By Stacy Johnson
In 2007, Harvard Business School graduate, Kris Woolley, of the Hermosa Vista Ward in Hermosa Vista Stake, began working for a national apartment development and management company that included a number of properties catering to seniors. He petitioned the company to expand into assisted living, but that wasn’t the direction the company wanted to go. Kris knew that someday he would offer assisted living to seniors.
Four years later, the timing was right for Kris to branch out on his own. With the support of his wife and small children, Kris launched Avista Senior Living. They began with the acquisition of an existing 91-unit community in the heart of Mesa’s historic district. Six months later, they acquired a second community in Phoenix with 149 units.
The Mesa property is located at 248 N. MacDonald St., a short drive to the Mesa Temple and across the street from the City of Mesa Senior Center. According to Kris, “the company prides itself on providing our residents wholesome activities for the mind, body and spirit.”
They have Book of Mormon study groups and weekly outings to the temple as well as scheduled outings for shopping, banking and community events. The activities calendar is full with activities to satisfy a variety of interest—everything from Wii tournaments, crafts, card games, movies, to socials and more.
Each apartment boasts a full-size kitchen and spacious floor plan. Included in the price are utilities, laundry and cleaning service, restaurant-style dining, 24-hour care assistance, salon services, chapel, dog park, pool and many more amenities. Each resident has a care plan drafted to their individual needs, whether it is specialized care or more independent living.
Avista is LDS-owned and operated. Kris says, “Avista’s mission is to provide excellent housing and care for our residents. We have a team of people that reflect this culture.”
In addition to the valuable service provided by the staff, Avista is a welcome place where full-time missionaries, ward youth groups and others come to serve. The residents belong to the Centennial Ward in the Mesa North Stake and Avista works closely with the bishop to serve the needs of the LDS residents.
Beau Ayers, of the Fairway Groves Ward, Alta Mesa Stake, and executive director for Avista remarks, “I’ve never seen a management company like this…I was surprised to see that the owner knew the residents names and interests. You don’t see that in this business very often.”
Kris adds, “We have a wonderful team and we are passionate about what we do. Simply stated, we love our residents.”