Affinity Appoints New COO Amid Rapid Southeast Growth

Affinity Living Group (ALG) has a new chief operating officer to aid its ongoing expansion throughout the Southeast.

The Hickory, North Carolina-based senior living provider on Thursday announced it has appointed Neal Lail as its COO. Lail, who most recently worked as the company’s chief marketing officer, was hired in 2016 as vice president of sales and marketing.

As COO, Lail will streamline the company’s operations as it adds more communities to its portfolio through new development and acquisitions.

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“I’ve already been deeply involved in improving our census and resident satisfaction,” Lail told Senior Housing News. “Turning my focus toward operations, my priorities are to decrease move-outs and improve customer satisfaction with an aim toward increasing length of stay.”

Lail, a 30-year veteran of the senior care industry, previously held senior positions in the acute care, post-acute care, hospice care, and Medicare Advantage (MA) payer industries.

“ALG has been successful in continuing to grow and expand across the southeast with new developments and acquisitions. We’ve also garnered a reputation for pioneering senior healthcare initiatives through the guidance of our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin O’Neil,” he said. “As I take the helm of the COO role, I want to help tie all these strands together to propel ALG toward becoming the preeminent senior housing provider.”

In addition to Lail’s appointment, Affinity also has promoted Sheila Madigan to the role of senior vice president of sales and marketing. Madigan first joined Affinity in 2016 and has three decades of sales experience, including 16 years spent focusing on senior housing.

Affinity is currently embarking on a period of rapid growth. The provider is slated to open six new assisted living communities this year and plans to break ground on 10 more as it expands its footprint in the Southeast. Already, the provider is the largest in the region, and also one of the largest in the country with about 140 communities across six states.

The provider also is “in the throes of developing an MA plan,” CEO Charles Trefzger told SHN in April, although he noted it likely will be 2021 before this initiative comes to fruition.

Affinity Living Group was created in 2016 after splitting apart from Meridian Senior Living. From the start, the company’s aim was to position its properties for managed care, with a focus on the medicalization of assisted living for those who might not be able to afford high-end communities.

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