Argentum Elects Six New Directors, Unveils Women in Leadership Initiative

SAN ANTONIO — Argentum, a seniors housing advocacy group, has elected six new directors to its board, as well as announced a new initiative to celebrate the accomplishments of women leaders in seniors housing. The announcements were made at Argentum’s annual conference, being held this year in San Antonio.

The new directors elected to join the board include: Chris Cummings, senior vice president of asset management, Ventas; Dan Guill, president and COO, Enlivant; Sarabeth Hanson, president and CEO, Harbor Retirement Associates; Joel Nelson, president and CEO, Life Care Services; Katie Potter, president and CEO, Five Star Senior Living; and Charlie Trefzger, president & CEO, Affinity Living Group.

“We are so pleased to welcome these six new members to the board today,” says Tim Buchanan, Argentum Board of Directors chairman and Legend Senior Living president and CEO. “Their extensive industry experience and insight will provide valuable direction as, collectively, we continue to focus on expanding workforce development opportunities, leading public policy conversations, and improving quality outcomes across senior living.”

Four members of the Board of Directors transitioned off the board: Jack Callison, CEO, Enlivant (2016-2019); Ed Kenny, chairman, Life Care Services (2014-2019); Bruce Mackey, Five Star Senior Living (2008-2019); and Robert Probst, executive vice president and CFO, Ventas (2016-2019).

Current director Kai Hsiao, CEO, Eclipse Senior Living has assumed the officer’s role of treasurer, formerly held by Mackey.

The Women in Leadership initiative is designed to celebrate the contributions women have made to the senior living industry and to form opportunities for more women to attain leadership and executive-level positions.

“At this moment, senior living is uniquely positioned to cultivate its majority-female workforce with targeted recruitment; clear equity and inclusion policies; and a culture that welcomes, celebrates and supports women at all levels,” says James Balda, Argentum CEO and president.

When compared to the overall U.S. labor force, the senior living workforce is overwhelmingly female — women account for 4 out of 5 of the industry’s employees.

Women also account for nearly 70 percent of those holding management jobs overall, according to analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey. This contrasts with the total U.S. labor force, where women hold 56 percent of all management jobs. At the CEO level, the industry is on par with national ratios — 17.5 percent of CEOs at the largest 115 senior living provider companies are women. Across the U.S., the number of female CEOs sits at 16 percent, according to McKinsey & Co. data.

Through the Women in Leadership initiative, Argentum is leveraging the evidence for why greater gender diversity is needed and addressing the issue on an industry-wide level. Shaping the initiative’s mission and vision, a new Women in Leadership steering committee has convened, comprising two dozen women pioneers and leaders in the industry.

“The committee is looking to foster and empower women to move into more senior positions,” says Women in Leadership committee chair Collette Gray, Integral Senior Living CEO/COO and Argentum Board of Directors member. “We are going to give them the tools to make those advances.”

The committee has developed four pillars that will focus on education, support, celebration and measurement in order to reach the goals of creating and sustaining a community of current and future leaders; growing the industry’s female workforce; increasing the number of women recruited and promoted to executive leadership and board positions; and promoting the senior living industry overall.

To view a white paper titled The Path Forward: Impacting the Future of Women in Senior Living, which details the critical need for this initiative, click here.