2021 Excellence in Healthcare Honoree: Gerald S. Stryker
Meet Gerald S. Stryker, President/CEO at John Knox Village of Florida, Inc.
Gerry Stryker is a nationally recognized eldercare leader and visionary with over 30 years in the Senior Living Community industry. His commitment to developing vital, multi-generational communities, ongoing research with education and innovation excellence has attributed to his early leadership achievements in developing and managing four successful start-up Senior Living Communities in three states.
Favorite Quote: “How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions, by admitting their mistakes and by putting what’s best for their followers and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.” – John Maxwell
Fun Fact: I’m a master scuba diver trainer.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? When I was in middle school, I was too overweight to be on the Pop Warner football league. In high school, I worked with coaches and teachers who gave me the skills and knowledge to get in shape and the why of its importance. I played defensive tackle throughout high school and received a scholarship to play at Ithaca College.
What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? The construction and opening of The Woodlands in 2016, Florida’s only Green House Project (R) Model of Care and in 2021, the opening of the Center for Healthy Living and the all-new Aquatic Complex on the JKV campus.
How is the healthcare industry important to you personally? In graduate school at GW, I participated in a feasibility study on how the hospital/healthcare system can aid in developing senior living options and healthcare. That really turned the light on for me after losing my grandparents in their early 70s and I really missed getting to know them.
How did the pandemic disrupt your specific role in the healthcare industry, and how did you adapt? We learned how to use our relationships at the city, county and state level to create influence in advocating for John Knox Village. When we knew we had to start vaccinating residents, we used our genuine, personal relationships to position JKV as the first sight outside of a hospital in the state of Florida to administer the Pfizer vaccine.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? “High Performing CEO’s Understand the Four Behaviors: Decisiveness, Ability to Engage, Adapt Proactively, Delivery Reliability” from the Harvard Business Review
What do you love most about working in healthcare? I love providing inspiring, visionary and strategic leadership that transcends generations and makes a difference in the life of older adults as well as transform and support intergenerational communities.