This year’s Alumnus of the Year Award recognizes Rich Schutt ’76, CEO of Providence Life Services.
Also being recognized are this year’s honorary alumni award recipients. Congratulations to:
Howard and Verna DeHaan, friends of the College
Marsha Wolterink, office manager for Trinity’s Physical Plant
Dr. Derke Bergsma, former professor of theology and one of Trinity’s first faculty members
Rich Schutt ’76
Rich Schutt remembers discussions around the family dinner table about philosophy and theology that were prompted by his sister Bonnie Heirendt ’72, a then student of Trinity. Although Schutt hadn’t planned to go to college, his mother encouraged him to attend.
During his first two years of college, Schutt worked as a custodian at Rest Haven, eventually working his way up to CEO of Providence Life Services, which provides retirement living, at-home help, rehab, skilled nursing care, hospice, and elder care. Schutt said the word “providence” is a good fit for how his career has played out.
Preparation for his career began in high school and college when he worked at Rest Haven and continued in his study of business at Trinity. While finishing his education, Schutt was approached by then CEO Rich Mulder and offered the opportunity to administer the new Rest Haven South in South Holland, Illinois. Since then, Schutt has helped grow the company, eventually branching out to add ProviNet Solutions, a full-service IT company.
“Trinity prepared me well for the business experience that I’ve had,” said Schutt. “It also helped frame how that business experience related to God’s calling for my life.”
As an alumnus, Schutt doesn’t believe a person’s connection with Trinity should end at graduation. “Alumni can help make sure that educational opportunity exists for future generations,” he said. “And alumni can help find opportunities for graduates.”
Schutt has also served as a member of Trinity’s Board of Trustees. “To have the privilege of the board experience reinforced everything I thought about Trinity as a student, but it was great to see the current leadership and how they’re committed to living out the College’s values,” he said. “At Trinity, we don’t require you to share our worldview, but when you leave you will clearly understand what it is. It’s more than an intellectual endeavor, it’s an endeavor of the soul.”
Schutt holds a master’s degree in health administration from Governors State University and has more than 30 years of leadership experience in serving seniors. He has served as chair of the board of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and has chaired the Life Services Network Association and the Health Resources Alliance boards. He has spoken extensively on issues affecting aging services. He currently serves as a member of the owner/operator advisory board of the National Investment Center. He also serves on his local church and school boards.
Schutt and his wife Linda ’98, vice president of education at Providence, have three daughters.