Meet David Loop, The Chesapeake’s executive director

David Loop joined The Chesapeake as executive director in June. Loop brings more than 25 years of senior housing experience to The Chesapeake and has valuable involvement with expansion and renovation projects, hospitality program development, strategic planning and fiscal management. Loop has been very busy in his first few months in his new role, but he recently sat down to discuss his first impressions, highest priorities and greatest challenges at The Chesapeake.

The transcript below has been edited for clarity and length.

Question: What are your impressions of The Chesapeake thus far?

Loop: The Chesapeake is a fine retirement community with nearly 50 years of history. It’s located in the larger community of Newport News and is surrounded by a number of amenities and interesting historical and military sites. But more than the physical space and location, The Chesapeake is distinguished by the people who live and work there. The residents, who bring a variety of life experiences, have bonded together like family. Similarly, our longtime team members bring years and years of dedicated service to their jobs, while new team members bring innovative ideas and a special energy. Each day, our team members are invited into the homes of residents to serve them, and we count that as an important privilege and responsibility.

Question: What are your highest priorities for The Chesapeake?

My highest priority at this point is simply getting acquainted. I want to create lines of communication with the residents and staff to share information and receive feedback. With more than 400 residents — 300 in independent living — I’ve embarked on one-on-one visits with residents. I’m now approaching 80 visits and will continue until all are complete. These are social calls that allow me to get to know residents and help me appreciate our history and our traditions.

Question: What is your greatest challenge?

Our greatest challenge every day is respecting and honoring our current residents, while at the same time positioning The Chesapeake to attract new potential residents. I don’t want to say “next generation,” because we have multiple generations living in our community now. But what are our prospects looking for? What amenities will attract them? We want to find the proper balance between respecting our current residents while also ensuring The Chesapeake will be here for the next 50 years.