Q &A: Philip Burkholder, new executive director at Integrace Fairhaven in Sykesville

Q &A: Philip Burkholder, new executive director at Integrace Fairhaven in Sykesville
Philip Burkholder just joined the team at Integrace Fairhaven as its new executive director this May. (R.LaFollette / Contributed / BSMG)

Philip Burkholder just joined the team at Integrace Fairhaven in Sykesville as its new executive director this May. He has more than 10 years of executive leadership experience in the senior housing industry, and oversees the day-to-day operations at Fairhaven as well as design and implement strategic plans for the organization.

Burkholder came from York, Pennsylvania, where he spent more than eight years with the United Zion Retirement Community in Lititz, serving first as executive director and then as CEO. He also held previous leadership positions with Ware Presbyterian Village in Oxford, Pennsylvania and Garden Spot Village in New Holland, Pennsylvania.


“Having the opportunity to serve at Integrace Fairhaven is truly an honor, as the community offers both a well-established history blended with innovative and forward-thinking services that are so needed and desired today,” Burkholder said. “I am so glad to be a part of the Integrace team, and I’m inspired to carry on Fairhaven’s great legacy while furthering the organization’s mission to create amazing communities.”

Said Jackie Harris, Integrace President and CEO: “Philip is well respected in our region and our industry, and his history demonstrates that he shares Integrace’s passion for creating vibrant, innovative communities where older adults desire to live. Our colleagues and residents are honored to welcome him to Fairhaven.”

The Times caught up with Burkholder to ask him about his new gig.

Q: What drew you to Integrace Fairhaven?

A: I was definitely drawn to Fairhaven’s long history as a vibrant community in a well-established small town. But the strongest draw was Integrace’s reputation for providing forward-thinking neurocognitive research and support.

Q: What is your favorite part of your work; what has kept you in this industry for more than 10 years (and counting)?

A: My favorite part of my service in long-term care is having the opportunity to walk alongside folks who have such rich life experiences and being able to support them in their next steps. They are truly inspiring and I am blessed to serve them on their journey.

Q: What do you hope to bring to Integrace — or improve — as its new executive director?

A: Efficiency, financial viability, consistent systems and a strong story are core to any organization and we will continue to build on these qualities at Fairhaven. But our ultimate goal is to build these qualities with joy, love, hope and sustainablity. So I hope I bring fun that lasts.

Q: How do you think aging is changing with the “silver tsunami” of baby boomers, and how might that affect the way senior living facilities like Integrace plan and operate?

A: Senior living organizations must focus on flexibility, as our offerings and systems will be challenged by new generations of older adults with vast and different expectations and financial resources. But organizations that show flexibility will see these challenges as new opportunities to excel, and will adjust as necessary to continue to serve residents well into the future.

Q: Are there misconceptions people have about their future needs as they age? What are they?

A: I believe that most people grasp their current reality and step forward responsibly as they plan for their futures. However, I also believe some people underestimate their capacity to continue to learn and grow as they age. With a less hectic schedule, retirement is the ideal time to focus on your hobbies and passions, to try new things, to explore art and exercise, to build new relationships. People tend to think of retirement as a time to “settle down,” but the people who experience the most reward and satisfaction as they age are those who use this time to step outside their comfort zones and find new ways to express themselves.