Marcie Jones and Murt Bickett, the Founders and Co-Presidents of Gentog, LLC, worked together as Vice Presidents for a national credit reporting agency for more than 25 years. When they decided to start their own business, they sought a way to actively live their faith and to create something that would make a difference in the world in which we live.
Murt wanted a way to use her love of children productively. Marcie worked her way through college as a nurse's aide in nursing homes, and longed for a way to be of service to the elderly. The idea of an Intergenerational Center was born. Early in 2007 they decided it was time to actively pursue the idea.
Intergenerational daycare programs are a special concept, but not unheard of. In their research Marcie and Murt found and joined "Generations United" (GU), a national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational programs, strategies and public policies. They attended the GU bi-annual convention in 2007 to learn more about the possibilities of intergenerational programs, and to develop relationships with others in the field.
In the spring of 2007 Marcie also attended a workshop at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The two day workshop was devoted to teaching interested professionals how to create an Intergenerational Daycare.
By the fall of 2007, the perfect site was located in Tigard, Oregon. Remodeling of the retail building began in December 2007, and the center opened for business in April 2008. Joining Marcie and Murt were two experts in Childcare and two in Senior Care. On opening day they had one little girl and one grandma to christen the program. The rest, as they say, is history. Today Gentog has more than 125 families utilizing their services, with 25-30 children and 25-30 seniors in attendance each day.
Marcie is a native Oregonian who was transplanted to Washington State as a teenager, where she met her husband while attending CWU. Marcie and Jim (who volunteers daily at Gentog) have two grown children and five grandsons. They live in Dundee. Gentog has proven to be a blessing to Marcie's family, as her grandmother attended the program for 3 years, her father attended daily, and three of her grandsons have been raised here (one currently enjoys the Penguins class). The Jones family belongs to St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Tigard.
Murt hails from South Dakota originally. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart Gary, and she has two adult children. She is now also proudly holds the title "Grandma" to two sweet girls. Murt retired in 2017, and spends her days caring for her own grandchildren and volunteering for Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lake Oswego.
Murt Bickett (left) and Marcie Jones (right)