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Oak Crest’s executive director finds his niche

Mark Roussey feels kinship at Parkville community

Created date

June 30th, 2016

Mark Roussey felt a connection with Oak Crest from the moment he set foot on campus five years ago. Now in his new role as executive director, that connection has developed into his passion for serving the people who call the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community home. 

“When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I’m in the peace-of-mind business,” says Roussey. “To be able to provide peace of mind to our residents and their families is one of the most important roles I play. It’s that connection to our residents that is the most rewarding part of my job.” 

Defining moment

Roussey began his career with Oak Crest in 2011 as associate executive director. As his first experience with the Erickson Living lifestyle, it made an everlasting impression. 

“I had never really been in a retirement community setting before I visited Oak Crest,” says Roussey. “The first time I walked around the campus, I got a sense that I could add value to the lives of the people who live here. The mission of the company and the chance to be part of the community was quite compelling.” 

This March, Roussey accepted the position of executive director, overseeing the daily operations of the 87-acre community that is home to more than 2,100 residents and 1,000 employees. He says he feels as though he has spent the last five years preparing for this very role.

“There was a relational component with the residents that I really enjoyed when I was associate executive director,” says Roussey. “So when the opportunity to serve as executive director opened up, I thought it would be a really good match. 

“My job is to be a very good listener—to take what the residents are saying and try to incorporate it into the way we do things. I feel a great responsibility and obligation to deliver on the promises we make. The decisions we make directly affect people’s lives.” 

Roussey keeps ongoing communication with Oak Crest residents through town hall meetings and question and answer sessions, and he practices an open door policy. 

“I try to keep an ongoing dialogue with the residents,” says Roussey. “We meet regularly, chat with each other in the hallways; sometimes, residents just pop their heads into my office and let me know what is going on in their world.” 

Game plan

So what is his secret to success? According to Roussey, basketball hall of famer John Wooden said it best: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

“When I come to work each day, what I look forward to most is that there will be one moment in the day that I can provide support, guidance, and encouragement to our staff to be the best they can be,” says Roussey. “For me, it’s about giving my best every day. There is so much going on in the community that it can become overwhelming at times. I can’t be perfect, but I can give my best each day. That’s my mindset.” 

Prior to Oak Crest, Roussey enjoyed success as part of the first-generation leadership team that helped build Allegis Group into one of the largest technical staffing companies worldwide. He later launched MainBrain, a successful IT services firm, and worked as director of talent acquisition with Proteus Technologies. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Towson University. 

At home in Harford County, Roussey and his wife Faith have four children ages 14, 17, 22, and 26. They recently welcomed their first grandchild. 

Roussey attends Mountain Christian Church in Fallston and in his free time enjoys playing basketball and golf.