Brightview Shelton, a senior living facility which officially opened in June, was recognized as the area’s top new business during a special grand opening celebration held last month.

Brightview Senior Living, the Shelton facility’s parent company, held the party on Dec. 10 featuring a ribbon cutting with more than 265 people - from residents and their families to facility staff and executives - in attendance.

“We opened our doors this past June, and to already have 75 residents is a great place to be,” said Terry Jackson, Brightview Shelton executive director, who was presented the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “Silver Hammer Award” as the area’s best new business.

“We're well ahead of schedule here … things are going exceptionally well from an operations standpoint,” added Jackson, speaking to those in attendance. “We greatly appreciate you entrusting us at a transitional period of your life.”

Brightview Shelton, located at 30 Beard Sawmill Road and comprised of 161 apartments, with 86 as independent living, 48 as assisted living and 26 units in memory care, officially welcomed new residents on June 3. The founding members were commemorated at the Dec. 10 celebration with a plaque to be displayed in the facility.

“In making my decision, safety and a vibrant community were the two most important factors to me, and Brightview Shelton has more than delivered on their promise,” said Cher Traendly, a founding member and independent living resident, on why she chose the Shelton facility.

“Brightview is not only home for my father but also now home to my husband and myself,” said Johnna Dineley, daughter of founding member Louis Cullen. “Brightview Shelton is like one big family.”

Jackson said the facility’s success was tapping the independent living segment of the senior community, which he says has been “significantly overlooked in this market area.

“This has allowed us to attract more vibrant residents, more active residents unmatched in the industry,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the high-quality menu offerings and extensive activities - such as the passports to adventures program featuring a documentary and demonstrations - as enticements for prospective residents.

"We do not just fill an activity calendar to have it filled,” said Cari Edwards, Brightview Shelton vibrant living director. “We want to keep our residents engaged and educated. We want them to leave a program feeling that they got something from it.”

Jackson said Brightview Senior Living’s commitment to adequate staffing - with 108 employees handling 75 residents - helped highlight Brightview Shelton as a top business in the area. “We want to have the best possible service delivery every day so we can meet all the promises to all the residents.”

Brightview Senior Living builds, owns and operates more than 40 communities along the East Coast. Brightview Shelton is one of two such facilities in Connecticut.

“We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received,” said Brightview Senior Living President Doug Dollenberg. “We are looking forward to continuing to build relationships with our residents and their families for years to come.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com