For Highgate Senior Living CEO Marjorie Todd, stepping into a hospital as a candy striper at age 14 ushered her on to a position as activity assistant at a senior living home just a few years later. “I fell in love with working with seniors and found my calling,” she said. “I worked with people who had late- to mid-state cognitive impairment and dementia.”
Todd says working with seniors has been her life’s work, with the exception of running a recreation center when her children were young. Today, those children are adults. She and her husband, Richard have a son, Ethan, 28, and daughter Sabrina, 27.
Todd began her career with Highgate Senior Living in 2009 as vice president of operations. “What drew me to Highgate was the attraction of a small privately-held company. We’re a whole different community using a holistic approach to care.”
She had researched Flagstaff for several years before the decision was made to bring Highgate there. The property is scheduled to open this spring on McMillan Mesa. “I personally spent the last five to six years working on the development project and doing market studies,” she said. I talked to people in Flagstaff and have interacted with City Council members and business professionals. It appears they are so aligned with the holistic approach.”
Todd has been involved in the planning, development and implementation of the construction project. “Being the only female in a male atmosphere helped me to understand how our property is put together and it’s brought a lot of personal fulfillment to me.”
Todd lives on the outskirts of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascades; however, she is very familiar with Northern Arizona. Her daughter attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) and continues to live in Flagstaff.
“Flagstaff is such a great community,” said Todd, who enjoys getting to know people wherever she is, a personality trait that endears her to co-workers.
“Marjorie is a fantastic role model and her management style is very welcoming,” said Highgate Community Relations Coordinator Joshua Bryant. “She loves to hear people’s suggestions and likes when people approach her with any ideas that can best suit the community. I’ve worked with a lot of senior communities and have never had a CEO be so hands-on. She’s very engaging and knows who everyone is.”
Like Highgate at Prescott, the Flagstaff facility will offer assisted living, memory care and couples care. Amenities will include spa services, including massage, a hair salon and barbershop, a fitness room and cinema. Highgate is known for its restaurant quality meals and atmosphere. The Flagstaff property also will feature a bar with local craft beers.
Todd says Highgate incorporates a Positive Approach to Care (PAC), a gentle, unique and internationally renowned method of working with memory care residents. Highgate Senior Living facilities are also known for their integration in the community.
“The Greater Flagstaff Chamber is excited to welcome Highgate Senior Living and their services and holistic approach to senior care in our region,” said Chamber Vice President of Investor Relations Kat Ross. “Since Highgate Senior Living entered the market last year, they have been a very active partner with the Chamber and have been genuinely interested in becoming a contributing member of the community as a whole.”
Flagstaff is Highgate’s 10th community across the West. Besides Prescott, other properties are located in California, Montana and Washington. For more information, visit highgateseniorliving.com or call 928-707-6361. FBN
By V. Ronnie Tierney, FBN