Bufford to Step Down as Trilogy CEO, Barney Tapped as Successor

Randall Bufford is stepping down as president and CEO of Trilogy Health Services, to be succeeded by current COO Leigh Ann Barney.

Bufford will transition to chairman of the board for the Louisville, Kentucky-based provider, effective Oct. 1, 2019, the company announced Friday.

“I’ve been planning for this transition for over 10 years,” said Bufford, in a press release. “Now is the perfect time for me to take a step back from day-to-day operations at Trilogy.”

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Bufford founded Trilogy in 1997. Today, the company’s portfolio includes 114 communities across Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and other services. Trilogy was the 29th-largest senior living provider in the United States in 2018, according to rankings compiled by industry association Argentum.

In 2015, Griffin American Healthcare REIT III acquired Trilogy in a $1.125 billion joint venture with NorthStar Healthcare Income. Griffin American holds about a 70% stake in the JV, with NorthStar owning about 30%, although Bufford and other members of the management team maintained a $24 million stake.

Last year, Trilogy contributed about $103.4 million in annualized base rent to Griffin American, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Trilogy’s financial position “has never been stronger,” and the company currently has record employee engagement and retention rates, Bufford stated in the press release issued Friday.

Trilogy recently announced that its roughly 15,000 part- and full-time employees will have free access to about 180 different online degrees, including associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s programs, through Purdue University Global, an affiliate of West Lafayette, Indiana-based Purdue University.

He is not being forced out and is in “great health,” Bufford said, in a video to employees that was posted online. As chairman of the board, he anticipates being active but will strive to stay out of the way of the management team while mentoring Leigh Ann Barney.

Barney has been with Trilogy for almost 19 years, and has been executive vice president and COO since 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“It is the utmost honor to serve such an inspiring group of employees, and I promise to lead by the example Randy has set since day one,” Barney stated in the company’s press release. “Our future is bright, and I look forward to celebrating our successes in the years to come.”

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