12 Oaks President: We’re Nearing 40 Communities Faster Than Expected, Bringing in New Leaders

12 Oaks Senior Living is growing rapidly, with the Dallas, Texas-based management company onboarding several new communities in the second quarter and filling key leadership positions, President Greg Puklicz told Senior Housing News. 

Already eclipsing Puklicz’s recently stated goal of reaching 30 communities in its portfolio, the company is quickly becoming a significant senior living player in the southwest. When SHN last checked in with 12 Oaks Senior Living in March of this year, the company had just eclipsed the 20-community mark and was well-underway with its effort to recruit and retain vital staff positions.

The addition of seven Texas-based properties as part of a transition from a yet-to-be-disclosed operator puts 12 Oaks Senior Living at 39 communities, and that’s right on track with how Puklicz views the trajectory for the company.


“Our goal is to meet or exceed ownership group and resident expectations to get these properties on the best possible footing so that owners can execute their strategies in the coming years,” Puklicz told SHN. “Our focus going forward, having built this portfolio, is making it perform optimally.”

While the rise to the “mid-30s” was quicker than expected, it shouldn’t be surprising as distress in the market forces ownership groups to reevaluate struggling senior housing properties and seek out growing operators like 12 Oaks Senior Living.

To reach the goal of optimal portfolio performance, Puklicz championed a leadership effort companywide that has led to multiple hirings and internal promotions to position the company internally to not only take on the rapid growth, but improve its operations.


“Our high-touch model really is foundational to being able to position ourselves and work with these ownership groups and build future relationships,” Puklicz said.

On June 1, 12 Oaks Senior Living announced the addition of nine new hires to its corporate team, with more expected, including in the C-suite as Puklicz searches for a Chief People Officer (CPO) to guide culture and employee engagement at all levels. Some highlights from the recent hiring wave include Paul Wang, a finance specialist who will serve as vice president of asset management; Lydia Roberson and Chase Thomas as regional vice presidents.

Other additions included Emily Hebert promoted to accounting specialist, PA Drammeh as staff accountant, Debie Weaver as solutions consultant and Stacey Baley as talent acquisition coordinator.

“We’re back-filling all of our departments now,” Puklicz said. “We’ve established a foundation of leadership within all of our departments within the corporate office.”

One point of the company’s managerial success could stem from the fact that regional vice presidents at 12 Oaks Senior Living oversee five or six communities, rather than large swaths of a portfolio, to allow hands-on, intensive engagement with staff to gain a deep understanding of each property’s local market.

That means paying attention to detail, building connections and relying on leadership teams across the organization to bring each property in the portfolio forward.

“We’ve had demonstrated success in rebuilding census and staffing and moving these communities to profitability,” Puklicz said.

For the remainder of 2023, Puklicz said the company will focus on getting its recently transitioned communities stabilized, while improving internal operations that make 12 Oaks Senior Living an attractive suitor for an ownership group’s wayward senior living assets.

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