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Holland Michigan Transplant

Meet new Rotary Club of Ridgewood AM member Ken Hekman and his wife Marybeth. Ken is a native Californian who had lived in the Midwest for two-thirds of his life. He has traveled and served the world and followed his heart here to Ridgewood. Along the way he built a career as a healthcare leader from being a health planner to a nursing home administrator and medical group executive. For the last three decades he was an independent management consultant helping doctors and medical organizations make good business decisions, serving over 600 organizations across the country and around the world from our home in Michigan.

His entry into the world of global influence began with a story of tragedy. His wife, Marybeth, and he have been married for 46 years and became parents to three kids.

Their firstborn, Carla, died in a car accident caused by black ice at the age of 17. In the first year of our grief journey in 1998, he got an invitation to help the development of a multi-specialty medical practice in Romania. He traveled there about two dozen times over the course of 17 years, and his clinic became a model of clinical excellence and business integrity in a culture hungry for such models. That project provided a venue for his broken heart to mend and opened the door for invitations from other organizations around the world. Looking back, he served over 30 countries on five continents with consultations, training and leadership coaching, blending my domestic business with my international philanthropy.

Ken retired (mostly) five years ago. Last year he and Marybeth moved to Ridgewood to be near their daughter and her family in Ramsey. His son and his wife live in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is studying epidemiology as they both work at the University.

At this wonderful stage of life, he is able to direct his curiosity to the people and topics that interest him most.He and Marybeth have adopted a simple lifestyle that allows us to devote time daily to learn about history, leadership, and how different cultures develop over time. He also likes to read and write both poetry and prose as a means of self-discovery and expression. Marybeth is a watercolor artist, and together they enjoy daily walks, traveling, and being grandparents to two boys ages 5 and 3. We’re also avid travelers, as a matter of fact, he and Marybeth traveled to Sedona Arizona and took their first hot air balloon ride high above the desert.

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