaberg as Cedar Community’s CEO. During Steve’s 32-year tenure, Cedar Community expanded assisted living and rehabilitation services to the community, becoming the region’s preferred provider for short-term rehab. In 2003, the organization’s home-based divisions were launched. In 2007, Steve oversaw expansion into Sheboygan County with Cedar Landing in Elkhart Lake, featuring both independent homes and assisted living apartments. In 2014, the Cottages at Cedar Run, a state-of-the-care assisted living home for those with memory loss, captured national attention for the innovative environment and programs Steve had envisioned and made manifest.
Steve retired in January 2016, and was succeeded by Lynn Olson, former President/CEO of Hannibal Regional Hospital in Hannibal, Missouri. Lynn had nearly 30 years of combined leadership experience in acute care and elder care settings. During his tenure, Lynn led the transformation and renovation of several key Cedar Community facilities, including Cedar Bay West assisted living, and Cedar Ridge Apartments. He led the rebuilding of the Learning Center, now known as the Cedar Lodge, after a fire damaged the building. He also oversaw the expansion of the new Cedar Ridge Homes duplex project on the Cedar Ridge Campus beginning in 2019.
Lynn retired in May of 2021, and was succeeded by Nicole Pretre, formerly the Cedar Community Vice President of Development. Nicole is in her 10th year of serving Cedar Community, and she has served on the executive leadership team since 2015. Nicole led the rebranding of Cedar Community in 2017, served as the executive editor of the award-winning Live More quarterly magazine, and was named the 2020 Chief Marketing Officer of the Year by the Milwaukee Business Journal. She brings nearly 20 years of healthcare and senior living experience to the role as CEO. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Science degree in Gerontology and Management of Aging Services from the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She is a Credentialed Professional Gerontologist (CPG), through the National Association of Professional Gerontologists.
Today, Cedar Community is four campuses, with more than 900 residents, nearly 400 employees and 500+ volunteers. In addition, many community members in Washington and Sheboygan counties and beyond benefit from Cedar Community’s services. We are one of the premier retirement communities for people 55+ in the United States.