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ALFA names new leader

December 3, 2014
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Editor's Addendum: Read our exclusive interview with incoming ALFA President and CEO James Balda and ALFA Board of Directors Chair Brenda Bacon here.

James Balda will become president and chief executive officer of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) in mid-January, the organization announced today.

“I am honored to join ALFA and to work with the board and our members to create the ‘new ALFA,’ which will support our members as they continue to shape the future of senior living through standard setting, credentialing, education and continued advocacy for quality choices in senior living,” Balda said in a statement. “I also look forward to creating stronger partnerships with ALFA’s state chapters and affiliates as we work together to meet our common goals. This is a very exciting time for ALFA.”

ALFA is working on a name change, a credentialing program and professional standards, as the organization's interim CEO, Maribeth Bersani, detailed in a recent exclusive interview with Long-Term Living.

“We are thrilled to welcome James to ALFA,” Brenda Bacon, CEO of Brandywine Senior Living and chairperson of the ALFA Board of Directors, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him as the organization continues to evolve in order to provide even more value to our rapidly growing and essential industry.”

Balda brings nearly two decades of association experience in business development, marketing and membership. Most recently, he was senior vice president of innovation and business development of the National Restaurant Association. Prior to holding that position, he was vice president of member services and professional development at America’s Health Insurance Plans. Before that, he held positions at the Health Insurance Association of America and the Newspaper Association of America.

Balda was selected after a national search conducted by the ALFA Board's Executive Committee and led by executive search firm Korn Ferry. He succeeds former ALFA President and CEO Richard Grimes, who retired in June. Bersani, the organization's senior vice president of public policy, has been serving as interim CEO since then.

Related content: ALFA plans big changes