Movers & Shakers: Brookdale’s New Board Chairman

Brookdale Appoints New Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board

Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), the largest senior living operator in the U.S., announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Daniel Decker as Class I director and the non-executive chairman of the board in replacement of the late Granger Cobb, effective Oct. 1.

“Dan is a wonderful addition to the Board, and we are excited to welcome him to lead our Board and to advise and counsel Brookdale’s management team as we continue to refine and execute our strategy to create shareholder value,” Jeffrey Leeds, non-executive chairman of the board of directors of Brookdale, said in a prepared statement.

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Decker is president and owner of CoastWood Senior Housing Partners, LLC, an investment firm that specializes in seniors housing and related services. The company acquired the operations of Sunrise Senior Living, a leading national operator of assisted living facilities, in partnership with KKR and Beckon Petty O’Keefe & Company before selling its interest in 2014.

Decker has more than 20 years of investment experience in the senior housing industry and has been involved in the investment, through five companies, of approximately $2.5 billion of assets. Decker has served on the boards of several REITs and senior housing companies, including Sentio Healthcare Properties, Health Care REIT, Forum Group and Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc., where he served as executive chairman and chairman of the board.

Ventas Appoints New Chief Accounting Officer

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR), one of the “Big Three” health care REITs, has promoted Gregory Liebbe to senior vice president, chief accounting officer (CAO) and controller, effective immediately, the company announced.

Liebbe will lead all aspects of Ventas’ accounting functions, including internal and external reporting. He was vice president of accounting with Ventas since 2011 and worked within the company’s accounting functions since 2007. Prior to working at Ventas, Liebbe held accounting leadership positions at Brown-Forman, Accenture, Aon Corporation and Northern Trust.

Liebbe will continue to report to Robert Probst, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ventas. Probst has held the interim position of CAO since he joined Ventas in 2014.

“During his eight years at Ventas, Greg has demonstrated his leadership, accounting expertise and integrity; we are delighted to promote him to CAO,” Probst said in a prepared statement.

Seniors Housing Properties Trust Welcomes New Independent Trustees

Seniors Housing Properties Trust (NYSE: SNH), a real estate investment trust that owns 428 senior living and healthcare related properties in 43 states and Washington, D.C., has appointed Lisa Harris Jones as a new independent trustee and Jeffrey Somers as lead independent trustee, the company announced.

Harris Jones is the founder and a member of the Maryland law firm, Harris, Jones & Malone, one of the most successful female and minority-owned professional firms in the United States. She replaces Fred Zeytoonjian, who retired from SNH’s board. She will serve as an independent trustee and will also chair SNH’s Nominating and Governance Committee.

Somers, who has already served on the SNH board since 2009, will serve as the first lead independent trustee of the board. He will also chair SNH’s Compensation Committee. Somers previously served as managing member of Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC, of Waltham, Massachusetts.

Lancaster Pollard’s Kevin Laidlaw Joins Mergers and Acquisitions Group

Kevin Laidlaw, currently a vice president with Lancaster Pollard—a senior living and health care financial solutions company—will be joining the firm’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) group, the company announced. Laidlaw’s transition to the M&A group reflects Lancaster Pollard’s national efforts to expand its sell-side and buy-side advisory services in senior housing and care properties, according to the firm.

“We are thrilled to have Kevin as part of our team,” Chad Elliot, managing director of Lancaster Pollard’s M&A rout, said in a prepared statement. “For over eight years, he has been an instrumental part of Lancaster Pollard’s success and has developed a keen understand of the factors that drive valuation, such as key financial and operational metrics as well as the regulatory and reimbursement environment.”

Lancaster Pollard’s M&A group aims to provide sellers with the access to qualified buyers who can complete transactions with minimal disruption to operations. Laidlaw joined Lancaster Pollard in 2007 and has been responsible for all detail involved in the underwriting and closing processes for over 160 transactions totaling more than $1.2 billon.

EPOCH Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard Names New Director of Sales and Marketing

Jill Bazar-Khoury has been named director of sales and marketing for EPOCH Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard, a senior housing community in Rhode Island that offers short-term rehabilitation care, assisted living, skilled nursing and a memory care program called BRIDGES.

Bazar-Khoury, of Lincoln, Rhode Island, joins EPOCH with more than 17 years of experience working in admissions and marketing for assisted living communities throughout the state. In her new position, Bazar-Khoury will provide guidance and support to seniors and their families making the transition to senior living, the company announced.

The community is part of EPOCH Senior Living, a regional provider of senior living and health care options.

Memory Care of Westover Hills Names Executive Director

Linda Carrasco has been named executive director of Memory Care of Westover Hills, a San Antonio-based memory care community with 64 beds.

Carrasco joins the community from Emeritus Senior Living in San Antonio, a community with a 27-unit memory care division. She served as executive director with Emeritus since 2011 and led the facility’s healthcare delivery, admissions, operations, training and marketing efforts.

“We’re excited to have Linda’s experience on our team, and know she will do an outstanding job helping us deliver the best and most advanced resident care for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, as well as supporting their families,” Mike Gould, CEO of Memory Care America, said in a prepared statement.

Memory Care of Westover Hills will open on Nov. 18, 2015. The community is owned by Memory Care America, a Nashville, Tennessee-based group with five memory care facilities in four states.

Integral Senior Living Announces Divisional Vice Presidents of Sales and Marketing

Integral Senior Living (ISL), a California-based senior living management company that manages 58 properties in the state, announced the promotions of Jeffrey Smith and Carrie Delaney to divisional vice presidents of sales and marketing.

“Jeffrey and Carrie have consistently brought creativity, commitment and professionalism as regionals marketing directors for ISL,” Collette Valentine, CEO/COO of ISL, said in a prepared statement. “We fully recognize their talent and felt each would be a perfect fit for the newly created positions.”

Smith joined ISL in 2012 as a regional marketing director and has over 22 years of divisional and regional management experience, with nine years in the senior housing industry. In his previous position with ISL, Smith oversaw up to 36 business units in multiple states for HQ Global Workplaces and Regus Offices. He has also held sales roles with Atria Senior Living and Merrill Gardens.

Delaney has more than 12 years of experience in the senior living industry, after beginning her career with Brookdale Senior Living and Atria. Delaney has been with ISL since 2009, when she joined as a regional marketing director.

The Goodman Group Appoints Director of Platinum Passport Services

The Goodman Group, a national developer and manager of senior living and health care communities, announced the hire of Amanda Sue Watson, as director of platinum passport services.

In her new role, Watson will develop a new community-based program that will be launched later this year at The Commons on Marice in Eagan, Minnesota. This is the first position of its kind at the company, and Watson will be based at the company’s headquarters in Chaska, Minnesota. Watson was most recently a project coordinator for University of Minnesota Physicians.

The new program aims to bridge the company’s properties with the local community by providing members with a full spectrum of programs and support for overall health. Watson will provide and oversee individualized health coaching sessions, personal wellbeing plans, educational opportunities and support for families and caregivers.

Written by Amy Baxter

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