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Full circle

It’s been over a decade since Todd Delaney worked at Cedar Crest; now he’s the executive director

Created date

February 19th, 2018
Executive Director Todd DeLaney says you can expect to see his family regularly around Cedar Crest.

Executive Director Todd DeLaney says you can expect to see his family regularly around Cedar Crest.


I first met Todd DeLaney outside of Woodland Commons in 2007, before the clubhouse and its residence buildings were open. Erickson Living’s marketing department was doing a photoshoot of the newest neighborhood at Cedar Crest, and as an operations assistant for general services, he was on-hand to help our team with whatever we needed. 

Many years later, we met again at Seabrook. He had graduated—from several roles within Erickson Living—and was now serving as executive director at Cedar Crest’s sister community in Tinton Falls. Still as helpful as ever. 

We most recently reconnected over the holidays so he could tell me about his new role as executive director—back at Cedar Crest where it all began. 

True to form, he’s ready and willing to help in any way needed and most definitely up for the job.

Collins: You started your Erickson career right here at Cedar Crest. What’s it like to be back? 

DeLaney: There’s a comfort in being back in a place that you’re relatively familiar with. A lot has changed over the years, and there are different people, but there are a lot of familiar faces too. It’s been nice to reconnect and reflect on where my career started and how I can make a difference now. 

Collins: How have you managed the transition—such as questions, concerns, or suggestions from residents—to make it a positive experience for everyone?  

DeLaney: I come with an open heart and an open mind. My goal is to listen and learn and get to know people in a meaningful way, taking time to build relationships. I also try to be totally transparent and straightforward about what we can accomplish.

Collins: You mentioned in your first Mountain Matters letter that you find the experience of working with older adults very rewarding. Could you share an anecdote of one of your most rewarding Erickson memories? 

DeLaney: I had a very close relationship with a resident at Brooksby, Lois Anderson. From the time I got my first job as a director, she really embraced the opportunity to support me and help me be successful by making sure I was in touch with the community. We developed a social relationship and got together for lunch once a month. Then once I moved out of state, my family and I went back three times to visit so she could meet my kids. 

Collins: What are your long-term goals as executive director at Cedar Crest? 

DeLaney: To run the campus in a way that ensures we have an active, thriving community. To take the right steps now to position ourselves for long-term success and anticipate the needs of residents who are moving in now and in the future. 

More specifically, we aim to get over 95% occupancy and maintain that as the norm. We will be repositioning our community space to be modern and to get ahead of the trends that are coming. And we want to grow and develop strong leaders.

Collins: Could you share some short-term goals or some things we can expect to happen at Cedar Crest within the next year? 

DeLaney: We are going to start significant work on repositioning some of our clubhouse space. We’ll be modernizing dining venues and clubhouse space as well as some of our apartments. We’ll be taking important steps in 2018 to bring more people to the Cedar Crest lifestyle and partner with the new RAC [Resident Advisory Council] to make good decisions for the community. 

Collins: In your opinion, what makes Cedar Crest so special? 

DeLaney: The uniqueness of being built into the side of a mountain with stunning views makes Cedar Crest an attractive community. 

The collaborative relationship between community members and staff is unique and so special. Our residents bring a certain energy to how they engage, and when it all comes together, it can be truly fulfilling and impactful. 

Collins: How have your previous roles in this industry, particularly with Erickson Living—dining services, general services, assistant administrator of continuing care, director of continuing care, associate executive director, and executive director—prepared you to come full circle back to Cedar Crest as their executive director? 

DeLaney: The key word here is exposure—having different opportunities at different locations to grow my understanding of the business lines and the uniqueness of each community within Erickson Living. That exposure has made me relatively well rounded. I think I can be very effective here at Cedar Crest because of that exposure. 

Collins: What are some of your favorite annual local events—both within and outside of Cedar Crest? 

DeLaney: I’ve only been back here a short time, but during the holidays I truly appreciated all the people in our community bringing different traditions together and being thankful for what we have here. Watching how much the community means to both our residents and staff is very rewarding. 

Collins: What’s one of your most endearing quirks? 

DeLaney: One a lot of people appreciate is that I am very good at learning people’s names. I’m very intentional and try my best to call people by name. 

Collins: Cedar Crest is a place where residents are typically proud of their heritage, and there are even groups like the Italian Round Table and German Language Club. What’s your family heritage?   

DeLaney: My family is of Irish heritage, and my wife is a McNally, so we share that. In my immediate family, I have three siblings who are adopted; I have a sister who’s Korean and two others adopted from within the United States.