Napa Valley is a bucket list destination for wine and nature lovers alike, a scenic country of hillside vineyards in the temperate northern California climate, making it a coveted spot for visitors year-round. Now imagine calling it home in your golden years.
The Meadows of Napa Valley is a nonprofit retirement community teeming with resort-like amenities including a concierge desk, laundry service, aquatic and fitness centers, golf and bocce ball, and three onsite restaurants. But with its older residents in mind, the Meadows offers specialized programs like assisted living for those who need some extra help, as well as memory support services and rehabilitation care.
That’s because wellness is at the Meadows’ core. The company prides itself on upholding six pillars—physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, and vocational—that tackle different areas of health. These are aspects that Director of Facility Services Randy Ford keeps in mind when coordinating everything from landscaping to maintenance to construction and renovations of the massive property.
The director chuckles at jokes like, “I’m a facility manager, not a magician, but I can see why you might be confused.” As the man behind the curtain, bringing a beautiful yet functional community to life (or as he puts it, “anything you can see above or below ground”), he has to tap into his passions to ensure a seamless experience for the Meadows’ residents. He says he feels deeply connected to his position and the people there, adding that providing a safe, secure, and clean environment as well as maintaining good relationships with residents and staff are what he loves to do.
Most recently, Ford and his team were responsible for an $85 million expansion to the Meadows of Napa Valley, including a 92-unit addition that involved tearing down and reconstructing multiple wings, and the inclusion of two new restaurants, common areas, and a fitness and aquatic center. It was part of a remodel meant to attract baby boomers, the latest generation beginning to consider senior living accommodations.
The highly anticipated process took place over five years, introducing residents to the completed project in 2019. Ford collaborated with architects and electrical engineers to outline all the necessary logistics. Weekly phone calls between contractors, the owner, and architects involved discussions around everything from emergency power generators and kilowatt usage to risk management to general alignment for all stakeholders.
The long process was worth the wait, said Executive Director Wayne Panchesson in a 2019 interview with the Napa Valley Register. “People’s perception of retirement communities is a far cry from reality. The type of amenities and services we offer, as well as the quality of residences: I’d challenge anyone in Napa to not be impressed by this.”