Judson Park photo
Nikole Jay is the new executive director at Des Moines’ Judson Park retirement community.

Former figure skater takes the helm at Des Moines’ Judson Park

Nikole Jay, a veteran in retirement community care, has been named the executive director of Judson Park, an American Baptist Homes of the West community with about 300 residents in Des Moines.

Jay previously served as health services administrator at Emerald Heights, a retirement community in Redmond. She joined ABHOW on March 5, filling the post vacated by Russell Akiyama, who retired this year after more than eight years at the helm of Judson Park.

“I absolutely feel a connection to serve seniors in my life,” said Jay, who has worked in retirement community care for 15 years, including more than four at Emerald Heights.

Tara McGuinness, ABHOW vice president and regional operations manager, said Jay’s qualifications impressed her during the search for Judson Park’s new executive director.

“Nikole stood out as a dynamic and highly intelligent leader with exceptional communication skills and a passion for serving older adults,” McGuinness said. “I am excited about the leadership and resident services acumen Nikole is bringing to Judson Park.”

Born and raised in Nebraska, Jay was a competitive figure skater as a child. Her family moved to Washington state in 1988 when she was 13 so she could be closer to her figure skating coach. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.

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