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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Harrison Saunders

President & CEO

Harrison Senior Living

Location: Coatesville, PA

Founded: 1972

Industry: Healthcare / Senior Living

Harrison Saunders faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for seniors and leading Harrison Senior Living. Saunders and his team set out to return operations to a state of normalcy while prioritizing infection control and providing the best care for residents. They embraced the responsibility of caring for COVID-19-positive patients during their recovery while ensuring the safety and health of other residents and staff.

Saunders’ leadership during this time involved overhauling the human resources department to improve the employee experience, implementing new technology and driving recruitment and retention efforts. To attract top talent, Harrison Senior Living now employs overseas recruiters and facilitates the recruitment of immigrants from abroad, expanding the organization’s diversity. It also introduced new recognition programs to build a more robust company culture and acknowledge associates for exhibiting the organization’s values.

Saunders shifted career paths from landscape architecture and urban planning to healthcare and senior housing, one of his greatest and most rewarding risks of his professional life.

“For several years during this transition, I was becoming less familiar with my former profession and only somewhat familiar with my new profession,” he said. “This made me less marketable in both for a time. It happened to be occurring when my wife and I were starting our family, which is not an ideal time to be financially vulnerable. In order to make this transition, we also had to move to an area where we had no friends for socialization and no family for support. This risk has paid off, now as a seasoned CEO and an expert in a field, but was certainly stressful for years.”

Harrison Senior Living, with locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, offers a range of senior services, including independent living, assisted living, personal care, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. The organization’s 50th anniversary celebrations were marked by the launch of new services such as independent living plus, designed to customize services for residents, allowing them to age in place with independence and dignity.

Recognizing the shift toward home-based care, Harrison Senior Living also launched home health services, securing its first client in Pennsylvania. Harrison Senior Living is undertaking mixed-use redevelopment of one of its locations, combining hospitality experience with modernized assisted living and memory care services.

“Saunders’ focus on employee recognition and professional advancement has created a close-knit and supportive work environment at Harrison Senior Living,” the company said. Harrison Senior Living takes pride in acknowledging team members’ dedication and loyalty, with some employees holding over 40 years of tenure. Harrison Senior Living provides extensive training programs, encouraging interdisciplinary learning and professional growth. Transparency and communication are key aspects of Saunders’ leadership, with regular town halls and reviews of state survey results, involving employees at all levels in understanding the business’s complexities.

“In my time as CEO, I have worked diligently to ensure team members who wish to advance in their careers have the opportunity to do so,” Saunders said. “This stems from building a culture that is focused on establishing not just a sense of community in our workplaces but a sense of family.”

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Did you know?

It has been surprisingly meaningful to establish a new circle of like-minded professionals who have more often than not experienced very similar challenges throughout their careers. Not only have I appreciated the opportunity to share experiences and ideas but the Titan group has turned out to be an enjoyable community.


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