EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARKET STREET EAST LAKE
Kristen began her career in senior living in 2005 when she took on a role as a caregiver in an all memory care senior living on a whim. The role ignited her passion for serving seniors and inspired her to serve as a business office coordinator where she was mentored into the role of executive director and ultimately took on her first community in 2006 where she remained for seven years. Since that first community experience Kristen has served as an executive director as well as branching out into regional operations roles, a formal mentoring position and training facilitator all while maintaining and supporting highly engaged seniors and team members for fully occupied communities and has been very grateful for the support and experiential learning along the way. Kristen’s role took on a different meaning in 2011 when her father developed early onset dementia at age 65 and she became his primary caregiver and the decision was ultimately made to place him in a community. Being both an executive director as well as an adult child coping with a parent’s diagnosis has given her a unique perspective on serving family members coping with their own parent’s challenges. Although her father passed in 2012, Kristen is grateful for every moment she was afforded as both his daughter and his advocate as it has allowed her to serve seniors and families thoughtfully and with authenticity. Kristen was able to continue serving her own family when she cared for her grandfather in the last few years of his life in her all memory care community in Michigan. She feels strongly that this experience also helped to strengthen her bond with family members and has only added value to her ability to see both sides of the coin. Time and time again Kristen has returned to serving all memory care communities with a fiercely protective attitude and an open mind as to what every senior is capable of achieving every day, she has no patience for a “good enough” approach to senior living. Market Street marks the third community focused solely on memory care that she is honored to lead and it is where her heart resides. Kristen’s passion is for developing and coaching outstanding teams and delivering quantifiable results. She finds joy every day serving as a mentor and coach and counts thoughtful leadership, humor and empathy as the keys to maintaining the culture necessary to take senior living to the next level. Kristen is passionate about supporting those who work on the front line, “Watercrest is a natural fit for who I strive to be every day. The mission ‘To Welcome, To Care, To Serve’ is brilliant in its simplicity but is unfortunately rare in the world outside of the organization. I have served in the industry as an employee but I was looking for a family, I am so very grateful to have found one here!” Kristen’s style of leadership is to create an open environment of joy, positivity and collaboration where everyone involved has a voice and value. Kristen says “I have never found leading from a place of fear to be effective, in my experience those of us who have chosen to serve seniors, especially seniors with cognitive challenges are valuable to the world at large and we need to support and lift them up giving every opportunity for them to develop the special gifts that are within them unleashing them in a wave of love and kindness. The world needs it!”
Kristen and her husband Devin, who was her high school sweetheart, are originally from Michigan but relocated to the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida almost three years ago to serve a busy assisted living and memory care community and they love living in paradise. They adore their adopted pets, dog Pickles, cat Oliver and a turtle named George. Kristen loves to spend time listening to music, reading, crafting and can be found on the beach (talking to seniors) during her off time.