President & Chief Executive Officer
Presbyterian Homes of Georgia
Location: Athens, Georgia
The words that guide Alex Patterson are strong — “A leader must be transparent and the purveyor of hope.”
“If the leader is communicating by word or body language that all is lost, it is,” said Patterson, president and Chief Executive Officer, Presbyterian Homes of Georgia (PHGA), a Christian ministry providing exceptional services to enhance the quality of life for senior adults. “This does not mean that a leader should hide from, or fail to acknowledge, reality even if it is a negative reality, but they must shape it in a positive direction or the next step will never be taken, and the organization they lead will decline.”
PHGA is a 72-year old ministry that has enjoyed leadership, since inception, by people who model that Christian ethos embodied in the image of the suffering servant. Patterson fits that mold.
Joining PHGA in 2009, Patterson began his career in 2000 as an administrator in training within the skilled nursing facility industry segment, rising to full administrator by 2002. He served in this capacity in increasingly larger facilities over the next several years, until he was recruited to PHGA. In 2015, Patterson, then the vice president of PHGA, got the opportunity to lead the largest single expansion of services in the organization’s 70+ year history, developing a 70-acre Life Plan Community(LPC) in the metropolitan area of Athens, Georgia.
The project carried a cost of over $150 million, expanded the number of people served, and increased annual revenues of the organization by 40%. This success, along with his notable track record in the healthcare industry, led PHGA to name Patterson its third president and CEO in February 2020.
Patterson explained that PHGA will now turn its attention to renovation, expansion, and repositioning of its existing campuses, giving the three affordable housing properties $50 million worth of renovations. He added that the two existing LPC campuses will
also get extensive renovations and some expansion as we seek to reposition them for a post-COVID future.
And the future for PHGA is bright, according to Patterson. “As we move into the future, we intend to ‘tilt’ these two locations more toward the independent living/hospitality end of the spectrum and away from the traditional healthcare centric model just as we have done with our newly constructed LPC in Athens,” he said.
Patterson, known as a strong leader who never stops learning or networking, said, “I have found there are lessons to be learned in every story, success or failure, and those lessons can be applied across any industry segment.”
He added that there is wisdom to be gained by networking with leaders within associations, awards programs, or the like.
“All leaders face trials and listening to their stories will inform my actions in the trials still ahead of me while sharing my stories will do the same for those that take the time to hear them. Staying in connection with others is the best way to exert influence.”
At one point in his life Alex was a "scratch" golfer. He is far from that now but still enjoys playing the game when he has time.