Bayview looked nationwide for a new chief executive officer to lead the Queen Anne senior living community, but the candidate that rose to the top ended up being a familiar face.

“My vision for Bayview is that we become a model for aging, that we’re able to incorporate all research and best practices, and continue to be innovative,” said Bayview CEO Nancy Weinbeck.

Weinbeck haS spent the last 18 years with Bayview, rising up the ranks to director of residential operations, and then taking over as CEO following the retirement of Mary Cordts.

Cordts spent the past seven years leading the senior living community through a $57 million reinvestment project, which was no easy task, Weinbeck said, considering part of the challenge was working around residents.

“We’ve got a few things left to do, but most of the project is done, and it’s great that she led us through that,” Weinbeck said.

Weinbeck grew up on Coney Island. Her father was a civil engineer with the New York Transit Authority, and his parents lived in the same building. Her maternal grandparents were also close by.

“My grandparents were a part of my life almost on a daily basis,” she said, “and I got a lot of love from them, in addition to my parents.”

She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a focus on gerontology.

“It was kind of an up-and-coming field at the time,” Weinbeck said.

Her senior thesis focused on gerontology, and she worked on it with a centenarian and former aria singer.

“That really stayed with me,” Weinbeck said. “It really inspired me, I would say, through my career.”

Weinbeck spent five years working at a senior center outside Philadelphia before attending Ohio State University on a four-year fellowship to study clinical psychology with a focus on health.

She ended up taking a leave of absence, moving to Seattle and taking a job at Amazon in 1997.

“When I started there they were still the ‘the Earth’s biggest bookstore,’” she said.

Weinbeck said she wasn’t feeling fulfilled, and wanted to get back to working with seniors. Then she saw an ad in the newspaper for a resident services position at Bayview.

Weinbeck went back to school and received a masters in nonprofit management in 2016. From there she found herself becoming more involved in the business side of Bayview and taking on more responsibilities across departments, she said.

Weinbeck said she sees strong bonds between Bayview staff and residents. While there are some negative opinions about aging, she said, working with seniors provides incredible perspective, wisdom and creativity.

“There’s a lot of giving and a lot of love to share,” Weinbeck said. “Your perspective changes, so it’s such a gift to be around older people.”

Weinbeck’s parents qualify for that category, and soon they’ll be moving up from California to stay at Bayview, which she said had been in the works before she was tabbed as the new CEO.

Bayview recently received an honorable mention from the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging’s Promising Practices award for its new AgeUp program, which uses research and a task force of residents, staff and community volunteers to change perceptions about aging.

“The people who have poorer attitudes about aging don’t age well,” Weinbeck said. “It’s not rocket science.”

Bayview will continue being innovative, said Weinbeck, who loves research. The nonprofit is currently producing a documentary series about life at Bayview.

While 18 years at the nonprofit sounds like a long time, Weinbeck said, there is staff that has been there for decades longer than she has.

“You don’t hear that anymore,” she said. “In some way, I’m like the new kid on the block.”