January 8, 2021
The Reutlinger Community, in conjunction
with Eskaton, is proud to announce the hiring of their new
executive director, Clara Allen. Allen comes to The Reutlinger
Community with over 25 years of experience in senior living and
services, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise,
particularly in the Bay Area’s nonprofit sector. Replacing Jay
Zimmer, Allen was most recently the executive director of Friends
House, a nonprofit Quaker-inspired CCRC (Continuing Care
Retirement Community) in Santa Rosa, CA. Prior to that, she was
the assistant executive director of San Francisco Towers, a Life
Plan Community in San Francisco, CA.
Possessing a Bachelor of Education in therapeutic recreation from the University of Toledo, and a Master of Arts in gerontology from San Francisco State University, Allen began her career in senior services as a recreation therapist and activities coordinator for an adult day care provider in northern Virginia. It was there that she obtained considerable, valuable insight into the needs and preferences of older adults, inspiring her to take a holistic approach to providing care and services. After a decade of acting in this capacity, Allen transitioned to administration 15 years ago, determined to use her knowledge and experience to facilitate personalized, individualized care for the residents in her communities.
Allen is a LNHA (Licensed Nursing Home Administrator), CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist), and possesses a RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) certification. She has acted as a support group facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association, participated with the California Culture Change Coalition as a member of the teaching team, and was a keynote speaker at the Northern California Council of Activity Coordinators conference in 2015. Allen was a volunteer at the San Francisco Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line for two years helping older adults who were socially and emotional at-risk. When the devastating wildfires disrupted daily life for the Santa Rosa community in September of 2020, she acted as the incident commander for her community, overseeing the safe and successful evacuation of both residents and staff members.
Allen currently resides in the Petaluma area, where she enjoys getting into nature and hiking around the Bay Area and Sonoma County. She is also an avid open-water swimmer, and plans to participate in this year’s Alcatraz swim, for the second time. She believes one of the more important aspects of her role as the executive director of The Reutlinger Community is to provide her employees with thoughtful, educated mentorship, by identifying their strengths and helping them to discover what makes them passionate about working with older adults. She considers herself to be a “servant leader,” and that providing a stable, steady presence during times of difficulty is a vital component of her position.
“The highest stewardship responsibility we had to The Reutlinger Community was to find the most qualified and warm person to lead the community into the future with a commitment to support Jewish values and traditions, while also providing operational expertise and quality care for the residents. In Clara Allen, we have found that person.” – Todd Murch, Eskaton CEO
Located in Danville, CA, The Reutlinger Community provides high-quality health care and support services to seniors in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.