Aegis Living Names New President and New COO

Aegis Living has promoted Chief People Officer Sandra Preyale to the role of president and Regional Vice President Howard Jacobs to the role of COO.

Aegis also promoted Lee Kaufmann to the role of senior vice president of human resources. The moves are intended to help support the company’s business growth in the coming year, according to a representative for the Bellevue, Washington-based senior living operator. Aegis currently has a portfolio of 34 communities in Washington, California and Nevada, with six others in development and more projects expected later in 2022.

Preyale comes to the president role less than four months after Kris Engskov left the position to lead a new home health care startup funded by venture capital firm ARCH Venture Partners.


Preyale has a career as a human resources executive spanning more than 30 years, and before joining Aegis worked for companies including Amazon and Coach.

She previously led human resources for Aegis four about four years. In her new role, she will shift to supporting business growth and development, centering on overseeing operations and strategies for new properties that the senior living operator has under development. She also will focus on culture and employee retention, including developing and promoting new leaders from within.

As chief people officer, Preyale developed and launched Aegis University, the company’s in-house career development program. She also formed a centralized recruiting team with the goal of keeping employee turnover lower than industry average.


“Sandra has had a lifelong calling caring for people, which makes her an exceptional fit,” Aegis Founder and CEO Dwayne Clark said in a press release. “She will lead us confidently into Aegis’ future as we open two new communities this year and continue to innovate our offerings to provide the highest standard of care in senior assisted living.”

With Preyale’s promotion, Aegis also promoted Kaufmann as senior vice president of HR. In his new role, he will take over hiring, leading and retaining team members. His past experience includes leading sales and operations teams at companies such as Zales, Target, Nordstrom and Gap.

In March, Jacobs will take over as Aegis’ new COO. He currently works as a regional vice president for Aegis, and in the past he has worked with hospitality companies including Provenance Hotels and Destination Hotels.

“We are doubling down on our people and culture because we see great opportunity ahead,” Clark said.

Aegis is also working on other initiatives and efforts for 2022 that include piloting an in-house staffing agency and regaining occupancy lost during the pandemic.

“What we have seen in the last four months is like the light switch flipped on, especially in the last two weeks,” Clark told SHN in mid-December. “We had a 1% surge in census just last week.”

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