Seasons Retirement Communities Turns 15! A Conversation with the Company’s Thought Leaders

Mike and LeighAnne Seasons Retirement Celebrates 15 years

Seasons Retirement Communities, established in 2009, is a Canadian-owned and operated senior housing provider of 23 retirement communities in Ontario and Alberta, supporting over 2,400 residents and 1,800 team members. The executive leadership team includes four individuals with almost 60 years of experience in the senior housing sector, including the current CEO and COO, the two first-ever employees at Seasons.

This year marks a significant milestone for the company, celebrating 15 years of providing residents with exceptional care and customer service. Below, CEO Mike Lavallée and COO LeighAnne Voll speak about how Seasons started, the successes shared, and their hopes for the future.

Q1: When did you start at Seasons?

Mike: In November 2009, I started as COO, the first employee at Seasons. I have been CEO since May 2018. Seven years of experience with other senior housing operators led me to start Seasons from scratch.

LeighAnne: I started in February 2010 as Vice-President of Sales & Marketing and the second employee at Seasons.

Q2: What brought you to the senior housing sector?

ML: I fell into this sector by fortunate circumstances. I had just finished a role with an e-learning platform start-up and was asked to consult with Jarlette Health Services. This led to several assignments over the next three years, including running a Long-Term Care residence and retirement home, opening a private career college, and managing a construction project. I then had an opportunity to join Chartwell as Associate Vice President and was promoted to Vice President of Operations for Ontario.

LV: I always thought I would be a teacher; however, my close relationship with my grandparents forever changed my path when my grandmother suffered a stroke and recovered in an institutional rehab setting. I was incensed at how little engagement there was for older patients. That experience defined my career. My first role in our sector was in the recreation department of a long-term care home. That’s why I am passionate about the FUN at Seasons communities! I have had the good fortune of many incredible mentors at various companies, allowing me to work in multiple frontline, manager and executive roles. These hands-on experiences gave me an invaluable understanding of retirement home operations, sales and marketing and solidified my career-long commitment to senior housing.

Q3: What accomplishment or achievement of our company are you most proud of?

ML: As a senior leader at Seasons, one of my key goals and objectives is to attract, develop, and retain top talent to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage and commit to our shared mission of service excellence for our residents. I am proud to have helped build an organization whose culture lives and breathes this commitment, as evidenced by our Great Places to Work® Certification, Canada’s Best Managed, and many more accolades.

LV: While we are very proud of our accomplishments, we have also experienced our share of setbacks; as a company, we are humble enough to recognize these failures, commit to improvements and move forward. Testing out new policies, initiatives, or equipment comes with the understanding that there may be missteps. Still, we have gained the knowledge and insights needed to learn, grow and do things differently to respond to our residents’ needs. Our message to team members: No matter how hard it may seem, keep going because the reward of positively impacting our residents’ lives is well worth the effort. With one foot in front of the other, the support of our team members and some good belly laughs along the way, our teams continue to show us how capable, caring and resilient they are.

Q4: What is the one thing you secretly wish team members knew about Seasons…or you?

ML: I would share with our team members that it is through perseverance and consistency that great things happen. Nothing worth having comes without effort. Our 15-year milestone is noteworthy because all the hard work and challenging lessons learned to this point help set the stage for the next 15 years. 

LV: There is something exceptional about the culture at Seasons. You can see it in the tenure of our long-standing team members; they are super passionate about and committed to living our mission, vision, and values every day. These folks grow to their fullest potential and develop into roles they may have never imagined!

Personally, people may be surprised to learn that I’m secretly an introvert. I rely on my school drama classes to bring me out of my shell! And I hope everyone knows how passionate I am about continually improving things for our residents by fostering and supporting our terrific team members.


Q5: What are your aspirations for our company over the following 15 years?

ML: Seasons is part of an elite group: only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more! We have survived the most challenging period I could ever have imagined as a business leader. Our company is in great shape, poised to grow its organizational capabilities to improve our service outcomes further and develop great career opportunities for our future senior leaders. The following 15 years will be full of challenges and new reasons to celebrate.

LV: What matters to our residents and team members may change, but the roots remain solid. Seasons will continue along the path of refinement as a company; we will work to drive engagement further, enhance efficiencies and effectiveness, and improve overall satisfaction. As we continue to develop, we hope that passionate and dedicated team members will continue along the journey so we can evolve together.

Seasons’ people-centred culture defines its brand. If you are passionate about making a difference in the lives of seniors, apply today! Visit our Careers page to learn more. 

Seasons Celebrates 15 years

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