Jack Callison is stepping down as CEO of Enlivant to become the CEO of Sunrise Senior Living.
Callison will be succeeded by Daniel M. Guill, Enlivant’s long-term president and COO. Guill has a background in senior housing alongside hospitality, finance, and healthcare services. Before joining Enlivant, he worked with companies such as Fortress Investment Group, Parthenon Capital and Performant.
The moves shuffle the leadership at two of the largest senior living providers in the United States. As of 2020, Sunrise was the 5th-largest provider, with 270 U.S. communities, and Enlivant was the 11th largest, with 229 U.S. properties, according to data from industry association Argentum.
Callison is set to succeed Chris Winkle, who announced in December he is departing the company. Callison is scheduled to assume his new role on April 1.
“Sunrise’s resident and team-centered philosophy aligns with my own values, and I believe the organization is positioned for greatness following the challenges that it has already overcome throughout the pandemic,” Callison said in a press release about his move to Sunrise. “I greatly look forward to the opportunity to further establish Sunrise’s leadership in the industry as a premier senior living provider, drive additional value for its owners, and help bring its personalized care and service to many more residents and families in the future.”
Callison’s resignation is effective as of March 31, 2021, according to Enlivant.
Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera — one of the largest senior living and care providers in Canada — is the majority shareholder in Sunrise. The McLean, Virginia-based operator’s executive search was on an accelerated timeline, and centered on candidates in and out of the senior housing industry who had both hospitality and clinical experience, according to Revera CEO Tom Wellner.
“We were looking for someone who also had that cultural respect, and the ability to make and lead teams to achieve results,” Wellner told Senior Housing News. “And certainly, [Callison has] a track record in all of those categories.”
Callison also has deep experience managing senior living operations in the U.S., and the fact that many in the industry consider him a mentor also made him a good fit for the role.
“At the end of the day, we just found that Jack’s profile fit exactly what we thought Sunrise needed for its strategy today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,” Wellner said.
When Callison takes the reins at Sunrise later this year, his first priority will be on managing the company’s Covid-19 effort, overseeing the company as it executes on strategic initiatives and its growth pipeline and working collaboratively with its owners and partners.
“With Jack’s leadership, we’ll be able to add investments into the U.S., both through Sunrise, and also, we’re seeing other opportunities start to show themselves,” Wellner said.
Callison takes the reins at Sunrise after a period of growth for the company. During Winkle’s tenure, the company expanded into the U.K. market through the acquisition of Gracewell; introduced the Sunrise Villa brand; and launched a Medicare Advantage plan. Winkle also led the company as it ramped up development in the wake of the Great Recession, with projects that include a high-profile building soon to open in Manhattan.
As a management company, Sunrise works closely with the largest senior housing real estate investment trusts (REITs), Welltower (NYSE: WELL), Ventas (NYSE: VTR) and Healthpeak (NYSE: PEAK).
Toledo, Ohio-based Welltower is a 34% owner of Sunrise and in 2019 derived 35% of its senior housing operating revenue from the 165 Sunrise communities in its portfolio.
As of Q32020, Chicago-based Ventas owned 95 Sunrise properties, representing 5% of the REIT’s annualized adjusted net operating income (NOI). Irvine, California-based Healthpeak listed 36 Sunrise communities in its Q32020 senior housing operating portfolio, excluding redevelopment, non-stabilized and planned transition properties.
New chief administrative officer at Enlivant
Enlivant also promoted Pete Smith, longtime chief human resources and legal officer, to the role of Chief Administrative Officer. In the new role, Smith will continue to oversee human resources and legal functions alongside the company’s regulatory, clinical, and project management organizations. He joined Enlivant in 2013 after working in leadership roles for companies such as PepsiCo, Burger King, and AutoNation.
Enlivant was born out of Assisted Living Concepts, which in 2014 transformed into Enlivant and underwent a turnaround and moved its headquarters from Milwaukee to Chicago under the direction of Callison.
“Right out of the gate, we replaced 16 of the top 16 executives,” Callison told SHN during a 2016 Leadership Series interview. “In the midst of moving the company from Milwaukee to Chicago, we replaced 80-85 people of our 90 corporate support professionals. In addition to those staggering numbers, we also replaced about 85% of our divisional and regional operators, clinicians and salespeople across 19 states.”
More recently, Callison has focused on keeping turnover low and providing a sense of purpose as Enlivant’s employees have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our culture has never been more cohesive and as strong as it is today,” he told SHN in October.
Rick Matros, CEO of Sabra Health Care REIT (Nasdaq: SBRA), had praise for both Callison and Guill. Sabra in 2017 acquired a 49% stake in Enlivant’s portfolio as part of a joint-venture deal with global private investment firm TPG.
“Jack’s been great for us and he should be the same for Sunrise, [and] we believe Dan will be terrific as CEO for Enlivant,” Matros told SHN. “Our relationship with him is as strong as it was with Jack and he has a deep bench.”