18 November, 2021 | 2 min read

Executive Director Celebrates 30 Years in El Cerrito

Meet Janet M. James, Executive Director, Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor since 1986.


Janet with President and CEO Todd Murch at the Quarterly Executive meeting, July 2016.

What did you do prior to joining Eskaton?

I was in retail sales. Two years prior to joining Eskaton, I completed my BA degree in Social Science from UC Berkeley. I wrote my senior thesis on housing for the elderly. It has been great  to actually do what I went to school for.

Have you always worked at the same Eskaton location?

Yes! I opened Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor in El Cerrito, California, on July 12, 1986 at the young age of 26. I was praying I’d make it a year. Hard to believe it has been 30 years since that day!

Favorite part of your job:

Knowing that what I do directly helps someone, especially seniors. I get to see the impact we have on a personal and daily basis. It is a feel good job.

Greatest memory at work:

My greatest memory isn’t a single event in time. Looking back I can recall so many seniors and their stories, and how they became like family. Those memories I treasure, and will be what I will take away from my career here.

What kind of advice do you give someone starting a career in senior services?

It’s a great field to be in. Thanks to the aging baby boomer generation, you will always be in demand. But most importantly, you will feel you have made a difference in someone’s life, and they in yours. How great is that!

Janet's daughter Alyssa followed in her footsteps by doing a website and video for her senior project called Aging in America about immigrants.

Read about the seniors who immigrated to the US.

Janet's two daughters Alyssa and Maria at the 30-year celebration of Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor.James_Daughters.jpg

Three_Sisters.jpgJanet and her two sisters grew up in Berkeley. They have been part of the Eskaton Hazel Shirley Manor extended family over the last 30 years.