Great Places is the path to life-long health, loving relationships, reasoned optimism, and a joyous heart, all inspired by increased knowledge, meaningful work and curative play. We’re here to enhance your life and the community where you live.

Great Places is all about YOU!  You’re a member of our board of directors.  You’ve told us that you’d like to know more about:

There’s more!

We research topics to provide YOU with objective advice and extensive resources.  Here are some examples: 

  • Many Americans have discovered that they’ve spent too much, exercised and saved too little, and now feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities.  That’s why we are here.  We'll show you how to make small changes that will deliver big rewards—about exercise, finances, legal matters, and more. 
  • We’ll provide resources to plan a solid future, while supporting your children, assisting your parents, volunteering in your community, and perhaps, even starting a new career or that business you’ve always dreamed about.
  • Much like the U.S. population, several of our founders and staff are Baby Boomers, although we range in age from 33 to 72.  
  • While you may find our viewpoint is primarily “Baby Boomer,” it’s tempered by the opinions of those both older and younger.  Our goal is to insure you live well, not just longer.  We’ll make you smile and cheer you on.  Tell us what you need.  We promise to deliver!

 


Meet Our Team

Kathleen Harmon, CPM. CSA, President and CEO

After more than 25 years in real estate management, marketing, and consulting, Kathy launched Great Places, Inc., a comprehensive on-line resource serving adult children with aging parents; caregivers; and seniors seeking housing, care, advice, and seniors’-oriented products and services.  Kathy is passionate about helping her own Baby Boom generation to cope with the inevitable life transitions of its predecessor, “The Greatest Generation,” for which Boomers have moral, ethical and financial responsibilities.  Kathy recognizes that independence is the key ingredient to a long and happy life; her mission is to provide knowledge and comfort to those who want to remain independent and will be able to do so with a bit of knowledge, an innovative product or just a little help.  Too often, inexperienced individuals, family members or care providers find themselves  thrust into what seems to be a crisis situation,  They are forced to make rapid, life-changing decisions, but with little knowledge.  They need someone to listen and provide reliable advice, options and resources.   Great Places has two customers:  the first is the one in need, most often an adult child with an aging parent.  They write or call at all hours, desperate, looking for answers.  The other customer is the housing, services or product provider.   We created Great Places as a place where the two customers can get connected.

Kathy has

  • co-authored five marketing textbooks;
  • written and delivered more than 2,000 seminars;
  • served as adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Business;
  • coached front-line employees and small business owners in sales and marketing
  • spearheaded a local senior industry networking group where she teaches such subjects as social networking, web-based marketing, generational marketing and “32 Roads to a Customer-Driven Organization.” 
She is devoted to her business and family.  Kathy believes the senior care industry is populated by people with the most beautiful spirits and is thrilled to have found her life’s work after age 50She is devoted to her business and family.  Kathy believes the senior care industry is populated by people with the most beautiful spirits and is thrilled to have found her life’s work after age 50

William Deters, Chairman, Board of Directors

William Deters is a business executive and entrepreneur. He is a director of public and private companies, an executive coach, and an “angel investor” who is active in the Nevada-based investment group, the Sierra Angels. Bill believes strongly in the vision of Great Places as a comprehensive resource for the children of aging parents. Bill is a founder of Apartment Search Inc., a national apartment marketing company, where he served as CEO until the company was sold to Times Mirror in 1996. From 1981 to 1986, Bill served as the founding CEO of North American Technologies, a firm that designs and manufactures industrial heat recovery systems. Bill has developed a number of condominium projects in Minnesota, as well as participating as a general partner in several apartment syndications. Bill was an ROTC Midshipman at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1960. He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy aboard a destroyer and in an aircraft squadron as a Supply Corps Officer. Following his service, he returned to University of Minnesota in 1963 to pursue his MBA.

Laurence (Laurry) C. Harmon, Vice President Research and Communications

Laurry brings a great deal to Great Places.  After graduating, with honors from Stanford Law School, and becoming licensed to practice law in three states, he began his legal career as a prosecutor in Portland, Oregon.  From there he continued his legal career establishing the "Prosecutor School" at the University of Texas at Houston and as the Administrator of both the state and supreme courts in Minnesota.  He joined his wife at Machina Management Associates, Inc. where he developed a lucrative practice in the areas of consulting and market feasibility.  His love of writing and research secured him positions as president of Maxfield Research and GVA Marquette, the leading real estate research firm in the Midwest.  The past seven years he has been a Principal of the McGough Companies as head of their marketing division.  With the launch of Great Places, Inc. the need arose for the "frequent and substantial" change of content.  Laurry has become the company "Word Angel" establishing himself as a trusted internet authority on a variety of subjects posting daily blogs and articles.  He is an active participant in a substantial number of social networking groups and has established extraordinary relationships with a number of experts he has found there.   
  
Jeremy McKenna, Director of IT

During his four years at University of Wisconsin at Madison Jeremy discovered his passion for marketing.  Initially he worked as a marketing consultant on short and long-term marketing programs for restaurant and entertainment projects but quickly developed his own internet technical  skills.  His reliance on "techs" to convert his creative ideas into deliverable internet venues was both costly and time consuming.  It forced him "behind the curtain" so that he could create, measure and change the internet material based on customer behavior and feedback.  He is uniquely qualified for this position.  He speaks the language of both the technology and marketing camps and often interprets when their is a communication breakdown.  As the youngest member of our team, he gives us the 30 something perspective, is patient, a gifted  teacher, a brilliant problem solver, tenacious and brings calm to every crisis.  Our website wouldn't exist without him.