June 2019 LeadingAge Catalyst

LeadingAge Catalyst | June 27, 2019 | by Kevin Bradley

Learn more about LeadingAge's Catalyst for June 2019: Vassar Byrd, CEO of Rose Villa Senior Living Community in Portland, OR.

June 2019 LeadingAge Catalyst

Vassar Byrd, CEO, Rose Villa

Portland, OR

Vassar Byrd
Vassar Byrd

Excellence in Inclusion & Community

LeadingAge is pleased to recognize Vassar Byrd, CEO of Rose Villa Senior Living Community in Portland, OR, as a LeadingAge Catalyst.

Rose Villa’s 200 residents live in a life plan community set on 22 acres along the Willamette River. Rose Villa has been recognized for its innovative pocket neighborhood design and its recently opened, first of its kind, 12-home Zero Energy Neighborhood. Named CEO in 2007, Byrd has not only invested in transforming the look and feel of the community, but also the culture itself.

Inspired by a couple who chose Rose Villa because they were told they needed to live as “sisters or roommates” at a different community, Vassar decided they needed to be “really loud” about creating an environment where every resident and staff member feels welcomed, empowered, and valued. Her push to continue to move Rose Villa forward does not stop at its geographic boundaries. Earlier this year she authored an article, “Senior living must be truly inclusive to reflect its mission,” for McKnight’s, where she advocated for a person-centered approach that values kindness, respect, and inclusion in our field.

In this podcast, you will hear how Vassar found her way into aging services, why creating a space where multiple perspectives are heard makes the community and organization stronger, and ways in which LeadingAge members can become more inclusive.

Do you want to preserve the stories of LGBTQ persons before they are lost to history? Participate in Stonewall OutLoud and make plans to interview a LGBTQ resident, client or staff member of your community. Click here for more information and to download the StoryCorp App, a toolkit and handouts.

Kevin Bradley is associate director, online learning for LeadingAge.