Joska Hajdu, senior vice president of dining services for Brookdale Senior Living, has been named chairman of the board of Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to granting life-enriching wishes to older Americans.
Hajdu has been with Brookdale for nearly 20 years and is responsible for overseeing all aspect of dining services operations for the company nationwide. A native of the Netherlands, Hajdu began his career as executive chef at The Hallmark on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Prior to joining Brookdale, he was employed by Classic Residence by Hyatt as Director of Food and Beverage.
"Since its inception, Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime had made a tangible and positive impact in the lives of the seniors it has served. I am honored to be board chair, and I look forward to expanding on the accomplishments of this meaningful and ambitious organization," said Hajdu.
Hajdu holds a degree in culinary arts and hotel management and is an award winning executive chef, who started his career with N.A.T.O., at the prestigious Afcent Officers Club in the Netherlands. During his time with BSL, he founded the company's own culinary teaching institute in 1996. The award winning institute is today known as the Culinary Arts Institute at Brookdale. Brookdale dining programs have won eight Assisted Living Federation of America "Best of the Best" awards for excellence in senior living under Hajdu’s leadership.
"We are very pleased to have Joska’s amazing leadership skills guiding our board of directors in our mission to create a cultural shift on how we view aging throughout America, and to make Wishes of a Lifetime to come true for deserving seniors," said George Bogdewiecz, CEO of Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime.
JBWOL was established by two-time Olympic Skier, former NFL football player and Colorado native Jeremy Bloom. Bloom launched the foundation with the goal to initiate cultural change by granting the lifelong wishes of deserving seniors throughout the United States. The nonprofit organization was launched in spring 2008 in living honor of Bloom’s grandmother, Donna Wheeler, who is retired and lives in Keystone, Colo., and continues to serve as an inspiration to Bloom in his professional endeavors.
Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation established a partnership in 2010 to grant lifelong wishes to residents of Brookdale Senior Living communities. To request a wish, residents filled out a wish application explaining an experience they would like fulfilled and how that experience relates to one or more dimensions of Brookdale’s Optimum Life® platform. Optimum Life cultivates whole-person wellness through fulfillment in the six key dimensions: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual. Together, the partnership between Brookdale and Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime granted 191 wishes in 2011.
To learn more about Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation, visit www.seniorwish.org