Jill Vitale Aussem

Jill Vitale-Aussem, The Eden Alternative President and CEO

Q: What interested you in becoming The Eden Alternative’s new CEO?

A: I have been a nursing home administrator for a long, long, long time and I used The Eden Alternative in my own communities. This opportunity to lead the organization that I am most passionate about, it’s just a perfect fit. I know the impact the Eden philosophy makes and I want more organizations to have that same opportunity.

Q: Any big obstacles you’re watching out for as chief executive?

A: Some of it is going to be changing the perception. People think that The Eden Alternative is kind of fuzzy and soft, because it is. It’s about changing the culture and it’s about caring for people, but there’s also a very strong business impact of it. Whenever you want to change the way people think about something, it takes time, continued messaging and beginning to tell those stories.

Q: Why did you check yourself in as a resident at your communities?

A: I went to grad school for hotel and hospitality management and one of the key things is knowing how your customers think. I wanted to understand what it felt like to live in a community, so I had the team members come up with a diagnosis for me. I really believe that if you’re going to run a nursing home, you should have that experience.