Roger Carlsen, the new owner of Traditions in Preston, has already been moving forward in changes to the assisted living facility. The owner of several apartment buildings, Carlsen will bring his expertise as well as a desire to improve the lives of the residents.
Roger Carlsen, the new owner of Traditions in Preston, has already been moving forward in changes to the assisted living facility. The owner of several apartment buildings, Carlsen will bring his expertise as well as a desire to improve the lives of the residents.
It is something new for him just as much as it is for the resident and employees at Traditions of Preston. Taking over ownership of the local assisted living facility in July, Roger Carlsen has quickly come to know what it is like to own such a facility.

The 51-year-old Mantorville man has 20 years of experience in land development and owns several apartment buildings and commercial properties in Faribault and Rochester. Owning an assisted living facility is new to him.

The 2009-established facility had never changed hands prior to Carlsen finding out about it last January.

"I had indicated that I wanted to acquire one," Carlsen explained about his desire to get into the assisted living facility market. He toured Traditions last March, went through the proper negotiating and took over ownership during the summer.

"It looked like a good opportunity," he said, noting how the building was beautiful and situated on a good chunk of land. "It was a diamond in the rough."

That diamond began undergoing some polishing soon after Carlsen took over. He took time to speak with residents, family members and employees and came up with both short- and long-term goals for the facility. The parking lot, which was in poor shape, was redone with fresh asphalt and the sidewalk area had new concrete poured. Fresh paint was applied on the outside and Carlsen installed raised garden beds for the residents.

According to Carlsen, those projects are just the beginning. In the future, he plans on having the building resided, a backup generator installed and the entire inside repainted during the coming winter. "The building is in good shape," he added.

The main short-term goal for Carlsen is to "get it running very well." He is looking forward to maintaining the quality of care that had been established.

"The caregivers are fabulous. Traditions has a good reputation for caregivers," he said. The reason for focusing on the care is simple in Carlsen's mind. "If you give the quality of care you should, everything else will follow."

He went on to explain that all the employees at the facility are screened and vetted intensely prior to being hired. "They truly care about the residents," Carlsen said.

Carlsen visits the facility at least once a week and meets with the management company, Oxford Property Management, weekly as well.

In the time he has spent on site, he has noted his impressions of the residents. During his interviews with them, Carlsen said many of the residents knew people from Mantorville and had made that connection with him during their discussion. "It's fun to talk to them and hear their stories. There is a small-town atmosphere," he described.

Drawing upon his professional experience as well as his personal values, Carlsen explained, "Everything I got was from hard work and persistence." He said he is fiscally responsible and hopes to portray that through his ownership of Traditions.

Employees at Traditions have already noted a new energy at the facility because of the new owner. "He's hands-on and down to earth," explained Director of Housing Andrea Atwood. "He comes in and says, 'I want this done' and it's changed. The staff is excited and the tenants are very appreciative of him."

Though he is the new owner, Carlsen already seems to have established a tradition of caring at Traditions.