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Kris Hansen, CEO of the Western Home.

What drives you?

I think innovation and really trying to change the way things go, if they need changed. How do we always try to continue to improve quality of life? How can we keep moving so that folks enjoy a life as fulfilled as long as they can, not only for our residents but for our employees and family members. How can we, as stakeholders in our community, develop an intergenerational component so there’s no isolation or segregation (as people age). We want to create a collaborative atmosphere for the greater good for all.

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?

Getting Prairie Winds (in Cedar Falls) open and also getting a lot of (progress made) on Jorgensen Plaza.

What are your goals for 2018?

Jorgensen Plaza (in Cedar Falls). It really is about holistic wellness. We certainly will have our inpatient and outpatient therapy programs to rehabilitate people and restore them to get back out into the community. But we’re also taking a very proactive approach with medically based wellness — resistance training, fall prevention, programs like tai chi and yoga. We really are trying to go after this in a very holistic way, spiritual care included. We’re also working on Salon Iris, an Aveda salon, that will be open to the public. ... We’re not trying to compete with salons in our community; we’re just trying to do things in a different way. Get grandma, mother and granddaughter to have a relaxed spa day together. There’ll also be an aquatic center with a four-lane Olympic-sized pool and an aquatic walking track. On top of that we’ll have three dining venues (including) Caraway cafe, a fast casual experience, (and) Table 1912, which is fine dining. All of these are open to the public as well. It really is about bringing people in from the community to have a nice place to dine on the south side of Cedar Falls.

What makes the Cedar Valley a great place for business?

The Cedar Valley is just a great community. There’s a lot of educational opportunities, and the athletics of (University of Northern Iowa) and the performing arts — we are the biggest small town that offers all of the things that a wonderful community could offer. We have a lot of talent, dedication, work ethic and innovation. The energy, the pride of who we are as a community really shows. ... This community is phenomenal (with) retail, dining, housing, a great qualify of life and quality leaders who care.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned along your journey?

This is certainly a team effort. If I didn’t have a great team around me and a great board of directors, I just couldn’t do everything I do on a national and state stage. The least important job in this organization is mine. My team, from our environmental services, the wait staff, CNAs, nurses, the people who are hands on with our residents and impacting their lives are the ones who make this organization what it is.


Lifestyles and Features Editor

Lifestyles Editor for The Courier

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