Christine Kudelka

Community Connections: Christine Kudelka

In this Community Connections series on the Trillium Woods blog, we’re diving deep into the stories and backgrounds of the neighbors and friends who make Trillium Woods feel like home. Please meet, Christine Kudelka.

Christine was recently nominated for LeadingAge Minnesota’s “Stars Among Us” Spirit of Aging Award, and we can’t think of anyone more deserving of that recognition. Christine moved to Trillium Woods in 2018 and has since become a lively source of leadership, kindness and compassion in the community, and we’re proud that she serves as the Trillium Woods Resident Council president.

“Christine is an exceptional example of a senior who has accepted advancing years with gusto,” said George Bonniwell, another resident at Trillium Woods.

Christine embodies active and vibrant aging, both mentally and physically, through her volunteer work, professional mentoring, physical fitness and a passion for learning new things and connecting with others. She serves the community tirelessly, and helps make sure residents in memory and long-term care continue living active, meaningful lives, volunteering at The Birches Health Center whenever possible.

“Her friendly, positive attitude brightens the day for so many residents,” said Laurie Kruper, director of Community Life Services at Trillium Woods.

Christine’s favorite part about being Resident Council president is the opportunity to improve the quality of life of her neighbors and working collaboratively with others. She maintains an active role integrating new residents into the community and always reaches out and connects with those who might be less comfortable making new friends to welcome them.

“When Christine finishes her dinner in the main dining room, it takes her another 20 minutes to actually leave the room,” said Don and Mickie Deline, residents at Trillium Woods. “If there is a new resident in the room, she will know their name, when they moved in and she will stop to inquire as to how their transition is progressing.”

After a decades-long corporate career in sales and marketing, Christine made the switch to teaching full time at the College of Business and Technology at Concordia University. She retired from her full-time position in 2020 but continues to teach and mentor students in the MBA program. Christine was at the forefront of developing coursework and technology for online learning to support students and faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she continues to assist students on their educational and professional journeys.

Christine was also a strong advocate for the new Outdoor Recreational Area (ORA) at Trillium Woods – complete with a putting green, bocce ball court and a multi-purpose court for pickleball, tennis, badminton, basketball and shuffleboard. She knew that the ORA was a must-have for the community. She also believes that remaining active regardless of ability is critical to everyone’s mental, physical and spiritual health. For the recent Summer Games, Christine helped make sure residents at The Birches who require adaptive equipment could still participate. She worked with staff so that all residents were included in the fun event. And of course, everyone was filled with joy and smiles during the weeklong celebration and competition!

“[Christine’s] perspective is incredibly important as we navigate many unique challenges in our world, and community,” said Matt Phipps, executive director of Trillium Woods.

This past year has been disruptive and challenging at senior living communities across Minnesota and beyond, but Christine has demonstrated a zest for life through it all and has continued to creatively and actively engage with the entire community. She maintains a positive attitude and consistently lifts other people up as she cares for her home at Trillium Woods, and she fully embodies the spirit of aging, for herself and all those around her.

Say hi to Christine the next time you see her in the halls, and thank her for all she does!