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Celebrating 40 Years of Sunrise: A Message from our CEO

A message from our CEO, Jack Callison.

Dear Sunrise Residents and Families,

On December 5, Sunrise reached an historic milestone—40 years since our founders, Paul and Terry Klaassen, opened the doors of their very first community in Oakton, Virginia. They set out to create a warm, loving, and homelike environment with a personalized approach to care and a mission to champion quality of life for all seniors.

Paul and Terry were truly pioneers in this space, differentiating their communities from the sterile, impersonal environment found in long-term care facilities that existed at the time. They poured themselves into that first community and even moved in, building relationships with the families they cared for and seeing first-hand how best to meet residents’ needs. They took what they learned and expanded to two communities, and then a few dozen, and now 274 communities across the U.S. and Canada.

Their unique approach would not only become the foundation of Sunrise’s philosophy that focuses on the unique needs of individual residents, but would also reshape and redefine the senior living industry and effectively establish a new standard of care in North America. As a result, Sunrise has positively impacted the lives of millions of seniors and their families through the years.

As we’ve grown and evolved over the last four decades, the foundational principles and mission set forth by our founders are still at the heart of everything we do. The innovative spirit, work ethic, and serving hearts that first launched Sunrise are embraced and mirrored by our team members today and we are so grateful to them for everything they do to bring our founders’ mission to life.

While we stay grounded in what first made this company great, we also look toward the future—always seeking new ways to evolve to further improve the resident experience. The best way to understand what families are looking for is by collecting and acting upon frequent, candid feedback. We are proud of the robust, ongoing listening strategy we have in place and are so grateful for the role residents and families have always and continue to play in shaping the way we operate and provide care. Thank you for continuing to share your feedback through all available channels, including directly with your community leadership.

We also thank you for helping us celebrate this special milestone and for being a part of our Sunrise family. Enjoy the celebrations our communities have planned in the coming weeks. Over the next several months, we will continue honor our anniversary by sharing more about Sunrise’s legacy and what still differentiates us and makes us an industry leader, so watch the Sunrise Senior Living Blog, community newsletters, and more for new content every month.

At Sunrise, we are proud of Shining Bright Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow! Cheers to the next 40 years!


Jack R. Callison, Jr.

Sunrise Chief Executive Officer

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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