Irma Toce, CEO, announced her retirement after a decade of successful leadership at Londonderry on the Tred Avon.
Londonderry has thrived under Irma’s leadership over the past ten years because she was committed to creating a culture and community where everyone, residents and staff alike, is invested in our success,” says Julie Crocker, Londonderry Board President. “She will be sorely missed, but we know we are on a great path thanks to her hard work and mentorship of our team.”
Before moving on to her next chapter in early 2024, Toce has committed to working with her successor to ensure a smooth leadership transition over the next few months.
Irma’s success at Londonderry has centered around her commitment to excellence and her ability to inspire others to think big. When Toce first began at Londonderry, she challenged residents and staff to think differently about what the community could be and could offer.
“We are not selling real estate here, it’s truly much more of a lifestyle. We offer a home, a community, to support our residents’ last chapter, so let’s make that a happy chapter, and one to remember. The more we can give to the residents and keep them independent, the better it is. And that’s what we’ve been doing, and I think we’ve done it well.”
It is this guiding principle that has inspired many changes on the campus over the last decade. Irma inspired her team to embrace a hospitality mindset and holistic approach to wellness that grew to include more resident engagement, on and off campus activities, fitness classes and a complete revamping of the dining services operation to include more locally-sourced and well-balanced meals.
Toce also spearheaded many physical changes to the Londonderry campus, such as the grand re-opening of Magnolia Manor in 2016, the building of the new clubhouse in 2017-2018, the creation of new floorplans and the complete build out of the community.
She also led the community through milestones, both happy and challenging, including the community’s 25th and 30th anniversaries as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Toce put safety plans in place and cared for residents in any way they needed during the pandemic. “She got us through COVID,” says Rachel Smith, Sales and Marketing Director. “She made sure the team, to the best of our ability, kept offering residents the lifestyle Londonderry is known for.”
It is this investment in the Londonderry team that will endure as her biggest legacy.
Londonderry is known for its strong team of staff members who go above and beyond in service to residents. “Through exemplary leadership and a strong dedication to her career, Toce has created a hardworking and passionate team that looks up to her and trusts her to lead them down the right path,” says Rachel Smith, Marketing and Sales Director. “She is known for always putting her team and residents at Londonderry first, making everyone feel seen and heard within the workplace, as well as in the community.”
While looking forward to the future, Toce reminisces on what she will miss the most about Londonderry, “I will miss the team. They’re just wonderful. What they do for the residents is amazing to me, and they all do it with smiles on their faces. I hope they stay as cohesive and supportive as they are now and will look towards the future, not the past. There are a lot of changes in healthcare, and there will always be changes in independent living. As a team, you need to be prepared for that.”
In addition to her work on the Londonderry campus, Toce is recognized as an expert on aging and senior living. She has shared her wisdom with the Talbot County Council on Aging and through the Ask Irma series with the Talbot Spy, starting in 2018, a monthly column that covered Toce responding to readers’ questions on issues related to aging.
During her tenure, both Londonderry and Toce have been honored numerous times at the local and regional level, highlights include: 7 years as the Best Retirement Community in What’s Up Eastern Shore Magazine, Best Residential Community by Coastal Style Magazine, Best Boss from APG Media’s Best of the Best Chesapeake Awards in 2022, Best Retirement Community and Best Assisted/Senior Living Community by APG Media’s Best of the Best Chesapeake Awards, Top 20 Outstanding Woman CEO by The Women Leaders Magazine in 2022, featured as a “Faces of Retirement on the Eastern Shore” in Baltimore Magazine, and Best Large Business from the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.
In her retirement, Toce plans to travel (initial destinations include Aruba, Portugal and her home country of Holland) and enjoy her new home in coastal Delaware.