Mercer Island retirement community names new director

Bob Howell

Bob Howell

A Pacific Northwest native is coming home to work at Covenant Shores, as the Mercer Island retirement community’s new executive director.

Bob Howell went to West Seattle High School and Whitworth University, working most recently as executive director at The Samarkand, Covenant Shores’ sister community located in Santa Barbara, and Covenant Village of Turlock. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Whitworth, a graduate diploma in Christian studies from Regent College and a certificate of gerontology from the University of Washington.

Howell has served in a variety of leadership roles within the senior living industry, including a current board member of LeadingAge California and former board member of LeadingAge Washington. He also served in the cabinet and house of delegates for LeadingAge, the national association of not-for-profit senior service organizations. Howell is a licensed nursing home administrator in Washington state.

The complexity of the job is a draw for Howell, because “every day is a challenge and an opportunity,” he said.

“We’re as regulated as any other organization in the United States,” he added.

Howell said he was drawn to the senior living profession by his close bond with his grandparents. He said that the job is based on relationships and customer service, and he enjoys working with staff members that “feel a calling” for their type of work, and with residents who have seen a lot in their lives.

“So much wisdom and graciousness takes place when you talk to people who have perspective on life,” he said.

After their “California adventure,” Howell and his wife were excited to return to the Seattle area. They have family in Mill Creek, Bothell, Des Moines and West Seattle, and are living on the Covenant Shores campus while house hunting.

Howell said he has already noticed the rich diversity of people at The Shores, and one of his short-term goals is to get to know the community better. Long-term, he said he wants to be a “good steward and servant,” and maintain the community as “a great place to live and work.”

See www.covenantshores.org for more.

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