About Our Founders


More than 30 years ago, Paul and Terry Klaassen started Sunrise Senior Living based on a simple but innovative vision — to create alternative senior living options that emphasize quality of life. This vision is the foundation of Sunrise’s resident-centered approach to senior living, which begins with a senior and their unique needs, and results in tailored living, service and care options that enable our residents to live life on their terms.

In designing this resident-centered approach the Klaassens included two things that would become hallmarks to Sunrise's future success. The Sunrise Signature Experience would lead to a new model for senior living, while the Sunrise Principles of Service have defined the manner in which services are provided to all residents by Sunrise team members.

Terry and Paul remain very involved in Sunrise, ensuring each community upholds Sunrise’s mission and serves as a place where residents feel loved, nurtured and comfortable. They also spend much of their time visiting with Sunrise residents and team members.

For more about Terry and Paul Klaassen’s individual, disparate experiences with senior care that would help shape their lives’ work, read The Sunrise Story.