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Portrait Project: Nathan Summers

Nathan Summers

“It is a pleasure working with such diversity as we have in the residents here at The Forest.”

Nathan Summers was recommended for a position at a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in 2000 by a resident couple who knew him from his work at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, and this began his career in the service of seniors. Anita Holt, CEO and President of The Forest at Duke, reached out to him in 2016 to see if he was interested in the open Director of General Services position. “Having worked with me previously, she thought I’d be a good fit here,” he says.

Living in Aberdeen, North Carolina at the time, Nathan made a visit to The Forest and was impressed by the graciousness of both residents and team members in the community. He took the job in April 2016, spending the first six months of his tenure commuting three hours a day—a habit which ultimately convinced him and his wife to relocate to Durham. Being in the heart of the Triangle comes with its perks, as Nathan has since discovered. “I had never been to a play or symphony before moving here,” he admits. “Having the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and all of the excellent museums, parks, and entertainment venues nearby is such a joy.”

Above and beyond that, Nathan recognizes and appreciates the beauty of The Forest’s diverse population: “So many different backgrounds, education, interests, and culture. The residents here are also gracious and giving of their knowledge and experience.”

Apart from his role on campus, Nathan has a few surprises up his sleeves. A Marvel fan long before it became mainstream, he holds a collection of approximately 3,000 comic books, dating back to the late 1970s and early ‘80s. He also owns a Harley Davidson Super Glide motorcycle and enjoys riding in events to raise awareness and money for significant causes; notably, he organized eight annual “Memory Rides” in support of the Alzheimer’s Association, an action that greatly benefited a multitude of people.

Forest team member since 2016