For Kendra Urdzik, Judson’s newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, the path from a college internship to the community’s top post has been 20 years in the making – years that have been filled with personal growth, professional development and commitment.
A licensed nursing home administrator with a certificate in gerontology, and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace University, Kendra started her Judson career as an administrator in training. “I interned in every department, learning the organization from the inside out,” she says. “And once I finished that internship, I knew that Judson was where I wanted to be.”
Kendra assumes the position from former president and CEO Cynthia Dunn, who is retiring after 40 years, 26 of them as Judson’s CEO. “I’ve learned so much from working with Cyndy,” she says. “She has really brought this community to life, and put us in the position to be nimble, yet steady, in the face of changes in the industry.”
Prior to her appointment as CEO, Kendra held the dual posts of Judson’s Chief Collaborative Health Officer and Vice President of Health Services, roles that allowed her to focus on strategic planning, coordination of resources across Judson’s three campuses, and collaboration across the industry to develop and ensure best practices.
“Health care is going through enormous changes,” she says. “When I first started at Judson, it was really the administration that moved things forward. Now, we see our role as a partnership with our members. How we work together to enhance the future has become a dialogue.”
In her role as CEO, Kendra intends to focus on workforce development, Judson’s memory support programs, and the use of technology to enhance information sharing and quality of life. Judson Home Care and Judson at Home will also be major areas of focus.
“Judson is at the forefront of bringing a full range of supportive services to people in their homes,” she says. “In fact, we consider our Judson at Home program to be our fourth campus – a virtual campus”.
Kendra gives much of the credit for her rapid rise through the ranks to her support network, which includes her husband, two children, parents, and her 95-year-old grandmother, “who has helped me understand the challenges of aging from a personal perspective.”
“Different perspectives fuel innovation,” Kendra says. “Listening – really listening – to both residents and associates has given me wonderful insight into how every member of the Judson team has great ideas to share. It’s the key that lets us think outside the box.”