On this episode of the Nashville CEO podcast, Cindy Baier, CEO of Brookdale Senior Living, shared how the entire organization literally reinvented the entire business overnight in response to COVID-19.
Iâ€™m proud that we were able to reinvent Brookdale overnight in rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Lucinda M. Baier, President, CEO and Director, Brookdale Senior Living
Cindy Baier is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookdale Senior Living, the nationâ€™s leading operator of senior living communities and one of the largest home health and hospice providers. As of year-end 2019, the $4.1 billion company operates more than 700 senior living communities and has the ability to serve 65,000+ residents through its independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities and also serves over 20,000 patients through its home health, hospice and outpatient therapy services. The companyâ€™s 50,000+ employees are taking care of Americaâ€™s seniors and in 2019 Fortune magazine ranked Brookdale as one of the 150 largest publicly listed employers in the country.
Ms. Baier became Brookdaleâ€™s President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors on February 28, 2018. As CEO she initiated and is leading the companyâ€™s operational turnaround strategy. Her accomplishments can be seen over an array of areas, including people, portfolio and operations. Retention rates of the companyâ€™s top community leaders are strong and a large amount of former associates returned to work for Brookdale. She helped focus the companyâ€™s efforts on increasing diversity, resulting in the Board and executive leadership team approaching gender parity. Ms. Baier led Brookdaleâ€™s efforts to negotiate and restructure leases with its largest three REIT partners and to unlock significant value through the sale of assets, including Brookdaleâ€™s interest in the unconsolidated entry CCRC ventures. Within the second year after introducing the â€œwinning locallyâ€ strategy, the company outperformed the sequential industry occupancy growth and the companyâ€™s Net Promoter ScoreÂ® increased 20%.
Ms. Baier has served for more than a decade as a board member of public and private companies and organizations. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) and the Nashville Health Care Council, where she chairs its finance and investment committee. Effective May 2020, Ms. Baier became a member of the NYSE Board Advisory Council, which identifies and connects diverse board candidates to NYSE-listed companies seeking new directors.
Ms. Baier has been recognized by a number of professional organizations, including recipient of the Corporate Citizenship 2020 Award from the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board; elected to McKnightâ€™s Hall of Honor in the 2020 â€œWomen of Influenceâ€ category; featured in the 2020 â€œIn Chargeâ€ lists by both Nashville Medical News and the Nashville Post; named in WomenInc.â€™s 2019 Most Influential Corporate Directors list; recognized in the Nashville Business Journalâ€™s 2020 Health Care Leaders awards and 2019 â€œPower 100â€ list; and honored at the Journalâ€™s 2019 â€œMost Admired CEOâ€ event.
Prior to becoming CEO of Brookdale, Ms. Baier served as the companyâ€™s Chief Financial Officer from December 2015. In addition to experience as a seasoned chief financial officer in several companies, she has had multi-billion dollar operations responsibility, been the chief executive officer for a publicly traded retailer, and served as an executive officer of a Fortune 30 company.
Ms. Baier is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Illinois State University, with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Accounting.
Where to find Brookdale Senior Living
Brookdale Senior Living
LinkedIn: @Brookdale Senior Living
Youtube: @Brookdale Living