Just when the shoes seem too big to fill, Regional Hospice and Home Care gains a new chairman to lead the agency through its inaugural year providing in-patient care as Connecticut’s first nonprofit, family centered specialty hospital and bereavement center.
John Royce, a member of the Regional Hospice and Home Care Board of Directors for the past three years, took the helm as its new chairman of the board this month.
A recent relocation to Texas ended Alain Schwarz’ term as chairman, and Mr. Royce took up the torch. “We are very blessed at Regional Hospice and Home Care,” said President & CEO Cynthia E. Roy. “John and Alain have worked closely together on the board the past few years, and the transition between these extraordinary volunteers has been seamless.”
Schwarz left his imprint on Regional Hospice and Home Care as a board member since 2009 and steering the agency through the past two years as its chairman during their building campaign, construction and the opening of their new Center for Comfort Care & Healing this past February. Schwarz was also a tireless volunteer who personally helped patients and their families. “Alain was a family support volunteer for our patients,” said Roy. “He mowed their lawns, brought families meals and read to them, whatever patients needed. We will miss both Alain and Teresa Schwarz; they are dream volunteers, and they will be a gift to their new community in Texas.”
Regional Hospice’s new chairman, John Royce, grew up in Belle Harbor, Queens, and had lost both of his parents by the age of 18. Mentored by an uncle in the construction industry and an older brother in the shipping business, Royce invested his construction earnings into shipping. It was there he met Tom Montague during the 1970s. They formed a successful partnership that transitioned from international shipping to their first foray into the restaurant business with the purchase of Fox Hill Inn in Brookfield in 1985. Eventually putting the shipping industry behind them, they converted the restaurant into a catering facility and have since created a renowned niche with their elegant wedding venues. Royce and Montague bought The Candlewood Inn in 1999 and The Waterview in 2004; in 2008, Royce and Montague designed and built The Riverview in Simsbury.
Another even more significant partnership in Royce’s life is his wife, Linda. They met as children living across the street from each other in Belle Harbor. After many years and moves, they were reunited at a cousin’s wedding and will soon celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They have two children, Ashley, 27 and Justin, 34, who live and work in New York City.
When Royce talks about his career, his face lights up. It’s clear that whenever opportunities came along, Royce was game to work hard, make astute decisions and use his resources to make life better for others. “Business is what I enjoy; it can be fun or you can lose everything, but it’s not all there is to life. My family, helping people – using what you have to make a difference in someone’s life — that’s what is really important.”
And make a difference he does. Royce currently serves on Senator Richard D. Blumenthal’s advisory council, “Men Make a Difference – Men Against Domestic Violence” and donates his catering venues, food and services to support causes that hold special meaning in his life and the quality of life in our region.
John Royce generously hosts Regional Hospice and Home Care breakfasts at Candlewood Inn in Brookfield and The Waterview in Monroe. As a member of the advisory board of The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, he donates the Fox Hill Inn in Brookfield for their annual breakfast. At The Riverview in Simsbury, Royce raises awareness and support for Interval House’s programs serving victims of domestic violence throughout the Greater Hartford Area.