James T Walsh
President and CEO
Friendship Villages of St. Louis
Location: St. Louis, MO
Industry: Senior Living
Early on in his military career, retired Army Colonel James (Terry) Walsh learned that it is the responsibility and duty of the leader to make sure a team is cared for and fed first. “The leader can always find resources if they begin to run low, but the troops rely on the leader to make sure they have what they need,” said Walsh. “Throughout my career, I have followed the creed that my team is provided for before I provide for myself.”
As a leader in the senior living industry and president and CEO of Friendship Villages of St. Louis, Walsh strives to provide for the best possible lives of those who choose to call the company’s campuses home. “For virtually all of them, this is where they have chosen to live the rest of their lives,” he said. “My job is to make sure they never regret that decision.”
Founded in 1973, Friendship Villages of St. Louis offers premier senior living communities in St. Louis with approximately 1,400 residents in independent living, assisted living and memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. Walsh was led to Friendship Villages of St. Louis when the board of directors moved away from a long-time external management company to local, internal management with roots in St. Louis.
“Almost immediately upon being appointed to lead the company, Terry embarked on a massive $225 million expansion project that spurred growth in all levels of care, which was completed in 2021,” said his staff. “This expansion is allowing the villages to serve more residents in the St. Louis area.”
During his time as president and CEO, Walsh also led and oversaw the addition of a home health and private duty nursing company that, today, provides services to seniors in their own homes across the entire St. Louis region.
According to his staff, what makes Walsh a Titan in the industry and as a person is his never-ending desire to take senior care and senior living to higher and higher levels. “He truly has an open-door policy and is the furthest thing from an office-based CEO,” said his staff. “He makes sure our residents feel heard and people enjoy being around him because of his earnest, easy-going approach to leadership and senior care.”
Due to his efforts, Friendship Villages has been named to local, regional and national best lists in every category of senior living. For his commitment to personalized leadership, Walsh has been named a Titan.
Terry was an Eagle Scout, former high school tuba player, and a retired Army Colonel with Airborne wings.