Adam Mitchell takes a compassionate, empowering approach to senior care.

Shifting from the advertising world to managing a senior living community isn’t part of a typical career trajectory. But Adam Mitchell’s experience in the ad world has informed his work in senior living quite nicely. He’s been able to bring his marketing and advertising knowledge into play as AlmaVia of San Francisco‘s new Executive Director.

In this role, Mitchell oversees the assortment of services offered at AlmaVia of San Francisco: memory care, assisted living, rehabilitation, care coordination, community programs, and more.

To succeed, he has to know everyone involved in the organization—staff, managers, residents and residents’ families—and he need to interact with all of them on a daily basis. And though some might find this overwhelming, Mitchell embraces it.

“I think this is a great way to work, because I am always aware of who I’m there with and who I serve,” he says.

Mitchell, who’s originally from the Los Angeles area, started his career as a marketing researcher, but made the switch to long-term care about eight years ago. He’s been with Elder Care Alliance since August 2014, when he started as Assistant Executive Director at Oakland’s Mercy Retirement & Care Center. In January, he relocated to AlmaVia of San Francisco.

Working with Elder Care Alliance, Mitchell is able to apply his previous professional experience and strive to fulfill a mission he believes in.

For instance, because of his history with consumer research, Mitchell knows and understands the value of customer (or resident, as the case may be) feedback. So he makes a point to attend every resident council meeting, listen to comments and respond to them effectively.

“I really do want to know what people think. I want their unvarnished opinions,” says Mitchell. “It’s so important to hear directly from residents on what they are happy about, what they’d like to see changed and, in essence, what’s important to them, because ultimately that’s why I’m here.”

Mitchell credits his commitment to AlmaVia and its residents to the overarching mission of Elder Care Alliance. Like the organization, Mitchell seeks to care for seniors by encouraging holistic wellness and championing their ability to make their own decisions.

“I try to lead by example and promote respect for residents’ personal choices, regardless of whether it fits with what we think a resident ‘should’ do,” says Mitchell. “Everyone is on their own journey, and we must respect that.”

Though he’s still relatively new to Elder Care Alliance, Mitchell has a knack for achieving big-picture results. He makes an effort to support both individual residents and the organization as a whole, and it’s the harmony between those two elements that makes his work so effective.

“We never lose focus of why we’re here and what we’re working for,” says Mitchell. “The beginnings of Elder Care Alliance go way back, as part of a tradition that’s more than a hundred years old. And we need to project that same vision a hundred years into the future.”