Sometimes the desires of our hearts and early ventures can point the way to a successful and fulfilling career.

For Marjorie Todd, Senior Living CEO of Highgate, entering hospital as a Candy Striper at the age of 14 led her to a position as an activity assistant in a retirement home just a few years later. “I fell in love with working with seniors and found my calling,” she said. “I’ve worked with people who had cognitive impairment and late to intermediate state dementia.”

Todd says working with seniors was her life’s work, with the exception of running a recreation center when her children were little. Today these children are adults. She and husband Richard have a son, Ethan, 28, and a daughter, Sabrina, 27.

Todd began her career at Highgate Senior Living in 2009 as Vice President of Operations. “What drew me to Highgate was the attraction of a small private company. We’re a completely different community that takes a holistic approach to care. “

She had been looking for Flagstaff for several years before the decision was made to bring Highgate there. The property is scheduled to open on McMillan Mesa this spring. “Personally, I’ve been working on the development project and doing market research for the past five to six years,” she said. I’ve spoken to people in Flagstaff and interacted with councilors and business people. It seems they are so focused on the holistic approach. “

Todd was involved in the planning, development and implementation of the construction project. “Being the only woman in a male atmosphere has helped me understand how our property is put together and has brought me a lot of personal fulfillment.”

Todd lives on the outskirts of Seattle at the foot of the Cascades. However, she is very familiar with northern Arizona. Their daughter attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) and continues to live in Flagstaff.

“Flagstaff is a great community,” said Todd, who enjoys getting to know people everywhere, a personality trait that makes them popular with employees.

“Marjorie is a fantastic role model and her leadership style is very welcoming,” said Joshua Bryant, community relations coordinator for Highgate. “She likes to hear the suggestions and likes it when people come up to her with ideas that best fit the community. I’ve worked with many senior communities and never had a CEO this hands-on. She is very dedicated and knows who everyone is. “

Like Highgate in Prescott, the Flagstaff facility will offer assisted living, memory care, and couple care. Amenities include spa services such as massages, a hair and hairdressing salon, a fitness room and a cinema. Highgate is known for its dining and restaurant quality atmosphere. The Flagstaff property will also have a bar serving local craft beers.

According to Todd, Highgate includes a Positive Approach to Caregiving (PAC), a gentle, unique, and internationally known method of working with memory care residents. Highgate Senior Living facilities are also known for their community integration.

“The Greater Flagstaff Chamber is pleased to welcome Highgate Senior Living and its services and holistic approach to senior care to our region,” said Kat Ross, Vice President Investor Relations, Chamber. “Since launching Highgate Senior Living last year, they have been a very active partner with the chamber and have been seriously interested in becoming a contributing member of the entire community.”

Flagstaff is Highgate’s 10th parish in the west. In addition to Prescott, there are other properties in California, Montana and Washington. For more information, visit highgateseniorliving.com or call 928-707-6361. FBN

By V. Ronnie Tierney, FBN