Members and potential members look to the CALA Board of Directors for representation and leadership. To have a better vision of all that these Assisted Living leaders do for their companies and CALA members, we asked them a series of questions. Their answers illuminate their ideas on work, community, and caring for seniors, and show the breadth and variety of companies represented on the CALA Board of Directors. To celebrate these thoughtful, dedicated people working on our members’ behalf, we will feature weekly interviews with each board member, available here and on the CALA Board of Directors webpage.
Collette Valentine oversees operations for Integral Senior Living, headquartered in Carlsbad with 36 communities in California.
1. Why do you work in Assisted Living?
I started in this industry in the 90’s after my grandmother (whom I was very close to) passed away. She lived in an Assisted Living community and, after her passing, I wanted to be able to give back to the industry and make a difference. I came out of the hospitality industry which is very similar to what we do in AL as it is all about customer service. I cannot imagine being in another industry and look forward to the coming years and the growth our industry will see as the baby boomers move into AL.
2. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt, and why?
I have always wanted to fly planes and started to get my pilot’s license a few years back. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to commit to learning to fly anymore, so I settle for hopping on a plane for work every week instead.
3. What are the most important things we should know about your company?
Our core business is third-party management and we are turnaround specialists. We operate over 50 communities in nine states. We have very small regional teams that are able to spend quality time supporting the communities. One of our key successes is the fact that we do not cookie cutter operations at our communities—we have a one-size-fits-most philosophy.
4. How would you describe your experience on the CALA board?
My experience thus far has been excellent. CALA is such an integral part of Assisted Living in California and has been a great support for our industry. I look forward to helping support CALA as a board member.
5. How would your colleagues describe you in three words?
Motivating, fair, and consistent.
6. Who are your heroes, and why?
My mother and grandmother were my heroes—before they both passed away, they taught me the values of hard work, determination, and never giving up.
7. What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
Spending time with my husband and two kids doing anything outdoors….which usually involves a swim meet, softball game, baseball game, or skiing.