Pocket Neighborhood Innovator Rose Villa to Transition CEOs

Rose Villa CEO Vassar Byrd has announced her intention to leave the Pacific Northwest-based life plan community.

Byrd, who joined the community 17 years ago, is departing for “new growth and development opportunities” outside of Rose Villa, according to a press release on her coming departure.

“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together at Rose Villa,” Byrd said in a press release. “Vision and innovation are vital in the senior living field — and about the most rewarding focus a person can have. My goal is to continue making a difference and improving the lives of everyone connected with senior living.”

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Rose Villa consists of 262 independent living homes on a 22-acre campus.

A representative for the community told Senior Housing News she is looking for another opportunity in the senior living sector and plans to stay in her post as Rose Villa’s CEO until the organization finds a new leader. Byrd has not yet announced her final date with the organization.

Rose Villa’s green, pocket neighborhood and small-home designs have inspired other similar projects in the industry as the trends have taken hold in recent years. 

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Byrd first joined Rose Villa in 2006. Over the years, she has spearheaded several forward-thinking efforts, including an award-winning comprehensive campus redevelopment that includes two zero-energy neighborhoods and a greywater reclamation system.

Courtesy Rose Villa

The community’s 10-year campus redevelopment also added a new creative arts building, a wellness center and gym, yoga fitness studio, saline pool and lazy river and two dining venues. And the community opened a preschool on campus in the spring.

Byrd appeared on the Senior Housing News Transform podcast last year, where she advised other senior living operators interested in energy-efficient projects to “start small.”

“You have more providers who are designing to Passive House standards and they’re using energy-efficiency standards that make sense for their development — and there’s a market to draw seniors like that,” she said.

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