by Justin Hutchens
It’s extraordinarily sad to mourn the loss of Granger. I know I speak for thousands across the senior living industry when I say that Granger Cobb will be missed dearly. His genuine passion for people, empowering leadership and vision to be a premiere provider of care to seniors across the country had a monumental impact for years to come. Those he mentored and trained will carry his legacy of compassionately caring for seniors.
I’d like share a little about Granger that I picked up over 15 years of knowing him as my closest friend and mentor.
Granger was first and foremost a family man. He loved his family. He also loved his Oakland Raiders. He attended countless Raiders games throughout his childhood and kept the tradition going as an adult with family and friends. Granger and I also shared the passion of riding motorcycles. We shared some unforgettable rides together; on the open road and in business.
Granger had a storied career in senior housing that began when he worked for his father-in-law Edward Keh as an Executive Director at a senior living community. Five years later he and his wife Tina ventured out to start their own company while taking on personal financial risk, leasing Creekside Lodge in San Pablo, California. This decision marked the founding of Cobbco Senior Living in 1989, which led to a growth path that included acquisition, development and a merger that ultimately became the largest operator of assisted living services in the country.
Granger believed in empowerment. He often used the phrase with his executive directors, “You are the captain of your own ship.” He believed wholeheartedly in the fact that those closest to the resident would define the success of his business and therefore should be confident in their decisions to address resident needs.
Anyone who knows Granger knows he was always looking ahead and moving forward. He loved to run. He ran marathons, and those of us that have had the pleasure to travel with him know that he loved to play it close in airports, where we often had to run to catch flights as well! The example he set of this constant motion set the bar high for everyone on his team to contribute to the momentum that he drove.
Granger would prove to be a master of driving culture and systems throughout a large, growing organization. Most importantly, though, Granger was a genuine person. He never met a stranger. He made people around him feel important. Granger was a gentleman, good humored, humble, impactful, and full of love for his family and friends. He was a true one of a kind. It’s been a great pleasure in my life to know Granger Cobb. May he rest in peace.
Justin Hutchens is Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer – Senior Housing and Care at HCP Inc (NYSE: HCP). He previously was President and CEO of National Health Investors Inc (NYSE: NHI).