Kevin Ahmadi, 49, of Cape Coral, is area director of operations for Volunteers of America, a national nonprofit, faith-based organization. Its continuing care retirement community, Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral, provides independent and assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehab. It also offers acute and long-term home health care and home companion services for seniors throughout Lee and Collier counties. Ahmadi, who studied hospital and health care administration at the University of Toledo, worked in continuing care in Illinois before relocating with his family to join Gulf Coast Village in 2004 as its executive director of operations. He is helping Volunteers of America expand its local offerings with The Preserve, opening in south Fort Myers in December, and The Colonnade of Estero, opening spring of 2022.
Ahmadi was recently named Nonprofit Executive of the Year through the Cape Coral Community Foundation’s Excellence in Nonprofit Performance Yearly (ENPY) awards program. His community service includes The Rotary Club of Cape Coral Goldcoast, Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, and the Cape Coral Community Foundation.
What does the ENPY award mean to you?
I’m so blessed to work with a team of people who felt they wanted to take the time to nominate me. I could not be even close to being as successful as I am today without the hard work of my subordinates and the many senior residents I have the pleasure of serving.
How did you get involved in senior care?
It’s all I know. I’ve been doing it since I was 10 years old, caring for my grandparents. My mother was a nursing assistant in nursing homes. That was my first taste of this. Fortunately, I grew up in a generation where family stuck together and took care of their grandparents. It’s not a realistic thing today. The world has spread out. In order to have jobs, we transition and move. The culture of family has significantly changed.
How is the aging baby boomer population affecting senior care?
The hospital system is taxed, with the ER filling up acute beds. Then they’re discharged into skilled nursing. What concerns me is that 68 percent of properties added are by owners who have a portfolio of two or less. People are getting into the business of caring for seniors who might not have the experience, wherewithal and balance sheets necessary to manage the fluctuations in this business over a long time.
What is different about caring for aging boomers?
The boomer generation certainly has a different approach and expectations. Some are never going to want to be inside a building or campus. That’s why we chose the approach of Senior Choice at Home. We can help them successfully age in their homes until it makes sense to transition to a skilled nursing bed. But campuses are going to have to evolve and change. Some people will appreciate the lifestyle. Some will not.
How many people will benefit from your two new facilities in Southwest Florida?
Today, we’re serving over 1,300 people a year. When we open the new building at The Preserve, we will get to 1,800. And when we open the community in Estero, we’ll be close to 3,600 a year. In 2004, we had 180 associates and employees. Today, we have 475.