CEO Rob Kretzinger Receives Top Industry Leadership Award

posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rob Kretzinger

Rob Kretzinger, CEO of WesleyLife, received LeadingAge Iowa's highest award September 13 during an evening ceremony at the trade association's annual conference in Cedar Rapids.

LeadingAge Iowa, an association of non-profit providers of aging services, honored Kretzinger with the Francis Lackner Award of Honor for his outstanding contributions in the field of senior services as a representative of a LeadingAge Iowa member organization.

Shannon Strickler, president and CEO of LeadingAge Iowa, said as a longtime committed and passionate advocate for older adults, Kretzinger was a natural choice for the honor.

"Rob is being recognized as someone who works to enhance the public perception and quality of services through establishing partnerships within his community and national organizations to better the senior services profession," Strickler said. "He represents exceptional service, leadership, and progress, and is widely known and respected as a committed, dedicated leader."

To be considered for the Lackner award, named for the association’s first executive director, a leader must have demonstrated an extended history of commitment, leadership and involvement in both LeadingAge Iowa and LeadingAge, and that involvement must have resulted in a positive effect on the advancement of services to older adults.

The individual’s work must be exemplary, and his or her personal qualities should embody the highest standards of commitment and leadership in the field.

Kretzinger said he is proud and honored to have been recognized by his peers, and he appreciates having been recognized as a transformative leader.

"As an industry, we're faced with a unique challenge to meet the needs of a greater number of people than ever before as older adults look forward to living longer and to being challenged by a variety of experiences," Kretzinger said.

"We have a responsibility to make those experiences purposeful and meaningful for them, and to look far beyond the walls of our communities as we're called upon to serve. I'm honored to be a part of an industry that's charged with such critical work, and it's my hope that in Iowa, we can continue to work toward leading the charge to evolve and transform."

Kretzinger was named president and CEO of WesleyLife in 2003 after having served as chief operating officer from 1996 until that year. Since his installation as CEO, Kretzinger has grown the Iowa-based nonprofit from a provider of senior housing to 1,000 older adults to one that provides housing, care and services to more than 10,000 individuals through WesleyLife’s integrated and comprehensive health and wellness networks.

Under Kretzinger's leadership, WesleyLife has been named to the Top 150 Workplaces in Iowa by the Des Moines Register and Best Senior Living in the Register/USA Today's "Best Of" competition. Its seven Communities for Healthy Living, in cities ranging from the western to the eastern parts of the state, have been designated Blue Zones worksites, offering a well-being focus that encourages older adults to live healthier, more meaningful lives.

The organization is poised to open its eighth community, Brio of Johnston, in summer 2018.

Kretzinger earned a bachelor of science in psychology and gerontology from Iowa State University and a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of North Texas.  He is a native of Jefferson, Iowa. He and his wife, Glenda, have three grown children and live in Johnston, Iowa.

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