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Meet Jim Wingardner

Devonshire’s new executive director a seasoned leader

Created date

May 13th, 2016
Jim Wingardner is executive director of Devonshire at PGA National.

Jim Wingardner is executive director of Devonshire at PGA National.

This February, Jim Wingardner became the new executive director of Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s five-star retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens. 

His credentials made him the obvious choice to manage such a prestigious community.

Wingardner’s resume features 20 years of managerial expertise in senior living, 10 of them at 2 Erickson Living communities in Massachusetts, Brooksby Village on the North Shore and Linden Ponds on the South Shore. 

His background also includes managing Fox Hill Village in Westwood, Mass., a retirement community the same size and scope as Devonshire. 

Before that, he worked in hospitality management for a Florida-based hotel management and development company. 

His hospitality background is significant because of Devonshire’s ample customer-service amenities, such as its valet and concierge services. 

The community’s concierge books everything residents might want to arrange, from tee times at PGA National Resort and Spa to dinner reservations in Devonshire’s five gourmet clubhouse restaurants.

People move to Devonshire to continue living the catered lifestyle they’ve always enjoyed. 

“Hospitality is very important here,” Wingardner says. “I think residents appreciate that I have a strong hospitality background.”

A jewel of a community

Situated on 26 beautiful acres, Devonshire comprises just 327 residences in 3 buildings, all connected to its central 65,000-square-foot clubhouse.

It’s smaller than other Erickson Living communities, and Wingardner likes that.

“Devonshire really has that home feel,” he says. “In my first four weeks here, I think I met just about everyone.”

He sees community members every day in the hallways and as they go to and from activities. And most evenings he table-hops in the clubhouse restaurants to meet and begin building relationships with them. 

A family-like atmosphere exists among residents and staff alike. 

On Wingardner’s first day, staff he encountered in every area of the community gave him a warm welcome. “The employees are magnificent,” he says. 

Community-centered focus

Wingardner intends to make Devonshire everything it can be. 

He’ll focus on continuing to grow occupancy and will monitor customer service, financial stability, and employee engagement to ensure that Devonshire maintains its reputation as the area’s premier retirement community. 

Because of its smaller size, Devonshire has fewer layers of leadership, which results in fewer people available to inspect and observe on a daily basis. So, Wingardner also will do more “management by walking around.”

And, if needed, he’ll roll up his sleeves and jump in to help get things done.

He’s enthusiastic about his new position and equally excited about living in the Palm Beach area; Wingardner had long wanted to move to Florida.

His wife Leah and their twins David and Rebecca will all be together by the end of August. Another son, Josh, is a junior at McAllister College in St. Paul, Minn.

When Josh visits, he and his dad will play golf.

This fall, to earn some college credits during their senior year of high school, David and Rebecca will attend a local community college. 

“This is a great place to be,” Wingardner says. Only one thing will increase his happiness: “Having my family here with me.”