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.
Don Petersen is principal at the Commons at Dallas Ranch and the co-founder of Premiera Care, a company of five Assisted Living communities which was recently acquired by WESTliving.
1. Why do you work in Assisted Living?
I work in Assisted Living because I have always been committed to providing services to the elderly in the least restrictive environment possible. I believe that the Assisted Living environment empowers people to continue to be the best they can be by eliminating very basic and unnecessary hurdles that prevent an independent lifestyle. My involvement over the past 40 years has been a privilege and an honor.
2. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt, and why?
I would love to be a professional classical guitarist! I love to experience the feeling of creating something awe-inspiring and to share it with others.
3. What are the most important things we should know about your company?
It was the best, not the biggest.
4. How would you describe your experience on the CALA board?
Any time one has the opportunity to work with the brightest and most energetic minds in our field, toward a common good, it can only be described as a wonderful experience and a privilege!
5. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, with whom would it be, and why?
That, for me, would be Winston Churchill between 1939 and 1946. While he was the leader of only the third strongest nation of the alliance between the United States and Russia, the war would not have been won were it not for his ability to form alliances with nations possessing very diversified needs and philosophies. A monumental accomplishment.
6. What song best describes your work ethic?
“Win” by Brian McKnight, the theme song from the movie “Men of Honor” starring Cuba Gooding and Robert DeNiro.
7. If you could bring three items with you to a deserted island, what would you back, and why?
My wife, Joani, and our two Scottish terriers, Daphne and Dapper. Why? Because one of them might just read this bio!