WDVA Announces New Commandant
at Veterans Home at King
Richard Mapes brings decades of military, executive experience
to top-rated Veterans home
MADISON — Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary Daniel J. Zimmerman announced today that after an extensive search, the department selected a candidate with decades of experience to lead the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King as its new Commandant.
Richard Mapes will oversee operations at the WDVA’s Veterans Home at King. Mapes boasts more than two decades of experience as an executive for multiple senior living facilities and retirement communities and more than 30 years of service as a member of the United States Navy Reserve.
“Rich’s leadership experiences in military and civilian roles are critical for a campus like King,” Secretary Zimmerman said. “With King being the largest of our three Veterans homes, his business acumen and past accomplishments managing and advancing sizable senior living communities make him the perfect person to lead the King community.”
Commander Mapes enlisted in the Navy in 1970 before he graduated high school. He served in multiple capacities until his retirement in 2007, and was the Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Camp Lejeune Hospital Unit, where he provided personnel and administrative support and directed training to staff. In addition, he was the Commanding Officer of the 4th Marine Battalion in support of the 24th Division Medical Reserve Unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. There, he supported and oversaw field training and combat exercises.
Most recently, Mapes served as the Executive Director of the WesleyLife Retirement Communities in Johnston, Iowa. Prior to that, he was the chief operating officer at Three Pillars Senior Living Communities in Dousman, Wisconsin.
Mapes will start as the Commandant at the King facility effective March 19.
“I’m beyond thrilled to start as the Commandant at the Veterans Home at King,” Mapes said. “With more than three decades of military experience and a background in overseeing healthcare facilities, I realize the importance of our hundreds of staff members and the exceptional lengths they go to provide more than 650 Veterans at our King home with around-the-clock care.”
Mapes was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the son of a decorated Marine Corps pilot who served in both World War II and the Korean War. He received an undergraduate degree in business administration from Oakland University and an MBA from Lake Superior State University.
Throughout Mapes’ professional career, he’s used his business and healthcare expertise to lead various healthcare facilities in states like Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and most recently Iowa.
“Wisconsin’s nursing homes are among the best rated in the nation,” Secretary Zimmerman said. “I have no doubt that Rich’s forward thinking and experience will help us continue our climb up that list and provide our nation’s heroes with the exceptional care and compassion they deserve.”
Mapes joins Mark Wilson, Commandant at the Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls, and Randy Nitschke, Commandant at the Veterans Home at Union Grove, as the heads of the WDVA’s three Veterans homes.