Our History

Residents playing cards at Vista Prairie Communities in Champlin, Minnesota
Resident's high fiving each other at Vista Prairie Communities in Champlin, Minnesota
Resident and staff playing cards and laughing  at Vista Prairie Communities in Champlin, Minnesota

History of Vista Prairie

Vista Prairie Communities (VPC) celebrated its 25th anniversary in March 2022. Our story started in 1997, when a nonprofit named Governmental & Educational Assistance Corporation (GEAC) was incorporated by a group of founders who were focused on developing low- and moderate-income housing, among other assets.

Eleven years later, GEAC’s business model had started to evolve from outsourcing management functions to operating senior living communities, under the name Vista Prairie Communities (VPC). The evolution included recruiting a Board of Directors with more diverse backgrounds, and a refocus on a mission, vision and values of care, service, and innovation.

Jim Bettendorf joined Vista Prairie Communities as President and CEO in 2016, succeeding Morris Knopf, who became Chair of the Board of Directors. An attorney, Knopf had provided legal counsel to the board virtually from its founding 19 years earlier. The board’s charge to Bettendorf was to create a new mission, along with an organization keenly dedicated to accomplishing it:

... to serve those who entrust us with their lives, health, and well-being. We transform lives by providing compassionate care and joy-filled environments in the communities we serve.

The nonprofit organization now owns eight senior living communities located in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio. We offer Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care, Care Suitesand Respite Care. In the process, we help older adults answer the question, "What's next?" -- as they transition to warm and welcoming communities.

at vista prairie, you’re family

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