Aaron brings more than 25+ years of hands-on experience and leadership to the organization’s highly seasoned team based in Olympia, WA.
Emmett Aaron Koelsch, President and CEO of Koelsch Senior Communities, literally grew up in a nursing home. His parents, Emmett and Alice, purchased a 52-bed nursing home in Kelso, WA, shortly before he was born and turned the basement into their family home. “My parents made it a place where people would want to live because we lived there, too,” Aaron has often said. Aaron grew up attending church, playing baseball and learning every aspect of senior care from the ground up. After college, he spent four years working for a national health care provider as a Nursing Home Administrator. In 1988 at age 29, Aaron built his first Assisted Living Community and served as the Executive Director for, Sterling Inn, in Victorville CA with his wife Judy as the Principle Designer. Judy has continued as the lead designer in every community since and she has complemented his leadership with her artistic talents.
Aaron remembers both the joy of starting out and the exhaustion, too, from long hours and fear of failure. “It was both scary and exhilarating, a time of growth I wouldn’t trade for anything,” he says. After 28 years at the helm, Aaron has grown his family business into 23 senior communities in seven states and 8 communities under construction in 2016 alone. He draws inspiration for his communities from his parents who modeled warmth and respect for co-workers and seniors, coupled with careful attention to detail. Preferring to be closely involved in every aspect of developing his communities, Aaron also founded his own construction company, Koelsch Construction, recognized for its expertise in senior housing and commercial projects. Aaron graduated from Walla Walla College in Washington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.