June 9, 2015—The Kendal Corporation Board has selected Sean M. Kelly, Kendal’s Director for New Business Development since 2008, to succeed John Diffey as President and CEO next year. Diffey notified the Board in March of his plans to retire by mid-2016 after serving more than two decades as Kendal’s chief executive.
Kendal, a leader in the field of aging services with headquarters in the southeastern Pennsylvania/metro Philadelphia area, is among the 10 largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in the U.S.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue building on the foundation that John, Corporate staff, Affiliate and Corporate board and staff members, and Kendal’s residents have laid down over the last 40-plus years,” Sean said. “I’m also quite aware that we are moving into a very dynamic era where we will face challenges along with important opportunities. Over our history, Kendal has led through times of great change. Today we have the capacity and the will to meet those same standards for leadership, integrity, quality and innovation that have shaped Kendal’s identity so beautifully.“
While at Kendal, Kelly has been responsible for leading and managing organizational efforts aimed at fostering new opportunities for growth, while supporting planning and development initiatives for existing Kendal communities. Kelly is a frequent speaker around the country and beyond on many topics, including senior housing development, emerging trends, organizational management for growth, and affiliation, merger and acquisition processes.
In a letter to the Kendal Community announcing that Kelly would be Kendal’s next President and CEO, Board Chair Joan Countryman noted that “Through his work and his manner, Sean … demonstrates attributes that make him uniquely qualified for this position: his passion for this work; his thirst for learning and innovation; his leadership; his ‘followership’; his compassion; his energy; and a deep appreciation of, and commitment to the Values that are foundational to Kendal.”
Kelly joined Kendal in 2008 after 11 years with Connecticut-based Retirement Living Services — a development, finance, marketing and operations consultant to senior housing and service providers throughout the United States.
Kelly graduated from Ursinus College in Collegeville, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, and in 2014 he completed an Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He will continue to live in Haddonfield, New Jersey, with his wife, Susan, and three young daughters, where they will remain very active in and around their community.
“I am thrilled with the Board’s selection of Sean,” Diffey said. “Sean and I are committed to working closely together to orchestrate a smooth transition.”
The work on identifying John’s successor has been led by The Kendal Corporation’s board of directors, which established a special Search Committee in March. The Search Committee was comprised of representatives of all Kendal constituencies, including residents. Board member Harry Hammond, a Kendal-Crosslands Communities resident, chaired the Search Committee.
Kendal-affiliated retirement communities [www.kendal.org] are located in Hanover, New Hampshire; Ithaca and Sleepy Hollow, New York; Northampton and Easthampton, Massachusetts; Lexington, Virginia; metro Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Kennett Square, West Chester and Newtown, Pennsylvania; and Oberlin and Granville, Ohio. Kendal at Home, based in suburban Cleveland, combines the security of a continuing care retirement community with the freedom and independence of living at home.