The Honeymoon Phase- CEO Jan Bigelow Remarks on Her First Four Months

Are you familiar with the sayings, “the honeymoon is over” or “you need to hit the ground running”?  Funny, in my years of service in senior living, I have not been familiar with the term “honeymoon”, and I was never sure whether “hit the ground running” meant toward the awaiting fires or away from the fire.

I am not sure that the first 4 months at Kendal at Lexington have been much different.

  • Moving my family across state borders, hopeful that Virginia would let us over the threshold;
  • COVID-19 quarantine for days feeling like it was never going to end;
  • No contact with new neighbors except a physically distanced wave;
  • Daunting day 1 at work knowing that I was sitting in the seat of a retiring, beloved Executive Director;
  • No formal greeting with residents and staff;
  • A Health Services Administrator leaving in week 2 after landing a career-enhancing opportunity;
  • A 5-year strategic plan pending implementation;
  • An ongoing construction project that never seems to hit a deadline;
  • A mile high stack of capital suggestions from the residents; and oh yes…
  • It is budget time and 2021 is right around the corner.

I believe I now better understand why residents say, “We are so glad that you are still here”.  I also know why I ride my bike for miles and talk to myself.

I am still here because I undeniably love what I do…good and bad; the staff and residents are terrific; the many challenges keep me young and on my toes, and the future of KaLex is exciting and strong.  The senior living industry is in an ever-changing flux with several challenges ahead.  A solid strategic plan that took months to devise may not have all the right steps, post-COVID.  What is next?  We will never have all the answers, but our success will come from all of us working together to ensure that Kendal at Lexington is here for another 50 years and beyond.

Happy 20th Anniversary KaLex!  With or without the honeymoon, it is an honor to be here serving the residents, the staff and the families of Kendal at Lexington.

– – Jan Bigelow (CEO)

Jan E. Bigelow