How many times have you asked yourself: “What is my purpose in life?” or “What is my place in life?” These are two questions that leadership expert and entrepreneur, Rick D. Senft had already answered in the very early years of his career in human services.
Born and raised in the “City of Bridges”, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rick originally lived in Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood and graduated from Oliver High School. Growing up in a family with mom, dad, and eight brothers and sisters while attending a Pittsburgh public school, Rick gained a well-rounded perspective, as well as a compassionate approach to life. This compassion grew into a lifelong passion for dedicated service to individuals living with disabilities.
36 years ago, right out of high school, Rick married his wife, Lori. Rick and Lori met at church, and still faithfully attend and volunteer together at New Community Church in Wexford, PA. Married, and a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Rick held multiple jobs to support Lori and himself. In 1987, he graduated from Pitt receiving Bachelors of Science degrees in Administration of Justice, as well as Public Government Administration. In 2000, already serving as CEO of Passavant Memorial Homes for 11 years, he earned his MBA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.
Beginning in 1982, and for the next five years, while working for Allegheny Valley School, Rick and Lori lived with and cared for individuals with intellectual disabilities in group home settings. As a young direct support professional, Rick D. Senft found his life’s passion. Genuinely loving the opportunity to personally care for and serve individuals with intellectual disabilities, it was then that he somehow knew that he would never stop serving them. Rick moved on to work in various administrative positions with Allegheny Valley School, and next with the Verland Foundation. It was also during this period that the Senft’s started their family. Over the next decade, their three children Ryan, Zachary and Ashley were born.
In 1989, Rick accepted the position of CEO and President of Passavant Memorial Homes where he has now served in that capacity for over 25 years. Under his direction and skilled leadership, Passavant Memorial Homes has grown from a small single-focus provider of support for individuals with intellectual disabilities with annual revenue of about $1 million, to a still growing, multi-service organization with combined annual revenues of over $110 million. In addition to now providing direct support for more than 800 individuals, Passavant’s continuous growth has resulted from the development of related corporations. Accessible Dental Services, Inc., Life Enrichment Trust, Inc., InvivaSpan Health, Inc., PDC Pharmacy, Inc., and the Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation, are together now known as the Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services. With roots planted firmly and deeply in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and throughout the entire Western Pennsylvania region, and with quality care as their cornerstone, each of these companies was originally started in an effort to provide superior quality services for the individuals directly supported by Passavant. Now, with all of these specialized services also offered to individual families and fellow provider organizations, this wide variety of support options is available to, and being used by, thousands of people with many different types of disabilities throughout all of Pennsylvania and the entire United States.
During his career, Rick has been honored to receive the Saint Anthony School Opening Doors Award in 2006, and in 2012 he was the recipient of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Diamond Award. From 1995 – 1998, he served the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disabilities as a board member. His “hands on” knowledge of how to care for individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs gives him a sincere respect for the importance of all direct support professionals and is truly what separates Rick D. Senft from many other CEOs in the field of human services today.
Not only is Rick passionate about serving others in need, but he is also passionate about contributing to his local charities of choice. In his spare time, Rick enjoys spending time with his children and five grandchildren, volunteering at church, and, of course, rooting for the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, Pittsburgh’s hometown sports teams. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in management and excitingly looks forward to continuing to grow the Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services.
In 1989, Rick accepted the position of CEO and President of Passavant Memorial Homes where he has now served in that capacity for over 25 years. Under his direction and skilled leadership, Passavant Memorial Homes has grown from a small single-focus provider of support for individuals with intellectual disabilities with annual revenue of about $1 million, to a still growing, multi-service organization with combined annual revenues of over $110 million.
The Pittsburgh Business Times’ Diamond Awards honor Western Pennsylvania’s top executives at both for-profit and non-profit enterprises for outstanding leadership. 15 winners are selected each year, with five in each of three categories: non-profit, small/medium for-profit and large for-profit. Rick D. Senft was honored in the non-profit category. Nominees must be CEOs or hold equivalent positions (i.e. president, chairman, etc.) at companies or non-profit enterprises based in the 10-county Pittsburgh region, which include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland Counties.
Rick D. Senft has also received the Saint Anthony School Opening Doors Award for extraordinary community service. Rick was honored at the ninth annual St. Anthony School Programs Community Award Dinner at the Westin Convention Center, along with other award winners Andrea Chan and Hoddy Hanna.
New Community Church (NCC) exists to make disciples who live and love like Jesus, who know Him, who grow up in Him, and who go out for Him. Today, NCC has two services each Sunday. Almost 800 people gather at those services. It is not uncommon for around 500 to stay after the service to connect over coffee at the Community Cafe. Children are growing spiritually begging their parents not to let them miss a Sunday in the Kids’ Kingdom Ministry. Teens are finding direction in the turbulent years of middle and high school in Student Ministries.
Urban Impact’s mission is to do their part in fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission on the North Side of Pittsburgh. By following His model of holistic ministry by investing in the lives of at-risk children, youth, and their families in order to develop mature, responsible followers of Christ. Urban Impact desires to see lives holistically transformed in our community one person, one family, and one block at a time who, in turn, make a powerful impact locally and globally for Jesus Christ. Urban Impact began as an outreach ministry of the Allegheny Center Alliance Church nearly two decades ago. Wanting to fully restore the lives of the people in the community, the church sought to have a bigger impact on its people. In 1995 Pastor Ed Glover formed Urban Impact as a separate entity in order to focus on practical aspects of community development while providing a spiritual base for the people of the North Side. In nearly two decades Urban Impact has improved the lives of thousands of children and youth from the North Side and over 50,000 young people nationally through Urban Impact’s various ministries and programs.
Passavant Memorial Homes (PMH) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3), human services provider organization whose mission is to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs to live successfully in the community. Through a continuum of care, the highest quality supports are always provided, while promoting choice and independence to over 800 children, adults, and seniors.
Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation was created in 2001 to support Passavant Memorial Homes and its commitment to enriching the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs. The Foundation ensures the financial stability of Passavant’s quality programs, which care for spiritual, social, physical, and emotional needs while promoting choice and independence.
Life Enrichment Trust, Inc., as a court approved corporate fiduciary, allows people to safeguard assets and plan for the financial future of their loved ones with disabilities, without the risk of endangering funding for the needs of the individual.
Accessible Dental Services (ADS) is a unique, non-profit organization that provides quality dental care for individuals with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health needs. They use a combination of facilities-based services, along with a mobile unit, to create a superior dental experience for their patients.
InvivaSpan Health’s goal is to provide premier quality health care, including primary care, psychiatry and podiatry by dedicated practitioners who are focused on the unique needs of individuals with disabilities.