New Capital Senior Living COO Aims to Quickly Move the Needle

Capital Senior Living (NYSE:CSU) has hired Brandon Ribar as its new chief operating officer.

Ribar is formerly the senior vice president of operations for major skilled nursing company Golden Living. He’s stepping into the COO role months after the departure of Capital Senior Living’s former COO, Brett Lee.

Ribar’s appointment was announced Tuesday — and he was already hitting the ground running. He and Capital Senior Living CEO Kim Lody were at a meeting of regional and local leaders at a community near Chicago in Naperville, Illinois.

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This was in line with one of Ribar’s first priorities: to spend time in the field meeting with community-level leaders in an effort to reduce turnover and improve financial performance in certain markets. Capital Senior Living currently has 128 communities in 23 states, and is in the midst of an operational turnaround effort.

“I’ll spend a lot of time with the local and regional leadership teams in the areas where there’s immediate opportunities, both from a talent standpoint and where we can really see the needle move,” Ribar told Senior Housing News. “I think it’s impossible to do your job correctly as a leader in this type of organization without being fundamentally connected to your local markets.”

Ribar is also focused on developing relationships with local partners, such as health care providers, to build and bolster the company’s reputation across the U.S.

“The more you can strengthen relationships with folks in [local] markets … it allows you to grow your presence, and ultimately, the occupancy in your communities,” Ribar said.

Jetting across the country to visit Capital’s local markets shouldn’t be a problem for Ribar, a native of Fairbanks, Alaska, who enjoys traveling the world. Today, he resides in Dallas with his wife, three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.

Ribar is aided by nearly one decade spent as a leader at Golden Living. While at the Plano, Texas-based post-acute provider, he was most recently responsible for looking after the operations of 305 skilled nursing and assisted living centers in 21 states.

Ribar’s time managing operations at Golden Living will be “essential” as he transitions into the new COO role, according to Capital Senior Living CEO Kim Lody.

“Having the skilled nursing piece is important because that is a significant relationship and partnership for us in each of our communities,” Lody told SHN. “He also has a strong financial background, which is also very essential for this role.”

Capital’s new COO honed his financial skills as vice president of healthcare investments for real real estate private equity firm Fillmore Capital Partners. There, he oversaw sourcing, underwriting, negotiating and closing of all healthcare investments, totaling $3.9 billion in assets under management. Fillmore was the firm that created Golden Living after taking the Beverly Enterprises chain private in 2006.

Ribar left Golden Living at the beginning of 2018, following the company’s decision to shift to being the real estate owner for its properties while bringing in third-party operators. The company has gone on to struggle with some of those operators, notably Skyline Healthcare.

Ribar faced his share of challenges while with Golden Living — including Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement pressures that led to significant reductions in the provider’s rates. But he was also in that time able to help increase admissions by more than 25% and restructure overhead support functions to save $20 million annually.

That is not to say that restructuring the workforce is on his to-do list at Capital Senior Living. That process has already been accomplished over the last several months, Lody emphasized.

Ribar describes his leadership style as similar to Lody’s, with a high priority on interacting closely with community leaders and getting to know them. Ribar and Lody first got acquainted through a mutual contact shortly after Lody took the reins at Capital earlier this year in January.

“I think Kim and I have a very similar approach to the business,” Ribar said. “For me, it was a great opportunity and a natural fit based on what I’ve done in the past, and hopefully what Capital will benefit from going forward as we continue to grow the business.”

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