Former Rose Villa Senior Living CEO Vassar Byrd has been tapped to head The Kendal Corporation, the provider’s board of directors announced Tuesday.

Byrd will take over as CEO effective Jan. 9, 2024.

Her appointment follows a nearly year-long search process by The Kendal Corporation, a not-for-profit organization of aging services and senior living communities with 11 operating affiliates across nine states. Its holdings include life plan communities, long-term care and skilled nursing operations.

“Vassar brings a tenured career in our sector including most recently leading an innovative, forward-looking organization,” said Kendal’s board chair Annetha Hall. “She has wide-ranging experience, a background in both economics and gerontology, and most importantly, a true passion for making a real difference in people’s lives.”

Byrd was named a 2020 McKnight’s Women of Distinction honoree and had an extensive career in economics before entering the long-term care sector.

Prior to joining Kendal, Byrd was CEO of Rose Villa Senior Living, a nonprofit life plan community she had served for 17 years. At Rose Villa, Byrd oversaw completion of a 10-year master plan and campus redevelopment. She also has recently served as president of LeadingAge Oregon’s board.

“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead such a unique and valuable organization,” Byrd said in a press release announcing her hiring. “The core values of Kendal, as a Quaker organization, are compelling. In particular, the principles of respect and collaboration – welcoming every view to the table – are the path to the future. The strength and hope of this framework allow everyone to play a vital part in the vision of transforming the experience of aging, together.”

Amy Harrison, who has served as interim CEO since the beginning of the year, will resume her role as chief financial officer upon Byrd’s start with Kendal.

Previous CEO Sean Kelly left Kendal in February to take over as CEO at ​​California-based Front Porch Communities & Services.