Aegis Expands Leadership With Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, Target Alumni

In its latest hiring push, Aegis Living has added more leaders from the food, hospitality and retail sectors.

The leaders come from multiple companies, and join the Bellevue, Washington-based company as it strives to lead a “wellness revolution,” Aegis Living President Kris Engskov wrote in a LinkedIn post Tuesday.

“Aegis Living is leading a wellness revolution for seniors,” Engskov wrote. “And, it’s only possible through our people.”

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Aegis hired Anthony Pisa as its new senior vice president of operations. His last role was as COO of Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, a restaurant chain with locations in and around Seattle, Chicago and Carmel, Indiana. Before that, Pisa worked as a regional vice president for global coffee giant Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), which is also Engskov’s former employer. At Starbucks, Engskov had a big job: running U.S. retail operations. He also worked in the Clinton White House, including as a top aide to the president.

Aegis also hired three people to work as general managers: Kerry Hing, a former general manager with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; Luis Olivas, a former resort manager of the La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona; and Chris Lyons, who previously worked as a service and engagement leader for retailer Target as well as a district manager for Starbucks.

This isn’t the first time Aegis sourced its talent from Starbucks, either. Last August, the senior living company hired Deepa Hall and Tricia Williams, two former leaders at Starbucks.

On the whole, Engskov believes Aegis is ready to gain scale in a sector on the cusp of massive growth in a way similar to what Starbucks began to do two decades ago.

“This is a very different business, but much of the operational day-to-day is very recognizable and translates well,” Engskov said, comparing Starbucks to Aegis Living.

And he believes that this huge opportunity should entice “changemakers” to join senior living from other sectors.

“I think we’ve got a giant opportunity to reposition our industry and this business to find those changemakers who, for whatever reason, have not tuned in to what is getting ready to happen and why, if you’ve got mission-driven bones in your body, how big an opportunity we can provide you to build a career,” he told SHN earlier this year.

Aegis CEO Dwayne Clark has long looked to hire people from outside the senior living industry. In particular, the company does not hire general managers from industry competitors.

“Most of our general managers come from Four Seasons, from Ritz-Carlton, from Marriott, from Mandarin Oriental, those kinds of companies,” he told Senior Housing News last year.

While Aegis believes in bringing top talent from other industries into senior living, the company is also focused on promoting from within, including through new career development programs to foster talent within its workforce.

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