This milestone creates the perfect opportunity for reflection – to see how far our long-tenured team, residents and their loved ones have come – and how we can continue to help everyone who enters a Charter Senior Living community live a full, connected life.
It also reminds us to embrace everything that makes Charter stand out from other senior living communities, like personalized care plans and a family-like environment where individuals feel the difference immediately.
And who better to share Charter’s history, achievements, progress and hopes for continued success in the future than Founder, President and CEO Keven J. Bennema? Read on to learn more about what enhancing the human spirit means to him and others connected to Charter today, and in the future.
Celebrating Charter’s vibrant communities with Keven J. Bennema
Charter Senior Living is all about enhancing the human spirit. Where did you originally come up with this “slogan,” and how do you live this every day?
Enhancing the human spirit came to fruition during our senior team meeting in 2018. Our amazing team of leaders collaborated to create Charter’s new mission statement and core values guided by our Executive Life Coach, Glen Wagner. We live out the mission every day by serving Charter community residents, associates and families with a “welcome home” approach that focuses on heart, care, courage, trust and fun.
Over the last seven years, Charter Senior Living has changed countless lives of seniors and team members. Do you have a specific example that stands out in your mind of the importance of this career path and how to get more people onboard?
While we have been charting our voyage over the past seven years, many experiences and interactions with residents, families and staff have clearly lived out our mission! One of many examples is how Charter associates are always willing and wanting to help fellow team members who have gone through difficult circumstances of either personal or financial loss by donating to our “PTO With a Purpose” funding program. Unfortunately, unexpected tragedies have struck quite a few of our employees, and we do our best to be there for each other, just like staff helps residents get through their tough days.
You’ve worked your way up the career ladder within the industry. Charter Senior Living offers many career opportunities for advancement. Were these opportunities important for you to implement when you launched?
We love to help associates work their way up from frontline staff to leadership roles. I started as a caregiver in 1999 and learned to work every position in senior living for five years, including dining, maintenance, activities, business office and others. After graduating with my master’s in healthcare administration, I was able to become Executive Director in 1999. When my wife, Kim, and I founded Charter in 2016, we took many of the lessons we learned working our way up in the industry and implemented them here. Now, three of our children work for Charter!
The decision to move to a community can be hard for families to make. How do the team members and the overall community help make this transition for families easier?
Moving loved ones into a community is almost always a difficult situation. Emotionally, financially, physically and mentally. This is why we strive to get to know each senior and their families’ stories and listen to their concerns by visiting them at their home, rehab, or hospital to initiate a personal connection. We enjoy giving a creative gift, determining what level of care is required, finding out what hobbies they have, their likes and dislikes, favorite foods, interests. You name it – we want to discover it! What’s amusing is that family members learn things about their loved ones they never knew before!
Growth is a big part of any business, and Charter Senior Living has seen quite a bit of growth over the last five years specifically. How do you and the leadership team plan on continuing this growth and reaching out to future residents and families?
We are very conscious and strategic in our growth regionally, with great leadership in place to support future residents, families, associates, and the preferred partnerships we endeavor. No matter what, our mission and core values will remain the same, and those are what will guide us.
Interested in exploring Charter Senior Living?
We love celebrating our successes with anyone who is or who will become part of the Charter Senior Living family. To request more information or schedule a tour of one of our communities, reach out to us today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and personalize a care plan and experience for you or a loved one.