June 27, 2022
EAU CLAIRE, WI—The Vision 2025 initiative, which started as a movement aimed at addressing the leadership workforce needs of aging-services organizations, recently became the Vision Centre: Leadership Development for Aging Services, a nonprofit helping shape the future of the industry through action.
The Vision Centre’s goal is to create 25 robust university and college programs, designed to prepare future generations of leaders for aging-adult service organizations. It also aims to facilitate from these programs, 1,000 paid internships among senior housing, care and aging services by 2025. Moreover, Vision Centre aims to help grow these programs with strategic partnerships over time, to help expand educational opportunities and create awareness of the workforce development challenge facing the aging-services sector.
The new name is meant to fully encompass the organization’s mission to “create impactful pathways for smarter, more successful senior care and senior living administration.”
Leaders of the organization made the announcement at the opening of its 2022 “Vision 2025 3.0 Symposium,” which took place on June 21 and 22. It hosted more than 80 thought leaders from both the higher education and senior care and service sectors—over 30 colleges and university representatives and approximately 50 senior-housing and care companies, as well as prominent trade associations and other strategic partners. This is the third gathering since the organization’s founding, based on the expertise and work of a widely-represented steering committee led by Douglas Olson at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
“The goal of this unique gathering is to ensure the health and continuity of the broader senior living field through the identification, development and support of university and college programs,” said Olson. “The Vision Centre is designed to help bridge the gap between educational institutions and care and service organizations, enabling a more effective educational model. In many ways, this is the secret sauce for these types of programs, designed to build a much-needed, healthier track for future senior living leaders for this noble profession.”
The opening of the symposium was led by Vision Centre board members Steve Chies, chair of Vision Centre’s board of trustees and program director of the long-term care administration program at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine; and Sean Kelly, vice chair of Vision Centre’s board of trustees and CEO of The Kendal Corporation, a Quaker-based senior living organization with 12 affiliate communities across the country.
Chies opened the symposium with thoughts on why this organization is needed now. “Boomers will have a major impact on how care and services will be provided,” he said. “They have changed how other systems have functioned and we can expect them to profoundly impact senior care. Our current care and service system is not prepared for 2026.”
Kelly followed up on Chies’ remarks to explain how Vision Centre, under its new name, will address these concerns. “The Vision Centre will be of all of our making and will be the driver of the evolution that we seek,” he said. “It will be a place that brings about the continued professionalization in our field and where our colleagues will meet, learn, inspire and be inspired.”
The symposium continued with discussions on how to expand field experiences and develop relationships and best practices for building partnerships. It also included networking opportunities and closing remarks from Chies and Kelly.