Calder Woods announces new executive director

David Ummel embraces the faith-based mission and values of Buckner toward serving seniors

Buckner senior living community Calder Woods named David Ummel as its new executive director, effective Sept. 7.

Ummel is a 13-year veteran of Buckner Children and Family Services and ministry engagement. This position marks Ummel’s first job in the senior living industry. 

“David may be new to senior living, but he is an extremely experienced leader and a servant of God who embodies the faith-based mission and values of Buckner on a daily basis,” said Brian Robbins, vice president and COO of Buckner Retirement Services.

“We spoke with a lot of great senior living industry veterans, but at the end of the day, David offers many intangibles that I know are going to impress residents and employees of Calder Woods and solidify the culture of service excellence.”

Calder Woods’ previous executive director, Shane Gabis, stepped down in June 2021 to attend to family matters.

Prior to becoming the executive director at Calder Woods, Ummel worked as the Buckner church engagement officer overseeing Faith Fosters Texas, a state-wide initiative engaging the faith-based community with the child welfare system.

Ummel’s roles with Buckner Children and Family Services also included senior executive director for preservation programs, senior executive director of Northeast Texas, executive director of Longview/Tyler, and ministry engagement director for Houston and Dallas. 

Before coming to Buckner in 2008, Ummel served as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and held various church ministry leadership positions over a 15-year period.

“The idea of making a difference in the lives of others is the driving force in my life, whether working as a minister, with Buckner Children and Family Services, or now in the senior living industry,” Ummel said. 

“The faith-based mission of Buckner has always resonated with me, as it’s the lens through which all decisions and activities should be filtered. These are the beliefs and mind-set I will bring to Calder Woods to make sure we are not only the provider of choice for Beaumont, but the leader in Southeast Texas when it comes to ‘Inspiring Happiness’ for senior adults.”

Southeast Texas holds a special place in Ummel’s heart. “I spent a great deal of time in Beaumont following Hurricane Harvey, as I supported our Buckner Children and Family Services team in post-hurricane reconstruction. The strength of character that Southeast Texas residents have is inspiring, and I know that same passion and resilience runs through our community at Calder Woods.”

Ummel was born in Tyler, Texas and grew up in Bryan, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Baptist University, Master of Arts from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from B.H. Carroll. He is currently working on a certificate in nonprofit management from the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.

Learn how Buckner Retirement Services is inspiring happiness at their senior living communities.

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