Kendal CEO John Diffey Announces Plans to Retire in 2016

Kennett Square, Pa., March 9, 2015—John Diffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Kendal Corporation since 1992, has notified the Board that he will retire in mid-2016.

The Kendal Corporation is a not-for-profit organization based in Kennett Square, Pa., that develops, leads, and supports the affiliated communities and services that compose the Kendal System. Since its founding in 1970, the Kendal System has grown to include 12 affiliated nonprofit organizations serving older adults in eight states and three subsidiaries—Kendal Charitable Funds, Kendal Outreach, and Kendal Research.

“This period of my life and career has been immensely stimulating and satisfying,” Diffey said in a letter to Board Chair Joan Countryman. “Kendal’s Values and Practices, Kendal’s people — residents, staff, and board members — and Kendal’s mission and vision together have provided an absolutely special and wonderful context in which to serve.” Commenting on the timing of his retirement, he noted, “Many of the important agenda items within the Kendal System are reaching natural points of closure or significant milestones. A new paradigm of health care in the United States is developing. A next generation of Kendal leaders is ready to assume greater responsibility.”

The Kendal Corporation’s Board of Directors has established a special Search Committee to assist the Board in identifying Diffey’s successor. “The search committee has begun to design and schedule the various milestones of the search process,” Board Chair Joan Countryman said. “We are going to be busy; still, I am confident that in the coming weeks and months, working together, we will meet our challenges and find the path that ensures Kendal’s continued vitality.”

Over his 40-year career, Diffey has served on the Board of Directors of the 6000+ member nonprofit association LeadingAge, as chair of its committee on Continuing Care Retirement Communities, as a founding co-chair of its leadership development program, as President of its North Carolina affiliate, and as Vice Chair of the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. Based on his contributions to the field, John received LeadingAge’s highest recognition in 2006, its Award of Honor. He also has served on numerous other boards in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. John received his MBA from Emory University in Atlanta, and his B.A. (History) from Duke University, Durham, N.C.

The text of John Diffey’s letter to Board Chair Joan Countryman and of her letter to the Board of Directors detailing plans for finding John’s successor have been put together in a four-page document. CLICK HERE to download that document in PDF format.