The document below was provided by Sean Kelly, CEO of Kendal Corporation, in response to the difficulty I was having in writing a summary of the organization of the Kendal System.  To me, two things are particularly striking about this document:

  • The Kendal System is a federation of independent “affiliates”, not a hierarchy. Kendal Corporation plays a supporting role, not a governing one.
  • A statement of principles (or “benchmarks”), by which the affiliates agreed to judge their success, is contained in a booklet called Values and Practices. (You can read it on the Kendal Corporation website here.)

Neither of these features was clear to me when I started trying to understand the Kendal System, but both are critical to the way it operates.

The following is the text of the Kendal System description provided by Sean Kelly. I have also saved it as a PDF in the exact format that Sean Kelly provided. You can download the PDF here.

The Kendal System – Description

The Kendal System consists of 13 operating Kendal Affiliate organizations, each of which is separately incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization.  Kendal also has a 501(c)(3) fundraising and grant-making organization, Kendal Charitable Funds, that collaborates with all Kendal entities. There is a supporting organization, The Kendal Corporation, which works with all affiliates.  All Kendal Affiliates provide care, services, and a variety of living options for older people through a continuum.  Many Kendal Affiliates are continuing care retirement communities. Current residential affiliates are located in eight states.

Pennsylvania, Kendal-Crosslands Communities in Kennett Square (Kendal at Longwood, Crosslands, Coniston, and Cartmel), Barclay Friends in West Chester, and Chandler Hall Health Services in Newtown (joined in 2013)

New Hampshire, Kendal at Hanover

Ohio, Kendal at Oberlin (subsidiary Kendal Northern Ohio and its subsidiary Kendal Community Outreach of Northern Ohio) and Kendal at Granville

New York, Kendal at Ithaca in Ithaca and Kendal on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow

Virginia, Kendal at Lexington

Massachusetts, The Lathrop Communities in Northampton and Easthampton

Maryland, Collington (joined the System in June 2011), in Mitchelville

Illinois, The Admiral at the Lake (joined in 2012), in Chicago 

Kendal at Home, based in Westlake, Ohio, became an affiliate in 2016.  Kendal at Home started in 2003 under the auspices of Kendal at Oberlin/Kendal Northern Ohio, which restructured in 2016.  Kendal also has a community in development currently in California through Kendal at Sonoma, where a pre-affiliation agreement is in place with the expectation that it will become an affiliate at the appropriate time. 

While other organizations measure their success primarily by the bottom line, The Kendal System uses its Values and Practices as benchmarks for its success. First published in 1987, the Values and Practices booklet was reissued in 2009 in a refined version.  The booklet spells out the principles of the Religious Society of Friends on which Kendal values are based, and describes practices that reflect experience gained over more than forty years, beginning with the earliest Kendal communities. The entire Kendal System commits to a common aspiration to live, work and evolve in accordance with these Values and Practices.

The Kendal Corporation keeps its home at the Worth Center on Kendal at Longwood’s campus and provides supportive services, systems, programs, training and subject matter expertise that is uniquely available to the Kendal System. In addition, The Kendal Corporation represents the system in addressing issues and opportunities affecting senior living broadly.

Every five years, the Kendal System conducts a review through its Leadership Forum of Board Chairs and CEOs.  They examine and refine the affiliation agreement and related documents that spell out the responsibilities of all affiliated parties. The nature of these responsibilities indicates the value that the Kendal System places on each individual organization, while at the same time promoting the strength that derives from working together and growing as a collective Kendal System. Goals of the current review include increased clarity around the nature of the Kendal System’s model, and enhanced collaboration, communication and transparency.

And, of course, we continue to aspire to achieve The Kendal Corporation’s mission of “Together, transforming the experience of aging®” as we work together to strengthen the efforts of society at large to pursue a better understanding of what is possible in life as people age.