Joel Nelson has been promoted to CEO and president of LCS effective Jan. 1, the Des Moines, IA-based company announced Thursday.

Current CEO Ed Kenny will continue in his other role as chairman of the board of Life Care Companies LLC and LCS Holdings.

“After 38 wonderful years with LCS, it was time that I put in place a planned retirement strategy for my role within the company,” Kenny said. “I know Joel will do a great job in his new role, and we are confident about the future of LCS under his leadership.”

Nelson has worked for LCS more than 30 years and has been president and chief operating officer since 2015. He has held multiple executive level positions, including executive vice president/chief development officer and executive vice president/director of operations, where he was responsible for the oversight of serving more than 30,000 seniors in more than 100 communities.

“There is no better time to lead LCS,” Nelson said. “We have so many opportunities ahead of us and tremendous bench strength from our employees to help us get there.”

Currently, Nelson is a member of the board of managers for Life Care Companies and LCS Holdings. Outside of LCS, he serves on multiple not-for-profit boards, including the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Advisory Board, the Simpson College Health Services Leadership Advisory Board, the Greater Iowa Chapter Alzheimer’s Association Board and ChildServe, a Des Moines-based not-for-profit organization.

Kenny has worked in the senior living industry for 38 years. In his role as chairman of the board, he will continue to participate in corporate strategic planning discussions with the board of managers. He also will continue his work related to public policy issues on both the federal and state levels, and he will serve as the president on the board of the LCS Foundation.

“Even though I am entering a new chapter in my life, I remain committed to supporting LCS, Joel and the senior living industry as needed,” he said.

The LCS family of companies focus on development, operations management, marketing and sales management, and strategic planning for continuing care retirement communities, also known as life plan communities, as well as rental independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities nationwide. The company also provides a full-service real estate private equity enterprise, insurance, national purchasing consulting services and in-home care.