Meet Ken Hoagland
For Ken Hoagland, First Plymouth has been an important part of his life since 1981.
Many who know Ken find it hard to believe he was considered the introvert in his family while growing up. He is the third of three boys born shortly after his father returned from serving in WWII when his family lived near DU in Denver. His father’s job after the war took him to the Federal Center so the family moved to Lakewood in 1950, where Ken grew up.
Following his brothers through the Jeffco public schools and a local Lutheran church, Ken was happy to go off to college out of state to Doane College in Nebraska. There he got an introduction to the UCC which is a much more inclusive and progressive brand of religion than what he experienced growing up.
While working in Denver during the summer between his junior and senior year, he met Diane who also grew up in Denver and also went away for college. The two of them later realized this was the third time they had been introduced. After a senior year of college apart, they were married the following year and celebrated their 50th anniversary last fall.
After graduate school in planning at University of Massachusetts, where he worked on housing policy, he had jobs at the state of Maryland, in Annapolis, and the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC. Wanting to be closer to family with two small children, Ken & Diane moved back to Denver in the early 1980s. Ken took a job at Midland Federal Savings where he was hired by long-time FP member Marvin Buckels, who became his mentor. Shortly after moving back to Denver, Ken & Diane began attending First Plymouth where Diane’s parents, Don & Doris Forster were members. After 4 years at Midland when the organization was merging with one of its competitors, Ken decided to go out on his own and formed Community Capital Corp. which, since 1985, has been involved with the financing and development of over 6,000 units of senior and affordable housing.
Outdoor activity has always been important to Ken since his early days of Boy Scout outings and adventures. He & Diane regularly hike and ski in Colorado and travel to National Parks throughout the country. They have also traveled abroad over the past several years but their plans for 2020 have been interrupted by the COVID19 pandemic.
The seed sown in religion classes at Doane took many years to grow but has blossomed during his years at First Plymouth. His spiritual journey has informed his extensive participation on numerous nonprofit boards and a decision on a career that resulted in housing for people not served by the private market. At First Plymouth, he was chair of PPRC in the early 2000’s and was president of First Plymouth Foundation beginning in 2010 until he became vice moderator in 2018. In addition to First Plymouth being an outlet for his leadership skills, Ken says that the community provides him a place of connection, renewal and peace, for which is he very grateful.