Teresa (Terry) Klaassen is Founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Cultural Officer of Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Sunrise is the nation’s largest and most experienced provider of personalized senior living services. Sunrise has over 425 communities either open or under construction in the United States, U.K. and Canada, serving over 53,000 residents. The company went public on The Nasdaq Stock Market in May of 1996, and moved to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SRZ) in May of 2000.
Terry and her husband, Paul, founded Sunrise in 1981 and are nationally recognized pioneers of the assisted living concept in the United States. In the past 25 years, they have championed a resident-centered model of care-giving that offers a full range of personalized senior living services, from independent living, to assisted living, to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss and nursing and rehabilitative care.
As the Chief Cultural Officer, Terry helps the company stay focused on its commitment to its corporate core values and principles of service, encouraging staff to promote independence, dignity, freedom of choice and nurturing of the spirit. Utilizing her years of hands-on management experience she gained as the first care manager the administrator of the first Sunrise home to the national Chief Operating Officer, Terry helps develop and promote programs to educate and motivate current and future team members.
• Terry and Paul founded the industry trade association, ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America) in 1990.
• Vice Chairman of the Sunrise Senior Living Foundation Board
• Director of the Sunrise Foundation Education Board
• Member of The Women’s Forum, Washington, D.C.
• Appointed to Virginia State Health Reform Commission 2006
• Recipient of the 1993, Greater Washington, D.C., Entrepreneur of the Year Award
• Recipient of the 2000, George Mason University Alumnus of the Year Award
• Recent past rector of George Mason University
• Member of The Committee of 200
• Member of the Board of Visitors of Eastern University
• Member of the Commonwealth Institute of Miami
A graduate of George Mason University with a degree in Business Administration and received an honorary Doctorate from Eastern University. Terry is a frequent speaker, locally and nationally, on senior living, aging and long-term care issues. Terry and her husband, Paul, have been married for 29 years. They have three children, Christin, David and Lindsey and live in McLean, Virginia.