R. Kevin McFeely, President and CEO at The Kenney retirement community is leaving after almost 9 years on the job.
UPDATE: Kevin McFeely leaving The Kenney; CEO for almost 9 years will take a new job
R. Kevin McFeely, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Kenney, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in West Seattle is leaving the foundation after serving in that role for almost 9 years. He's taking a position with The Hearthstone, a CCRC in Green Lake "they are developing a second campus. That is one of the most exciting things about it, to start planning for the growth."
He acknowledges that he's wistful about leaving, primarily because of the many relationships he's formed at The Kenney with co-workers, residents and the community. "I've always said that if you're going to leave a job you should leave it when things are going well, when you're on top. That's really the hardest piece of advice for me to follow."
He said he did not seek this job, he was recruited for it. "But I get 3 or 4 calls a week from headhunters," McFeely said. The new job is also with a non-profit organization. "Non-profits are not beholden to shareholders. At the end of the day the only people we need to worry about are those that we're serving."
During his tenure McFeely said that the community and foundation have faced serious challenges, "but it's turned around and we made huge improvements last year. We're nearly full. In independent living we have 8 people moving in this month. We opened Memory Care."
McFeely's influence has been felt throughout The Kenney by his desire to make programs there more resident driven. "That was a hard change for some residents but now we get a lot of input from them about what they'd like to do. We're doing activities and trips seven days a week so now the biggest complaint we get is that there's too much to choose from."
Up next at The Kenney, though McFeely won't be there to see it completed, is in their dining area. "We're revamping our dining services, making changes to the physical environment of the dining room, the way we serve. We're moving away from buffet and going to plated service, restaurant style. We'll have seatings and we'll expand the hours for meal availability."
The biggest challenge going forward for The Kenney he said is financial, "with the amount of debt we are carrying for the new building. He explained that all the fundraising done go toward operations. The Resident Life Care Fund is the biggest piece of that. All the money we've raised has gone back into the organization to subsidize those people who have outlived their assets. It has not gone to settle debt. People don't give money to settle debt. They give money for programs and for people."
"The Kenney has been a big part of my life," he said. "On one hand I'm very confident that the team that I built here, they all came after me, this was a team I built, they'll do well. They work well together and support each other and I love the fact that they challenge the status quo. That's good."
The board has begun the process of seeking a replacement for McFeely and he's hoping to have some "transition time with the next person."
McFeely's last day on the job is July 3.