VANCOUVER, Wash.,– JEA Senior Living (JEA), a leader in providing quality memory care-focused housing for seniors, announced today that veteran housing and health care executive Christopher Belford has been appointed CEO, effective Nov. 1.
Belford, with nearly 30 years of executive operations experience in the senior housing industry, working for multiple leading operators across the continuum of care, joins JEA from American Healthcare Investors (AHI). As AHI’s executive vice president, he managed 140 communities within the company’s portfolio of senior housing, skilled nursing, and hospital assets throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.
Before joining AHI, Belford was president of Brookdale Senior Living’s western division, managing senior living and retirement communities. At Brookdale, he managed 269 senior living and retirement communities, representing 24,400 units in 11 states in the western half of the U.S. and overseeing more than 14,000 employees.
Belford also served 14 years in executive leadership roles at senior care provider Emeritus Senior Living, including senior vice president of operations, responsible for more than 500 communities in 18 states. Emeritus merged with Brookdale in 2014.
Belford takes over for W. Cody Erwin, the grandson of the company’s founder. JEA, a privately owned and operated company based in Vancouver, Wash., develops, owns and currently manages 57 senior communities throughout the U.S. As part of JEA’s effort to expand ownership and management of senior housing, it formed a strategic partnership in late 2019 with investment firm Access Industries.
“Chris assumes the helm of JEA at a time when our nation and the health care industry needs leaders with empathy, who can build culture and produce results,” said JEA board member Jonah Sonnenborn. “Chris possesses a successful track record of driving operational and financial results at hundreds of properties and is an accountable leader who can position JEA for its next stage of growth.”
Belford said JEA continues to be the leader in memory care, and he will be focused on driving the company’s growth.
“JEA has been the leading memory care operator since its founding by the Erwin family over 30 years ago,” Belford said. “I look forward to working closely with our dedicated and skilled team members to deliver top-notch service, facilities and an exceptional living situation for our current and prospective families.”
Belford earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington State University, completed post-graduate studies at Seattle University and received an MBA from the University of Phoenix.