Gary Harper has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry with over 30 focused in retirement living. Starting at the grass-roots level, he has first-hand experience in all aspects of not only the day-to-day running of retirement facilities, but also the creation and implementation of policies and procedures, negotiation of partnerships, providing regional direction, strategic oversight, and ownership on a corporate level.
His 20-year career with Revera Inc. (Formerly Central Park Lodges) began as a Director of Culinary Services, but quickly moved to position of Vice President of Operations providing regional direction and strategic oversight with respect to a portfolio of 35 Retirement Communities. He remained in this position until 2008 when he left to pursue a career with Retirement Living Ottawa as the Director of Operations.
With Retirement Living Ottawa Mr. Harper was responsible of the design, development and lease up of the following properties, Prince of Wales Manor (125 suites) Alta Vista Manor (206 suites) and Valley Stream Manor (204 suites). Mr. Harper developed and implemented new corporate policies and procedures, negotiated the establishment of partnerships with local hospitals, the Community Care Access Centre and the Local Health Integration Networks.
His career with Retirement Living Ottawa transitioned into the appointment of Vice President of Operations for Regal Lifestyles Community when the two companies merged in October 2012. He was a member of the leadership team that grew the fledgling company from 10 properties to 24 in 3 years. Again, his experience was instrumental in formulating the company’s mission and values.
Aside from working in the Retirement Living community, Mr. Harper has been a member of the Board of Directors at ORCA (Ontario Residential Communities Association) that was involved in lobbying politicians, both at the provincial and local level on seniors’ issues and worked on revisions to ORCA’s strategic plan. Since 2015, Mr. Harper has volunteered his time to assist in the structuring of the Retirement Communities Management program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He is currently a member of the advisory committee, and has been involved in the development of all 10 modules of the Retirement Communities program that are focused on filling the need for qualified management in the growing retirement living sector.
Recently, Mr. Harper designed and constructed an “affordable Retirement Community” model that has proven to be a very successful building. Mr. Harper’s current development projects are Wildpine Retirement Residence in Stittsville which is under construction and is expected to open in Spring 2019 and Canoe Bay in Ottawa expected to open in 2020.